Some of the best restaurants in Peru are known around the world as major players in the world of dining. Peru is known worldwide by food lovers, and the citizens are incredibly proud of its gastronomy. The cuisine varies depending on the regions and places you visit so to truly sample Peru, you might need to travel a bit!
Restaurants in Lima will have a little more variety as it is the capital city. But as you travel the coast, the majority of your meals will be Peruvian seafood. Things like ceviche and Jaella, as well as the classic Pollo a la Brasa and chifa. These are the types of Peruvian restaurants you can find anywhere & everywhere in the country.
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This article will cover the major cities in Peru and the best restaurants in each, as well as the best restaurants in Peru as a whole.
1. Best 10 Restaurants in Peru (Lima Based)
This list really does highlight just how much of Peru (and restaurants in Peru) is focused on the capital. The good news is that the only international airport in the country is found in Lima, so the chances are you’ll have to spend a few days there anyway.
1 Maido – Lima
Maido has won its place on the best restaurant in the world lists for quite some time, so it comes naturally that it claims the top spot in the list of best restaurants in Peru. It serves a fusion of Peruvian and Nikkei food. You will need a reservation, so book in advance!
2 Osaka – Lima
Osaka has branches in many of the South American capitals, and it offers Nikkei cuisine. Of course, Lima’s location by the ocean means the ingredients are wonderfully fresh and delicious.
3 El Mercado
The brainchild of celebrated Peruvian chef Rafael Osterling, El Mercardo was created to explore Peruvian cuisine and to expand its fine dining potential. The restaurant is Rafael’s love letter to the sources of food found through Peru- the ocean, the mountains, and the jungle.
4 Costanera 700
A Peruvian restaurant with Japanese influence, Costanera 700 is another restaurant that proudly shows the heritage of Japan that is held within both Peru and Peruvian Cuisine.
In recent years Central and Maido have competed for the top spot. If you’d like to try specifically Peruvian food then Central could be one of the best places to do it. Based on unique concepts and exploration of the altitudes and the concepts of Peruvian cuisine, it’s not a stretch to say that central is one of the best restaurants in Peru.
Another restaurant on the notch of Rafael Osterling’s belt (next to El Mercado). With a slightly different concept, this restaurant aims to encapsulate the home, the hominess of sharing a meal, and the comfort of a homestyle dish.
This Italian restaurant is a great place to head to if you want a break from Peruvian Criolla (although why you would ever want that is beyond us!). It offers beautiful spaghetti dishes and is found in a lovely cozy corner of San Isidro.
8 Isolina, Taberna Peruana
Isolina offers an old-school Peru. It’s cozy, it’s friendly, and the portions are huge. Through each dish, you’ll taste the memories of a Peru gone- but not forgotten. This is a great restaurant in Peru to taste what the grandmothers were fed.
9 Fiesta Chiclayo Gourmet – Lima
Organic, fresh, and a zest for life, Fiesta Gourmet demands authenticity along with an offering of expert knowledge on all things fish. After all, you’re right next to the ocean.
10 Felix Brasserie
A charming French-style dining experience, this restaurant is applauded for its high quality and fair prices. It also just so happens to be the third restaurant of Rafael Osterling on this list. He’s a chef who knows what he is doing!
Best restaurants in Cusco (includes Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu)
Cusco has its own particular type of cuisine. The restaurants here really vary from informal spots in the front room of a house to beautiful, world-class establishments. Cusco is likely to be the place you spend the majority of your time in Peru, so these restaurants offer a good variety for you to explore.
1 Cicciolina Bodega – Bar de Tapas
Cicciolina has a great reputation not just in Cusco, but throughout all restaurants in Peru. Indulge in a beautifully curated tapas menu, or choose a more traditional menu- but we recommend the tapas!
2 El Huacatay – Urubamba
A small, inconspicuous restaurant in Urubamba that has, over the years, grown to become one of the most innovative and creative restaurants in Peru, and especially in the Sacred Valley. Treading a balance between formal and relaxed, visiting El Huacatay is an experience in itself.
3 Chicha por Gastón Acurio – Cusco
The brainchild of world-famous Peruvian chef Gaston Acurio, Chicha offers the regional tastes of Cusco. By working with local products and producers, the restaurant encapsulates the ancient flavors of the highlands.
