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Cuenca Restaurants

LiveTheLifeinEcuador  | June 22, 2015

Cuenca has a diverse array of restaurants that will satisfy anyone’s appetite and craving for anything from local specialties to international cuisine. Here you can dine on Latin American classics, elegant European fare, and more. The following is a sampling of the best restaurants in the area:

La Esquina

An upscale restaurant offering dishes from rural Argentina, La Esquina’s specialty is hearty food served family-style, in traditional discos de arado, which are plow discs that are similar to cast-iron skillets. Discos with mixed meat, vegetables, or seafood called cazuela española are quite popular, and can be split between two or three people, as well as served with a side of rice or salad. La Esquina also has an extensive wine list with selections that can perfectly complement your meal.

Moliendo Cafe

Considered as one of the best little eateries in the area, Moliendo Cafe is brimming with ambience and character, from the charming decor that reminds you of the owners’ native Colombia, along with their specialty, arepas, which is a flatbread made of ground maize dough. Their arepa dishes pair well with beer or Colombian coffee, and repeat customers keep coming back for more, so the place is constantly packed with diners. Don’t forget to ring the bell on your way out to let the owners know you loved the food and the service.


Considered an institution of sorts in Cuenca, Raymipampa offers traditional Ecuadorian comfort food like locro de queso, chaulafan, ceviche, and many more. Try their almuerzo, which is an affordable three-course lunch served with soup, drink and dessert. Raymipampa’s ambience is unique, its walls adorned with old photos of Cuenca, and dinner plates and kitchen utensils are used as decorative elements. The place is extremely popular with locals and travelers and stays open late.


Located in a beautifully renovated vintage home in the Estadio area, Salvia offers a gastropub setting with unique twists on tried and tested British and Continental classics like Beef bourguignon and Sunday roast lunches, using the freshest local ingredients. The menu has limited selections, but is changed completely every month, ensuring that diners get something different each month.


Steaks, pasta, pizzas, and other hearty, delicious fare served family-style in large, ceramic hot plates are the specialties found in Tiestos Cafe-Restaurant, which was formerly known as Las Brasas de San Juan. All meals come with nearly a dozen sides including a large variety of homemade salsas, and gracious owner Chef Juan makes it a point to visit every table when he’s not hard at work in Tiestos’ huge open kitchen.