Lima’s food scene is an eclectic fusion of cultures, mixing Andean ingredients with Asian influence from nineteenth century Chinese settlers. When you’re mapping out your Peru itinerary, plan to spend plenty of exploring the city’s gastronomical scene. Oh, and expect to gain a few pounds, or a tighter waistband, too. It’s worth it!
The eclectic Food Scene in Lima Peru
When people think of taking a trip to Peru, Machu Picchu is probably what comes to mind first. Or hiking in the north, or a trip to the Amazon, or lazy beach days on the Pacific coast. Lima gets overlooked, or just used as a stopover to get to the more popular tourist spots. But did you know that Lima hosts three of the world’s top fifty restaurants? That’s an accolade that not many other cities can boast. You can easily lose time in Lima wandering around on a self-guided food tour, drinking Peruvian coffee, eating ceviche and sipping on early afternoon pisco sours in the sun. The sky is the limit. So let me narrow it down for you.
Here are my favourite places to eat in Lima, Peru.
Astrid y Gaston
Let’s start with one of the best restaurants Lima has to offer. Along with Central and Maido, Astrid y Gaston makes it on to the coveted World’s Top 50 Restaurant list. Their uniqueness stems from their focus on fresh, Andean ingredients like avocado, chilli, beans and corn. They also serve some pretty unusual meats – like cuy, which is guinea pig meat!
The setting is absolutely stunning, in a seventeenth century old house steeped in grandeur. Inside, there’s high ceilings, white decor but an open and modern kitchen so you can see exactly what’s going on inside.
If you want to sample some of everything on offer, the tasting menu is a great way to do this. Wine pairings are available too, or you can choose yourself from the impressive wine selection.
A visit here is an absolute treat, and should be on every foodie’s list for Lima.
Bao! – the funky restaurant-cum-bar’s name is actually punctuated with an exclamation point, I’m not just overexcited to tell you about it – is fantastic for fresh, fast but delicious food. It’s located on Calle Manuel Bonilla in the hipster Miraflores area, which is where you’ll find a host of craft breweries and funky bars.
They serve delicious food with an Asian influence, with soft fresh baos (how did you guess?) and rice bowls filled with veggies, falafel, or juicy mushrooms. Their iced tea is super refreshing and perfect to wash it all down.
Nuevo Mundo Bar Miraflores
Did I mention that right next door to Bao, you’ll find one of those amazing local breweries? Nuevo Mundo Cerveceria is the perfect place for trying out their home-brewed, quirky craft beers. You can choose your beer based on alcohol percentage, international bitterness units (IBU) – or just ask the bartender for a recommendation! And with over ten beers on tap everyday, and even more in bottles, you won’t be stuck for choice.
If you’re really into the beer scene, you can take brewery tours on Friday evenings, which includes tasting of different beers as well as seeing the process.
If you’re not much into drinks, don’t worry – Nuevo Mundo also serves great food. Think proper pub grub, with big juicy burgers and crispy chips. Here’s where you’ll find the local suits on Thursday and Friday evenings for their post-work treat meal, washing it down with a beer.
Lima’s right on the Pacific coast, so it must have good seafood, right? Well, it’s famous for its fresh, zingy ceviche and there’s no better place to go to try this local delight than Punto Azul. You can choose from the classic, which has one type of freshly caught fish soaked in ‘tiger milk’, a marinade made from lime juice, pepper, salt and chilli. It’s garnished with plenty of coriander and has huge pieces of yellow corn and earthy sweet potato on the side. Or, get the mixto, which is a mixed fish ceviche with white fish and shellfish. They also serve incredible pisco sours, the classic Peruvian cocktail, made using their local liquor – pisco – mixed with egg white, lime juice and sugar.
La Lucha Sangucheria is the ideal spot in Lima for a quick, tasty bite. It’s perfect for lunch on the go, and you’ll find a few of them dotted around the city (it reminded us of the food in Mexico City). My favourite’s at Kennedy park, with an outdoor terrace that’s great for people watching while you eat your sandwich. Make sure to try the lomo sandwich, which is a freshly baked ciabatta roll filled with Peru’s classic pork, roasted and pulled so that it’ll melt in your mouth. It’s also got sweet potato inside, and cheese and onions. What more do you need? A juice, that’s what you need. Wash it down with one of their licuados, a huge blended juice with fruit that’s so fresh and juicy, you’ll be back for more of these. The mangoes in Lima are delicious, and this translates to amazing mango licuados at La Lucha. Enjoy!
Those are my favourite places to eat in Lima. I’ve tried to include a mix of fine dining, quick lunch stops, causal dinners, local classics and great drinks. You definitely won’t be stuck to find somewhere delicious and unique to eat in Lima. Let me know in the comments if you’re inspired to visit any of these restaurants on your trip to Lima!
Author: Roz from Irish Nomads
Roz is an Irish engineer-turned-backpacker. She’s fascinated by new destinations, food and drinks. Discovering cuisines is one of her favourite aspects of travel. Exploring nature is her other travel highlight and she hikes, bikes, swims and scuba dives. Find her on a mountain or at the nearest bar. Follow Roz’s blog at Irish Nomads and on Facebook at IrishNomads and on Instagram at IrishNomads.
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