While you’ll want to make the most of the local Ecuadorean food scene while you’re in Quito, there are times when you just get cravings for a different kind of cuisine. If you’re in the mood for some Asian spice then here are some of the best Asian restaurants in town.
Asian restaurants in Quito
Shibumi Sushi Bar
Where: Ruiz de Castilla n27–103 y Lorenzo Aldana, Quito
Although a little pricier than other dining establishments in Quito, Shibumi Sushi Bar is worth a visit if you’re craving some real-deal sushi. Arguably one of the best sushi joints in town, this small, understated restaurant uses only fresh produce and serves up traditional Japanese sashimi, nigiri and sushi rolls, as well as some innovative twists on Japanese fare that combine it with local Andean ingredients. The grouper rolls are a definite must-try and the kitchen is open plan so you can watch the chef in action as he prepares your sushi rolls and then get the lowdown in person when he comes over to personally serve it to you.
Noe Sushi Bar
Where: Multiple locations. See here for full list.
A close contender with Shibumi Sushi Bar for the best sushi in town, this stylish restaurant offers fresh, tender sashimi and sushi, teppanyaki, Kobe beef and other popular Japanese dishes, all served with an Ecuadorean twist. If you’re a sushi purist then go with an open mind as Noe mixes it up with some unconventional fillings that cleverly fuse Japanese, Peruvian and Ecuadorean flavors, but with good results. The Ebi Yaki shrimp rolls and the Noe Especial rolls are two of our favorites and we also like the daily 3-for-2 cocktails deal.
Where: Av. Paul Rivet N30–145 y Whymper, Quito
ZAO is probably one of the most famous Asian fusion restaurants in Quito. The swanky, ambient interior is appropriately decked out with traditional wood lattice screens and samurai warrior statues and serves up top-notch Chinese, Japanese and Thai-inspired dishes that include Thai-style curries, noodles, spring rolls and sushi. Every dish comes beautifully presented and the portions are generous so, even though it’s on the pricier side, it’s good bang for your buck. The Mongolian beef is deliciously juicy and the orange chicken is fresh and flavorful (and not that artificial kind of orange flavor you sometimes get in Chinese restaurants). The cocktails are also a must, mixed with fresh, local ingredients.
Where: Gonzalez Suarez 433, Quito
This is a great spot to satisfy your Thai food cravings. They have a great range of dishes on the menu including a delicious pad Thai that achieves the perfect level of spiciness, yummy satay chicken skewers and Thai rolls. The prices are affordable in the evening but the lunch specials are the time to go with menus ranging from just US$ 6 to US$ 8.
Where: Calle Andalucia N24–234 y Cordero, Quito
As you’ve probably guessed from the name, this restaurant takes inspiration from Vietnam’s most iconic sandwich, the bánh mì, which is a fusion of French and Vietnamese influences. However in this particular restaurant, they’ve reinterpreted the sandwich and added their own Ecuadorean flavor. They also have other Korean, Indian and Thai inspired dishes on the menu. The casual establishment draws a young crowd and there’s always a good atmosphere. On warmer days, there’s also a terrace for al fresco dining (or, if it’s cold, you can just ask them to turn on the heaters outside). Beer lovers will also enjoy the wide selection of craft beers on the menu, which pair perfectly with a bánh mì sandwich and, if you have a sweet tooth, try one of their creative desserts.
Wok to Walk
Where: There are now five locations in the city. Click on the link here to find the nearest one.
Although this is an international fast-food restaurant chain that started in Amsterdam, it’s a trusty place to get your fill of fried noodles, and fast. The ‘wok your way’ concept is simple and allows you to create your own wok and watch it being fried in giant flames right before your eyes within 5 minutes (it’s quite the spectacle). You first choose your base which can be noodles, rice or veggies and then add your selection of toppings that include meat, tofu and a variety of veggies, followed by a salsa of your choice, be it oyster, sweet and sour, garlic, chili or other concoction. Wok to Walk pride themselves on their use of only fresh ingredients and that they cater to all dietary requirements. You can either choose to eat in or take it to go but go hungry, as the portion sizes are enormous and big enough to share.
Sumo Sushi Burrito
Where: Isabel La Católica N24–820 y Coruña, Quito
Also riding the healthy, Asian-inspired fast food wave is newcomer on the scene Sumo Sushi Burrito. Think super-sized sushi rolls made to order that look a little like burritos. You can build your own with your choice of ingredients. There are also sumo bowls and salad bowls available if you tire of the sushi burrito. It’s a cheap and easy lunch option that’s a popular haunt with local students.
Got any feedback on the restaurants above or been to any other great Asian restaurants in Quito? Share your experiences with our readers in the comments section below.
Originally published on Ailola by Sophie Lloyd on March 24, 2018.