Lima, Peru is an ugly city.
And yet. It appears on all the most important culinary success lists.
With a third of Peru’s population packed into its urban sprawl, this is a place where form comes way before function. Then again, maybe that is part of the explanation: the people of Lima put all the beauty onto their plates… They also have:
A vast reservoir of traditional recipes.
An incredible influx of flavors and influence from the rest of the globe through immigration.
The tropical location and a huge variation in altitude which produces basically every food crop a young chef can dream of or demand.
A grand pantry of unknown and little-known herbs, fruit and vegetables in the Andes and Amazon as well as a very varied seafood offering courtesy of the Humboldt Current.
RESTAURANTS THAT MAKE
LOOKING AT LIMA WORTHWHILE
Astrid & Gastón
Peru’s foray onto the international gastronomy stage began here in 1994. Chef Gastón Acurio is married to one of the world’s best pastry chefs, the German chocolatier Astrid Gutsche and their restaurant celebrates home cooking with a twist of haute cuisine served up in a spacious 17th Century Palacio decorated in modern, minimalist style.
being the first
order the tasting menu
Chef Virgilio Martínez works with his sister Malena to discover the subtle differences and surprises of the different elevations and ecosystems of Peru have to offer. And then they introduce diners to local agriculture and ingredients.
dishes that are as beautiful as they are diverse. Expect an education.
book months in advance.
El Señorio del Sulco
An incredible location on Lima’s Malecon clifftop boulevard with views of the Pacific from the glass walls, this is the go-to for ‘Criollo’ classics. Chef Flavio Solórzano was taught by his grandmother Julia.
traditional Spanish blend and pre-Columbian Peruvian techniques and recipes.
One of the most exclusive butcheries in the world. Chef Renzo Garibaldi started inviting friends around to his La Molina grill to help him experiment with his aging process and never stopped. If you do not fancy off the beaten track a second Osso is now open in the central San Isidro district.
Maybe the best steak you will ever enjoy.
not expect authentic Peruvian cuisine.
Live like the locals and enjoy ‘picanterias’ for lunch. Drawing from Arequipa cuisine in the southern Andean foothills.
Beef ribs, Chicharron and rocoto en chupe made with Peru’s hottest native chili peppers.
expect the menu to be heavy on fabulous fish and seafood.
Reverse engineering the exotic ingredients of the Amazon to please diners with the spectacular fare, Chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino walks the fine line between genius and madness with aplomb.
A bar that has been ranked within the top 10 in the world.
expect the familiar to have received a remarkable makeover.
The king of ceviche works alone. He only opens for lunch. There is no menu. The main ingredients are strictly Dover sole and octopus. Everything depends on his mood.
Being the most fashionable food in the least fashionable neighborhood.
check out your fellow diners… They might be famous. Then again they might not be. It’s that kind of place.
Schiaffino’s more accessible restaurant, Amaz might not pull as tightly on the purse strings but it certainly does not pay any less heed to the biodiversity of the Amazon basin.
Sophisticated takes on jungle staples such as juanes, Cecina and tacacho
have a clever cocktail or two featuring equally rare Amazonian ingredients.
The Nikkei influence on fine dining started with Japanese immigrants arriving in Peru in 1889. Maido is the ultimate expression of the fusion between Japanese technique and Peruvian ingredients.
Conventionally magnificent Japanese sushi next to guinea pig confit.
be ready to experience a feast for both your eyes, soul, and belly.