Let’s try traditional Peruvian food!

Cuisine

Traveling means going out of your routine and daring to try the unknown. Peruvian cuisine is full of surprises. Here, Christelle has recommended some restaurants where you will taste the local flavors.

Cuzco

Seledonia’s

Seledonia's / Photo: Joseluis Franco

Seledonia’s / Photo: Joseluis Franco

Seledonia or Celia is a strong woman, full of dreams, who after working in several gourmet restaurants, decided to open her own. Here in Peru, they call it “huarique “: a hidden, well-known, local spot. I heard about this place through, Guido, one of the best guides in Cusco, from Respons Agency, who has made Seledonia his place. This place is simple and family oriented. It’s like walking into a room full of friends. There is also a table outside on the patio. On weekdays, at noon, they offer a set menu for 10 soles (salad bar/ soup /main course, vegetarian options available/ drink). You can´t miss out on the house specialty, a la carte: picante of alpaca or picante of cheese, novoandino chicken in quinoa, roasted guinea pig. And for dessert? “Vinoa” fried quinoa balls with nuts in a sweet red wine sauce. Seledonia allows you to see the preparation from their kitchen and you can even lend a hand. Upon request, cooking classes are available. A la carte, 30-50 soles per person.

Visit: Calle Chihuampata 564, 984 374 986. Web

Another option, Pachapapa

Pachapapa - Perú Travel Tips

A classic Cusco Restaurant chain and one of the places that has changed Cusco´s gastronomy. Here, on a sunny patio, traditional food is cooked in a clay oven, “picantería” style. For an appetizer, try trout ceviche or a solterito cheese salad and lima beans and for your main course: baked trout or guinea pig with huacatay herbs and paprika. For large groups, Pachamanca is prepared to order. They also have Creole dishes such as: Lomo Saltado, Lima Bean Tacu Tacu or Aji de Gallina. For skeptics, try their oven made pizza. Enjoy it all with a giant glass of chichi morada. A la carte, 50-100 soles per person.

Visit: Plaza San Blas 120, San Blas, 084 241318. Web

Iquitos

La Blanquita

La Blanquita

La Blanquita

Bruno, a Frenchman, who lived in Iquitos for more than two years and was in charge at the Latitud Sur Eco Cruise line. Other than the food onboard, his favorite restaurant is La Blanquita. Cecina (smoked pork) or sausage with tacacho (roasted banana), a wide selection of juanes, (the best: chicken, pork or chonta) ready, waiting and wrapped in bijao leaves and fish wrapped in leaves. The restaurant is humble and family oriented. Simple, tasty food. A la carte, 12-30 Soles per person.

Visit: Calle Bolognesi 1181, 065 266015

An alterative, Mitos y Cubiertos

Mitos y Cubiertos

Mitos y Cubiertos

A spacious and centrally located restaurant, decorated with a funny tribute to the elves of the forest. They serve good salads with fresh chonta, a hardy barbeque and set Creole menus that cost 13 soles. But they also offer the local food to try: alligator stir-fry with ajuanado rice or damsel fish al la Meunière with tacachos (roasted banana). A la carte, 30-50 soles per person.

Visit: Jr. Napo 337, 065 222196. Web 

Tarapoto

La Collpa

La Collpa / Photo: Joseluis Franco

A recommendation from a local guide and photographer, Jose Luis Franco. This typical restaurant is one of the oldest in the city. It is a cottage overlooking the Escalera Hills from a wooden balcony. Try the paiche (the finest Amazonian fish), shrimp, beef or picuro and fresh grape juice. The smoked pork, sausage and fish are cooked over charcoal. They portions are large, good enough for two people to share. A la carte, 40-60 Soles per person.

Visit: Av. Circunvalación 198, 042 522 644.

A different option, La Patarashca

La Patarashca

La Patarashca

A large, recommended spot in the city, with local decor, low ceilings and very good service. Sit on the terrace on the second floor under the bougainvillea’s, and try Eli´s deliciousness. She doesn’t like to be called “chef”, but she is quite skilled and tries to bring back traditional dishes, adding new flavors. Her tarapotina salad with fresh, thick, juicy pieces of chonta is scrumptious and her shrimp inchi-capi chowder is unique. I got the ribs marinated in a honey cocoa sauce. Upon request, she can prepare suris (larvae) skewers with majambo or snail stew. A la carte, 40-70 Soles per person.

Visit: Jr. Lamas 261, 042 528 810. Web

Puerto Maldonado

Burgo’s

Burgos

Burgos

No one recommended this restaurant to me, I found this place wandering around, looking for a friendly place to eat in Puerto Maldonado. The restaurant is spacious, a variety of wines are on display near the entrance, a wide selection is of food is available and there is a terrace in the back to enjoy the view or for an intimate candlelight dinner. Try the paiche wrapped in leaves, paiche maki sushi wrapped in tacacho (roasted banana) in a chili pepper cocona and sachaculantro sauce, or creamy fettuccine with smoked pork.  They have a full buffet of side dishes and the waiters are very professional. A la carte, 30-60 soles per person.

Visit: Calle 26 de diciembre 195-197, 082 573 653

Another alternative, La Vaca Loka

La Vaca Loka / Photo: Joseluis Franco

La Vaca Loka / Photo: Joseluis Franco

Recommended for their delicious barbeque or steak in pisco sauce or chestnut sauce. Always with tacachos. Surprising also with the “de la selva su lomo “: sirloin in a Creole and chili cream cocona sauce. A small, but nice place. A la carte, 20-50 soles per person.

Visit: Jr. Loreto 224

See you soon!

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