Can’t find dried hot peppers? Looking for pomegranates? Need some purple corn? After a basket to hold it all?
You can find all these and more at the indoor market at Iñaquito.
Located in a full city block between Avenida 10 de Agosto and Rio Amazonas, the market is not hard to find though the traffic can make it difficult to get to. The four streets that run directly around the market (all of them one way streets) are Iñaquito, Juan José Villalengua, Jorge Drom, and Alfonso Pereira, each with an entrance into the large parking lot. Once you find a place to park your car, you can ask to have it washed while you shop ($5).
You can also have your windshield wipers replaced and a dust barrier installed on your doors. I don’t know the costs for those as I haven’t taken advantage of these particular deals but the guy who washes cars takes particular note of what your vehicle just might need. Be prepared to say no.
Outside the building are several small stores – most are small viveres that sell imported goods, dried goods, nuts and freshly fried potato and sweet potato chips,
Inside is a whole different place. Vendors are everywhere. One corner is all seafood. A few aisles down, it’s beef and pork. In the center chicken and dairy.
A couple of rows are dedicated to potatoes, an extremely important part of the local diet. The large ones are called papas cholas and are an essential ingredient in Locro de Papas. You can buy any and all potatoes covered in dirt, washed free of dirt, peeled of skin, and even cut into small pieces. It’s your choice!
Then tucked around the corner from all of this is the cafeteria/restaurant scene. There are stands with whole roasted pigs waiting to be sliced up and served with hominy, avocado, and sweet plantain. Others will make you juice from all of the delicious fruits for sale in the other room. There are soups and ceviches alongside plantain chips and toasted corn. Everything is of the Sierra and speaks of Quiteño traditions. And the tables are full of locals eating at just about any time of the day.
If you decide to shop here yourself, I recommend mornings rather than afternoons. A few of the meat and fish vendors do not have complete refrigeration and the smells late in the day can be overwhelming to a delicate nose.
Information For Your Trip
type in basic info here
- Direction by Car, use WAZE and look for Mercado Iñaquito, Iñaquito, Quito, Ecuador
- Direction by Public Transportation for buses around Quito, use Google Maps, enter Mercado Iñaquito, and click on get directions. Use the public transportation button to find the best route
from yourcurrent location.
Thank you for posting these pictures. I miss this place. I took so many photos of fruit, purple corn and other colorful goods. I thought it was funny to be taking pictures of food but the colors and sights were so amazing to me. The best part was having delicious hornado with Llapingachos and salad for less than three dollars.
Colorful is a great word for Ecuador. It is an amazing place. Will you be able to come back and visit? Your hornado with llapingachos will probably run you closer to $5 at most restaurants and the roads are much better to drive on but other than that, I’m not sure much has changed!
My last visit was in September 2011 so I am overdue. The price of food in the states has gone up so much I can only imagine the change over there. Last time I was there I heard Ecuador was getting a lot of their meat from Chile. Quite frankly I don’t understand the whole import/export of food but a plate of yummy food for $5 still sounds good to me. I would not dare drive in Ecuador. I remember there was not respect for the “rules of the road” and you can’t people watch when your eyes are focused on not hitting the guy on the motorcycle.
😉 I took the trolley, buses and even walked every place I went. Walking in some parts is like mini hiking. The next trip back would be with my kids so I would have to time it with school break. I hope nothing else changes. I sure do miss waking up to the view of those majestic mountain. Calms you down. You know you are away when nothing looks, smells or sounds the same and yet you are totally at peace.
We’ve learned to drive but our life here is different than that of an average tourist. We’ve learned that though people don’t follow “the rules,” they do follow a sort of accepted behavior of the road. Once you get the feel for it, it’s a little easier to drive. I am still having a hard time keeping eyes on everything at the busiest intersections – cars from all around, pedestrians crossing wherever they like and with and without the protection of lights, traffic cops who wave you on against the red, motorcycles that pull up next to you that just may be willing to rob you, vendors selling everything from car chargers to mandarin oranges, the occasional beggar, and the street artists. Luckily, we rarely get all at once 🙂
Crime on the buses and trolleys is about the same. If you keep your head about you and don’t flash money or jewels or carry handbags that scream take me, you’re pretty good. There has been increased police patrols downtown and we’ve heard that it is a lot safer than just a few years past. Overall, we feel it’s safer than Buenos Aires though we’ve been told crime is worse.
And the mountains are my escape. I was just looking up at them today and thinking that it’s time for another trip to visit my favorite hummingbirds at Yanacocha.
Thank-you for your wonderful blog. I have been doing a lot of reading about Ecuador, Spain and France and your blog stands out , being one of the most informative , well written and beautifully lillustrated with your photographs of flora and fauna. I am getting more enthused about visiting Ecuador, perhaps this winter. Thanks again, Robin Armour (semi-retired photographer, Whitehorse , Yukon)
You are so very welcome. Ecuador is a beautiful country full of wonder around every corner. The diversity of habitats makes every new trip an adventure! I hope you’re able to plan a trip that includes some of the hidden corners of this country.
A long time ago, I drove through your neck of the woods. My husband’s first assignment was Alaska and during our first summer, my sister and I drove a ’73 Karmann Ghia up the Al-Can. Just seeing the name Whitehorse makes me want to go pull out the old photos!
Shopping in Quito! In the artisan’s market by the JW Marriott I found a fine shirt for me and a silver bracelet for GF. I’ll never see a better bathroom than the one we had in the JW. Ah well…
The Marriott is a special place 🙂
Any other shopping memories you have? I’ll be sure to check them out.
Nothing special, but Guayaquiil is Ecuador’s world city, anything available anywhere is there. Except Costco, alas.
Y’all get to Amazonia yet? I await your pictures.
Not until the end of the summer for Amazonia. You’ll just have to be patient 🙂