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For a small town/village, Vilcabamba has an abundance of superb and diverse restaurants. Bon appetit!
Talking about lunch, it can be quite challenging to find good and affordable places to eat in Loja... Not that there is any shortage of reaturants by any mean. The thing is that the typical $2 to $3 "almuerzo" doesn't really satisfy most expats' tastes.
There are of course more expensive options, "a la carta", but then prices go up.I love the Howard Johnson's lunch time buffet but althought it is great value for the money it is way out of my average lunch time budget.
In the "treat" department (coffee, cakes, ice cream ...) in the past few years a number of new cafeterias have popped up in Loja and the quality of the coffee has significantly increased. Many of them now have espresso machines and can make you a decent cappuccino or mochaccino, some have crepes / pancakes and even waffles. This is a bit of change from the traditional tamal or humita.
In this section we will review some places that we found interesting in the center of Loja.
This is or has the potential to become one of the best restaurants in Loja. It is still quite new but has already received very positive on line reviews.
The "Trattoria and Restaurant Dumas" is managed by Roberto Delgado, a qualified, talented, and very amicable chef who despite his young age (30) has had quite an interesting career path.
Roberto studied and worked 4 years in Buenos Aires, then came back to his home land to work at "Chez Jérôme" in Quito for Jerome Montelier, a french chef of international reputation. Roberto told me that he was his "sous-chef".
Then after working two years on a boat in Galapagos he finally decided to drop the "sous" in "sous-chef" and become his own "chef" in his restaurant called "Dumas" in Loja Ecuador.
The location could not be better, only a few meters from the central square (next to Produbanco).
I enjoyed conversing with Roberto while he was preparing two vegeterian pizzas for a north american couple. The pizza looked to die for. I talked to the customers afterwards and they absoluetely swear by the place and come quite regularly.
They serve lunch (almuerzo) and have an extensive a la carte selection that is available from 4PM onwards.