4 Kao Thai & Peruvian Cuisine
Traditional Thai food, made with modernizing Peruvian twists, as well as some truly spectacular fusion dishes including green curry ceviche. This is good, honest Asian-Peruvian fusion food. There are branches in both Cusco and Arequipa.
Just a minute away from the Plaza de Armas, lays Sagrado. Shrouded in calm lighting and plenty of incredible choices of traditional cuisine and modern twists on classic dishes, Sagrado is a great choice for a wonderful dinner.
While it does look on the outside to be on the pricey side, it is the same price as the majority of other restaurants on the street. Yes, you can find food cheaper, but in a price vs quality standoff, Sagrado comes out on top. Don’t miss it!
6 Inti Raymi Restaurant
Found inside the Hotel Palacio del Inka, the Inti Raymi restaurant is one of the most celebrated restaurants in Cusco. Settle down to exquisite fine dining in a beautiful setting designed to bring together all aspects of Peruvian culture and history.
7 Limo Cocina Peruana & Pisco Bar
A fusion Nikkei and Peruvian restaurant that is so popular in Lima. Indulgence in the form of fresh, delicious seafood. Dive into what Peru does best- fish dishes.
‘Pachamama’ is the Quechua (Inca language) word for Mother Earth. Pachapapa aims to emulate the rich history and deep connection to the earth, from their decoration to the way their food is presented.
9 La Rabona
While not technically a restaurant, La Rabona boasts some of the best coffee and cake in Cusco, as well as an upstairs Deli. If you’re looking for a refresher or a light lunch this is your spot.
A Peruvian Chinese fusion that is quite a far cry from the chifas you find in most streets and neighborhoods through Peru. While Chifa is worth a try- Kion elevates and refines these flavors, presenting a beautiful balance between the two not found in other restaurants.
Best restaurants in Arequipa?
While Lima is known for amazing food throughout the world, Peruvians generally agree amongst themselves that Arequipa has some of the best food and restaurants in Peru. The unique environment and generations of proud food lovers mean restaurants in Arequipa have some truly hidden gems for you to enjoy.
1 La Nueva Palomino
The essence of Arequipeno food is found at La Nueva Palomino. Huge portions, unforgettable flavors, and very typically Arequipa.
2 Chicha por Gastón Acurio – Arequipa
Just as the Cusqueña version of this restaurant does, Chicha Arequipa offers a delightful insight into the classic cuisines of the area. Enjoy the culture and cuisine as it is presented to you and immerse yourself in the world of food Gaston has such art to create.
3 La Trattoría del Monasterio
Found inside a monastery in the white stone streets, this is a great hideaway to get a really classic Arequipena experience. When in Arequipa there’s very little reason to eat any other kind of cuisine. These are some of the best dishes and restaurants in Peru.
4 El Fuego De San Antonio
A grill spot with 15 years of experience catering to the Peruvian markets. This is a great spot to fill up before (or after!) a trek. It’s down-to-earth and a fun environment to share a bottle of wine with friends and family alike.
A creative fusion between ancient culinary techniques and modern technicality, this charmingly small restaurant offers a great selection of food. The menu is open enough for you to try multiple things at once and the prices are reasonable.
6 Cirqa Restaurante
Located inside one of the best hotels in the city, the Cirqa restaurant offers exquisite organic cuisines. Using only naturally grown and fresh ingredients the menu changes daily- so you can just keep coming back. Reservation required.
7 La Lucila, Picantería Arequipeña
Arguably one of the most traditional spots on the list. You can expect delicious food and an authentic experience, but bring cash because they don’t accept cards. Don’t get your hopes up for wifi either.
8 Alma – Cocina Viva – Arequipa
A Casa Andina hotel restaurant- and with years of experience creating beauty in luxury under their belts, who can be surprised to find them make an appearance? A modern and traditional fusion, this menu offers a broad range of flavors and taste experiences.
9 El Tío Darío
Traditional Arequipeno dishes in fusion with the countrywide favorite of fish- no wonder this is one of the favorite restaurants in Peru. Try it, there’s no way you’ll regret it.
Again, this isn’t exactly a restaurant. It does serve food, and delicious food at that. However, what makes this restaurant in Peru particularly famous is its cake and coffee. Sure, have one of their main meals, but you’re doing yourself a disservice if you don’t help yourself to a sweet treat afterward.
Best restaurants in Ica?
Ica is most likely where you will visit on a day trip from Lima. With Paracas, Huacachina, Pisco, and Nazca all found in the wider region of Ica, this region is sadly largely overlooked. In reality, it’s a treasure trove of historic and cultural significance. But what about the restaurants in Ica?
