When you travel anywhere there are always “must try” foods and Peru isn’t any different. I spent a majority of the time in Lima and Cusco so if you’re planning on heading to either of those, I’d highly recommend trying atleast some of these. Below I have a few things that you should try and a few great restaurants to check out.
Pisco is Peruvian brandy and you can find it in basically every restaurant/bar. It’s a smooth alcohol and is distilled from grape juice. A pisco sour is a must try!
- Coca Tea
Coca leaves make tea that help with altitude sickness and has a minty flavor. I drank a lot of the tea in Cusco since the altitude is so high and I wanted to prevent any kind of sickness especially before hiking Machu Picchu which we were served at camp. Read more about hiking Machu Picchu here.
Lima is right on the Pacific Ocean coast. It’s a great city to walk down the coastline due to the walkways and parks so when you’re in Lima, you must try ceviche. Ceviche is seafood that is cooked in lime or lemon juice and the acid in the citrus cooks the meat. Since the ocean is a stone’s throw away, the seafood is very fresh and my favorite restaurant that I highly recommend to try ceviche is La Mar Cebicheria. I arrived at La Mar about 15 minutes before they opened for lunch and there was already a line out front! (If that isn’t a good sign, then I don’t know what is). The seating area is outside under a woven roof which adds to the fresh, seafood, summertime vibes. The bar area has fresh caught fish displayed for the customers and to start off there is fried plantains, corn kernels, and sweet potato chips.
- Pollo A la Brasa
Pollo A la Brasa is chicken that is cooked over rotisserie and is the juiciest and tastiest chicken you’ll have. You can order pieces of the chicken or if you’re like my fiance, you can eat a whole half of a chicken and still have room for sides. I also love the sauces that are served a long side the chicken. One of the places I went to twice was in the Lima neighborhood Miraflores called Pardos.
(The next two might seem crazy or strange, but when in Peru!) J
Alpaca might seem harsh, but in Peru alpaca’s are treated like how sheep or lamb is in the U.S. I had alpaca heart kebabs and it tasted like really tender beef, not very gamey. I would definitely have it again! I ate the kebabs as an appetizer at my favorite restaurant I ate at in Cusco, Pachapapa.
- Guinea Pig (Cuy)
Pachapapa also serves roasted guinea pig in their woodfire oven. I tried guinea pig somewhere else and it wasn’t that great to be honest, but I wish I would’ve tried it at Pachapapa. Anyways, guinea pig didn’t have that much meat on it and the skin was basically impossible to eat. It did taste like chicken on the other hand.
- Astrid y Gaston
If you’re in the mood for something fancy I would suggest going to Astrid y Gaston. The inside of the restaurant is very festive and the bar on the first floor had colorful pom pom’s from the tree in the center. The cocktails are delicious and I had the charred octopus which was amazing.
- El Pan de Chola
I saved the best for last. El Pa de Chola is a café in Lima that I walked 2.5 hours and had a mix of breakfast and lunch because everything looked SO GOOD. I ordered an almond croissant and a sandwich that had hummus and avocado on the best bread (pan). I’ve tried to replicate the sandwich and its never as good.
I hope you enjoyed reading about the must try food in Peru! Comment below if something interests you or if you’ve tried any of these foods!