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Lima is the beautiful and vibrant capital of Peru. Situated along the arid desert coast of Peru it has developed into the top culinary hub for South America, hosting 3 restaurants in the “Top 50 Best Restaurants” list. Let us just say that travelers to Lima should bring loose-fitting pants and large appetites. The Limeños (people from Lima) love to eat well and they do not hide it as the restaurant’s of Lima are always packed with families devouring all the delicious culinary delights that Peru has to offer. If you are going to travel through Lima and don’t know what to eat, here are 7 Peruvian dishes you must try while visiting Lima.
The Top 7 Peruvian Dishes You Must Try
Ceviche is probably one of the most popular Peruvian dishes to come out of Peruvian cuisine and is still popular amongst the locals. Typically enjoyed during lunch, it is a refreshing dish for those hot Peruvian summers.
Ceviche or cebiche is made up of seafood cooked in a lime-based sauce known as leche de tigre or tiger’s milk. The fish is prepared by chopping it roughly and letting it cook in the citric acid of the leche de tigre sauce. Along with the fish, the dish is topped with an onion salsa, boiled choclo corn and sweet potato. Ceviche is light, bright and a very refreshing dish that can be found throughout the city. Make sure to enjoy it while sipping on some pisco or a local larger.
Head to El Muelle Cebicheria in the beautiful neighborhood of Barranco. This local spot is always crowded with families, so expect to wait. If you are with a group, I suggest ordering one of their large ceviches as it is enough to feed a small army.
Jr. Alfonso Ugarte 206,
Lima 15063, Peru
Conchas a la Parmesana
Conchas a la Parmesana is one of the best simple snacks to enjoy with a beer. It is simply scallops on the half-shell with melted parmesan on top and a little olive oil. This dish is just another example of the wonderful ingredients the Peruvians pull from the Pacific Ocean and the delicious simplicity of Peruvian dishes.
Head over to Punto Azul in Miraflores for some fantastic concha a la parmesana as well as other traditional Peruvian dishes. This is a very popular stop for both locals and tourist alike. Don’t let the wait discourage because it is well worth it.
Calle San Martin 595,
Miraflores 15074, Perú
Continuing down the path of the ceviche family, you will find tiradito. According to urban legend, tiradito was invented by the local fisherman or pescadores. As they would clean their morning catch they would cut off thin slices, toss them onto the hot coastal rocks to lightly sear them, and with a squeeze of lime juice eat them right there.
What separates tiraditos from ceviche is the thin cut. Tiraditos is cut sashimi style in the Japanese tradition*. Then they cover the fish with a lime-based sauce to cook. This is a popular dish at both traditional and modern restaurants.
We suggest heading to Hanzo in San Isidro for some fantastic Nikkei cuisine and of course tiraditos.
*In Peru it is very common to find Japanese, Peruvian fusion called Nikkei.
Av. Los Conquistadores 598,
San Isidro 15073, Peru
Anticuchos is the must-try dish on this list when coming to Lima. It is their ultimate street food that has a long history in Peru. Anticuchos are beef hearts that are grilled with different spices on a hot grill off the flame.
Don’t let the beef heart scare you off. You would have no idea that this savory meat was heart if I didn’t tell you. Just order three to six sticks of Anticuchos, dip them in their spicy yellow pepper sauce, and enjoy.
Anticuchos can be found throughout the city but we suggest heading to Anticuchos Grimanesa. This was once a street stand but it got so popular that the owner was forced by the city to open up her own place due to the congestion in the streets, so you know it’s good.
Calle Ignacio Merino 466,
Miraflores 15074, Perú
Lomo Saltado simply put is the Peruvian version of stir-fry. A popular cuisine in Peru is chifa, the fusion of Peruvian and Chinese cuisine. As you wander the streets of Lima you will find chifa restaurants all over the city. One of the more popular dishes to come out of this is Lomo Saltado which can be found in local bodegas and chifa restaurants alike.
Lomo Saltado is simply beef cooked in spices, onions, peppers and the Peruvian saltado sauce. The stir-fry is plated with fries and rice and there you have it: lomo saltado! It is a fantastic cheap dish to fill you up.
Head to Las Mesitas in the neighborhood of Barranco for some fantastic Lomo Saltado. This is an old school restaurant that will have all the Peruvian greats when it comes to food.
Av. Almte. Miguel Grau 341,
Lima 15063, Perú
Causas are little Peruvian stacks of heaven that any traveler serious about eating in Peru needs to try. Peru is the potato capital of the world and this dish shows how they are the masters of preparing them as well.
Traditionally causas are prepared by layering chilled mashed potatoes with layers of avocado and shredded chicken to create heaven. However, today they can come filled with many different ingredients including shrimp, white fish, octopus, and crab. No matter what you order it will always be a stack fluffy potatoes, avocado, and a tasty filling.
Lunchtime on the weekend is the best time to enjoys these Peruvian towers and make sure to get a pisco sour to wash it all down. Stop in at Canta Rana in Barranco for lunch to try these delicious stacks of heaven!
Barranco 15063, Perú
Let us finish off this list with a tasty doughy dessert. Picarones is the Peruvian doughnut. They are delicious little rings of fried dough made from wheat flour and pumpkin and then topped with a sugar cane syrup called chancaca.
Picarones can be found everywhere both in restaurants and on the streets. One of the best times to go and enjoy these treat is at the weekend evening street market in the center of Barranco. If you happen to miss it though head to El Tìo Mario to try this sweet Peruvian dish.
El Tìo Mario is also famous for anticuchos so order up some more of that delicious beef heart and finish the night off with Picarones!
Anticucheria El Tio Mario
Paseo Chabuca Granda,
Distrito de Lima 15063, Perú
It is difficult, to sum up this gastronomic brilliance of Peru and Lima in just 7 Peruvian dishes but this list is a great start for your culinary adventure. For any traveler who travels for food, Lima is the city for you!
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