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Seafood in Cuenca Ecuador: El Sabor de las Costeñitas

Posted in: Cuenca Ecuador, Ecuador Food, Ecuador Travel

Ecuador has a lot of delicious cultural dishes. Living in the Andes mountains means we are used to the food eaten in the sierra. There is not that much seafood on the menu up here.

Recently we were invited to try some coastal food at a restaurant in Cuenca called El Sabor De Las Costeñitas (roughly translated – “The flavor of the dear coastal women.”)


We love seafood and there is a lot of it eaten on the coast so we were excited to sample some of it.

Ecuador’s Traditional Coastal Food – in Cuenca

We made this video to share what it was like at El Sabor De Las Costeñitas in Cuenca.

Watch video on YouTube.

Corvina-apanado-Las-Costenitas-Cuenca-Ecuador Encebollado-mixto-Las-Costenitas-Cuenca-Ecuador

We all had a different dish. Drew had some breaded fish, I had some fish cooked in a coconut sauce and Bryan had encebollado mixto (a soup with fish and shrimp). The encebollado mixto came with a side of rice, lime wedges and crispy salted corn kernels.


The meals were all delicious (we like to sample each others food :)) and the portions were a good size, nothing on the menu was over $7.00.

food-Las-costenitas-Cuenca-Ecuador Las-costenitas-menu-Cuenca-Ecuador

The encocado is their specialty, it’s a fish or shrimp dish done in a coconut sauce. I had the fish, but I think the shrimp would be even better. They also serve a selection of food from the sierra.


The restaurant is not far from the center on Honorato Vasquez 5-66 between Mariano Cueva and Hermano Miguel. It’s a cozy little place with bright coastal artwork and free wifi. There are three levels, main, lower and upper. The upper level has a bit of a low ceiling, so if you are tall and you sit up there, you are going to feel even taller.

The owners are from Esmeraldas on the northern coast. El Sabor De Las Costenitas has been open for just over a year. There were a lot of people coming and going while we were there, eating in and taking out.


Dena with Johanna (the owner) and her daughter.


Have you eaten at El Sabor De Las Costenitas? What did you think? Please share by commenting on this post.

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Meet the Author

Dena Haines is co-editor of GringosAbroad - Ecuador's largest blog for expats and travelers. She is a travel blogger and content marketer. She is also co-founder of ClickLikeThis (GoPro tutorial blog) and Storyteller Travel.

8 comments… add one
  • CheekyChop Feb 16, 2018, 11:42 am

    Is this restaurant still there? We were right at their location on the map but could not find it. Thanks.

  • John Jun 12, 2014, 5:57 pm

    I tried El Sabor de Las Costeñitas today and it’s a real find. The encocado de camaron (shrimp in coconut sauce) was delicious, served with patacones that were hot and fresh. (To me, patacones are a bit like French fries; they have to be hot and fresh or they’re awful.) A full plate of good, fresh food with a glass of lemonade cost the princely sum of $5.00. Johanna is as nice as she can be too, very hospitable.

    It seems that the corner of Honorato Vazquez and Hermano Miguel is becoming a mecca for good, reasonably priced restaurants. Moliendo Cafe is a favorite for Colombian food. Mexico Lindo y Querido serves up really good Mexican food, including great mole sauce. Now we have a good, inexepensive seafood restaurant. (Has anyone tried the Peruvian restaurant across the street from Moliendo?)

    • Bryan Haines Jun 13, 2014, 6:12 pm

      Thanks for your review. Glad to hear you enjoyed it.

      We haven’t tried the other restaurants in that area yet. We’ll check out the Peruvian one next…

  • Tony Russell` Jun 7, 2014, 9:51 am

    We’ve eaten there and we liked it very much. The place seemed clean (and busy) and the service was good and the prices reasonable: we’d certainly go back for all those reasons, plus the delicious seafood they serve. Recommend you try it.

  • Sumana Jun 7, 2014, 8:17 am

    Good review! I`ll be right over to try the Encebollado, which is one of my favorite dishes here. Another good place for this is Oro Mar, on the extension of Presidente Cordova that goes down to Tres de Noviembre. Their other dishes are more pricey, but the Encebollado comes in at around $2.

    • Bryan Haines Jun 7, 2014, 1:34 pm

      Thanks Sumana. We’ve enjoyed Oro Mar as well, although it’s been a while. We’ll have to go back…

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