1 El Piloto
El Piloto didn’t just survive the pandemic, it thrived. Stop in here for some of the best seafood you will find along the entire coast of Peru. Quite a statement to make, but worth it!
2 El Tambo de Tacama
One of the first places in Peru where wine tourism could be found, indulge yourself in the exquisite dishes that are offered here. Of course, a wine pairing is all but compulsory. You will find typical coastal dishes here, including non-seafood plates.
3 Hotel Paracas
As one of the best hotels in the area, this Marriott-owned residence offers up one of the best restaurants in Peru. Indulge in the fine cuisine and relax along the oceanfront. The menu changes regularly according to the seasons and availability of ingredients.
4 El Cordón Y La Rosa
Enjoy pasta with a Peruvian twist or some of the seafood specials that are found here. This restaurant is understated, has delicious food at good prices, and has a friendly and approachable atmosphere. It’s not fine dining, but the dining is fine!
5 Doubletree Resort by Hilton Paracas
As the name may suggest, this restaurant offers excellence on a plate. It’s a great spot to indulge in world standard food, with influences typical of the region.
6 La Olla de Juanita
Prepare yourself for food typical of the inland cuisines of coastal Peru. The menu changes daily, but you can expect Arroz con pato (rice with duck), sopa seca (dry soup), or cordera Seco (dried lamb). This is a typical, humble Peruvian restaurant, so don’t expect too much in terms of amenities. Come for the food, stay for the food. One of the most authentic, best restaurants in Peru.
7 El Pallar
Another hotel restaurant, El Pallar offers a variety of seafood and a great selection of Criolla dishes. It’s a great spot for you to relax in the sunshine and taste some typical dishes that have been skillfully and carefully made by locals.
One of the closest seafood restaurants to the ocean, Chalana is a truly beautiful restaurant perched on the edge of a pier in Paracas. They say the closer you are to the ocean, the fresher the fish. This is the best place to put this to the test!
— Scott Brown (@scott_brown_ca) November 3, 2018
9 Aranwa Paracas Resort & Spa
A hotel, a spa, and a world-class restaurant dancing on the shores of Paracas. If you plan to spend a few days in this quaint seaside town then why not try some of the exquisite food in Aranwa?
10 Paste e Pizza Trattoria del Borgo
Sure, a pizza place probably isn’t so high on your list of places that you want to try while traveling through Peru, but if you want a break or a taste of familiarity in the sea of Criolla and seafood, this is a great place to stop in at.
Best restaurants in Northern Peru?
Northern Peru is a little-visited part of the county, but it is certainly worth it should you want to experience a lesser trod tourist trail. It may not have the best restaurants in Peru, but they’re pretty good- and definitely worth a visit.
1 El Mochica
If you’re in Trujillo, this is truly one of the best places to visit to experience the local cuisine. As one of the best restaurants in Peru, it would have to be! There’s seafood available but also none-seafood dishes, so plenty of range for visitors.
Squalo’s is a restaurant in Trujillo and has become increasingly popular over the years, with both tourists and locals alike. It’s an authentic local seafood restaurant and a great place to mingle with the locals while indulging in some fresh seafood.
3 Restaurant Huanchaco Beach
As with many restaurants in Peru found along the shore, here is a great spot for you to try some traditional seafood. Just along the beach with some of the freshest seafood in town, Restaurant Huanchaco Beach is a must-visit for anyone who visits Huanchaco.
4 El Chalán Criollo – Piura
With dishes and dessert delights alike, El Chalán is a perfect stop for anyone looking for not just the best restaurant in Peru, but also some of the best ice cream, desserts, and breakfasts.
5 El Portón Gaucho – Chimbote
Slap bang in the middle of Chimbote, you will find El Porton Gaucho, an Argentinian-inspired steak house and the best restaurant in the area. If all that seafood is tiring you out, then head here for a slap-up dinner. It’s classically decorated to look like an Argentine restaurant, and the food is authentic too!
6 El rincón del pato – Lambayeque
Decorated almost like a fairies garden, the portions here are huge and delightfully authentic Peruvian dishes. It’s not fine dining, it’s staunchly authentic dining and we simply cannot get enough.
