Widely acclaimed as one of the world’s great culinary destinations, Lima is a paradise for food enthusiasts. As well as a wide array of delicious meat-, rice- and vegetable-based criolla dishes, you’ll come across the highly creative novo andino cuisine, often pairing alpaca steaks with berries or cheese sauces from lush Andean farms, and best appreciated in Lima’s finest restaurants. Below are a few specialities that your taste buds will thank you for trying.
Ceviche Seafood is particularly good in Lima, with ceviche – raw fish or seafood marinated in lime juice and served in dozens of possible formulas with onions, chillis, sweetcorn and sweet potatoes – a must-try.
Chorros a la Chalaca These spicy mussels are best sampled near the port area of Callao.
Cabrito a la Norteña This traditional goat feast has made its way to Lima from the northern coast of Peru; as well as tender goat meat, the dish incorporates a sauce made with chicha de jorra (rustic maize beer), yellow chillis, zapallo squash, onions and garlic, plus yuca and lots of fresh coriander, served with rice.
Arroz con Pato a la Chiclayana From northern Peru, this is a dish of duck and rice prepared as in the city of Chiclayo, with oranges, spices, beer, brandy, peas and peppers. It’s such a popular dish you’ll probably come across it in all regions of the country.
Asado A good cut of beef roasted in a red sauce, ususally served with pure de papas (smooth, garlic-flavoured mashed potatoes).
Chicken broaster The staple at the thousands of broaster restaurants found in every corner of Peru: essentially, spit- or oven-roasted chicken with chips, and often a very meagre salad on the side.
Cuy This is the Inca word for guinea pig, one of the most common foods for Andean country folk, but also something of a delicacy which can be found everywhere from backstreet cafés to the best restaurants in Lima, Cusco and Arequipa. There are various ways to prepare cuy for the plate, but cuy chactado (deep-fried) is one of the most common.
Pisco Sour Pisco is Peru’s clear, grape-based brandy, which forms the heart of the national drink – pisco sour. The pisco, crushed ice, fresh lime juice, plus a sweetener and egg white, are whisked together with a bitter added at the end. It’s refreshing and sometimes surprisingly potent.