Amalur

Spanish in Canoa

Owned by a Spanish chef (Amalur means ‘Mother Earth’ in Basque), this trim, minimalist restaurant is a major step up from your average Ecuadorian small-town restaurant. A chalkboard lists the day’s specials – recent favorites include fresh calamari a la plancha (grilled) pulpo a la Gallega (boiled octopus with paprika), homegrown, nicely seasoned eggplant in salsa and a marvelously tender sea bass.

There are four artesanal beers on tap, and if you're still peckish? Try the passion-fruit mousse.