Food in the Galapagos Islands is delicious and diverse. Amazingly fresh seafood. Exotic fruit juices. Homemade soups. Hearty and traditional Ecuadorean dishes can be enjoyed alongside more international fare – think sushi, steak, pizza, and hamburgers.
Galapagos Islands Cuisine
There is a huge variety of restaurants in the islands, located mainly in the the towns of Puerto Ayora (Santa Cruz Island), Puerto Baquerizo Moreno (San Cristobal Island) and Puerto Villamil (Isabela Island). From street kiosks serving freshly grilled fish to air-conditioned, four-star hotel restaurants, there is something to meet every taste and budget. To reflect the sheer variety of places to eat, we’ve updated our Galapagos Islands Restaurant Guide. Take a look below at the types of food you can enjoy in the Galapagos, and then check out the full updated restaurant guide here.
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.
Check out the full updated restaurant guide here.