The best restaurants with live music in and around Guayaquil, Ecuador
Music and food go hand in hand in Guayaquil, Ecuador, where restaurants offer traditional cuisine with superb local music. Here’s our pick of the best:
1 Porto Resto Bar (Puerto Santa Ana, Guayaquil 091003, Ecuador)
Porto Resto Bar is a true Guayaquil gem – the sort of place that works for every occasion, from enjoying with visitors to the city, to celebrating a promotion or birthday, to Friday night drinks with friends. This buzzing, brightly decorated waterfront lounge bar draws the crowds for its stylish décor: a tasteful mix of mid-century bar tables and chairs, black-and-white chequered flooring and – just in case you forget where you are – a feature wall of coconut trees and lotus flowers, capturing the feeling of eternal summer holidays.
The food menu is eclectic and caters to all tastes, from Instagram-worthy plates of sushi to a risotto of locally caught shrimp. Desserts tend to be sorbet-based rather than heavy puddings, with tarts and gelatos dominating the sweeter side of the menu.
There’s a regular daily happy hour from 1pm to 6pm and, from Thursdays to Saturdays, you can order one of the famous cocktails and settle in for a night of live music from the Roberto Bolaños quartet, one of Ecuador’s most iconic bands.
2 Místico (Alhambra Shopping Samborondón, Ecuador)
Few bars pull off the day-to-night-vibe as well as Místico. This Ecuadorian institution – one of the best bars in the area – is full hidden nooks, industrial-style lighting and wooden panelling leading to vertical indoor gardens.
The drinks list spans wines, beers and cocktails, including the stand out ‘Sweet November’, made from blackberry, lemon, rum and a secret liqueur. But it’s with its food that Místico really shines, with creative plates such as seared duck breast with fruit sauce and local fish ceviche. It runs special menus for the holidays, including Valentine’s Day. There’s live music most nights, with a varied roster of big names such as Danilo Rosero, Roberto Bolaños on the saxophone and Roy Maruri on the keyboard.
3 Vento Rooftop (Samborondón Edf Xima piso 6)
Vento Rooftop is one of the most popular bars in town, where those in the know go for cocktails in discreet booths overlooking the city’s skyline.
While the low-lit main area inside focuses on dining (sharing plates of tuna tartare tacos, mixed meatballs, sushi and an assortment of salads, all around the $12-$14 mark), outside focuses on world-class music, which runs from 7pm nightly. Expect a broad array of slick sounds, best taken in from one of the plush red velvet booths (the whole bar was renovated last year). To drink, there’s a noteworthy selection of cocktails prepared by expert mixologists.
4 Mercado del Río (Malecon 2000 Avenida Malecón y Calle Colón., Guayaquil 090150 Ecuador)
While at first glance Mercado del Río looks like just another Guyaquil waterside eatery, all wooden bar stools and tented canopies, it’s the authentic Ecuadorian charm that helps it stand out.
This is one of Guayaquil’s most popular restaurant complexes, and it’s not hard to see why. A lively, modern food court runs beside the river, visitors can stroll by eateries spanning cuisine from across the globe alongside lively bars and pubs. While there’s something to suit every taste (and budget), the seafood restaurants here get our pick, namely Gust Conchas for its mixed ceviche.
And then there’s the music. There are live gigs here nearly every night of the week, and to drink there’s an impressive range of local beers and wines and, of course, good old sangria.