Casa Gangotena: I recommend the restaurant at this exquisite boutique hotel. Though I normally prefer eating outside my hotel except for breakfast, after a long travel day getting here from Cusco Peru with a stressful connection in Lima, I had a very good dinner in the dining room. I wanted Ecuadorian cuisine rather than taking a taxi for Peruvian cuisine which I had been eating for a week. The shrimp in coconut sauce was excellent. The morning breakfast buffet was also good.
Theatrum Restaurant & Wine Bar: Located on the second floor of the Teatro Nacional Sucre, this is a very elegant restaurant and one of the best in Quito. The decor is elegant with rich red draperies. It has a menu of Mediterranean specialties using local ingredients. They have two tasting menu options as well as a la carte options. I enjoyed grilled octopus, cream of asparagus soup, shrimp with saffron rice and a beautiful pork dish with arugula salad with a balsamic reduction, potatoes and a poached pear. The dessert assortment was also quite good. Service was excellent and I like the fact that they ran a shuttle to the restaurant and paid for my cab to go back to my hotel.
El Esmeraldas: Located at Isabel La Catolica N24-56, this is a contemporary Ecuadorian seafood restaurant featuring ceviches and other specialities. It is a 20-25 minute cab ride north of the Historic Center depending on traffic.
Zazu: At Mariano Aguilera 331 and La Pradera, this restaurant, featuring gourmet Peruvian specialties, comes highly recommended.
Stop in for a hot chocolate or buy some great Ecuadorian artisanal chocolate in several flavors and percentage of cacao at Chez Tiff located at Morales 989 y Venezuela.
Hasta la Vuelta Senor: This is a great spot for lunch to enjoy Ecuadorian specialties on the Plaza Grande. Calle Chile OE 422.
Other suggestions based on recent articles include: La Chillangua Verde Esmeralda at Calles Zaldumbie N25-165 and Toledo; Swiss Corner’s deli/bakery at the corner of Avenida De los Shyris N38-41 and El Telégrafo; La Boca del Lobo, El Rincon de Cantuna at the Hotel Patio Andaluz and Octava de Corpus.