Welcome to the food capital of Peru - Lima.
Ceviche is Peru’s most iconic dish. This famous type of seafood is a mix of fresh fish, peppers, lime juice and salt which combine to create a mind-blowing explosion of flavours. Expect an array of different types of ceviche served everywhere, from hole-in-the-wall markets to upmarket restaurants. The locals don’t tend to eat it after 5pm, so your best bet is to have it for lunch.
Where to go? La Mar is the #1 choice to try all sorts of ceviche cooked in various ways.
Don’t be fooled by its sheer simplicity. Cuy is short for Guinea pig. This tender, dark meat is a common, important and traditional dish for the Peruvians and often cooked whole, either baked or barbecued on a spit. In fact, Peru’s most famous chef, Gaston Acurio, hides his cuy as Peking Duck at restaurant Astrid y Gaston.
Where to go? If you’re game enough to try this at least once, head to Astrid y Gaston.
3. Pisco Sour
A Pisco Sour a day keeps the doctors away. Right? This delicious concoction was created in the 20th century by an expat from Utah known as Victor Morris. It’s made from one or more of eight indigenous grapes of South America and comprises of blended pisco, lime juice, syrup, egg whites and ice. Expect this drink to be your Peru staple.
Where to go? The Gran Hotel Bolivar is one of the oldest and best places to drink Pisco Sours. And rumour has it that Hemingway in classic Hemingway style drank a record number of Piscos here. Our tip? Order the Catedral.
4. Lomo Saltado
The Lomo Saltado is a Peruvian dish with Asian infusion. When Chinese immigrants arrived in Peru looking for work, they brought with them ingredients and techniques that would go on to create the Lomo Saltado. This hearty stir-fry dish consists of beef strips, marinated with vinegar, soy sauce and spices and garnished with sauteed chillies, onions and tomatoes. It also comes with a side of white rice and fried potatoes – perfect for those who love a carb, or two.
Where to go? Tanta gets out vote, err-time.
Yep, we’re talking grilled skewers of marinated meat that’s literally served left, right and centre in Lima. From street vendors to hole in the wall markets and high-end restaurants, expect to become addicted to the Anticuchos on first taste.
Where to go? Mrs. Grimanesa Vargas should be your go-to joint, considered a best-kept secret by Time magazine. She built up quite a rep 40 years ago from her days of pushing a cart around on the street to eventually opening up her very own restaurant, now serving up the best Anticuchos in town. Try the marinated beef hearts for the juiciest anticuchos in town.
6. Pollo a la Brasa
Lima is scattered with chicken rotisseries in close proximity. This Peruvian roast chicken is a delicious and popular dish that can be found around the globe. So what’s the secret to this dish? Plenty of flavour, and a marinade to match that consists of soy sauce, red peppers, garlic and cumin. Traditional Pollo a la Brasa is served with yuca (cassava) and other assortments of dipping sauce.
Where to go? Pardo’s chicken.
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