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A Guide to Eating and Drinking in Quito

Traditional Meat and Potato Dish

There are restaurants to suit every budget in Quito. From simple staples such as chicken and rice to local delicacies like 'cebiche' (mairnated shrimp), Ecuador's cuisine is varied, delicious and - more often than not - very affordable.

Some of the city's top eateries offer a cheap multi-course meal at lunchtime known as 'the almuerzo' - a great find for hungry backpackers! This is also helpful for vistors having difficulty deciphering menus as the day's offerings are typically fixed.

In addition to traditional dishes, Quito does a fine line in Asian cuisine with Chinese restaurants - known as 'chifas' - seemingly on every corner. Indian food is also popular and generally well-priced.

When it comes to nightlife, the city's bars and clubs are as lively and attractive as its restaurants. La Mariscal is the area to hit for live music, DJs and reasonable drinks. With its numerous little cafes and bars, the Guapulo district has a more bohemian feel and is a great spot to unwind after a long day of sightseeing.

Quito's music scene is interestingly diverse - from ska and house to traditional Latin American rhythms, there's usually something for everyone on a night out in the city. There are also a great number of local liquors and wines to try, including Mistelas, Canelazos and Vino Caliente.

Like its South American neighbors, Ecuador is packed with culture and vibrancy, yet Quito's nightlife feels (on the whole) rather less chaotic than the bustling metropolises of Rio and Buenos Aires. Quite simply, it's yet another fascinating slice of South American life.

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