Best Eating Spots in Quito: La Cuchara de San Marcos
La Cuchara de San Marcos is a hidden gem in Quito’s Centro Historico. Just a short walk from Plaza Grande and the main tourist spots, La Cuchara is located in the cul de sac of Junin, charmingly referred to here as la cuchara, which means the spoon. As well as serving excellent quality vegetarian food, and some of the best cocktails you will find in Quito, their brunches are second to none.
At weekends guests are able to sit in the pretty courtyard and enjoy a feast of delights. Among the brunches available are The Sleepy Californian (which is what I always have) and The Andean, both are priced at $12, which isn’t cheap but is an extraordinary amount of food. My husband and I are big eaters and sharing a Sleepy Californian is plenty for us.
Our friend favours the more traditional Andean and that is, again, a huge amount of food.
Each brunch comes with a fruit juice and coffee, and they also have siphon coffee, which is not only delicious but exciting. It’s like taking part in a science experiment at your table.
The owner Kevin, is a very busy Californian and an excellent host. The bar is his domain and he loves thinking up new twists on classic cocktails. This weekend we fancied Bloody Mary’s with our brunch but they were out of the specific tomato juice he needed (it can be difficult to get certain imported ingredients here at times). He happily offered to whip us up an alternative using traditional Ecuadorian fruit called tomate de arbol (tree fruit). It was utterly delicious and we have named it a Bloody Maria Jose.
There is a beautifully decorated dining area inside but on a sunny Quito day it is much more pleasant to enjoy the outside eating area and sitting outside allows us to bring our dog (I definitely wouldn’t bring him at night, however.) Recently the restaurant has been branching out and are offering vegan and vegetarian cookery classes, as well as the fantastic option to deliver high quality organic produce to your home.
I can’t recommend La Cuchara highly enough. Delicious food, reasonable prices, great service, and fantastic hosts. If you haven’t been yet, what are you waiting for?