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history of chocolate in ecuador

Useful facts and top recommendations

Ecuadorian chocolate, by excellence, has always been considered a delicacy, but it was in 1784, that several groups of local entrepreneurs decided to turn the cocoa plant as such, into a gold mine founding several Ecuadorian chocolate brands

At that time, the elaboration process was not completely industrialized and many were not even acquainted with the treatment of these delicate seeds.

Although it is true that the cacao plant existed since the settlement of the first indigenous societies and was used as a rich food with a sweet flavor in its seeds, it was considered since then sustenance of a great aroma and texture that, according to Ecuadorian historians, was even the support of several families that carried out a well-known barter. 

Chocolate, semillas de cacao 

On the other hand, once the cacao industrialization massively started in our country in 1780, it is said that Ecuador started to trade this product overseas, and the few available records mention that it was exactly in Guayaquil where this industry first started to be exploited.

Quito, tradition and best Ecuadorian Chocolate

cafetería meneses e hijos 1984
Cafetería Meneses E Hijos 1984

Somewhere between 1984 and 1985, at the time that chocolate beans were being traded at an international level, the first coffee shop was opened in Quito’s Old Town, where the main attraction was serving hot cocoa with milk and traditional bakery makings called “pristiños” and “humitas”.


“Meneses e Hijos” was the name of this traditional coffee shop located in the streets of Guayaquil and Chile in the historic center of Quito, serving customers for longer than 60 years, It was also the cradle of events and saw several generations grow up with its delicious products that undoubtedly sheltered the taste of the demanding Quiteños of the time. 

Unfortunately, this shop shut its doors and stopped all activities in 2020, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, provoking sadness for many customers who used to go daily, who came daily to delight in this magical place. 

Scientific studies assure that chocolate acts as a stimulant and euphoriant, acting on the nervous system. In other words, ingesting just a portion of this delicious treat releases the well-known happiness hormone. 

It is ideal for people who have lost a loved one and wish to emotionally feel better, or for those who suffer from depression and anxiety. So far there are no contraindications regarding this product. Remember, if you have a friend who is going through a bad time, maybe a chocolate bar will cheer up his or her day. 

That being mentioned, it is important to highlight that there is an incomparable variety of chocolate kinds in Ecuador, for every palate and at every price. There are also uncountable extras attached to this food, from peanuts the most traditional to infusion of seasonal fruit the most extravagant.  

Where to find chocolate in Quito?

IN 2011
taste quality 90%
pacari ecuador

The name comes from a Quichua word that means “daybreak”, and it was founded in 2002 by Santiago Peralta and his wife. In order to elaborate their products they decided to use Ecuadorian plants that in their opinion gave the freshness to the chocolate that they were looking for in their finished product, such as jasmine, orchids, and roses. To add an Ecuadorian touch they incorporated traditional toasted corn into their mix.

Taste quality 89%
toak ecuador

Another international known and awarded brand by many institutions around the world, working with Ecuadorian products. It currently has many strategic locations around the city, where they offer their products. The most important of these is located close to “Fundación Guayasamín”, where aside from trying and tasting such a delicious snack, you will get to know about guided arts and culture at this famous Ecuadorian painter’s home.

República Del Cacao
Tase quality 91%
republica del cacao
Republica Del Cacao

This brand is considered the most marketed one in Ecuador and Quito, and it has earned more than 20 awards for excellence and innovation with its products. It currently has many more branches around the city, the most important of them located in the malls.

Chez Tiff, La Ronda, Casco antiguo de Quito
Taste quality 81%

This wonderful place keeps the history and tradition of Ecuadorian chocolate. Many tourists affirmed at the tasting that it is one of the best chocolates that Ecuador has. Accompanied by its location within the Barrio de la Ronda and knowing that they teach the process of elaboration of the exquisite chocolates to live, it is a must-visit place.

Yumbos Chocolate
Taste quality 78%
cholate yumbos

Their facilities, which are reminiscent of the traditional essence of Colonial Quito, are precisely what they want to maintain and transmit with their products. It has earned around 10 “BARRA DE ORO” (GOLDEN BAR) prizes, an international award for excellence. The peculiarity of this place is that they use cocoa from the coastal region because they claim that the climate gives the beans a better internal temperature and the aroma is much stronger compared to the cocoa beans from the Amazon

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is ecuador safe to travel

Dear valued guest,

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Step into the gateway of a secure and enchanting Ecuadorian adventure!

Is Ecuador Safe to Travel? Absolutely!

Explore the vibrant cities of Quito, Guayaquil, and Cuenca, each offering unique experiences. While common issues like pickpocketing exist, they are no different than those in major cities worldwide. The key? Awareness and precaution.

Hereby some words of the Minister of Tourism:

“The main goal of the Ecuadorian Ministry of Tourism is to restore confidence in international markets and tourists following the recent wave of violence in the country and the declaration of an ‘internal armed conflict,’ as stated by Minister Niels Olsen in an interview with EFE. During the interview in Madrid, where the International Tourism Fair, Fitur, is being held, with Ecuador as the Partner Country, Olsen emphasized that the primary objective is to ‘restore confidence in international commerce, presenting Ecuador as the peaceful country it has always been and regaining trust in our destination.”

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Enhanced Perceived Value: Your Gateway to Luxury

At ‘Old Town Quito Suites,’ we understand that true luxury goes beyond aesthetics. It’s about an experience that lingers in your memory. Elevate your stay with:

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Warm regards,
Dirk Van den Begin, owner Old Town Quito Suites