Ecuador, unique in many ways, has many unique foods that you won’t find anywhere else in the world. This is the list that we came up with of the top Ecuadorian foods that you have to try while you’re here. How many have you tried?
Cuy (guinea pig)
Yup, that’s right, that cute little pet you played with as a child, in Ecuador that would have been your birthday dinner. An Ecuadorian delicacy served at almost every celebration in the sierra, cuy is among the most famous dishes you can find in Ecuador. Some foreigners love it and some hate it, but you haven’t really experienced Ecuador until you’ve tried it.
If you’re on the beach, ceviche may be the easiest dish to come by. Fresh fish, shrimp, clam, oyster (or a mix of all of them!), cooked in citrus juices, with plantain chips on the side. Delicious and always fresh, this dish is refreshing and perfect when you’re relaxing on the beach, or anywhere near the water.
These delicious fried cakes can be made with potato or yuca. They are stuffed with cheese and if that isn’t enough for you, they are usually served with a peanut sauce and are often accompanied by avocado, sausage, a fried egg, and a tomato and lettuce salad.
Fritada is a delicious dish usually eaten for dinner. It mainly consists of pork, but this pork is layered on top of fried plantains and topped with llapingacho, corn, tomatoes, onions, and cilantro. You can think of it as Ecuadorian nachos.
Known as the “Ecuadorian hangover food”, this fish soup may not be the best thing to start your hangover off on if you’re not used to it, but trust me, you can become accustomed. Brewed with yuca, onions, tomato and topped with popcorn and chifles (plantain chips), this dish is definitely worth a try, as many Ecuadorians consider it the national dish.
If you’re going to try any street food in Ecuador, be sure that it’s this one. It can be difficult to find on the coast, but in the sierra it’s practical sold on every corner. Cevichocho may be the only street food in Ecuador with good nutritional value and it’s delicious! The main ingredient is the chocho, a white grain grown in the sierra, it is then topped with toasted corn kernels, chifles (plantain chips), a tomato, onion salsa, and if the client chooses, they can spice it up with salt, lime, ají, ketchup, mustard and whatever other ingredients the vendor may have on stock.
A typical coastal dish, encocado usually made with fish, shrimp or some combination of the two, doused in a sweet, creamy sauce made with fresh coconut, served with a side of rice and patacones (smashed, fried plantains), enough said. Famous in Manabí, but you can find it anywhere along the coast.
Seco de Pollo
If all of these dishes seem to be too much for you, you can always play it safe by ordering seco de pollo, which is Chicken in a tasty sauce, with a side of rice and salad. It is offered in virtually every restaurant in Ecuador. If you are a little more adventurous, order seco de chivo, which is goat meat or seco de guatita, cow stomach!
Did we miss your favorite Ecuadorian food? Comment below to let us know what it is!