I managed to find a few vegetarian restaurants in the old town of Quito and again in the new part of town. Interestingly enough they were all located in what I would term ‘seedy’ areas. On my way to Govinda Gopal, I heard some prostitutes yelling in Spanish as onlookers smirked in their direction. My Spanish wasn’t good enough though to understand what they were saying. Then again in my search for a vegetarian restaurant in the new town I passed by someone passed out on the street and a ‘rough’ vibe. In a country that eats guinea pigs amongst other animals I couldn’t help but wonder if the location of meatless restaurants was a commentary on a meatless diet?
The other curious thing is that most of the restaurants seemed to be open for breakfast and lunch only (desayuno and almuerzo). I later found out that lunch was the most important meal of the day so dinner service was not so popular. This makes it tricky when you have done a day of sightseeing and are ready to chow down on a hearty meal with loads of veggies but your only choices are meaty restaurants or overpiced tourist ones. Thank goodness for panaderia (bakeries) and supermarkets. A little bit of bread and peanut butter can go a long way.