Our Restaurant Tips Peru

Get ready to enter Peru’s culinary world. You want to try Peruvian gastronomy, but don’t know what restaurant to go to? Because of the wide variety of options throughout the country, we made a list with our restaurant tips that will help you find the right place.

We have divided our recommendations into the different destinations and in each destination, we also give you options where to eat vegetarian and/or vegan. Besides, there’s the cool app Happy Cow that finds all the vega(n) places where you are! Please also check out our complete culinary guide and see here how many culinary tours and activities we offer.

Treat yourself to a unique and tasty dish in one of Peru’s restaurants. ¡Buen provecho!

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Restaurant tips Lima

Lima is the culinary capital of Latin America. This gastronomic hub houses a few of the fifty best restaurants of the world and 2 restaurants are in the top 10 of this same ranking! Even aside from these top-notch places, Lima is a foodie paradise. These are our favorite restaurant tips Lima, divided per district:

Barranco

  • Central: the No. 1 of the world, a culinary journey through Peru. Here you really have to go for the tasting menu: you’d be savouring Virgilio’s lifework. It’s expensive, but it’s worth it. Make sure to reserve in time!
  • Kjolle: “Central’s sister” peaks at No. 28 of the world. It’s Pía León who zeros in on Peru’s vibrant pantry and lets her gastronomic instincts run wild. In 2021 she took home the trophy for The World’s Best Female Chef.
  • Mérito unites the cuisines of Venezuela and Peru. It is a favorite of foodies across the city. Try to get a table on the first floor where you can see right into the kitchen! You won’t be disappointed.
  • Germinando Vida has vegan and vegetarian options from our Criolla cuisine. Alejandro, our director, and his daughters especially love the mushroom “causa”; it’s delicious!
  • Isolina is a very nice inn with a taberna-like appearance where you can enjoy Creole tapas or meals. High quality at great prices: worth a visit especially if you’re in Barranco!
  • Canta Rana has been a popular local restaurant in Barranco for 30 years, offering a wide range of Peruvian seafood classics with generous portions. While the menu covers traditional dishes, there are also innovative options like squid ink pasta with prawns and tiradito topped with avocado or cured tuna. The walls of the restaurant are adorned with football memorabilia and photos of the Argentinian owner with friends, adding to the vibrant atmosphere.
  • La Bodega Verde is an alternative spot with a nice garden and healthy cuisine, located at the “Puente de los Suspiros”. Not expensive at all, just fine when you don’t fancy the fancy places. 
  • Don’t forget to get a great coffee or hot cup of Peruvian chocolate at El Cacaotal (especially if you’d like to know more (or everything!) about coffee and/or cacao), Singular (a nice café in a quiet spot with a cosy terrace) or Dédalo, which is a craft store with a courtyard in the back with a nice cafetière.

Miraflores

  • Maido: the No. 6 of the world and the best restaurant for Nikkei cuisine: the fusion between Peruvian and Japanese. Tingling, sensory, unique. You can eat à la carte here but we recommend the tasting menu. 
  • Mayta: this year within the top 50 (No. 47) and for a good reason! Each plate is a work of art, with a focus on Peruvian ingredients and with great attention to sustainability. 
  • If you go to the street called La Mar, you’ll have several amazing restaurants at your disposal, like Mayta (upper level gourmet; mentioned above), Pescados Capitales (more casual, high quality seafood), cebichería La Mar (one of the best ceviche restaurants of the city) or El Pan de la Chola (a unique combination of restaurant, café and bakery with amazing sandwiches, pizzas and other oven meals). Also worth mentioning: Statera Bistró (formerly known as Plant Food & Wine). Not completely vegan anymore, they now offer a variety of dishes, all carefully presented and beautifully presented. The vegan options are few, but oh so delicious.
  • Our favorite plant-based restaurant in Miraflores is Seitan Urban Bistro. A feast for any fan of Peruvian dishes, really, because they know how to prepare those unique flavors, without having to use any of the animal ingredients. Why not try your lomo saltado here?
  • La Rosa Náutica: One of Lima’s most well-known upscale restaurants, famous for its spectacular location on a wooden pier jutting out into the Pacific ocean. Not noted for exceptional food, however, which pales in comparison to other gourmet restaurants in the city.

