Best restaurants in The Oriente

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Puyo

    El Jardín

    The best food in the Oriente may be at this ambient house by the river inside the charming hotel of the same name, 1km north of town. Award-winning chef-owner Sofia prepares fragrant pollo ishpingo (cinnamon chicken – ishpingo is a type of cinnamon native to the Oriente); its decadent, delicate flavors awake the palate.

  • Restaurants in Puyo

    EscoBar

    With panache to punch above its weight in Quito's coolest neighborhoods, EscoBar makes palapas (rustic, palm-thatched dwellings) seem chic. Sample Ecuadorian microbrews, cocktails and a menu of patacones (fried bananas), yuca (cassava) or salads served with meat within the two-floor open-sided bar-restaurant. Service is as slow as a motorless canoe heading upriver, but it's still the place to hang.

  • Restaurants in Macas

    La Maravilla

    Easily the most charming place in town, this blue casita is all ambience, from the twinkling porch lights to the stuffed red-leather armchairs. Come to chill with tablas (cutting boards) of meat and cheese and yuca (cassava) fries. There’s live Andean music here at weekends, making it the town’s best entertainment option, too.

  • Restaurants in Tena

    Vagabundo

    Tena's most atmospheric restaurant serves German-influenced food in an open-sided joint where a bright, well-stocked bar is the focal point. Lovely pastas, currywurst (curried sausage) and meatballs with mushroom sauce are highlights, as well as wine heralding from Chile and Argentina. But there is always a feisty salsa on hand to make even spice-accustomed Latin Americans break out in sweats.

  • Restaurants in Puyo

    El Fariseo

    It may not look like much, but this cafe emanates a certain elegance and boasts one of the Oriente's few espresso machines – and knows how to use it. They serve up surprisingly delicious fare, including a very tasty churrasco (steak served with a fried egg). Burritos and burgers round out the menu, as do the inviting cakes and waffles.

  • Restaurants in Misahuallí

    El Bijao

    On the main plaza, this is a great place to try maito – an Ecuadorian jungle specialty where tilapia (river fish) or chicken are wrapped in a jungle leaf and grilled, then served with rice, yuca and guayusa (Amazonian herbal tea). Stop by around lunch for the freshest ones. The cooking keeps on going until the last food has gone.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Tena

    Café Tortuga

    Everyone in town seems to drop by this superpopular Swiss-run riverfront joint, whether it’s for the wide choice of breakfasts, delicious batidos (fruit shakes) or range of salads, sandwiches and cakes. Tortuga is especially popular with backpackers, and is a great place to meet other travelers. There is a good book exchange.

  • Restaurants in Papallacta

    La Choza de Don Wilson

    Almost everyone comes to this unassuming restaurant for an excellent fillet of trout and shots of aguardiente (sugarcane alcohol). They also have rooms (per person $20) and access to thermal pools. You’ll find this place at the junction with the branch road to Termas de Papallacta.

  • Restaurants in Macas

    Cafe y Bar La Julieta

    Macas' only proper cafe, La Julieta serves great coffees (including an interesting maple coffee), cheesecakes and brownies, salads and sandwiches with influences from both the Mediterranean and the Middle East. The space is modern, and on a pedestrian street (no honking buses or taxis).

  • Restaurants in Tena

    Marquis Grille

    With a locked front door opened by formally attired staff, classical music and attentive service, this is the most formal restaurant for miles around. Browse the Chilean wine list, then choose from delicious steamed tilapia, rich pastas, steak and lobster.

  • Restaurants in Misahuallí

    El Jardín

    Over the bridge about 200m up the road to La Punta, El Jardín is a beautiful addition to the local dining scene. In a flower-festooned garden, you can dine on the huge platters of pricey but well-prepared meat, tilapia (river fish) and seafood.

  • Restaurants in Baeza & Around

    Gina's

    Those who love little mountain towns will feel right at home in this wood-plank restaurant plastered with rafting stickers. Hearty fare includes trout prepared a thousand ways – and whichever manner you choose, it is the dish to order here.

  • Restaurants in Coca

    Papees Grill

    A clean, unpretentious little place off the far western end of Espejo near where the Río Payamino meets the Río Napo, serving exquisite grilled meat. Hands down the best restaurant around for a very long way.

  • Restaurants in Coca

    La Casa del Maito

    Locals flock in to lunch on delectable fish (mostly tilapia and piranha) cooked in palm leaves on the grill outside. The friendly owner will invariably wish to chat to you.

  • Restaurants in Baeza & Around

    Pizzeria Kopal

    This might be one of Ecuador's best pizzerias, with amazing burritos to boot. Sit out on the decking area, or inside to admire the great wine and pre-Inca artifacts collections.

  • Restaurants in Tena

    Asadero de Pollos Sin Rival

    Believe the translation of this place (chicken without rival) if you believe no other sign in Ecuador. It's only open lunchtimes – until that roast chicken is gone.

  • Restaurants in Coca

    Cevichería Colorado

    Down towards the river, this popular spot is the place for a bowl of frothy ceviche and a cold beer.

  • Restaurants in Coca

    La Misión

    The best views in town (and therefore the main hang-out for tourists waiting for their Yasuni boat to come in), with open-sided patios perched over the river. The food includes fresh river fish but is really nothing special – and service is poor.

  • Restaurants in Tena

    Pizzería Bella Selva 2

    The pizza here is as good as you'll get in the Oriente and as a riverfront melting pot of local families, businessmen and tourists it's the most buzzing place for dinner. Oh, and their salsa: aiaiai!

  • Restaurants in Macas

    Tisho's Pizzeria

    The owner of Tisho's spent some years in the States, and here are the results: big thick-crust pizzas and even Philly cheese-steak sandwiches. Some pizzas are so big they're pushed over on trolleys.