Hanging Out in Manabi, Cuenca Ecuador
Manta, in Manabi is attractive to people who would prefer to be on the coast versus the mountains, but find Guayaquil to be too big and the other rural coastal town to be too small. Manta has a nice mix of first-world amenities, foreigners, and the stuff we gringos love about Ecuador: the laid-back feel, the friendly people, and of course, the beach!
In Manta, a popular spot for expats to hang out is the Cadillac Bar, located on Calle M-2 and Avenida 24 near Oro Verde. The place is decked out to be a 1950s American-themed bar. The bamboo walls are covered with American pop culture memorabilia, blending Ecuadorian and American culture.
There is outdoor seating, good music and a menu full of just about every drink you can imagine! There are a couple of pool tables, and even a foosball table! (Now if that isn’t a throwback to some basement in the States, I don’t know what is.) The Cadillac Bar is a great place to grab a drink and chill with friends.
More Info Here: http://www.manabi.gob.ec/
Mama Clorinda is a popular spot for locals, which has made it a popular spot for tourists as well. The menu features traditional Ecuadorian meals, and might be the only place you actually try cuy (roasted guinea pig). Or maybe not.
Other popular traditional menu choices include the goat stew (seco de chivo) and the guatita (beef, potato, and peanut stew). A must try is the llapingachos: homemade corn tortillas smothered in cheese. You can also get more familiar dishes such as grilled pork or roasted chicken and corn on the cob.
An unexpected part of this Gringo’s trip to Mama Clorinda was the entertainment: typical Andean music from Ecuador. It was quite interesting, and very pleasant. Not overpowering at all, it added to our dining experience.
You might avoid it because of the hype, but Mama Clorinda restaurant is clean, professional, and serves up some of the best recipes from the highlands of Ecuador. It is definitely worth a visit.
Mama Clorinda is located on Reina Victoria 1144 and Calama, Quito. The phone number is 593 02/2544–362. Reservations aren’t necessary. Main dishes cost between 5 and 15 dollars.