“Talented chefs, high biodiversity and a mixture of cultures”

Peru stole my heart. There’s an expression that “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach”, and that’s exactly how Peru got me. This is my 3rd time traveling Peru, I just can’t get enough of this country. Peru has fantastic beaches, dense jungles, bustling cities, remnants of ancients civilizations, beautiful and breath-taking highlands, world class hikes and amazing food. The people are so welcoming and friendly, and everything is very affordable. I could write many pages about Peru, but in this blog I want to tell you about the amazing culinary offerings you can find in Lima.

Peru, a culinary powerhouse in the making

Peru has many different regions and that’s one of the reasons why their food is so outstanding. The Peruvian coastline stretches over a length of 2400 kilometres, and has a high biodiversity. Ceviche is probably the most famous dish from Peru. I absolutely love it. Many restaurants have their own recipes and the varieties are endless.

Sole Tiradito at Costerner 7000

The Amazon is full of life and has many unusual ingredients on offer. Paiche, a large freshwater fish is often found in Amazonian restaurants. You can also find a lot of delicious and healthy fruits from the Amazon region.
The Andes is home to the more traditional Inca cuisine. A lot of old corn varieties, potatoes and (of course) the world famous superfood Quinoa grow in the valleys and mountains. Alpaca and guinea pigs are daily food for the people of this region.

Another reason for the exceptional cuisine are the people. Inca tradition combined with Spanish, Japanese, Chinese and African immigrants are the source of the Peruvian delights. The products, techniques, and flavours these immigrants brought, influenced the cuisine heavily. Peruvian food is an excellent example of true fusion food.

Fine dining in Lima

The third reason why Peru is a culinary powerhouse are their talented chefs. The fine dining scene throughout Peru is amazing, but especially in Lima their restaurant scene is booming. Lima has so many good and high-level restaurants that it can compete with other cosmopolitan cities. The price tag in Lima is much friendlier than cities like Tokyo, London or New York. Lima has a few restaurants listed in “San Pellegrino’s best restaurants in the world” list. Restaurant Central and Maido are even listed in the top 15!

Central

Central  is ranked number 4 of the world. Top chef Virgillo Martinez is the culinary brain behind this restaurant. He serves 3 different tasting menu’s, classified by altitude. The cuisine is highly inventive and uses only local ingredients from all the various regions of Peru.

Amazonian river shrimp amuse at Central

 

Chocolate desert with algea from the Andes at Central

I highly recommend this dining experience but be sure to book in advance as the restaurant fills up quickly. I was lucky enough to get a table trough the waiting list. The price for their 16 course tasting menu is about 140 US dollar. Which is a steal if you compare it with other top 5 restaurants.

Maido

Another must visit restaurant is Maido. They serve a fusion cuisine of Peruvian and Japanese, called Nikkei cuisine. It’s becoming more and more famous around the world. Top chef Ferran Adria (former chef El Bulli) has his own Nikkei restaurant in Barcelona, and other Nikkei restaurants are popping up all around the world.
Chef Mitsuharu’s restaurant Maido is ranked the 13th best restaurant in the world. He is offering a delicious tasting menu. This was one of my best meals ever and every serious foodie should dine at this world class restaurant when in Lima!

Clams ceviche with nitrogen tigre de leche at Maido

 

Amuse bouche at Maido

 

Creative nigiri at Maido, Sweetbread, foie gras and Angus beef with quail egg

Amaz

Amaz is another favourite of mine. It’s located in the Hilton hotel and serves Amazonian cuisine. Chef Pedro Schiaffino cooks an amazing array of Amazonian dishes with a modern touch. He is also responsible for restaurant Malabar, ranked 38th in best restaurants of Latin America. I had a decent meal at Malabar, but Amaz was my favourite by far. Anthony Bourdain dined at Amaz in his Peruvian episode of Parts unknown, he had a great meal too!

Duck stew at Amaz

 

Amazonian river snail with tapioca at Amaz

 

Chef Schiaffino is also involved with Killa wasi restaurant in the relax and chateaux “Hotel Sol y Luna” in Urubamba in the scared valley. Read more about this restaurant in my next blog.

Other recommendations

There are much more restaurants worth visiting in Lima but this article would be to long if I’d describe them all. Chez Wong, only open for lunch and reservation are needed. This restaurant was also featured in Antohony Bourdains show.
Costanera7000  is one of the oldest Nikkei Restaurants of Lima. Also Astrid y Gaston is worth a visit.

Tuna with tomatos and crystal bread at Astrid y Gaston

Gaston Acoria is a rockstar celebrity chef, he owns a restaurant imperium around the world. I discuss him further in a upcoming blog.

When you go to Lima let me know which restaurant was your favourite! Like me on Facebook or Instagram to stay updated on my adventures in Peru!

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