Four years ago, to alleviate his homesickness and share a bit of his own culture, multimedia producer Zachary Robichaud opened Casa Quebecua, the first poutine restaurant in Ecuador. Since, Ecuadorians have taken to poutine del oso (“the bear’s poutine”), a meaty dish that is a less acidic hangover cure than ceviche. “The beaches, volcanoes and jungle – everything is close by, and that gives the city a special energy.”
Photo: Quito Tourism
1. Parque Metropolitano
Located in the northeast of the city, this eucalyptus-scented park is the lungs of Quito. At the end of the day, I go there for a run and the panoramic view of the Cumbaya Valley from the top of the watchtowers. The park is huge – 557 hectares – so I tend to stick to the trails.
People don’t come to this minimalist café for a regular old coffee: They come for new beans that vary in flavour and bitterness from all around the country. The selection changes constantly, so I rely on the recommendations from the baristas – they’re trained by David Miño, the founder of the café and winner of the first national barista competition, back in 2012.
José Tamayo and Francisco Salazar, 593-2-603-9590
Photo: Pilar Cáceres
Since I own a production company, I’m often in the bohemian neighbourhood of La Floresta, a dynamic and creative hub for artists and cinephiles, who you’ll often find lingering in the OchoyMedio café. A cross between a restaurant, an art gallery and a movie theatre, this old building hosts screenings of Ecuadorean classics as well as excellent indie films.
Valladolid N24-353 and Vizcaya, 593-2-904-720
4. La Burguesa
When I’m not working, I like to finish the evening with friends at this restaurant in the city’s north end. Everything is fresh and most of it local, like the juicy beef burgers that they grind themselves, or the homemade pickles. I order the Reina, served with a bourbon sauce on cornbread.
Muros N27-193 and González Suárez, 593-2-252-3009