Feb 08, 2016
A creative new generation of chefs, inspired by the great diversity of Peru’s coastal, mountain and Amazonian cultures and produce, have helped transform Lima into one of the world’s new culinary capitals. Don’t miss these tasty spots.
Astrid y Gastón
The undisputed king of Peruvian cuisine is Gastón Acurio and Astrid y Gastón is his signature restaurant. A historic hacienda provides an elegant backdrop to the imaginative parade of flavours and textures that, together with its flawless service and wine pairing, keep this restaurant high on the list of the world’s best. If you’re feeling adventurous, try the guinea pig with poached vegetables, pistachios and mustard leaves.
Avenida Paz Soldán 290, San Isidro
La p'tite France
A café-bakery in a tiny, plant-filled, chic and sunny courtyard, La P’tite France serves up the best croissants in Lima along with other delicious pastries and artisanal breads including ones flavoured with coca leaf (which turns it green) and dried aji, Peruvian chilli. The juices are fresh and organic and the coffee is perfection itself – La P’tite France is an excellent place for a coffee and a light breakfast before touring the nearby Surquillo food markets.
Jr. Gonzales Prada 599, Surquillo
For more than 110 years, Peruvian politicians, presidents, artists and writers have dined at El Cordano, located just up the side of the 16th-century Government Palace at Lima’s central Plaza Mayor. None of your haute-Peruvian, foam-and-flower-accented tasting-menus here, just yummy, hearty local favourites like beef with tacu tacu (pan-fried rice and beans) and butifarra, a sandwich of country ham and sweet-onion relish on French bread. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, El Cordano is cheap as chips and bursting with atmosphere.
Jirón Carabaya 103, Lima
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Chef Hector Solis grew up in the northern city of Chiclayo, where his parents ran a picantería (family restaurant). At Fiesta, Solis turns that regional cuisine into an art form. Fiesta’s “hot ceviche” (citrus-cured fish) is a standout, as is the hearty duck and rice Chiclayo style. More recently, Solis opened a hip, warm and cheerful lunch place called La Picantería (picanteriasdelperu.com), now like Fiesta rated as one of Latin America’s best restaurants. Open 11am to 5pm, La Picantería serves up family-style portions on communal tables. La Picantería is one of the only places in Lima offering chicha, a traditional drink made from fermented maize.
Av. Reducto 1278, Miraflores
La Rosa Nautica
From the ceviche topped with slivers of Peruvian chilli through to the purple corn sorbet with “pineapple perfume”, La Rosa Nautica serves up impeccable nouveau-Peruvian cuisine. But the real reason to dine here is the unparalleled charm of its location and architecture – perched atop railway piles in the ocean, this rambling, almost fantastical Victorian structure, reached via a boardwalk, features views that are intoxicating even before you’ve had your first pisco sour from its famous bar. Sunset is La Rosa Nautica’s magic hour.
Espigón 4 Circuito de Playas, Costa Verde, Miraflores
Image: By Alex Proimos (La Rosa Nautica, Miraflores), via Wikimedia Commons