If you are a traveler who likes to let food guide your way through a city, you will love Lima. For today’s post I have an eclectic ranking of nine places to eat Peruvian in Lima. This is based on the places I went with my special person during the first week of January (kind of late, I know), when we made our way back to Lima after my sabbatical. Most of these places are pretty well known. I hope it helps you! Español aquí.
This list includes seafood, creole and oriental Peruvian flavors. The last of these is also known as “chifa” in Perú. Of course someone is always left out, but that just leaves the door open for new experiences and lists… Here we go!
1. La Mar – Nice and pretty seafood
This restaurant from Gastón Acurio’s group of leads the ranking because it was our favorite hands down (2 votes out of 2). Out pick was very traditional, we craved ceviches, tiraditos, and beer. The fish was fresh and flavorful. But you can pick what you like from their menu. We caught our eyes wandering towards various other tables with appetizing dishes. I also enjoyed a dessert: picarones, which are deep fried donuts with a heavy coat of honey. The fragrance came to me from the kitchen…
They don’t take reservations, so I recommend going early and being prepared to wait because seating is by arrival. The prices are moderate to high for Peruvian standards.
2. Astrid & Gastón – Fancy food
With all the aura surrounding this restaurant, the early reservation I made since November was worth the wait until January. I was so excited that I ended up showing up an hour before the appointment. We loved the traditional tasting menu which had amazing flavors and filled our bellies. We didn’t try the wine tasting menu but as it’s well recommended, it will be a raincheck for our next visit. The house the restaurant is in is beautiful and modern, and the attention was very good. We appreciated the way the servers presented each dish and walked us through how to eat them. I consider myself a fairly simple person, so this was a special experience for me.
This restaurant requires a reservation, ours was about two months ahead of time. The prices are high for Peruvian standards.
3. Wa Lok – Dim sum and chifa
Becuase I am Peruvian, I’m familiar to the fact that Wa Lok is a well recognized for chifa. I have good experience visiting their spot Paruro street, in the center of Lima. I was new to their main venue in Miraflores. Its a good idea to come with a group because the portions are generous and the tables are large and revolving. The atmosphere was made for sharing. We enjoyed the assorted dim sum, black mushrooms with vegetables, chaufa rice (which is stir fried) and roasted duck. We skipped the Inca Cola and washed it down with green tea.
We made reservation through their website, also since November, although I did not receive a confirmation until I called them. I do not know if the reservation is absolutely required, but I do recommend making sure there is availability on the day you go. The prices are moderate for Peruvian standards.
4. La Lucha – Creole Sandwiches
As a person who tries to watch what she eats, I always try to convince myself that I do not like bread. But it’s a lie. I love breakfasts that include creole sandwiches (especially with chicharrón which is a delicious deep fried pork) and La Lucha delivers just that. I really enjoyed having breakfast at their Kennedy Park venue in Miraflores although they have various other joints.
The vibe is relaxed. They don’t take reservations. We were quick to find a table. Our order did take about 10 minutes which I think we counted by the second because we were starving. The prices are moderate for Peruvian standards.
5. Pardos chicken – Rotisserie chicken and fries
Eating peruvian rotisserie chicken or “pollo a la brasa” almost as soon as you get off the plane is a force of habit in Lima. We weren’t the exception. On our first night, my family ordered Pardos’. I probably shouldn’t list them because we didn’t actually go out, but since they do have restaurants I think it’s fine. I liked their “pollo a la brasa” chicken and fries with their spicy pepper sauces. I didn’t know I had missed him so much. Their salad with corn and cheese was also great.
They deliver and take reservations for their restaurants. They also take walk ins, serving according to the order of arrival. The prices are moderate for Peruvian standards.
6. El Peruanito – More sandwiches No web page. Av. Angamos Este 391 – Miraflores
Our visit to El Peruanito was not planned but added to the list at the last moment. It was our last breakfast together, because my special person went home after then. It was the first time for both of us, and I enjoyed my sandwich and papaya juice. Take in mind that this venue is traditional and rustic, but their food is good.
They don’t take reservations. The attention is fast so that you eat quick. The prices are low to moderate for Peruvian standards.
7. Paseo Colón – Home of my favorite dessert
While Paseo Colón offers a menu full of pretty good looking food, we went there exclusively to eat my favorite dessert from Arequipa. I love visiting their venue on Pardo y Aliaga when they are about to close for some queso helado. For those who are not familiar with this dessert, it’s not made of cheese. It’s a kind of ice cream with hints of cinnamon and coconut. If you want to try this dessert in other places, they also have it in La Mar.
The venue is casual and modern. They take reservations, but also take walk ins like myself. The prices are moderate to high for Peruvian standards.
8. Anticuchos de la Tía Grimanesa – Straightforward
Located one block from La Mar is the well known restaurant owned by La Tía (Aunty) Grimanesa. I was not sure if we would make it here, but we did. We were the second people in the queue that day. It was also my first time trying these famous beef brochettes. They were very flavorful and I recommend them. A portion serves three sticks and you can share them with someone if you are mildly hungry. Be generous when you place your order if you don’t plan on sharing because otherwise you would have to queue again.
The vibe here is casual. It’s also a place to eat fast and be your way, as it tends to get very tight at high tide. Be early or anticipate a wait as they don’t make reservations. The prices are moderate for Peruvian standards.
9. Chez Wong – Famous fish No web page.
In Peru, chefs are like rock stars. They are important, loved and have a little mystery to them. Chez Wong is famous for the rock star chef Marcelo Wong, who you can see as he cooks your food. If you like that kind of atmosphere, you will enjoy this experience. But coming back to the food, the restaurant does not have a menu. On arrival the server asks you what you want to drink (water, soda or beer) and to choose between a hot or cold dish. When you are finished, he asks you again if you want a hot or cold dish. In our case the cold dish was a ceviche and the hot plate was a sauteed fish mix. The food was ok and the fish tasted fresh. As they don’t have a menu, you will only know the price of your meal at the end.
The vibe is casual and the place is rustic. Making a reservation is strictly necessary. They open between 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. As we did for Astrid & Gastón, we booked from November for our appointment in January. The prices are high for Peruvian standards.
I added credits to the photos that aren’t mine. I hope you enjoyed!