I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Lima is a destination for food lovers! Most of my outings in the city revolved around restaurants, cafes, or street food stands, and since I spent 3 weeks there, this gave me plenty of time to get to know some of the local hot spots.
For this post, I decided to focus on the district of Miraflores since it’s where I spent the most time, but let me assure you, you’ll find great food anywhere in Lima! Now on to some of my favourite eateries in Peru‘s capital:
I have to say, I had some reservations about trying anticuchos (cow hearts on a skewer!), but this is a local dish and I kept hearing rave reviews from my relatives, so off I went to eat cow hearts.
Mrs. Grimanesa Vargas started out selling anticuchos out of her pushcart on the street. Over the years she built up quite the clientele and it became well known that she prepared the best anticuchos in town. She eventually moved into her very own restaurant, and now she’s cooking hearts for an even larger crowd. When I went there on a weeknight the place was packed!
I ordered a double portion of cow hearts (2 skewers) for 18 soles, and a giant white corn on the cob for an additional 5 soles. There was a bit of a mental barrier to surpass knowing what I was eating, but that being said, if you had taken me there and told me we were eating steak on a skewer I totally would have believed you. The anticuchos are very well seasoned and the first thing you detect is a hint of garlic.
Address: Felipe Barreda 475
El Punto Azul
I can’t talk about food in Lima without mentioning ceviche! In case you haven’t heard of it, ceviche is a seafood dish where the fish is cured in lemon or lime before being served. It comes with onions, white corn, sweet potato, and it is one of the tastiest things I have every tried. I got to eat this several times during my stay and one of my favourites meals was at El Punto Azul. I daresay it might be better than sushi!
I ordered the ceviche de pescado at the restaurant (the portion was large enough for two!), with a side of causa (a yellow mashed potato dish served with avocado, corn, cheese and seafood), and that was paired with a large pitcher of chicha morada (a purple corn juice). One of the best meals I had in the city!
Address: Calle San Martin 595
La Rosa Nautica
This is one of the most famed restaurants in Lima and for good reason! The setting is simply stunning; La Rosa Nautica is built on a pier out over the Pacific Ocean, and it really feels like you’re out at sea. Sometimes they have their windows open so a gentle salty breeze blows in. Meanwhile you can enjoy the views of the surfers catching waves not too far off in the distance. I recommend that you come around sunset for some wonderful views.
The menu at La Rosa Nautica features a lot of seafood, and my personal favourite is their tuna steak. I ate that dish a few years ago and no tuna steak has been able to top it since. Seriously, my mouth waters whenever I think back on that meal. The food is delicious and the setting is magical, so I’d say it’s well worth the splurge.
Address: On the 4th pier in Miraflores.
There are so many reasons to come to Manolo, but what brought me here were the churros. A reader had told me about this place when I was first planning my trip, so when I arrived I made sure to pay the place a visit and sample every type of churro available – chocolate, vanilla and dulce de leche.
I then came back to try their Pijama Sandwich, which just so happens to be the biggest sandwich I have ever set eyes on. Seriously, it included things like hot dogs, chicken breast, sweet potato, avocado, egg, ham, cheese, olives, tomatoes, and I’m probably still forgetting a few ingredients.
Of course, the biggest sandwich in the world needs to be paired with the biggest dessert in the world, which is why I ordered the Lemon Merengue Pie – the merengue was so tall that it looked like spires on a church.
Address: Avenida Larco 608
Pardos is a chain restaurant that specializes in rotisserie chicken. It’s not exactly once of a kind, but neither is Nando’s and people still love it. Their pollo a la brasa (grilled chicken) is succulent and it comes with a spicy ají sauce that’s just perfect. They also offer delivery, which is great if you’re having one of those lazy nights where you just feel like staying in.
Address: Throughout the city.
Edo Sushi Bar
I really like this place because it has the classic rolls you’d expect to find at a sushi restaurant back home, however, they also have some interesting creations that are a fusion of sushi and ceviche. If you want a roll that combines Japanese and Peruvian cuisine, I’d order the Acevichado. I also enjoyed the Salmon Skin Maki with cream cheese and asparagus, and the Furai Maki with smoked trout and avocado.
The only thing I was left wondering is, where’s the miso soup? I’m starting to think it’s not common in Lima because out of the 2 Japanese restaurants I went to, miso soup never made an appearance on the menu.
Address: Calle Berlin 601
This is a great spot to pick up some Peruvian sweet treats. Sra. Buendia specializes in tejas and chocotejas. A teja is a confection that’s filled with caramel and nuts or fruit, and then coated in a layer of white sugar. The chocoteja is much the same except that it is coated in a layer of chocolate rather than sugar. My favourites were the lemon tejas (surprisingly sweet, not sour) and pasas borrachas (literally ‘drunk raisins’ because they’ve been soaked in alcohol).
The shop is quite small with only a couple of tables where to sit, however, you can get your sweets boxed up and enjoy them at a nearby park.
Address: Avenida Ernesto Díez Canseco 306
Cremolada Curich is one of the oldest establishments in the neighbourhood and it draws a loyal clientele wanting to cool down with something sweet. Their specialty is cremolada, which is a lot like flavoured shaved ice.
They have all kinds of tropical fruit flavours like aguaymanto (Peruvian ground cherry), guanábana (soursop), and lúcuma (there’s no English name for this one – it looks like a yellow avocado when you crack it open, but it’s a fruit).
Address: Calle Bolognesi 759
Street Food at Parque Kennedy
So this last one isn’t a restaurant, but there are plenty of great food stands where you can enjoy a snack in Parque Kennedy. So what exactly can you find? You have picarones (fluffy donuts made from squash and sweet potato and then coated in honey), churros (fried dough sprinkled with sugar), mazamorra y arroz con leche (a combination of purple corn porridge and rice pudding), chicha morada (purple corn juice in case you get thirsty), and more.