San Isidro

  • Cosme is a cool and sustainable restaurant concept in San Isidro. The whole restaurant breathes love for Peruvian food, nature and people. They serve varied modern Peruvian dishes.
  • Astrid y Gastón: This world-renowned establishment by Chef Gastón Acurio offers a tasting menu with over 20 courses, providing a memorable fine dining experience.
  • Shizen is a casual establishment renowned for serving excellent Nikkei cuisine.
  • Quinoa Café is a vegetarian-friendly restaurant with a variety of sandwiches, wraps, salads, soups, and more, using natural Peruvian ingredients and nutritious recipes. They have different locations across San Isidro (and one in Miraflores, too).
  • Nanka: At this vegetarian-friendly restaurant, you’ll find organic fusion dishes and sustainable food options. Nanka beautifully combines high-end decor with eco-friendly choices.
  • Limaná, the first certified sustainable restaurant in Peru, offers an inclusive menu catering to dietary intolerances such as gluten or lactose. While not exclusively vegan, it provides options for those who prefer this diet. The only meat served is fish due to their belief in its health benefits and commitment to reducing animal sacrifice. Despite being located on a busy avenue, Limaná boasts a calm and elegant environment, unaffected by traffic noise. In collaboration with Sol y Luna, it also supports fundraising efforts to provide meals for school children.

Lima airport

At the airport of Lima (before customs, near the post office) we recommend to go to Pikeos, a nice place where you can spend some time and eat. But also Tanta has an restaurant here (in the departure hall, before crossing customs) and La Bonbonniere is a very good option, too (located behind customs at gate 20). Would you like to enjoy Peruvian gastronomy one last time before you leave the country?

Fun size Causa rellena beautifully decorated - RESPONSible Travel Peru
Causa rellena is a classic and typical dish you should not miss

Restaurant tips Sur Chico

This coastal, desert-like area south of Lima doesn’t have the same offer as in the capital, of course, but nevertheless there are a few options where you can have a good meal. The most visited destinations in this part of Peru are Paracas and Nazca. Check out our restaurant tips Sur Chico:

Paracas

Paracas is a small coastal town that has his own maritime atmosphere. Many of the restaurants are located within walking distance from your hotel and situated at of near the boardwalk (boulevard) alongside the bay.

  • La Muña is a great option, situated on the boardwalk and overlooking the Paracas bay. Soft background music, friendly staff and several tasty dishes for your lunch and dinner.
  • Fresco Open Kitchen is probably your best option in the Paracas bay. A restaurant that lives up to its name. Very recommendable.
  • For a top lunch with beautiful sea views do try Chalana. It’s almost like eating out on sea!
  • When in the mood for a romantic dinner, you could consider Restaurante Ballestas, located within the Marriott Hotel.
  • If you prefer to have pizza or a burger in a surf-Jamaican vibe-setting, Waiki Pizza & Bar is your best bet. Its atmosphere is entertaining.
  • The same goes for Kokopelli: it’s a hostel, but everybody’s welcome to have a drink or some (pub)food in their restaurant.

The above restaurants all offer vegetarian (and sometimes even vegan) options, too!

Nazca

Here you are in the middle of the desert, but you’ll still have a few options to choose from. With having one main street ending at the main square (Plaza de Armas) all restaurants are located near each other.

  • Mamashana: Peruvian dishes in a nice, comfortable setting.
  • La Kasa Rustika: See if there’s a table available on the top floor overlooking the main street. Enjoy your meal while looking at the people passing by.
  • La Catedral on the Plaza de las Armas is a nice spot for a good cup of coffee, a fresh juice and small bites like sandwiches and options for the sweet tooth among us.
  • La Estación is one of those typical Peruvian meat restaurants, but their terrace on the second floor is a great spot for sipping coffee or a cocktail whilst overlooking the lively Plaza de Armas.

