Quito is a city with unpredictable weather, changing from a sunny blue sky to a wistful gray in a matter of minutes. In spite of these changes, it is easy to walk to many places in the city. One afternoon I realized that Quito’s Old Town takes on a Bohemian feel when it rains. After having visiting the art exhibition “A cielo abierto” (Outdoors) in San Francisco Plaza, I walked down Sucre and García Moreno streets and stopped at Cafetería Modelo.
I looked at the menu that was outside the restaurant and decided to have a cup of coffee. There’s nothing better than a hot beverage when it’s raining! When I went inside, I heard a mix of laughter, conversations among friends, and people ordering at the register. The ambience of this coffee shop combines both old and modern architecture. There is a small patio inside with a high ceiling above it, just as is common of buildings in Old Town. This gives the coffee shop grandeur. There is also a second floor decorated in wood that is narrow and warm.
When researching this coffee shop, I learned that it was founded in 1950 by José Báez Espinosa. It is one of the oldest coffee shops in Quito’s Old Town. Here you can purchase sandwiches, plantain turnovers (empanadas de verde), and humitas (an Ecuadorian dish made of stewed sweet corn). Their forte, and the most recommended item on the menu, is brewed coffee.
I went up to the second floor, sat down, and looked at the name in neon colors on the wall. There I started chatting with two German travelers who were exploring Quito along with their friend, Anna Heuse and his friend. The good spirits that they passed on to me while I finished my coffee went with me when I said goodbye to them to be on my way on this rainy afternoon.
Photography by Sebastián Oquendo
Translation of text by M. Bjorklund
Este texto fue escrito cuando trabajé para la Tour Operadora Surtrek.