Once the seat of the archbishop, these days the Palace of the Archbishop (Palacio Arzobispal) in Quito’s Old Town is a bustling food court with restaurants, coffee shops, and fast-food places gathered under scenic arches. Here you can get it all, from burgers and fries to seafood to fine dining, with a romantic view of Independence Plaza.
Dating back to the 16th century, this neoclassical building is one of the oldest in Quito and represents the religious authority of the Roman Catholic Church. Today the palace functions as a food court with options for every taste and budget, so set aside time to enjoy at least one meal here. The first floor houses mostly inexpensive eateries. Upstairs, midrange options share real estate with some of Quito’s finest restaurants, which serve gourmet Ecuadorian and international cuisine.
Explore and eat your way through the palace independently, or add it to any private city tour itinerary.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Palace of the Archbishop is ideal for anyone looking for a snack, meal, drink, and/or artisan crafts and other souvenirs.
- Wear comfortable shoes suitable for walking over uneven surfaces.
- At the palace’s fine-dining restaurant, the dress code is formal.
How to Get There
The palace is located on Independence Square (Plaza de la Independencia), on the corner of Chile and Venezuela streets in the Old Town. It’s easily accessible via public transport—bus routes 3, 5, 6, 12, 21, and 54 stop right on the square.
When to Get There
The Palace of the Archbishop is open from 9am to 8pm daily, and there isn’t really a bad time to visit. On the weekends, dancers and singers perform in the palace courtyard.
The Palace of the Archbishop stands in good company on Independence Plaza (locally called Plaza Grande), sharing the square with the Cathedral of Quito (Catedral Metropolitana de Quito), the Presidential Palace (aka the Carondelet Palace, or Palacio de Carondelet), and City Hall (Palacio Municipal). This bustling area makes for an interesting place to sit and observe day-to-day life in Quito.