Galapagos Islands Cuisine
Food in the Galapagos Islands is delicious and diverse. There are several restaurants throughout the islands, located mainly in the towns of Puerto Ayora (Santa Cruz Island), Puerto Baquerizo Moreno (San Cristobal Island) and Puerto Villamil (Isabela Island). You’ll find a wide choice of Galapagos cuisine. Traditional Ecuadorian food and typical South American food are commonly served. Seafood is plentiful and very popular. There is also a good selection of international cuisines on offer, ranging from pizza and pasta to sushi, steak and hamburgers.
After a busy day exploring or shopping in Galapagos, our Galapagos Islands Restaurants Guide below will tell you all you need to know to find a great meal.
Enjoying freshly caught seafood is a highlight of any Galapagos trip. Choose from different types of fish, lobster, shrimp, crabs or even try out a few highly sought-after sea cucumbers. Unique preparation style and accompanying dishes make sampling seafood in the Galapagos all the more exciting. Ceviche is an Ecuadorean speciality: fish, shrimp, squid or other shellfish are marinated in lime juice and served with popcorn or banana chips. Encocados, seafood dishes made using coconut milk, are equally delicious and plentiful.
Traditional Ecuadorian Food
Rice, different varieties of potatoes and meat are staples of Ecuadorian cuisine. Many vegetables and exotic fruits are grown in Ecuador and give traditional dishes their unique flavour and diversity. A hot sauce called Aji is served at most meals. Salads, hearty homemade soups and dishes prepared from bananas and plantains are common. Pastries made with a variety of ingredients – particularly empanadas – are widely available and are definitely worth a try.
A few of the well-liked and most interesting traditional Galapagos dishes include Encebollado (a filling fish soup with yucca and onions); tronquito (bull penis soup); roasted cuy (guinea pig); seco de pollo (chicken stew served with rice and avocado); lomo salteado (beef prepared with onions and tomatoes) and chupe de pescado (vegetable and fish soup). Corn pancakes and grilled corn are popular snacks.
While it’s wonderful to try out a variety of different foods in the Galapagos, remember to eat only well-cooked food and to also peel fruits before eating in order to avoid any intestinal problems.
Be sure to only drink bottled water in the Galapagos, including for brushing your teeth. Never drink water from the tap. If you order a juice or have ice in your drinks, remember to check that it was made using bottled water.
Fresh fruit juices are plentiful, delicious and cheap, though you’ll find that the majority of the juices are made from fruit brought over from the mainland. Sodas, tea and coffee are readily available.
Beer is the most popular alcoholic drink and is inexpensive. A few good brews made locally in Ecuador are available, as well as a selection of imported brands. You can find good quality and reasonably priced wines imported from Chile and Argentina. An assortment of other hard spirits are on offer too.
Galapagos Islands Restaurants Guide
Puerto Ayora (Santa Cruz Island):
For an authentic, casual and fun dining experience, be sure to head to Calle de los Kioskos (located at Avenida Baltra and Calle Charles Binford), a street crammed with informal kiosk-style restaurants. It’s highly popular with locals and in-the-know tourists, and for good reason: each stand serves fresh and delicious seafood at very reasonable prices, which you can enjoy at one of the many outdoor tables that line the street. If you need a break from seafood, beef and chicken options are also available.
Angermeyer Restaurant ($10-25): Seafood, steak and a variety of other dishes served in a beautiful waterfront setting (you’ll need to take a water taxi to get there). Academy Bay.
Cafe Hernan ($5-15): Salads, sandwiches, seafood, pasta and pizza. Known for its ice-cream and coffees. Has WiFi. Avenida Charles Darwin y Avenida Baltra.
El Descano de Guia ($4-8): Typical Ecuadorean set-lunches and dinners (with soup, rice and meat/fish) as well as breakfasts. Avenida Charles Darwin (opposite the embarkation pier).
Galapagos Deli ($5-10): Freshly made sandwiches, salads, pizzas, breakfasts, milkshakes, juices and ice-cream. Tomas de Berlanga y Avenida Baltra.
Il Giardino ($10-25) Italian restaurant offering a range of dishes. The desserts – which include crepes and ice-cream – are popular. Avenida Charles Darwin y Calle Charles Binford, opposite Banco Pacifico.
Isla Grill ($5-20): Offers a number of grilled meat and fish options, as well as pizzas. Has WiFi. Avenida Charles Darwin (opposite Banco Pacifico).
La Garrapata ($5-25): Ceviche, lobster and other seafood dishes as well as pasta, burgers and sandwiches. Often has live music. Avenida Charles Darwin.
Puerto Baquerizo Moreno (San Cristobal Island):
Calypso ($5-20): Known for its pizzas. Also has pasta dishes and hamburgers. Accepts credit cards. Avenida Charles Darwin y Manuel Cobos.
El Descanso Marin: Plenty of seafood options including lobster, grilled shrimp, tuna and octopus. Calle Alsacio Northia y Española.
La Playa: Waterfront restaurant with fresh seafood, including ceviche, and also pizzas. Avenida Armada Nacional.
Mockingbird Cafe: Breakfasts, salads, burgers, brownies and juices. Has WiFi. Española & Hernández.
Puerto Villamil (Isabela Island):
Booby Trap ($15-25): Fresh seafood dishes, salads, chicken and pasta, as well as homemade pies and brownies. Advance reservations are necessary for dinner. Has WiFi. Avenida Antonio Gil (Opposite Casa Rosada).
El Cafetal ($15-35): Seafood is the speciality, including ceviche, lobster, tuna and swordfish. Also has salads, pasta and chicken. Accepts credit cards. On the main plaza.
El Encanto de La Pepa ($5-10): Typical set-lunches and dinners for $5, as well as beef, chicken and seafood options. Avenida Antonio Gil (on the main plaza).