Food & Cuisine in the Galapagos Islands
In the heart of one of the most abundant marine ecosystems on the planet, it’s no wonder that the majority of the entrees in the Galapagos are seafood based, including a diverse, flavorful mix of fish and shellfish including shrimp, oysters, lobster, squid, and octopus. Sides frequently include a variation of plantains or yucca, locally grown vegetables and a soup, accompanied by freshly squeezed juices, cocktails, or organic coffee that is grown right in the highlands of Santa Cruz and San Cristobal.
Most Popular Dishes
Side Dishes - Green Bananas Anyone?
- Ceviche is perhaps the most famous of the Galapagos dishes, which is one or more types of fish or seafood covered with thinly sliced tomatoes, onions and with enough lime juice to fill a bowl. Eaten with a spoon, like a cold soup.
- Viche is a soup with a creamy peanut base with chopped vegetables and a white fish like corvina (sea bass), tilapia, or halibut.
- Arroz marinero, or seafood rice is a favorite among travelers and locals alike.
- Typical Ecuadorian chicken, beef, and pork, dishes most raised locally on ranches in the Galapagos
- And be sure to try the shrimp scampi or various seafood-based soups.
Meals frequently come with a generous portion of green or mature plantains that are prepared in a number of different ways. In fact, plantains are even used as the base of the breakfast dish called bolon
, which is a large ball formed from mashed plantains, cheese, and meat then deep fried to perfection. Chifles
are thinly sliced deep fried plantains that taste like chips, while patacones
are thicker and have been smashed and fried twice.
Best Kept Secrets in Galapagos Cuisine
For fresh off the boat seafood at rock-bottom prices, go to the “Kioskos”, a cluster of open-air budget prices restaurants with authentic cuisine located at Avenida Baltra y Charles Binford in Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island.
Perhaps the most exclusive dining experience in the Islands is Angermeyer Point where you dine overlooking Academy Bay on exquisitely prepared local ingredients. Call for reservations as they may not open every night.
Common Galapagos Food Glossary
English - Spanish
Seafood - Mariscos
Fish - Pescado
Shrimp - Camarones
Lobster - Langosta
Calamares - Squid
Lime/Lemon - Limón
Rice - Arroz
Soup - Sopa
Vegetables - Vegetales
Fruit - Fruta
Beer - Cerveza (of course you knew that!)