In 2010 the Karikuy volunteers and myself made it a habit of trying to find the tastiest food in Lima, Peru and around the country. We would check out recommendations by taxi drivers, chefs and people from all walks of life to find the gems of South America’s culinary capital and beyond. The following list is made up of our favorite places to eat, these are the restaurants we constantly came back to, as well as some that we found during our travels around the country.
This hidden gem is a cevicheria only known to the local population, it was introduced to me by family members and you won’t find it any of the guide books. They have the best Ceviche in Lima (in our opinion) and their restaurant, located in a quiet neighborhood, is always packed for lunch. On the weekends it can even be hard to find a seat in any of it’s 5 floors of dining space, truly incredible. So incredible in fact that we are keeping this one a secret for locals only. To visit Papos you’ll either have to take part in the Karikuy Volunteer Program or book a City Tour of Lima with Karikuy, either way you will not be disappointed. Some of our favorite dishes include the Ceviche Mixto and the Tacu Tacu that is served only on weekends and holidays.
If you are a sushi and seafood lover then this place is for you. For about $12 you can have all you can eat sushi rolls. The restaurant itself is large and airy and reminds you of a cafeteria but the food quickly sets it apart from any other dining experience. Remember to order the “barra libre” and your waiter will be quick to point out which part of the menu you can order rolls from as there are many types to choose from. You will be served 10 rolls of a specific type of your choosing per person, some of the rolls include a fusion of Peruvian inspired rolls like the Huancaina roll or the Lomo Saltado. Some of our favorites are the Huancaina roll, the Tempura Roll, Crispy Roll and the Tutti Fruti roll.
Av. Paseo del Bosque 529, San Borja
Mon – Sun, 12:30 – 4pm, 7pm – 11pm. Open late on weekends.
Without a doubt the best Cantonese food outside of China. Located in the heart of Lima’s China Town, Wa Lok is a revelation, truly great food that leaves you eager just waiting for your dish to be served. Some dishes to try are the dumplings and spring rolls as well as the Arroz Chaufa, their specialty however is their roasted duck and dim sum. We advise that you visit Wa Lok during the day or with a guide in the evening as it is located in the Central Market where you have to walk in. Once inside however you won’t want to leave, and yes they serve big portions so it’s best to visit on an empty stomach.
Jr. Paruro 864-878, Cercado de Lima
Mon – Sun, 9am – 10pm, closes early on Sunday
One of the best restaurants in the Imperial City. A Peruvian restaurant with Mediterranean influences, great flavors and proffesional service.
Calle Triunfo 393, 2nd Floor
Tel. 084-239510 for reservations
Mon – Sun, 8am to 10:30pm
One of the great restaurants from up and coming chef Coque Ossio. High quality cuisine and a very pleasant dining experience.
Santa Catalina Angosta 135
Mon – Sun, 10:30am to 11:00pm
The place to eat Guinea Pig, Corns, Rocotos, soups etc. Cusco’s eternal kitchen. Lunch only.
Mon – Sun, 12pm to 3:00pm
Hans Hilburg is an artist of al dimensions. His drinks made from Pisco have spread to all the most popular bars throughout Peru. His bar in Cusco has given Hans a laboratory in which to showcase the finest of his pisco cocktails to the world. A visit here is a must on any travelers to do list.
Santa Teresa 344, Plaza del Regocijo
Mon – Sun, 6pm to 12:00am
SOL DE MAYO
The grand restaurant of Arequipa. Decades perfecting the regional gourmet of Arequipa. Try the fried Shrimp and soups, a dish for every craving.
Jerusalen 207, Yanahuara
Mon – Sun, 11am to 7:00pm
LA NUEVA PALOMINO
Located in a beautiful neighborhood in Arequipa and owned by a beautiful lady as well, this restaurant is a jewel in itself. Known to be the best Picanteria (Spicy Food) in Arequipa, it honors its category and concept of Arequipeñan food. A must visit if you want to eat a great Rocotto Relleno (Stuffed Chili Pepper) or any of the other hot and spicy dishes of Arequipa.
Pasaje Leoncio Prado 122, Yanahuara
Mon – Sun, 12pm to 5:30pm
That’s all for now, I am sure in 2011 we will be visiting more locations in Lima and througout Peru. Subscribe to the blog to get restaurant reviews and recipes when they are posted by our volunteers. If your interested in our volunteer program then please visit www.karikuy.org/volunteer