Sativa Studio Cafe

  • Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 15 reviews )

Calle Luis A Martinez y Eloy Alfaro St, Correo Central, Banos, Ecuador

Colorfully decorated vegetarian restaurant offering dishes like tamales, vegan burger, and plaintain. Beverages include organic coffee, herbal tea, and probiotic drinks. Has an attached pottery studio. Open Mon-Sat 11:00am-11:00pm.

Categories: Vegan-friendly, Organic, Western, Juice bar, Take-out, Afro Caribbean

15 Reviews

First Review by zebsu

We were served by a child. - Edit

I took my non-vegan friend to this place to eat, first time for both of us, and I got really embarrassed.
When we went in, we sat down, and instead of a waiter, a little girl (around the age of five) came to us with our menus.
At the beginning we thought it was cute, and part of the cafe's charm. However, after ten minutes no one else had shown up to take our orders.
It seemed as if we had to give our order to the little girl! However, she couldn't speak english, and we couldn't speak spanish, and it was really difficult.
Anyway, language barrier aside, I was shocked that this cafe is using a child as a waitress! Surely that is supposed to be illegal in ecuador?? Unfortunately the police don't care about these things, because to them it's a small problem that isn't worthwhile to pursue :(
Me and my friend just became uncomfortable in this situation, and so we left without getting anything. We would have talked to somebody, but we couldn't see anyone else in the cafe.
The menu's weren't very nice either- just laminated pages with one dish per page.
This experience with Sativa is such a shame because the food looks good, the interior looks good, but using children is simply not ethical.

Cons: A five year old girl as a waitress!

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great vegan place! - Edit

All the food on the menu is vegan except some drinks.

Pros: lots of vegan options

Cons: a bit expensive

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Great burger, average menu of the day - Edit

Lots of hits and misses. The restaurant is beautifully decorated with recycled furniture, it has a cosy vibe, great music playing and lots of plants everywhere. My partner had the burger and it was fantastic - moist, tasty, homemade, soy free and the fries were to die for. Unfortunately I opted for the menu of the day which came up to be very average - a tiny cup of tasteless soup, some steamed broccoli and spinach with no condiments (I would have preferred to have them raw then) and some mixed grains who were very hard to eat and again without any sauce or condiments. The owner told me he will remove that dish from the menu of the day as he noticed that people would hardly touched it...

Pros: Have the burger , owner is friendly , beautiful place

Cons: Menu of the day is small and tasteless , More expensive than other veggie places in banos

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okay food, nothing special - Edit

Stopped in for lunch and had their lunch special as well as a 7 grain dish. We found that the food was a little overpriced for what you got. The one dish was $8 and the lunch special was $5. All in all it tasted okay but wasn't worth the money so probably won't go back.

Pros: cool vibe in the restaurant, good service

Cons: overpriced

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Tasty vegan lunch! - Edit

Tasty vegan and vegetarian options in a lovely plant and art filled space.

Pros: A change from the usual Ecuadorian vegetarian fare

Cons: 7 USD a main meal is pushing it a little ( quality

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Great place ! - Edit

The food is always good there ! Wide choice of drinks too
They also grow their organic vegetables and fruits and the building was made of recycled materials.
Staff is great, nice music and atmosphere

Pros: Tasty food, Beautiful place, Kind staff

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Beautiful place, average food - Edit

The burguers are good, the fries are average, staff were more worried about having fun with each other than serving people coming in.
A lot of books about plants, veganism, animal liberation... I spent a lot of time there. Somehow the food was not the most important. Teas are great and big.

Pros: Books, Decoration, Tea

Cons: Price, Staff could be quicker/more professional

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Made to Order - Edit

I ate here a few times while in Banos for several days. They have a small menu with most options being vegan. Just be sure to clarify that you are vegan if you are allergic to anything. The vegan burger and fries are amazing as well as the soup. This is a small place with only a few tables. They make the food to order and it can take some time, so it's best to eat here when you aren't in a hurry. Most of the vege food in Banos is pricey. All items on this menu are over $6. There is no typical Amuerzo lunch served here. Sometimes they aren't open in the morning so best to not get here until lunch time.

Pros: Homemade and Fresh, Made to Order

Cons: Slow to get food, Pricey (but that banos)

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Good burger, poor service - Edit

After reading the raving reviews of previous visitors, I couldn't help feeling disappointed. I had the burger with fries; the burger was slightly burned but still very tasty, the fries very good but unfortunately less than lukewarm. I waited maybe half an hour, which is quite OK. Problem was, my friend had to wait another 40 minutes for her patacones so I was well beyond finished before they came. The patacones were OK, quite plain, but the accompanying salad was good. Overall 4 for food and 2 for service (waiting time would be acceptable if timing was better).

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awesome hamburger but be careful - Edit

We went to this restaurant to try the burger because of the numerous good feedbacks about it.
Concerning the burger, we weren't disappointed, the hamburger is awesome !
The restaurant has his own garden and grows herbs, lettuce.
There are few choices, especially for vegans.

BUT : my friend asked for the coffee 7 spices to try it because of the positive feedbacks too. On the menu, some of the others coffees have milk and it's indicated. it was not indicated for the 7 spices. Finally, at the moment to pay, my friend having a doubt, asked for the milk in the coffee 7 spices and there was milk in it. It's definitely not serious because I asked to be sure to have a vegan burger and a drink without honey. And we noticed milk was precised only for some drinks. Then, the guy logically had to care of the other items, especially when animal products are not labeled on the menu !

