Some read books, some work on their laptops, some get their friends and gossip, and some just come to have the Perfect cup of coffee.

Everyone has different reasons to walk into the closest cafe and sit and while away their time. To be honest, it will be mostly a cafe where I can be found, most of the time on most of the days.

My reasons are simple-
a) I love the ambience in a cafe. It is not a restaurant where people come eat and go, and neither is it a bar; where people come drink and go. It is a CAFE, where people come, sit, read the newspaper, have a cup of coffee, notice people around them etc etc. In short, it is the perfect place to RELAX.

b) It is not quiet enough to be considered eerie and neither is it so loud that it becomes irritating. The volume is just enough to get your work done(in case you plan to read or write like I usually do in cafes) and yet enjoy the chitter chatter of people around you.

While when I travel, I am used to seeing the world famous brands like Starbucks, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf or Costa Coffee; I was pleasantly surprised to find that all these brands were practically non existent in Ecuador, and instead there were other prominent brands which people preferred here.

All around Guayaquil, you will come across the brands listed below, and if and when you try them, you will certainly forget the Starbucks of the world. I have listed them in order of my preference.

1) Juan Valdez Cafe: This cafe is of Colombian origin and was officially launched in 2002. The cafe has now become famous across many locations and the growth plans are expanding rapidly because of the popularity.
I am lucky to have one, right next to my house(Av.Victor Emilia Estrada, Urdesa, Guayaquil), and I am found here at least 4 days in a week. What I like about this place is that the staff is friendly and the cafe is very spacious, giving you enough space to work without feeling clustered.

What to try when here: Chocochip Nevado, Flavored Tea, Vanilla/Orange/Banana Cake and a piece of the soft, gooey Chocolate Cake.

For more information, check out their website:

2) Sweet & Coffee: An Ecuadorian brand started way back in 1997 by a couple in Guayaquil, this is one of the leading coffee houses. You will in most probability see this name in the Airports,malls, popular streets of Guayaquil and Quito. Usually smaller in size, Sweet & Coffee caters to one having a quick cup of coffee and moving out. Not the ideal place to sit and lounge around with your book. But definitely worth a visit because of the delicious items on the menu.

What to try when here : Cappuccino House, Oreo Cookie Shake, Ice Tea Mint, Ham and Cheese tart, Hot fudge brownie and my personal favorite- Apple and Walnut cake.

For more information, check out their website:

3) Cafe Olala: This cafe has its presence in only one location(Victor Emilio Estrada (Centro Comercial La Quinta), Guayaquil). But still you will find it jam packed almost all throughout the day. One of the few cafes in Guayaquil, where practically all of the staff speaks English and also French. The reason for this is that the owner is a Greek and his idea of starting this cafe was to attract foreigners. Thus he mandated that the staff should know the languages to be able to converse easily with the customers.
The place has great internet speed and you will on a usual day find a lot of people in business suits sitting and working, or holding meetings.The music in the background will mostly be Greek tunes or songs which adds the extra zing to the place.
On the menu you will be able to find a lot of Greek dishes along with the other delicious spread.

What to try when here : Chai tea, Greek Sandwich and any of the 8 types of cheesecake. 

4) Cafe Bombon’s: Started as a small shop way back in 1973, Cafe Bombon’s is one of my favorite places for breakfast. With the enormous popularity it has gained over the years, the owners have managed to open up 11 points of sale.The sitting area is spacious and the place will be seen to be most crowded during the breakfast time. The cafe also has great spread of cakes to choose from, to celebrate a special occasion.

What to try when here : BOMBON’S Special breakfast, Caramel cake, Chocolate & Mint cake and Strawberry Cheesecake.

For more information, check out their website:

5) Pasteles & Compañía(Cakes & Company): Another famous cafe shop found in every nook and corner of Guayaquil. Founded around 30 years back in 1985, Pasteles & Compañía has in total 13 stores in Guayaquil. Majorly famous for its cakes, this brand is usually the first choice to go in case of any special occasion. The concept of sit and chill does not exist much with regards to this brand, and the usual people you will find seated here are the ones who are waiting for their order or who are busy eating what they ordered.

What to try when here : Vanilla Cake with double filling, Gypsy’s arm(sponge cake) and Smoked ham sandwich.

6) El Español: This cafe usually occupies a bigger space than the rest of the cafes in town; thus providing adequate area for customers to sit and enjoy their meal. The cafe offers a lot of dishes for a proper meal and thus the rush hour would be around the meal hours.
In an airport, this would probably be the most crowded of all cafes, where people sit and enjoy their beer with a sandwich while watching a football match on the television. This cafe has a Spanish touch to it(as the name suggests) and is very famous for its ham dishes.

What to try when here : Baileys frozen cafe, Spanish sandwich,Visking Salad,Panini Siciliano and Red fruit Cheesecake.

For more information, check out their website:

That was all on the cafes that you can visit and relish around Guayaquil. I suggest try out all, and make your own preference list. If you have to add any more cafes on the list, please feel free to write to me about them.
Till then

Hasta Luego!

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