Quito, Ecuador

Visiting Quito in Ecuador was full of surprises! As a vegan traveller it was exciting to see some vegan and many vegetarian options available in a land that predominantly feeds on meat. Veganism and vegetarianism is new to Ecuador but slowly there are several restaurants popping up here that are delightful! We relied heavily on the Happy Cow restaurant guide app to figure out where to eat! And trust us, the app did not let us down. We discovered over 12 different restaurants within 5 miles of our hotel that served vegan cuisine.

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We spent our stay in Quito at the Casa Gangotena that is a 300 year old family home converted into a boutique hotel. Casa Gangotena occupies a pivotal place in Quito’s historic heart: the south west corner of Plaza San Francisco. The staff was pleasant and very accommodating with our vegan lifestyle. The chef prepared special dishes everyday and the hotel also delighted us with a surprise “vegan” chocolate tasting one evening during our stay. The tasting experience was wonderful and we learned so much about chocolate and its origins. For fine premium vegan chocolates try Pacari. Their wide variety of aromas and flavors will leave you wanting more! We brought back to New York more chocolate than we should have.

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My choice of bag for the trip was the Cougar Backpack. It is so light weight and roomy! I could easily fit my toddlers snacks, wallet, sunglasses, a change of clothes for her, a book, my cell phone and some face wipes. Being handsfree and stylish all at the same time!

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After a long day of sightseeing we decided to venture out and try a local vegan spot as recommended by the Happy Cow App. We landed up in this local area called the Mariscal district which had tons of restaurants and a young hip vibe. Definitely not very “toddler” friendly, but it was a nice getaway from our tourist itinerary. We ate dinner at the El Maple restaurant. It was vibrant, had posters of vegan slogans all over and even a small library nook for reading while you gorge on their delectable menu.

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So if you are looking for your next vegan friendly vacation destination don’t disregard this beautiful culturally rich country. Ecuador has a mix of natural beauty, history, arts and now vegan food to top off your experience that you won’t forget! I certainly won’t be and plan on going back some day again with my family.

Love,
Sugandh

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