7 El Pacifico Lambayeque
The best restaurant in Lambayeque, and one of the best restaurants in Peru. Wander your way over here and sample some of the fresh seafood that they will have prepared just for you. The portions are huge, the staff is attentive (at least for Peru’s standards) and you’re guaranteed to have a good, comfortable time here.
8 Paprika Restaurant Chiclayo
If you can’t wait to try the delicious Peruvian criollo food, or if you’ve already tried it and realized you cannot get enough this is the spot for you. A huge selection of beautifully plated Peruvian dishes await you, and you won’t be able to get enough. Try it and see.
9 Jama- Huaraz
It’s fair to say that Huaraz is not known for its cuisine. However, Jama is working to change that. It’s hands down one of the best restaurants in Peru, and by far the most affordable fine dining experience you will have. Do yourself a favor and try this spot.
10 Picantería del Mar – Pimentel
One of the best spots in the area. Picantería del Mar serves fresh seafood and artisanal beers, making for the perfect lunchtime stop for anyone that appreciates delicious things. Plus, its backdoors wander right onto the beach. A dream come true.
Best restaurants in Iquito, the Jungle?
It’s widely agreed that the Peruvian jungle is one of the best places of all the Americas to see the rainforest. It is not necessarily known for its dining. However, while they might not measure up to the best of the best in Lima, there are still plenty of amazing restaurants in this part of Peru.
An extra bonus is that this cuisine is, again, completely different from the highlands and the coast, and it is incredible.
1 Al Frío y al Fuego
Found on the Amazon River in Iquitos (an actual floating restaurant!) Al Frío y al Fuego is an experience waiting to be shared. It’s not only one of the best restaurants in Iquitos and the Jungle, but it’s also one of the restaurants in Peru that you must try while you are here. It’s timeless, and it offers real jungle delights and dishes for its patrons.
2 Restaurante Fitzcarraldo
A great place to stop into if you are in Iquitos city center and looking for somewhere that is local, but still has that little bit more. There are local dishes to enjoy, but there are also more international plates. You can enjoy some local cuisine, and the fussy eaters of the pack can be satisfied with pizza.
3 La Gran Maloca
The traditional food of the jungle, mixed with fusion criolla food. Still Peruvian, but introducing other excitements from different regions. Enjoy crocodile chicharron, Paiche, and other dishes. You know it’s authentic because this restaurant has kept its doors open for well over 100 years.
4 Amazon Bistro
Just a few blocks from the Amazon River, this bistro offers plenty of different delights. From sandwiches with homemade bread to heartier dishes, the Amazon Bistro has it all and is a great place to stop off for lunch or for a break from Amazonian Cuisine.
5 Restaurant Cevicheria El Mijano
More than just a spot for jungle ceviche (and do try it, as everywhere in Peru makes their ceviche a little differently), you can find real culture here. With traditional dances and live music playing regularly, the restaurant is a great place to go for the entire evening and just soak up the culture of Iquitos.
6 Antica Pizzeria
You probably don’t head to the jungle or Iquitos to try a pizza place. But if you’ve just returned to the city after a few days deep in the jungle, you may well appreciate the taste of something familiar. And what’s more familiar than a pizza? There are portions of pasta available too for those who want something a little different.
A proud local spot, and a great place to get down and around the regulars. Reasonably priced, huge dishes, and local cuisine. It’s not fancy, and it’s not trying to be anything it’s not. Just good old-fashioned jungle food.
8 La Mishquina
A meeting point for travelers, this restaurant is full of atmosphere and excitement. It offers plenty of local dishes and is the perfect place to unwind with a beer after a long hot day of exploring in Iquitos. It may not be the most elegant restaurant in Peru, but it certainly delivers the goods.
Traditional food circling the regions of Peru. This is an incredible place with a real-life zest for what is important in Peruvian cuisine. This is not just one of the best the Iquitos has to offer, but also one of the best restaurants in Peru.
10 Huasaí Restaurant
Are we saving the best to last? Enjoy reasonably priced traditional meals here, any day of the week. We particularly recommend the menu, which changes every day and is a favorite across Peru.
So here we are! An extensive list of some of the best restaurants in Peru, broken down into regions.
Peru is a truly magnificent country, and it expresses itself through its food in many ways. There are many things to fall in love with here (the trekking, the history, and the culture, or even just the sense of community), but one thing that will stay in your head long after you have left is just quite how good the food and the restaurants in Peru are. Of course… with every meal, you’ll need a traditional Peruvian drink…