If you are looking for a very good vegetarian friendly restaurant in Guayaquil, near the central district, El Manso Boutique Hostel Restaurant is where you need to go. It isn't hard to find, unless you are walking the Malecon and ask people for directions. They will send you to places that they are SURE is the El Manso, such as the Guayaquil Yacht Club. That is so NOT the El Manso. What didn't occur to us was that it isn't IN/ON the Malecon, it is across the street from the Malecon. Our taxi driver got us there when our feet wouldn't.
The first time we went there was just after lunch seating, so they were closed, but one of the staff was exiting as we were at the door. He very kindly pointed us in the direction of several other places that were veg/veg friendly in the central district. (see my review of Shri Ganesha).
The menu is viewable online (www dot manso dot ec), so our mouths were in anticipation of what lay in store for us at dinner. We each had a house salad for starters, though the stuffed patacones looked very tempting. My wife had the Tumbes Bean Burger and I had the veggie wrap. Both of us selected house fries as the side. They were served with an aioli that was fresh, citrusy, and delicious. The bean burger stood up well against most bean burgers, domestic or foreign, and as with most the tendency toward mush was present. In our experience, only the North Star Cafe in Columbus, OH has solved the taste/texture conundrum of veggie burgers. Still, the El Manso version was tasty and a good value. The veggie wrap's star was the guacamole/pesto mix. Ecuadorian guacamole is not the same thing as Mexican or Cal-Mex guacamole. That's not a bad thing, it's just different: creamier and milder. The marinated oyster mushrooms gave the wrap some firmness of tooth, something lacking in a lot of vegetarian food.
El Manso calls its menu agriecological: mostly organic, mostly local, no fillers or artificial taste enhancers, limited offerings of poultry and sea food. The staff were attentive without being pushy or overbearing. The fact that the restaurant is available to the public is great for vegetarian travelers. Our hosts had booked us into a different hotel and we would have missed El Manso completely except for 1) the HappyCow listing, 2) the hostal manager we bumped into on the street. Highly recommended. There's also a small gift shop with boutique items that have mostly been repurposed from something else.
Cons: a little hard to find