Ecuador is the Banana Republic – Tasty Ecuadorian street food

By Tijana Radeska
Publish Date:

If you are traveling around South America you will get to eat many interesting meals. As a matter of fact, it might be a whole new world of fruits, corn-based snacks, cooked banana, and all different types of foods that are available from street stalls.

One article is barely enough to describe even a few Ecuadorian street foods. But of course, there are a few that every Ecuadorian prefers and you should watch out for if you have the oppertunity.


Hornado (roast pig, cooked whole) in a Cuenca market. Photo credit


Humitas. Photo credit


Ecuador market. Photo credit


Ecuadorian Churos. Photo credit


Ecuador market. Photo credit


A Guinea pig dish from Ecuador called cuy. Photo credit

First of all, the empanadas. Ecuadorians love empanadas, and tourists love them too because it is similar to meals they can find anywhere else. You can find them anywhere and anytime.


There are the empanadas de morocho which are made of thin corn dough and stuffed with meat or cheese. Then, there are the empanadas de viento which are filled with fried cheese and sprinkled with sugar. The empanadas de verde that are prepared with green plantain dough and filled with meat, shrimp, or cheese.


Empenadas. Photo credit


Empenadas. Photo credit


Empenadas. Photo credit

Fresh banana, boiled banana, baked banana, fried banana, banana chips, banana bread, banana with cheese, banana with vegetables, banana with meat, banana with rice, banana, banana, banana…

Even if you get tired of the word banana, you will never get tired of tasting it in so many different combinations. It seems that there is a whole new cuisine behind the banana that many “gringos” are not aware of.


Banana chips. Photo credit


Potatoes and bananas. Photo credit


Banana bread. Photo credit


Maduros with eggs, ham, and cheese. Photo credit


Fried banana. Photo credit

Emborrajados are fried, flattened, ripe bananas with a piece of cheese added in between a couple of them. Another variety of Emborrajados are the “Maduro lampreado” which are kept whole and sliced lengthwise in the middle, filled with cheese and then fried. And there are of course the roasted or the grilled bananas with cheese called “Maduro asados”.


Maduros. Photo credit


Maduros. Photo credit


Maduros with bacon. Photo credit

The most refreshing street meal you can get is the “ceviche” – on the coast you will find a ceviche with shrimps, fish, oysters, and all different type of sea-food in a lime juice.  In the highlands, the ceviche is served with chocho beans (native to Ecuador and very nutritious), onion, tomato, cilantro, lime juice, salt, and topped with popcorns or banana chips.

On each corner, you can buy grosellas, ovos, or sliced mango with salt. No matter how strange it might sound, these are very refreshing and tasty. Further, you can also drink coconut aqua which is life saver on the coast.

One should also try the helados which are home-made fruit ice-creams. They might be sweet, but if you don’t mind it, try them all.


Ecuador street sweets. Photo credit


A jar of dulce de leche. Photo credit

And there is much more to try, just get stuck in and let us know how you get on.


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We live in a beautiful world, get out there and enjoy it.

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