Restaurant tips Arequipa

The “White City” has a lot to offer, also on the culinary side. The city’s many picanterías, traditional eateries, serve as a testament to Arequipa’s commitment to preserving age-old cooking techniques and recipes. Its use of locally sourced ingredients not only helps to sustain local farming communities but also reduces the carbon footprint associated with transporting food. But it’s not just traditional dishes that make Arequipa’s gastronomy stand out; the city is also home to modern and fusion cuisines, where talented chefs creatively blend local flavors with international techniques. We would really want to recommend these restaurant tips Arequipa:

  • ZigZag for excellent food and a cozy place. It is recommended to make a reservation, especially during high season and in the weekends.
  • Zíngaro for local meals and excellent Pisco Sour and wines.
  • La Capitanapicantería: Arequipa is the ideal place in the country to visit one of these traditional restaurants and La Capitana is one of the best.
  • Another picantería is La Mundial. More than 95 years serving huge portions of delicious Arequipeño food ensures that you will get the best the area has to offer.
  • OK, one more picantería then: La Nueva Palomno is considered by many locals to be the best of Arequipa’s picanterias, although a little touristy. It can get a bit loud on the weekends but this is the place to go for local flavor in both food and ambiance.
  • 13 Monjas: original, tasty plates. There’s indoor seating and you’ll immediately like the atmosphere, but they also have a lovely terrace to enjoy people passing by.
  • Chicha and Tanta: both founded and run by one of Peru’s most famous chefs, Gastón Acurio. You go here for gastronomic supremacy.
    • Chicha and Tanta can be found in more Peruvian cities and Tanta even has restaurants outside of Peru.
  • Crepísimo – for the best crêpes in town! A fun place and not expensive. Tip: ask for dices!
  • Vegetarian & vegan restaurant Omphalos for an economic, tasty lunch on their patio!
  • La Lucha, a sanguechería criolla with tasty, juicy and fresh products. Here you find traditional recipes for sandwiches (sangueches) and they serve the best fries in Peru (did you know the potato is a native Peruvian crop?).
    • La Lucha can also be found in Lima (different locations) and in Trujillo and it even has restaurants outside of Peru.
  • For a nice cup of coffee, craft beer or chocolate sweets go to Café Chaqchao, a bean-to-bar organic artisanal chocolate company. For the same reason you could also opt for Kaffeehaus.
Stuffed rocoto is very appreciated in the traditional cuisine of Arequipa | Responsible Travel Peru
Stuffed rocoto is very appreciated in the traditional cuisine of Arequipa

Restaurant tips Puno

Puno’s food is mostly prepared in wood ovens and clay pots. Many of its dishes are native to the area and others have been influenced by its Bolivian neighbors. Most people spend a night or two in the city of Puno. While it does not have a typical bustling atmosphere and loads of great restaurant options, like in Cusco for example, we can still recommend you a couple. So, where best to eat in Puno? Try out our restaurant tips Puno:

  • Restaurant Mojsa is the best known restaurant in Puno for visitors. Although you will only find fellow travelers eating here, it has several options (with French influences) and its location is very central, close to the main square.
  • Loving Hut Vegan for delicious vegan food with a lot of quinoa (healthy!). Please note: closed on Sunday.
  • Cafe Bar de la Casa del Corregidor for tasty food in a nice ambiance. The restaurant has a sunny patio, but be careful when in the sun: it’s very strong at these altitudes!

