Gastronomy and Art in Quito

Tourism in the Ecuadorian highlands is very varied; therefore, you should not forget to make a tour of the historic center of Quito. Here we can find several places to see works with characteristics of Quito art and its representatives: Miguel de Santiago, Manuel de Samaniego, Bernardo de Legarda, among others. You can also taste the gastronomic offer in Quito. Ice cream made by hand with unique and exotic flavors, taste Ecuadorian chocolates or enjoy the best of Ecuadorian cuisine in the Barrio La Ronda in Quito. Here we will present the most emblematic places for lovers of art and gastronomy.

Gastronomy and Art

The Historic Center of Quito is a place full of history, culture, and heritage. In their houses, streets, squares, and churches there is a wealth of heritage that many come to visit. Sailing of great artists such as painters, sculptors, carvers, or silversmiths; trades that were well known during the colonial and early republican times.

Where are the works of these artists?

We tell you that most of them are in the Historic Center of Quito. They are part of church decorations, museum collections, or even on the facades of some buildings. Next, we invite you to take a tour of some of the places where you can find these artistic pieces and are available for tourists to visit:

Convent of San Francisco

It is the first religious structure in Quito inaugurated in 1560. In its interiors is created the first school in the city where art is taught as painting, sculpture, carving, among other chairs. Certainly, a new era was begun full of great artists such as Fray Pedro Gocceal, Diego Robles, Andrés Sánchez Gallque, among other artists.

Inside the convent is the Fray Pedro Gocial Museum, which exhibits many religious works of art. These works were developed for the teaching of religion to the natives.

Among the most relevant works, of the many that this museum has are:

  • Jesús del Gran Poder, wooden sculpture from the 17th century.
  • Virgin of Quito, Virgin of Legarda, or Virgin of Panecillo, was carved in wood in 1734 by Bernardo de Legarda

We also recommend visiting its three temples: San Francisco, San Buenaventura, and the consecrated to the Virgin of Sorrows (Virgen de los dolores).

Did you know that the Franciscans were the first to brew beer in Latin America?

Location: Benalcazar and Sucre streets. Cost: USD 3,00 which will include a visit to the Fray Pedro Gocial Museum, the domes of the convent, and its Beer Museum. 

Compañia Church in Quito

Considered one of the best baroque-style churches in Latin America. Its construction began in 1605 and lasted 160 years. Its structure is a great wor where symmetry and gold prevail in every centimeter of its decoration, 23-carat gold leaf. Location: Garcia Moreno and Sucre streets.

The Church of La Compañía is dominated by works of the Quito school of art, giving room to great artists such as Bernardo de Legarda, Alejandro Salas, Nicolas Javier Goribar, Hernando de la Cruz, among others.

The most outstanding works of the many existing in this religious complex are:

  • The Inferno, which was painted in 1620 by the Jesuit Hernando de la Cruz but the one currently on display is a copy by Alejandro Salas made in the 19th century.
  • The High Altarpiece was carved by Jorge Vintere and gilded by Bernardo de Legarda.

Did you know that the remains of Mariana de Jesus, the first Ecuadorian saint, are kept in the main altar? 

Cathedral in Quito

It is one of the most important churches in the Historic Center of Quito, its structure dates to 1535 since it represented the ecclesiastical power during the colonial era. 

This religious complex has an external neoclassic style and in its interior a mixture of styles such as neoghotic, Mudejar, neoclassical and baroque, same that decorate its four chapels: Las Almas, San Pedro, Santa Ana, and Santisimo Sacramento. 

Among the most representative artists who are granted existing works in the Cathedral of Quito are Bernardo Rodriguez, Joaquin Pinto, Rafael Salas, Miguel de Santiago, among others. Location: Venezuela and Espejo streets. Cost: USD 4,00 for nationals and USD 6,00 for foreigners, which includes a visit to the museum, the church, and domes. 

Gastronomy in Quito - historical center

The Historic Center of Quito presents the best conditions to be promoted as a gastronomic destination. The food offered in the Historic Center of Quito becomes an expression of Quito’s culture, giving each ingredient a special meaning. And just like art, this has been linked to the social changes of Quito, so here are the best places to visit to enjoy all kinds of food with Ecuadorian seasoning: 

"La ronda" street in Quito

Historically this neighborhood was born between the 18th and 19th centuries. This is a privileged place to visit at night and you can get an idea of how people lived in colonial times. It is a street that on both sides you can find several restaurants, cafes, and bars.  

In its establishments you will have a quiet atmosphere, some accompanied by live music, while in other establishments you can listen to traditional music.  

In these places, we will find a high offer of Ecuadorian gastronomy from small appetizers to main dishes such as empanadas de viento, morocho, seco de chivo, fritada, among others.  When you visit La Ronda, you must taste a traditional canelazo, a hot drink made with naranjilla juice and liquor. Location: Morales Street

Handmade Chocolate in Quito

It is an artisan chocolate factory located in Mindo but with a branch in the hold town of Quito. Noted for not using preservatives of flavorings, and for coming from batches of selected aromatic cocoa varieties known as Cacao Fino Aroma. Location: Benalcazar and Bolivar streets.

The highlight of a visit to this artisan chocolate store is for two reasons: 

  • You will receive an explanation of the process of elaboration of cocoa, from its cultivation until it is transformed from chocolate bars.
  • You will have the opportunity to taste around 8 different chocolate flavors, as well as products used for its elaboration such as ginger honey or hierba luisa sugar.

Did you know that the oldest cocoa comes from Ecuador? 

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