Some call it the best food in the world, others simply enjoy the fresh seafood and local specialties. There is no doubt that Peru offers a great cuisine and with Lima as it's capital, you're in the right place to enjoy every bit you take. You'll be enchanted by the restaurants listed below - promised!
Why is the Peruvian Cuisine so popular?
Peruvian cuisine has gained international fame in recent years for its unique flavors, diverse ingredients, and fusion of culinary traditions. Peru's location and climate gives it a unique variety of crops and ingredients that can't be found anywhere else in the world. Mix that with diverse cultural influences, and you get a fusion of different culinary traditions like Spanish, Asian and indigenous cooking. Last but not least, several internationally renown Chefs have come from Peru, such as Gastón Acurio.
From theory to practice: take part in Food Walking Tours and Courses
Local restaurants with Peruvian Cuisine and Ceviche
In the Canta Rana you'll find the typical fresh food in a rustic and vivid endeavor. This place is usually crowded by Limeños, so if you do not get a table right away, you can always wait for a bit.
We were delighted by the fresh Ceviche and Suspiro Limeno, great service and well served drinks. You can't get more typical food in Lima.
Canta Rana is operated by Francisco and family since the 1980s and gained in popularity in Lima ever since. You'll find football (soccer) requisites from all around the world mixed with old photographs of Lima as decoration.
Other similar places are Barra Maretazo or Embarcadero 41. Enjoy!
Do you fancy? Star cooks in Lima
You might have heard of the Astrid y Gastón which is operated by the international star cook Gastón Acurio. An alternative we can highly recommend is the Central Restaurant. Those are high class restaurants that serve unique creations of the Peruvian cuisine. If you plan to try it, make sure to reserve in advance (and check out the prices beforehand). In our opinion, it is worth the effort.
Famous Peru Asia fusion kitchen
Asian-Peruvian fusion cuisine has become increasingly popular in recent years. This culinary trend is a result of the historical and cultural interactions between Peru and Japan.
During the late 1800s and early 1900s, Peru experienced an influx of Japanese immigrants who came to work on the country's plantations. These immigrants brought with them their own cuisine, which eventually became integrated into Peruvian culinary culture.
Over time, a fusion of Japanese and Peruvian cuisine emerged, with Peruvian ingredients and cooking techniques being combined with Japanese flavors and techniques. This unique blend of cuisines has resulted in dishes like tiradito, a Peruvian take on sashimi, and ceviche de pulpo, which incorporates octopus and Peruvian chilies. Besides the Peruvian Japanese fusion, you'll also find Chinese influence. Mostly recognized in the Chaufa.
What is Chaufa?
Chaufa is a popular Peruvian dish that is a fusion of Chinese and Peruvian cuisine. It is a type of fried rice that typically includes a mix of vegetables, meat, and soy sauce. The dish is believed to have originated in Peru's Chinatown, where Chinese immigrants settled in the early 20th century. Chaufa is served as a main course in restaurants or as street food. It is also commonly served alongside other Chinese-Peruvian dishes, such as lomo saltado and tallarines saltados.
Chaufa can be made with a variety of meats, including chicken, pork, and beef, and can also include seafood such as shrimp. The dish is usually cooked with garlic, ginger, onions, and a mix of soy sauce and oyster sauce.
In addition to the traditional meat and vegetable version, there are also many variations of chaufa that use different ingredients. For example, arroz chaufa de mariscos includes a mix of seafood such as shrimp, calamari, and octopus, while arroz chaufa vegetariano uses tofu and vegetables as the main ingredients.
Where can I eat Chaufa in Lima?
Originated from the popular dish, the so called Chaufas are usually small street food like places that offer decent Peruvian Chinese food. There are over hundreds Chaufas in Lima. Some of the most renown are found in the Barrio Chino (China Town) or on the food market of Surquillo, where you can find a variety of street food vendors and small restaurants serving Chaufa and other Peruvian dishes.
From theory to practice: take part in Food Walking Tours and Courses
Best Sushi in Lima
As you can imagine, the above-mentioned Japanese influence in the Peruvian cuisine led to excellent Sushi creations all around the city. Here are our top 3 Sushi restaurants in Lima.
Edo Sushi Bar Miraflores
A really welcoming and well-designed ambient, with great and attentive service expects you at the Edo Sushi Bar Miraflores. You'll be eating from a thoughtful assembled menu offering a selection of great sea-food sushi and soups. They have an open kitchen, so you can see how your dish is prepared. This is the right Sushi restaurant for you if you do not only want to have great taste but also a marvelous ambient.
Pure focus on great Sushi. It's no fancy place, and quite affordable with all-you-can-eat offerings. But in our opinion, simply the best Sushi in Lima (and probably beyond!). Our personal highlight: the asado roll, which combines traditional sushi with Peruvian Barbecue. Just tasty!
Some of the best Sushi and Nikkei dishes in town. The Poke 51 is also great for vegetarian or vegan meals and highly recommended!
Restaurants with (live) music in Lima
Located in an old colonial-style beautiful building, the Ayahuasca serves great long drinks and cocktails along delicious Peruvian Snacks. Enjoy a Pisco Sour together with delicious snacks and Spanish rhythms. Make sure to not arrive too late, as the Ayahuasca usually can get crowded around 8 pm. It's near to the Puente de los Suspiros.
Usually recommended restaurant: Gran Hotel Bolívar
We read a lot about the food (and to be honest also the Pisco Sour) in the Hotel Bolívar. Although the Hotel offers great architecture, we cannot specifically recommend the restaurant and bar of the venue. Don't get me wrong - the Pisco Sour and Peruvian Cuisine is not bad, but definitely not top of the list. The same goes for the restaurant's ambient, that certainly has seen its best days long before. Impressive, nonetheless, is the cupola, lounge and hallway of the Hotel Bolívar.
What for desert?
The tiny Café Les Gourmands Pastelería Francesa right in the heart of Lima's touristic quarter Miraflores is the best decision for a quick stop with delicious coffee, fresh juice and deserts delivered directly out of heaven. What a guilty pleasure!
Best local fast food places in Lima
Best sandwiches in town:
At the Parque John F. Kennedy you'll find the original La Lucha Sangucheria Criolla. Hard to miss as it tends to be crowded all around the clock. No wonder, with those sandwiches and fries. Look forward to a selection of delicious meat sandwiches combined with Peruvian sauces and to-point-heavy-fries. There are more branches of La Lucha throughout Lima, which all serve the same great food. This one was the first one though.
As the name suggest: every day you are offered a different soup of the day. If you're looking for something else, then soup the extensive menu certainly offers you what you're looking for. From meat to pasta and classic dishes of the Peruvian Kitchen, Siete Sopas has you covered.