This is my top 15 list of must try street foods in Ecuador. There are some Ecuadorian street foods that you will find in every region (Coast, Highlands, Amazon, Islands) of Ecuador and almost every city or small town. There are also some street foods that are very regional and unique to specific cities. There are many items that are not on this list, so it will be no surprise if I get comments about foods I missed. In fact, I’m sure that right after I post this, I’ll think of something that should have been on the list. I included some of the most popular and easier to find dishes, but left off some of the dishes that are extremely city or holiday specific, and harder to find. I also left out foods that you will find at Ecuadorian bakeries, but are also occasionally sold by street vendors (rosquitas, roscones, bizcochuelos, quesadillas quitenas, suspiros, alfajores, mazapanes, and others). I will include those in a post later on about Ecuadorian baked treats.
One of the best places to find delicious street food is at ferias or local fairs and fiestas (local festivities). Other popular places include markets, main plazas on weekends, beach towns, bus stops, and at the exits of local schools. There are some traditional dishes that are popular at markets that I didn’t include in this list, like hornado, fritada or llapingachos in the Highlands or encebollado fish soup in the Coast. This list of popular Ecuadorian street food is mainly for foods that are very portable and can be eaten while walking in the street or around the fair – the others usually require you to sit down. Keep in mind that not all street food is created equal and if you are concerned with both the quality and health of eating street food, then it’s best to get recommendations from locals on which are good (and safe) places to try these dishes. I have yet to get sick from eating Ecuadorian street food (knock on wood), but I was born/grew up there (and therefore have some sort of immunity), but when I’m visiting a town I don’t well, I usually ask friends or locals (ask local store or tienda owners, someone who works at the hotel you’re staying, or even the taxi driver) for places that are good….