Food: We recommend you eat in busy restaurants or cafes. People do not go there without a reason and the turnaround of the food is higher. Wash your hands well before dinner.
Breakfast (Spanish: desayuno): The most common breakfast is a filling meal of bread and eggs (huevos), prepared in the manner of your choice. Or you can ask for a desayuno Americano, or, if this is all too heavy, you can often get a breakfast of toast, jam and sweet breads. Coffee, mainly, is instant. If you like it with milk, ask for café con leche (hot milk with instant coffee). Fruit juice is always available, but make sure you are served pure juice (jugo puro) and not diluted with water (con agua). The many types of fruit juice include jugo mora (blackberry juice), naranja (orange), naranjilla (local fruit), maracuya (passion fruit) and piña (pineapple). If you want to try something different, ask for humitas (sweet corn pancakes), served particularly in the highlands.
Lunch (almuerzo), dinner (cena or merienda) and snacks: For Ecuadorians, lunch is the main meal of the day, while for visitors, who are often enroute; it can be the least important. Meat, fish or poultry is an important part of the diet, and the quantities are often larger than we are used to in Europe, particularly in the more expensive tourist restaurants. Churrasco is a meat dish usually served with fried eggs and chips. Most dishes are not very spicy. If you like to try something special, order cuy. It is roasted guinea pig and it is a delicacy from the Inca era. Everywhere in the cities, excellent fish dishes are served. We particularly recommend ceviche, fish, shrimps or shellfish marinated in lemon, always served with popcorn. Otherwise, nearly all other dishes are served with rice. In the cities, also western foods such as pasta and pizza can be found. In Chifas you can find delicious Chinese cuisine. Delicious snacks are the llapinggachos, made of baked and mashed potatoes and cheese and sometimes carrot (as colouring), sometimes also prepared with bits of fried pork.
Drink: Water from the tap is not suitable to drink. Mineral water is widely available (Agua mineral). An important brand is Güitig, and another good brand is Agua Linda. Agua mineral con gas is carbonated; sin gas is still water. Otherwise, the usual soft drinks are on sale, such as Coca Cola and Sprite.
The local wine is rather horrible, and wine is not as common with meals as beer, but it is available almost everywhere. Local beer brands include Club and Pilsener. Among Ecuador’s liquors are rum, the locally brewed aguardiente (made of sugar cane) and the side product; Canelazo.