Lima is a beautiful city with an exceptional architectural heritage, remarkable natural landscapes and a vibrant cultural life. You are probably already aware of all this, but… do you know where to eat in Lima? Do you know the typical gastronomy of the area?
That’s what we’re going to talk to you about in this article: what to eat in Lima. Of course, traditional cuisine; you can also settle for hamburgers, but since you’re here, why not delve into the local varieties?
Read on and you’ll find basic information about Peruvian and Lima food, a couple of suggestions on what you should not miss and where to eat in Lima. Enjoy!
The immensely varied Peruvian gastronomy
The Peruvian gastronomic heritage is very diverse, as it could not be otherwise in such a large and heterogeneous country, so it is totally impossible to present it here in its entirety. Ingredients vary greatly from place to place, as do recipes. As for local food, Peru is a bottomless pit.
Isn’t that enough for you? Okay, these are some typical Peruvian dishes:
- Pachamanca: typical of the mountainous region, it is composed of different meats (chicken, pork, guinea pig) and vegetables (potatoes, sweet potato, corn, beans), but the real secret is in the marinade based on ajís and chicha de jora.
- Peruvian Juane: in the Amazon region of the country and especially in San Juan, we can find this mass of rice (or other products), olive, chicken and egg wrapped and cooked in bijao leaves; sometimes it is accompanied by tacacho (cooked banana).
- Rocoto relleno: representing Arequipa we have this fruit between spicy and sweet, stuffed with minced meat, olives, peas and fresh cheese, seasoned with cumin and served with baked potato.
- Shámbar: it is a tasty soup from the north coast with cereals (usually wheat), vegetables and legumes (chickpeas, beans, peas, pinto beans), different meats and seasoned with ají panca, mint and cumin.
Lima’s cuisine, a melting pot of cultures
You’re missing something, I’m sure… what about the typical Lima dishes? Again, there are so many and varied that it’s difficult to even mention them. They are the result of a mixture of traditions (pre-Hispanic, Creole, Italian, Chinese, Japanese) and the use of high quality local products. There is even a certain connection with the Canary Islands…
- Ceviche: Of course. The gastronomic symbol of Peru in the gastronomic universe. Fish cooked cold with red onion, chili and lemon juice. It’s that simple.
- Causa limeña: Another classic, simple and delicious. This cold appetizer is made of mashed yellow potato and is stuffed with chicken (or tuna), mayonnaise, onion, avocado and so on…
- Anticuchos: A skewer of cow heart (in pieces, of course). As you can tell. It is seasoned with ají panca and vinegar (plus the touch of each house) and grilled. It is lime to the bone marrow.
- Papa a la huancaína: Well, no, it’s not from Huancayo, it’s from Lima. Once again the boiled potato is the protagonist, with a sauce of fresh cheese, yellow pepper and milk.
- Ají de gallina: You can’t miss it. It is a thick cream based on shredded chicken meat, bread and milk, decorated, of course, with hard-boiled egg and olive.
Perhaps you have one last doubt: how much does it cost to eat in Peru? The truth is that it is quite economic. A cheap menu can be around 3€, and for 10€ you will have a complete meal, with two dishes, a drink and dessert in an average restaurant. Of course it can vary quite a bit depending on the area and the type of place you want to eat…
Let’s go eat!
Now, I promised: where to eat in Lima. Well, nice and cheap, of course, that’s what you’re looking for, isn’t it? These are our recommendations. But before we start, just a heads up.
Lima is a city with an impressive gastronomic heritage. We are repeating ourselves, okay, but it’s important to be clear. There are more restaurants in Lima than in half the rest of the world, and you’ll find, along with traditional cuisine, brilliant contemporary reinterpretations around every corner.
That said, let’s go with our humble suggestions, in two blocks: traditional cuisine and contemporary cuisine.
DO NOT MISS THIS: No matter what you do, eat what you eat, don’t forget dessert. Lima (all of Peru) has an incredible array of sweets, pastries and desserts.
Traditional cuisine in Lima
Costazul Seafood: Costazul Seafood: This small and welcoming restaurant in Miraflores is one of the best valued by its customers throughout the city. Fish and seafood predominate perfectly, which is no mean feat in Lima. Alfredo León 211.
Asnapa: Authentic specialists in Creole cuisine at very affordable prices in the heart of Miraflores. They handle the product with care, cook with desire and attend to you with affection and it is evident. A great option to eat in Lima. Camphors 281.
Sóngoro Cosongo: Cosy, with good service and an informal atmosphere, frequented by locals and many travelers … And with a very knowledgeable kitchen that knows what they are doing cooking Peruvian. A reference in Barranco. Ayacucho 281.
Contemporary cuisine in Lima
Barra Lima: There is no mistake here, you came to eat well and you will. They reinterpret Peruvian tradition with mastery and subtlety, and they have a good mastery of seafood. Their presentations are inspiring. They are in Chacarilla. Los Conquistadores 906.
Isidro: A high level commitment to renewed Peruvian cuisine. Not for the least, at the Hyatt Centric Hotel in San Isidro… A “Lima bistro” with affordable prices. And you will eat in awe, with dishes full of nuances and aromas. Los Pinos 515.
Mar and Selva: In the neighbourhood of Surquillo you won’t find a place where they know how to prepare Peruvian food and they also know how to give it a special touch: fusion Amazonian cuisine, honest and tasty. Today, one of the best restaurants in Lima. Tomás Marsano 1195.
Well, now that you know where to eat in Lima you can enjoy all the facets of this wonderful city (you can tell we like it a lot, right?). We would appreciate any comment (or suggestion, or complaint, or recommendation) that you would like to leave below to complete this article.
Redactor. Especialista en Viajes.
Uno de esos que piensa que nunca se puede viajar demasiado, y que no hay que irse a la otra esquina del planeta para descubrir un nuevo mundo. Veinte años con la mochila a cuestas y sin ganas de posarla, todavía… En familia, con amigos o con las ganas de escribir como única compañía, y la afición a la historia como bastón.
Editor. Travel specialist
One of those who thinks that you can never travel too much, and that you do not have to go to the other corner of the planet to discover a new world. Twenty years with the backpack on his back and unwilling to pose, still … In family, with friends or with the desire to write as a sole company, and the love of history as a cane.