Restaurant tips Cusco

Everybody passes through Cusco on their way to Machu Picchu. For the ones who have some time, it’s recommended to stay here for a while. Not just because it’s Peru’s most beautiful city, but also because there’s a wide variety of great restaurants. With so many options, we share with you our favorite restaurant tips Cusco:

  • A must-go in Cusco is Mamá Seledonia: from Selia, her husband Johan and kids Gonzalo, Merel and Matias. Selia is an excellent chef and her Picante de Alpaca and Pollo Novoandino are unique recipes, but everything on her menu is delicious. A family place, quite basic but you really feel at home. Give her the warmest greetings from us!
  • The Crêperie La Bohème is from a great French artist and it is one of our favorite places in Cusco. It’s always nice and warm here, they offer a large choice of incredibly tasty crêpes with original ingredients / combinations and that for excellent prices: they have never disappointed.
  • La Bodega 138: delicious and original pizzas with typical Peruvian ingredients, very cozy, good salads etc. Casual, trendy atmosphere. And: all Peruvian artesanal beers are available there!
  • Go to Nuna Raymi for “zero-Km” options (a product can be called zero-km when it has traveled less than 100 km, and it’s produced ecologically and organically), a nice atmosphere and delicious Peruvian food. Not too expensive either and just a great way to eat something that hasn’t traveled far.
  • At Cicciolina’s you will find very good Peruvian cuisine and a wide selection of wines. They also have separate Cicciolina’s Café, for a (late) breakfast, brunch/lunch or just a coffee.
  • Green Point: plant-based cuisine. Whether you want to have brunch, a cocktail, snacks or a complete dining experience, everything they serve is vegan. Fantastic atmosphere, covered garden.
  • When eating at Organika, we especially recommend the cozy outside area. Here, you can savour beautifully decorated tasty meals made of organic ingredients from the Sacred Valley.

Cusco Restaurants

Cusco Restaurants offer a variety of restaurants in Cusco, all with typical Peruvian dishes, each and one of them with a nice little twist, like some fusions for instance. The ones we recommend the most:

  • LIMO on the Plaza de Armas. For good typical dishes but also excellent sushi and international dishes. Book a table in advance on the closed balcony with a view over the beautiful main square! Moreover, a good place to taste delicious cocktails.
  • Pachapapa with its big terrace offers quality food in a cozy atmosphere. If you want to try guinea pig, this is your place to be!

Out of Cusco

Worth mentioning is MIL. Located near the Moray archaeological site and a 90-minute drive away from Cusco. This other “sister of Central” is not an economic option, but if you’re in for a culinary journey, this MIL Immersion (with guided stops at farmlands and a botanical route included) is THE gastronomic experience you are looking for in the Cusco area.

Absolutely stunning arrangement of Peruvian potatoes, herbs, grains and sauces | RESPONSible Travel Peru
Absolutely stunning arrangement of Peruvian potatoes, herbs, grains and sauces

Restaurant tips Sacred Valley

This valley is not just sacred, it contains the most important crops the Peruvians use for their meals. There are several places within the valley that should not be missed when passing through. Please consider our restaurant tips Sacred Valley when feeling hungry:

Calca

  • If you start your day in Pisac and you can’t wait until lunch later on in the valley, you could opt for a coffee and one of the delicious cakes in Calca. In the very cosy Ritual Café Cultural you will sure enjoy your little break. Or, if you are ready for (an early) lunch choose a complete (vegetarian) meal at colorful Kawsaytika (with a small garden).

Lamay

  • La Base Lamay: their charming cafe-bar located in the main plaza of Lamay offers healthy and tasty food. Here you can interact with the local people; don’t forget to check out what other experiences they have to offer!

Urubamba

  • Enjoy an original lunch in one of the best options of the region: El Huacatay. Great for lunch, so you can sit in their garden.
  • Are you looking for a bit more space, lots of green around and lots of vegetarian options? Then choose for Ama.
  • Pakakuna is one of those typical hidden gems, not touristy at all, a bit of a hippie place for the Peruvians and foreigners that life in the surroundings. Nevertheless, a lovely place! You can even put together your own pizza.

