TEN OF PERU'S BEST RESTAURANTS
Peru is a gastronomic paradise...the food and restaurants just seem to get better and better every year. On our Peru itineraries we make sure you get to eat at some of the best the country has to offer. Each region, the coast, mountains and jungle has its own distinct cuisine and the best restaurants fuse it into culinary creations that are truly unique. We are not going to number these, as rating from one to ten would be impossible! Just know that they are all excellent!
Rated the 4th best restaurant in the world, Central is considered not only the best restaurant in Lima and Peru, but in all of Latin America. The menu is arranged "vertically" so the food come from the diverse and numerous altitudes found in Peru. The results are nothing less than spectacular. Dishes include rare ingredients such ascushuro, a bacteria found in the mountains after a rainstorm, freeze-dried tubers and magenta colored cacti. Here is a link to Central's website: http://centralrestaurante.com.pe/en/
Peru is famous for it's cebiches and few can argue that the purest and one of the most delicious is served up at Picanteria in Surquillo, a working class neighborhood of Lima. Common tables line the main dining room and a counter is overflowing with fresh fish. You pick your fish and ask them to prepare it in a plethora of possibilities: Cebiche? Sudado(a fish stew)? Tiradito? Or try all 3, the fish are usually big enough to divide them up! Picanteria is one of the restaurants we will be eating at on our Sacred Valley itinerary. http://www.picanteriasdelperu.com/
Northern Peru has its own distinct cuisine revolving around seafood and hearty meats such as goat and duck. Fiesta is a restaurant that caters to that palette and its reputation as one of the best kitchens in the country is well deserved. Arroz con Pato (Rice with Duck) and Seco de Cabrito (Goat Stew) are two traditional dishes that are best served with a hearty Malbec and an extra plate. The portions at Fiesta are extremely generous. http://www.restaurantfiestagourmet.com/restaurante.html
ASTRID Y GASTON
Perhaps Peru's most famous eating establishment, Gaston Acurio is a legendary chef and is credited with bringing Peruvian cuisine around the world. His restaurant, rated the 14th best in the world, is keeping the tradition alive in Lima. Twists on classics, like apple ceviche, dominate the eclectic menu. If the restaurant is full the bar is a good choice where perhaps the best Pisco Sour in Peru is made. http://en.astridygaston.com/
Always one of my favorites and for me, the best cevicheria in the city along with Picanteria. Unlike the latter, Mercado is more about fusion of disparate flavors, blending them into what can only be called one of a kind dishes. The best cuts of fish, always. Cachete de Mero, a dish that uses just the cheek meat of the Mero fish is perhaps the best item on the menu. Sublime and full of flavor, it will just get you warmed up to try their incredible Causas, chilled yellow potato bites adorned with peppers, crab meat, octopus and a host of other possibilities. http://www.rafaelosterling.pe/en/el-mercado.html
Wow, this list is making me crazy. Just when I think we have reached the apex we hit new heights. Osaka is a blend of cusines, Japanese and Peruvian, that is surprisingly quite common in this country. It is a true representation of the best seafood along the Pacific Rim. Traditional Peruvian recipes are given a Japanese treatment, like Wasabi Cebiche. A perennial favorite. http://osaka.com.pe/
Another great example of Peruvian fusion. This wonderful restaurant however, blends ingredients from the Amazon with coastal cooking and spices. The result is tropical dishes that taste like nothing you have had before. Passion Fruit blending with seafood, rare Amazonian herbs coupled with fish and meats, the combinations are enticing and unique. How about scallops bathed in camu camu sauce? Only at Amaz. http://www.amaz.com.pe/
We are now in Cusco at one of the colonial city's most atmospheric and best restaurant. Cicciolina specializes in tapas, Peruvian tapas. They get their herbs and produce fresh from the Sacred Valley of the Inca and fuse it with duck, chicken and veggie dishes. Located on the second floor of an old colonial home the rustic yet elegant atmosphere is perfect for Cusco. The wine list is extensive and the dishes incredible. This is one of our go to restaurants on all our Cusco itineraries. http://www.cicciolinacuzco.com/english/cicciolina_restaurant.html
EL PARADOR DE MORAY
Hard to beat this location. This restaurant is located next to ancient Incan ruins south of Cusco in a seldom visited area of the Sacred Valley. We will be taking our guests to this incredible archaeological zone on our Sacred Valley itinerary. Quinoa Taboulleh, trout ceviche and refreshing local drinks made with locally sourced ingredients are just part of the allure of the Parador. A perfect place to take a break for lunch during an expedition. http://www.cuscorestaurants.com/el-parador/
Another gem in Cusco, which is rapidly becoming the second culinary capital after Lima. (Sorry Arequipa!) Is this the best comfort food in Peru? Many say yes. Distinct flavors on familiar dishes are the call at Baco. That, and an extensive wine list. Fresh cheeses, Peruvian olives, grilled lamb pizza, saltado de salchicha...the list is sure to please everyone. Widely considered as one of the best restaurants in Cusco.