Due to a steady influx of both domestic and foreign tourists, the modest town of Baños boasts a wide variety of top-quality restaurants. Best of all, stiff competition between venues ensures prices remain refreshingly low. From cheap local eats to elegant international cuisine, here are the best places to dine in Baños.
Got a hankering for tapas? Then head on down to Tasca de Baños. As the best tapas restaurant in town, Tasca fills up on weekends, so get in early or phone ahead to reserve a table. Pepe, the friendly Spanish owner, does his best to make diners feel at home as his team whips up a delectable array of authentic bite-sized goodies.
A popular gringo hangout, this homely café-restaurant is famous for its filling breakfasts, cheap set lunches, and excellent Asian fare. Great food aside, travelers love chilling out in this laid-back haunt, either challenging new friends to board games or burying their head in a novel from the in-house book exchange.
Meat lovers will adore the European cuisine of this upmarket Swiss Bistro, whose juicy steaks are unrivaled in the city. Alternatively, try their authentic fondues made from top-quality cheese, a well-appreciated rarity throughout South America. Evenings offer the best selection, so try to plan accordingly.
Those yearning for a tasty Italian-style pizza need look no further than Leoni Pizzería. Despite stiff competition, most agree Leoni’s delectable wood-fired offerings are the best in Baños. Thin-crusted and crispy, these delicious pies are surprisingly cheap considering the high caliber of ingredients involved.
Perched on a hill overlooking the town, Café del Cielo is a must for its breathtaking views of Baños and the valley below. Standard café fare can be found on the menu, including crêpes, locally-produced coffee, and a delectable range of gourmet sandwiches, the best of which is the scrumptious portobello.
Okay, so it’s not exactly gourmet. But for those just after cheap, tasty, and filling Ecuadorian food, the central market is definitely the place to be. US$2.50 set lunches, which include a soup, salad, and main, are best washed down with a tall glass of freshly squeezed OJ.
Even Japanese fusion has found its way to Baños courtesy of the team at ZUMO. Here, skillful local chefs combine high-quality ingredients (some of which are picked fresh from the garden) to create an exquisite oriental dining experience. The sushi rolls are particularly popular, though their noodle dishes hit the spot, too.
An excellent all-round option, Alto Caribe Bistrot focuses on a small selection of Venezuelan-inspired Carribean-style cuisine, much of which is vegetarian-friendly or gluten-free. Prices are extremely reasonable considering the quality involved, while their attentive service keeps customers coming back for more.
“Cafe Hood is where the food is good,” as their catchy slogan rightfully says. Located on the edge of town just meters from the famous Cascada de la Virgen, a good selection of high-quality Asian and vegetarian dishes adorn the menu. If that weren’t enough, funky artwork and an attentive service keeps travelers coming back to the Hood.
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