There are a surprising number of nice cafes in the center, and an interesting selection on Plaza Francisco Calderón, on Calle Sucre. You can find a few 24-hour chifas (Chinese restaurants) south of Flores between Olmedo and Sucre.

Ibarra also seems to be home to the most handmade ice-cream shops – the famous helado de paila ('bucket' ice cream) – in all of Ecuador.