Address: Parque Kennedy between Diagonal and Avenida Jose Larco.
And there you have it! This is by no means a complete list of all the places where to eat in Miraflores – there are so many highly acclaimed spots that I simply didn’t have enough time for! – however, I hope it gives you some ideas. If you have been to Miraflores and have some restaurant recommendations, feel free to add them to the comments below. I’d love to hear your suggestions and I’m sure other foodies would too. 🙂
Have you ever tried Peruvian food?
What were some of your favourite dishes?
Peruvian food sounds so amazing. Particularly street food – I’d love to try the picarones. I had ceviche in Mexico, but Peruvian ceviche sounds so different with sweet potatoes and corn, although just as delicious. Not so sure I could stomach the hearts! haha!
I’ve never tried Mexican ceviche so I’d be curious to see what it’s like. I’m picturing something with lots of salsa… 😉
Yes, Lima is such a great spot for food! I’ve been there a couple times and have always had great food (except one time I got food poisoning from a sketchy empanada… but that’s another story!)
Manolo’s churros are the BEST! My favorite was dulce de leche. Mmm I’m craving one now just thinking of it!
I had the same reservations about eating cow heart, but I too thought it was delicious! And don’t get me started on the ceviche! Lima is probably the best place in the world to eat it. I even took a cooking class while in Peru to learn how to make it.
Anyway, great blog post – it made me hungry just reading it. It sounds like we went to several of the same places in South America, and have similar taste in food 🙂
Yes, I was so surprised about the cow hearts! I guess all it takes is some good seasoning. I know it’s so sneaky, but I’d love to take someone there, not tell them what anticuchos are, and see if they can tell the difference between eating heart and eating a nice cut of steak. I bet most people would never know the difference. 😉
Great guide – these all sound delicious. I love churros , if I ever get to go to Lima I’ll have to try them there!
The ones filled with dulce de leche are the best! 😉
Well, Lima really sounds like a destination for foodies – especially those who are a bit adventurous with food. Never heard of cow’s heart being eaten!
Yes, I encountered a few adventurous dishes with questionable ingredients, but they make everything taste good!
Always look forward to your experiences in far away places
Thanks for reading along, Marilyn! Sam and I are off to South Africa on Monday so there are lots of adventures from far away places coming up. 🙂
I loved all your posts and videos in and around Lima! I have been living some time in Lima and can totally agree with your recommendation! You’re showing exactly the things you can’t miss while staying in Lima (Miraflores).
Peruvian food is one of the best in the whole world. If you are a food lover I totally recommend you to go to the yearly Mistura Food Fair in september 2015 (http://mistura.pe/).
Have a good time!
Thanks Uelito! Glad to hear you’ve been enjoying the Peru blog posts and videos. The Mistura Festival sounds wonderful – what a great way to showcase Peruvian gastronomy!
Peruvian food is so good. When I lived in Chile would always go out to Peruvian restaurants and then as I visited Peru OMG was it heaven.
What was the food in Chile like? Any similarities between it and Peruvian dishes?
I’ve had Peruvian food a few times, but only ceviche and pollo a la brasa. I REALLY want to try those picarones. Yummy!
The picarones are so good. I was surprised when they gave me 5 as an individual sized portion, but the dough is so light and fluffy that you can finish off a plateful in minutes!
Can’t handle all this delicious looking food! Hmmmm, I would love to go there just for the food.
I never heard of Picarones before, but it sounds good.
Ooh I hear you are coming to SA! So exciting! It’s my country (Cape Town to be exact).
Where will you be visiting?
Hi Tessa, I’m doing a 3 week trip from Jo’burg to Cape Town and using Baz Bus to get around. Should be fun!! 😀
That food looks amazing! Count me in for a Peruvian food tour 🙂
Did someone mention Sushi!!!!! 🙂
It looks delicious! I’d love to try a Teja 🙂
God, I’d wish I’d seen this post before spending a week in Lima looking for the best food!
Everything you’ve talked about sounds delicious and it kind of makes me want to go back – if only to go to La Rosa Nautica – that place sounds amazing 🙂
I recommend Lomo Saltado – sliced beef stir stir-fried with red onions, tomatoes, yellow Peruvian chilies (aji amarillo), soy sauce, vinegar and cilantro. It’s delicious. You can also try the traditional
Papa Rellena- croquette filled with a spicy ground beef mixture. Ground beef is stir-fried with onions, tomatoes, garlic, cumin, garlic and paprika.
What is that large circular thing you’re eating? Looks delicious.
The food in Lima was awesome indeed! Of course I had some great ceviche in Lima, but the place I miss the most is ‘La Lucha ‘, I had so many delicious hamburgers and milkshakes there…(=
I’ve been there! They have the best chicharron and sweet potato sandwiches! I also love their strawberry smoothies. So good!
Great list! I’m in Miraflores right now. I’d add La Lucha Sangucheria as well. A tourist trap that actually tastes good! Manolos churros are super overrated though so good thing you opted for the pie.
La Lucha is so good! I finally made it there on my recent trip to Lima; their chicharron and sweet potato sandwich with red onions is amazing!!!
Hi Audrey! Very nice post. I’ve come across your blog while searching for must-try Peruvian dishes. I am heading to Peru next month and will be staying in Miraflores. I am definitely gonna use this list as a guide.
That’s great to hear! Miraflores is a lovely neighbourhood with some great restaurants – wishing you a wonderful time!