Where to Eat Out in Lima
If two of your passions are cuisine and travel, then you’ve probably heard the rumours about the capital of Peru. Enthroned on the Pacific Coast, Lima is hailed as one of the world’s food capitals, and is certainly the best place in South America for savouring tantalising dishes. Here, chefs draw on the varied landscapes and terrains of Peru, incorporating ingredients from the rainforest, highlands, lowlands and sea, to create some of the most creative, delicious plates you’ll ever taste. As such, dining is one of the most outstanding highlights of a trip to Lima, with so many world-class restaurants to experience. Here’s our top picks on where to eat out in Lima, from high-end to everyday eateries.
Regularly finding itself in the top ten of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants – currently, it is ranked at no.6 – Central is arguably the best place to eat out in Lima. A sensory experience awaits diners here, as head chef Virgilio Martinez explores the immense variety of altitudes in Peru’s terrain through his inventive tasting menus, made up of 17 courses. From depths of 20m in the Pacific Ocean to heights of 4,100m above it, these 17 courses are each a delicate, thoughtful depiction of the diversity of Peru. Within these courses, you might find upon your plate limpets, river snails, seaweed, yacon, oca tubers, cacao, chicken or clay, always immaculately presented as though a work of art. Once you try it for yourself, you’ll discover why this eatery in Lima’s Miraflores district is considered the best restaurant in South America.
Central Restaurante, Calle Santa Isabel 376, Miraflores 15074, Lima (+51 1 242 8515)
Another high-end restaurant in Lima, which in 2018 was the no.1 in Latin America’s 50 Best, Maido has a different take on Peruvian cooking. Here, in its contemporary dining room in elegant Miraflores, chef Mitsuharu ‘Micha’ Tsumura dreams up Nikkei fusion food: a blend of Peruvian and Japanese gastronomy. It’s a mouth-watering mix celebrated by chefs around the world, though no one does it better than Micha, with his ever-inventive food combinations. The 13-course tasting menu comprises delicacies like miso-marinated cod with crispy nuts, nigiri sushi, sea urchin rice, the acclaimed beef short rib slow-cooked for 50 hours, and tofu cheesecake ice cream. Bringing together the unique cooking styles of both Peru and Japan, it is said that no one in the world can beat the ‘king of Nikkei, chef Micha.
Maido, Calle San Martin 399, Miraflores 15074, Lima (+51 1 446 2512)
Astrid y Gastón Restaurant
Astrid y Gastón has been on the Lima dining scene for 25 years, and is a classic, much-loved restaurant with its own special charm. The 8th Best Restaurant in Latin America is housed in a colonial townhouse in the upmarket San Isidro district, headed up by a German-Peruvian couple after whom the restaurant is named. The team concocts exquisite delicacies like gnocchi and scallops with lucuma jus, suckling pig confit in pibil and black bean sauce, and cuy (guinea pig) in purple-corn crepes, while duck, crab and ceviche also frequently star on the menu. Interestingly, the duo played a huge role in putting Lima on the world’s culinary map, making eating here much more than a feast for the senses – although it certainly excels at that!
Astrid y Gastón, Avenida Paz Soldán 290, San Isidro 15073, Lima (+51 1 442 2777)
Huaca Pucllana Restaurant
The seafood and the view are what make Huaca Pucllana stand out as a top pick for where to eat out in Lima. Named after the ancient, pre-Inca adobe pyramid over which it peers, dating back some 1,500 years, Huaca Pucllana is a staple eatery for devouring classic ceviches, seafood chowders and warming chupes, particularly the aji de gallina chicken stew, cooked the traditional way. Given its privileged location, we recommend stopping by for lunch or dinner after a tour of the archaeological site next door, pulling up a chair on the terrace to enjoy uninterrupted views of the ruins. Then, to elevate the dining experience further, why not order a bottle of South American wine or the national drink, a Pisco Sour?
Malabar and Amaz Restaurants
Wholesome but contemporary Peruvian fare can be savoured at Malabar, a San Isidro restaurant with chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino at the helm. Schiaffino likes to incorporate more unusual ingredients into his cuisine, such as algae, roots and wild fruits, plucked from across Peru though with a particular emphasis on the Amazon. In fact, his other Lima restaurant, Amaz, is a love letter to Amazonian cuisine, having spent years delving into the world’s largest rainforest to bring back products and techniques to the city. At Amaz, in Miraflores, you can sample fish broth with pehuelpa and macambo, traditional chicken juane, and churros pishpirones, to name just a few standout dishes.
Malabar, Avenida Camino Real 101, San Isidro 15073, Lima (+51 1 440 5200)
Amaz, Avenida la Paz 1079, Miraflores 15074, Lima (+51 1 221 9393)
La Mar Restaurant
For ceviche, ceviche, and more ceviche, head to La Mar in Miraflores. Overseen by chef Gustavo Montestruque, this is a big-hitting cevichería with long queues down the street (no reservations can be made here), and for good reason. Using only sustainable fish that has been caught on the day, Montestruque and his team whip up a dizzying array of ceviches made with octopus, sea urchin, shrimp and grouper, to name a few. You could try the chalaca de causas with crab, sand smelt crackling, avocado and tartare sauce, or opt for the classic ceviche which is hugely popular among local diners. Naturally, the best way to enjoy your ceviche is with a glass or two of Pisco Sour, and thankfully La Mar excels in that arena too.
La Mar, Avenida Mariscal La Mar 770, Miraflores 15074, Lima (+51 1 421 3365)
Let your foodie experience in Lima commence by building your trip to Peru with Discover Your South America. After selecting a template itinerary, handpick the hotels and activities you want, adjust the durations depending on how long you want to stay in each place, and have fun in the process! Surtrek is always at hand to help out. Call us on 1 866 978 7398 (Canada and USA) or 080 8189 0438 (UK) to talk to an expert, and Discover Your South America with Surtrek!