Eat Your Way Through Lima
Quite the foodie on your travels? Then look no further than Lima on your next South American jaunt! Thanks to splendid seafood and innovative chefs as well as a longstanding culinary tradition, Lima has been described as one of the great food cities in the world.
The Peruvian capital is now considered one of the top destinations to find delicious meals. With the variety of restaurants in Lima, it can be difficult to choose where to start. That’s what we’re here for – to make sure you get the expert recommendations!
Below is our collection of standouts — restaurants, markets, food and drink — to leave you at best sated, or at least, inspired.
Astrid y Gaston is the flagship of Peru’s most celebrated chef, Gaston Acurio
Av. Paz Soldán 290, San Isidro 15073, Peru
It’s impossible to discuss Lima’s standing as a world-class food town and not mention Chef Gastón Acurio’s renowned restaurant empire. AyG is his flagship here in Lima, and regularly ranks as one of the world’s top restaurants. Featuring a seasonal menu derived from traditional Peruvian food, with a modern, fine dining twist, the 28, (yes that's correct, 28!) course tasting menu will take you on a journey around Peru on your dinner chair - just make sure you skip lunch! It’s certainly worth a visit, but if the pricey dinner tasting menu and 5-month wait for a dinner reservation scares you off, head here for lunch. Arrive around noon-ish, and you’ll likely be seated without a wait.
Do not miss lunch at this lively cebicheria, located at Av Mariscal La Mar 770, Miraflores 15074, Peru.
No trip to Peru is complete without sampling ceviche, and La Mar is the best place to try it. Also a Gaston Acurio restaurant, La Mar is one of the best daytime spots you will find in Lima, with reasonable prices ranging from $29-69 for lunch. A must try is the unique interpretation of the Bloody Mary, the 'Bloody Locho' - complete with seafood shells and all! What to expect: Endless plates of ceviche and seafood paired with the most delicious pisco based cocktails, so be prepared to make it a long lunch!
Just a few feet away from La Mar is the cutest little organic grocery store. Punto Organico carries all sorts of different quinoa, sauces and vegetables! If your accommodation has cooking facilities, then pop in and pick up some local delights and cook up your own Peruvian meal, if it doesn't, it's still worth stopping in for a look around.
Everyone loves to explore local markets, and this is one of the best in all of Lima! The market of choice for all the top chefs, it is bursting with everything you could possibly imagine, so get ready to see some new types of produce and tons of crazy meats and seafood! Be sure to try the ceviche from 'Bam Bam', a cevichería located just behind the market.
For some people, there's nothing better than a great cup of coffee, and this is the place to go if you are one of them. Even if you're a complete coffee novice and you're just after an afternoon lift, Bisetti is the place to go for your caffeine fix!
Whether he’s manning the kitchen at the award-winning Malabar or fulfilling his role as executive chef at ámaZ, Pedro Miguel Schiaffino is sure to be bringing unique flavours collected in Peru’s remote jungle to the table. Although the Amazon basin covers around 60 percent of Peru, most of Lima’s urban dwellers (as well as its foreign visitors) are nevertheless unfamiliar with its signature ingredients. Schiaffino’s seasonal menu features delicacies such as crisp, seared cuy and Amazonian river snails bathed in a sauce made with spicy chorizo.
Peru has the second largest Japanese population in South America, resulting in a Japanese-Peruvian food fusion know as 'Nikkei'. Maido is the type of restaurant that constantly surprises you with inventive flavour combinations and cooking techniques whilst still staying true to its comforting Asian home-style familiarity. Whether going for the Peruvian Nikkei specialities, the tasting menu, Japanese sushi, or even ramen, Maido insatiably covers the whole spectrum of the Nikkei rainbow.
A great neighbourhood cafe offering freshly baked breads, avocado toast, burrito's and great pizza too – this is the place to go for good food without the fuss.
Santa Isabel 376 Miraflores Lima, Peru
If you're after something a bit more up market, reserve a table at the sleek Central. Originally chef Virgilio Ramirez’s childhood home it has been transformed into the most famous restaurant in all of Peru, and is ranked the 4th best restaurant in the world! The tasting menu paired with corresponding wines is something that can’t be missed for anyone who loves a fine dining experience. Make your reservation at least two weeks in advance for dinner and one week in advance for lunch.
The pisco sour originated in Lima, and remains ubiquitous throughout the city. Whether you choose to sit and sip at one of the city’s trendy establishments like Huaringas Bar in Miraflores, or stop and relax at a more iconic space such as the Gran Hotel Bolivar, just make sure you drink one, or two... but beware, they’re stronger than they look.
La Lucha is a sandwich lover’s dream and a veritable icon in the city. If you're not one who likes standing in a queue for food, then maybe you should reconsider, as these heaping sandwiches are sent from the heavens. Your best bet is to go with at least one other person, so you can order the classic chicharron sandwich with its piles of pork, pickled onions, criolla sauce and thin slices of roasted sweet potatoes. Get your friend to order the El Preferido, a carnivores delight with piles of asado (BBQ meat) and avocado, and devour half each! Oh, and don’t forget the fries, their crispy salted wedges are la bomba!
Another food fusion to try when in Lima is 'Chifa', mixing Chinese and Peruvian flavours. Chifa restaurants in Lima range from small and divey to big and, well, less divey. Order the arroz chaufa, essentially fried rice, crispy wantan fritos (fried wontons), or lomo saltado (stir-fried beef).
Looking to explore your tastebuds further in Peru? Download the Crooked Compass Travel App to find Unique Dining experiences and how to Eat Like a Local.
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