Southern Highlands restaurants

Top Choice Fusion in Saraguro

ShamuiCo Espai Gastronòmic

A surprising find in Saraguro, this unpretentiously sophisticated spot is run by a local chef who trained in some of Europe's best restaurants. Bold cuisine falls somewhere along the lines of highland Ecuadorian-Eur…
Top Choice Cafe in Cuenca

Café Ñucallacta

The best cafe in Cuenca. Artisan Ecuadorian coffee is roasted and the resulting brews are the main reason to stop by – along with gleaning an insight into Ecuador's coffee industry from the knowledgeable owner. But …
Top Choice Colombian in Cuenca

Moliendo Café

This is one of the best little eateries you'll find in Ecuador – and that's why Moliendo Café is always rammed. The hearty arepas (maize pancakes, from $4.50) come from Ecuador's northern neighbors but are a special…
Top Choice Seafood in Loja


Serving some of Loja's best seafood, Riscomar prepares delicious, Ecuadorian-style ceviche in a civilized dining room. A fillet of corvina (sea bass) in a complex salsa de mariscos (seafood sauce) is particularly re…
Cafe in Vilcabamba


This beautiful cafe with a people-watching terrace right on the plaza is the best spot in town for a coffee (the owner is Argentine, and knows how to make a good one), smoothies (choose the one with the ingredients …
Ecuadorian in Cuenca


This restaurant has a small menu of traditional plates such as seco de chivo and gourmet fritada (fried chunks of pork, served with hominy, avocado and other garnishes). It’s one of the best places to try cuy (guine…
Middle Eastern in Vilcabamba


Besides the clever name and enviable location next to the church, the Turkish-run UFO gets jammed for its inexpensive and tasty breakfasts, Middle Eastern favorites, gluten-free desserts, fantastic coffee and a vari…
International in Cuenca

Casa Alonso at Mansión Alcázar

Mansión Alcazar's inviting restaurant, backing onto its beautiful internal garden, maintains the same lofty standards that the hotel does: ornately furnished and with quality service. Dinner could be sea bass in a c…
Bakery in Vilcabamba

La Baguette

Divine French goodies – pain au chocolat (chocolate croissant), quiche, and even gluten-free bread on Wednesdays – plus good coffee. Order it to go or eat in at one of the few tables.
Cafe in Saraguro

La Muguna

All of a sudden, Saraguro has a sweep of seriously good places to eat, with this chirpy cafe bolstering the scene on Saraguro's second (lower) plaza. A little terrace looks out on the plaza, whilst inside the decor …