Ollantaytambo

Would like to know where you can enjoy a coffee or dine in this nice village? These are our special tips:

  • Have a coffee or a complete dinner at El Albergue Restaurant at the train station: delicious and organic food in a beautiful setting.
  • Have lunch or dinner at Chuncho restaurant at the main square: amazing organic food and everything is “Kilómetro Cero” which means only local produce. Very inspiring place.
  • Don’t forget to check out A L Q A: apart from being a “Gallery of Andean Expressions” with a shop where they sell wonderful local craftswork, they have a lovely outside area (or indoor seating) for your afternoon coffee moment or a full meal. Their restaurant serves not just any food, a good way to describe it, is as they themselves do: “a culinary vision as a tribute to the Andean farmer and to the pre-Hispanic nutritional concepts and practices.”

Restaurant tips Aguas Calientes

The best dining here is offered in the restaurants Ayasqa or the all-time favorite Indio Feliz. Our tip for a delicious and organic lunch in Aguas Calientes is Green House.

Once on the Machu Picchu site, it is not possible to buy any food there. Our advice is to buy some sandwiches and/or some tasty sweets at La Boulangerie de Paris in Aguas Calientes, or ask us/your hotel about the options for a boxed lunch.

Northern Peru

Restaurant tips Trujillo

Let’s find out what the Ruta Moche has to offer! Let’s start in Trujillo. First on the list is Squalo’s, a haven for seafood enthusiasts. Next, let’s talk about Big Ben Huanchaco. This dining spot on the coast of Trujillo not only offers a feast for your taste buds but also for your eyes, with a view that captures the northern coastline and its iconic “caballitos de Totora”. Last but certainly not least, Restaurante Mococho, also located in Huanchaco, takes marine cuisine to a whole new level. Using locally-sourced ingredients and the freshest catch of the day, they craft unique dishes, turning each plate into a work of culinary art.

Restaurant tips Chiclayo

When we continue to Chiclayo, in the Lambayeque region, there’s certainly more on offer! First up is Restaurant Fiesta, a true gem in Chiclayo’s culinary crown. It’s a gastronomic experience that encapsulates the very soul of Lambayeque. Next, let’s venture into the warm, family-friendly ambiance of El Rincón del Pato. Established in 1997 in Lambayeque, this restaurant has become a haven for duck aficionados. They have a second restaurant in Chiclayo itself. And for those who crave variety, Picantería del Mar in the beachside town of Pimentel is your go-to spot. Whether you’re hankering for seafood, grilled meats, or even a slice of pizza, they’ve got it all. To top it off, their curated selection of cocktails and craft beers make for the perfect pairing.

Restaurant tips Huaraz

In Huaraz Trivio, Café Andino and Manka Fusión are the most accommodating and best options. New in town (and new favorite!) is Jirka, serving the Japanse/Peruvian fusion (nikkei) in a beautifully decorated restaurant. Besides those, also Pizza B&B, Crêperie Patrick, El Rinconcito Minero (more local, but still very safe, with lunch menu’s) and the California Café belong to our all-time favorites in cozy settings. Bar-wise (and in case you are craving some pub food), El Tambo is a nice restobar.

Restaurant tips Caraz

About 2 hours from Huaraz lies Caraz. A perfect place to getting acclimatized when not yet done. Please consider IntiRumi Inn not only for their rooms, but also for their Garden-to-Table concept. Unique and very tasty.

faba beans, sweet potatos, platains, and several types of native potatos
Here depicted: faba beans, sweet potatoes, plantains, and several types of native potatoes.

Restaurant tips Chachapoyas

Chachapoyas is known for its welcoming, proud inhabitants, the authentic face of the town and wonderful climate. Our restaurant tips Chachapoyas for you to consider are:

  • If you are looking for regional fusion cuisine, Batán del Tayta is the place to go: slightly expensive, but a great choice and tasty meals.
  • Vegetarians can still do best at our favorite (food) café: Café Fusiones.
  • Terra Mia Café is also a nice and pleasant café with different options (from breakfast to dinner, also vegetarian options available).
  • Chacha, Amazonika Restaurant and Los Guayachos are our newest recommendations!

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