While you’re likely in Peru for an unforgettable adventure that likely includes the iconic sight of Machu Picchu, immersing yourself in the unique mix of indigenous and colonial culture and heritage, it’s worth nothing that it’s also an eater’s paradise. In this remarkably diverse country, there’s no end to the good food you can enjoy, from traditional ceviches to Japanese-Peruvian cuisine and even experimental haute cuisine.
Some of the best restaurants in the world can be found in Lima, and these are no exception. In fact, Maido, Astrid y Gaston and Central are three of the top 50 restaurants in the world.
Maido is the brainchild of chef Mitsuharu Tsumura, a Peruvian-born Japanese who is paving the way for nikkei cuisine, a combination of Japanese and Peruvian ingredients and techniques. This year ranked at #8 out of 50 in the world, it’s an elegant room where the best of both countries meet on the plate and on the palate. Check out the sushi bar as well!
Named for its two owners, Gaston Acurio and Astrid Gutsche, this elegant restaurant has been around for twenty years, initially as a French restaurant, but has recently evolved into showcasing the best of Peruvian food. A few years ago, they relocated to a restored 17thC hacienda. Dine in palatial and modern comfort while taking in Peruvian cuisine with a twist.
Another top restaurant, Central organizes its tasting menus by an intriguing creative concept: elevation. As Peru is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world, with a wealth of local (and indigenous-grown) products, chef Virgilio Martinez and his team have prepared a menu that takes you from the rocky shores to the highest peaks of the Andes. Unforgettable!
This top-rated restaurant will whisk you away on a culinary trip straight to the heart of the Amazon. Using over 100 rare ingredients found only in the rainforest, you’ll have an opportunity to taste sophisticated, artistically plated cuisine with flavours and items you’ll almost certainly have never encountered before. Chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino regularly travels on expeditions around the country to source new ingredients to inspire his dishes.
The Sacred Valley
Paca Paca and El Huacatay (below) are fab for Peruvian/Andean flavors with a modern twist. Unlike some of the other restaurants in the Sacred Valley, they are standalone (and not located within hotels). Paca Paca is small and cozy, situated in an old house for a rustic and casual atmosphere. Featuring Peruvian flavours and even pizza, it’s an option that is also suitable for those travelling with kids.
El Huacatay is one of my favourites, with good drinks and mixes, a great outdoor setting amongst the flowers and plants, as well as nice seating along a plaza. The food is truly delicious, especially the seafood!
These next two options are both situated by the Sol y Luna hotel. Wayra is a great restaurant, but the best part about it is that there’s a traditional Peruvian horse show prior to dinner, which really gets you in the mood for Peruvian cuisine!
Also at the hotel, you will find KillaWasi, with excellent food and flavours on the other side of the property. With a more relaxed vibe and an incredible bar, you’ll be getting some of the best organically sourced and local produce from the region.
Located on the second floor of a colonial house in Cusco, this is a B&R go-to. With great seafood and an amazing atmosphere, it’s flexible for however you want to dine. You can sit at the bar or in the restaurant itself, and nibble tapas-style or a la carte on top quality food. Très cool!
The sister restaurant to Cicciolina, Bacco gives you an opportunity to enjoy Peruvian food in a more informal setting. It’s a little more rustic and earthy, intimate setting. It’s also an option that’s great for kids.
Just off a private square next to Museo de Arte Precolombino, this is yet another favourite of the B&R crew! It’s an excellent option for lunch, with fabulous dishes, flavours and textures. Every plate is photo-worthy…and remember to leave room for their wonderful desserts!
Overlooking Cusco’s picturesque main plaza, you will find fantastic sushi and a great pisco bar here. Admire the view from their second floor perch. The ceviche is equally fresh, and the small plates are simply excellent.
Looking for something different? Kion lends an Asian flair to Peruvian traditional food for something unique. Dim sum options, rice dishes and other plates are worth a try.
A new restaurant in Cusco, with a casual outdoor space, the quirky chalkboard menu is written with the chef’s daily suggestions. For a fun and informal atmosphere, come here! Occasionally, you might be surprised by a live Peruvian band playing traditional music for a treat.