Updated from previous review on Tuesday March 31, 2015

Notice that we tried twice more to go to eat there, but the restaurant was closed during the supposed open hours (on tuesday at 11am and on wednesday 10 am). The guy told us "everyday from 9am to 11 pm".

Updated from previous review on Wednesday April 01, 2015

Pros: vegan burger/fries, herbs from the garden, breakfast

Cons: not serious about veganism, a bit long to be served, not a lot of choices

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Amazing food. Beautiful restaurant. Cool owner. - Edit

I stumbled upon Sativa Studio Cafe and was treated to one of the best burgers I've ever eaten (including meat ones I've had in the past). It was so delicious, and I ate it with an incredible salad full of organic veggies and sprouts, freshly picked from the owner's garden (which he is extremely passionate about). There is also a huge list of delicious probiotics drinks made from fermented fruits, some of which are slightly pricey but worth it for the amazing taste PLUS the added health benefits. If you're a drinker, you would probably spend the same amount on a cocktail, and these are sooo much better for you than sugary cocktails! The cafe also has an awesome vibe and atmosphere. I met some really cool, like-minded people whilst eating there - and it's very easy to strike up a convo if you are travelling on your own, or you can have a peruse of one of the many facing ting books in the cafe library. It's also decorated with really cool furniture that is made by the owner on his studio. One thing to note - the owner is a rasta, and therefore prefers to work at a moderate pace (not flat out). People coming to eat here should respect this and come for the overall experience, not a quick eat! Please don't hassle the guy if you're food is taking a bit longer than you are used to. He's such a legend and lovingly prepares every dish, and trust me it will be totally worth it when it arrives! All in all, this place is seriously worth a visit.

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One of the best veggie burgers I've ever had - Edit

I ate at this place twice while in Banos and it was delicious both times. The restaurant has their own organic garden where most of the vegetables used in the salads, etc. are grown. The vegan burger is massive (enough to feed 2) and is delicious. I got it with the salad which was incredible- mixed greens, coconut, herbs, veggies and edible flowers. The fried plantains were good as well but the vegan burger was the real star. Also, the fresh juice combinations are amazing.

Pros: delicious!!!

Cons: a bit pricy

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Awesome food - Edit

I spent a week in Banos and came here several times. The vegan burger is awesome and comes with homemade chips or salad. Their salad is not your usual lettuce/ tomato/ cucumber combo though. It has a good mix of greens, nuts, carrots, some flower looking things, coconut and probably some other ingredients I'm forgetting. It's really good and a meal in itself. The other meal I had was this salad and fried plantains, which were very tasty. Unfortunately there were no tomales since the guy's wife makes them and she was away :(

The meals take a while to come out so arrive before you are starving. But don't let this put you off going, they are worth the wait.

Based on the previous reviews, I tried the 7 spices coffee and it was as amazing as it sounds. Listen to the happycow reviewers and get one. You won't regret it.

Pros: Excellent food, 7 spices coffee, Relaxed staff/ atmosphere

Cons: Service can be a little slow

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While traveling through Ecuador, I stopped for longer than I anticipated in Banos and stumble upon a hidden cafe called Sativa Studio Cafe. They grow most of their ingredients and aside from the beautiful atmosphere of the cafe, right next to the cloud forest, the incredibly friendly husband and wife who own and run it, the food was absolutely to die for! I must admit I went every single day once I found this cafe and even twice on a couple of occasions! Their veggie burger is so fresh and delicious and accompanied with the fresh salad with all kinds of veggies and petals, there's nothing not to adore! You MUST MUST MUST (and I can't stress this enough) try the 7 Spices Coffee! It was unlike any coffee I have ever tasted in my entire life! I will never feel the same way about coffee again :) Overall, I can absolutely say that I would recommend this cafe to anyone (and have done so) without thinking twice about it. Sativa is by far my favorite cafe in Ecuador and I spent enough time to try quite a few different places....Trust me on this one, you will not be disappointed!

Pros: Delicious, Friendly, Fresh

Cons: None, None, None

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Sativa offers amazing vegan food! - Edit

So, I ended up going here because someone had posted the basic information on Happy Cow. I have to say that I was very pleasantly surprised. The owners are from NY/Dominican Republic, and are fluent in English and Spanish. They care a lot about the food they prepare, and offer 3 main dished: (1) homemade vegan tamale w/ organic salad; (2) vegan lentil/veggie burger w/ organic salad (BE SURE to ask that the burger NOT be cooked with butter); (3) patacones w/ salad.

I had both the veggie burger dish (twice actually!) and the tamale, and both were absolutely delicious, and under $3 per plat. The green salad was great too!

Lastly, they have a pretty phenomenal drink menu, and offer 3 homemade (and all delicious!) fermented probiotic drinks.

Here is one of the (w/ ingredients): The Zion Elixir: Ginger, raisins, cloves, cinnamon, lemon verbena, rosemary, and coffee fermented in natural spring water, kefir grains, and air.

They also have a Berry Grape Guarapo (grapes and berries crushed and fermented in spring water, kefir grains, and air), which tasted a bit like wine, and have a fairly high alcohol content. It was delicious.

At any rate, I highly recommend this place. It is a small, cute, and comfortable space covered with murals, and they even have an indoor fireplace for the evenings.

Also, most of the materials in the restaurant are from recycled items (the floor tile is from an old church that was throwing away tons of tile, the roof is all recycled materials, etc.).

Definitely check this place out, if you are in Banos...and just let the owners know that you are vegan, so that they don't use any butter and that you don't eat the desserts (non of the desserts, unfortunately, are vegan). :)

Pros: inexpensive vegan food!, kombucha/probiotic drinks, organic homegrown salad greens

Cons: closed on Sunday

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