Lima is a seventh heaven for food so perhaps that’s why there are so many restaurants with the number seven (siete in Spanish). Here is a list of the ones people ask me about:
Siete, Jirón Domeyer 260, Barranco (around corner from Isolina): high end restaurant.
Lima 27 and 27 Tapas, Calle Santa Luisa 295, San Isidro: restaurant and a tapas restaurant that is connected to the Lima 27 restaurant. (I didn’t like this place — the food was just odd in a not tasty way).
Siete Sopas, Av. Arequipa 2394, Lince and second location at Av. Angamos 609, Surquillo: This is the 24-7 soup (they have nine soups — soup of the day and the two house soups — in the photo at top is the “sopa criolla” which has beef,noodles, and milk) restaurant chain by La Lucha Sangucheria. The location on Arequipa is the first. Their bread is kind of magical.
Five years ago, I visited Lima for a weekend. My friend and her family, are my experts on Peruvian food and culture. She turned the weekend into a Peruvian food tour. Now that I have lived in Lima for a few years, here are my recommendations for a three-day food tour of Lima. Of course, if you plan your travel here around reservations at Central or Maido, then do that or go to one of the other places on my list of 100 places to try. This list is focused on showing your visitors some of the variety and best of “nueva andina” cuisine.
El Cacaotal, Jr. Colina 128A, Barranco: Closed on Sundays. Grab a coffee or hot chocolate at this premiere chocolate “library” of Peruvian fine chocolates.
Dinner (open from 7:30 p.m. except for Cosme that is open from 6 p.m. Reservations are better but not requisite. Merito does not take reservations, show up at 7:20 p.m. and stand in line)
Statera, Av. Mariscal La Mar 463: The former R&D chef at Central, who also worked at Noma, opened his own place. All the inventiveness and intellectual complexity of Central but without the prices and hype.
Cosme, Tudela Y Varela 160-162, San Isidro (the other side of the street is Miraflores): Cozy and delicious.
Jeronimo, Av. Mariscal La Mar 1209: Much of the food is not specific to Peru but it’s still delicious!
Merito, Jr. 28 De Julio 206, Barranco: Venezuelan chefs who worked at Central = haute cuisine with a Venezuelan influence.
Lunch (these cevicherias, like all traditional ceviche places, are only open for lunch and sometimes breakfast)
La Preferida, Calle Julian Arias Aragüez 698, Miraflores: This original location is very local to this upper-middle class neighborhood. No tourists.
La Picanteria, Calle Santa Rosa 388, Surquillo: Internet-famous. Lots of food tours go here. Pick the fish and have it cooked two ways. Family style eating. Also serves non-fish.
Al Toke Pez, Av. Angamos 886, Surquillo: the chef is famous for being a Ph.D. who has chosen to honor his father’s culinary tradition (his father opened Matsuei) by opening a hole-in-the-wall.
Cordanos, Jirón Ancash 202, Cercado de Lima: If you are touristing downtown, this former political moshpit near the main square, still serves atmosphere with good food.
La Isolina, Av. San Martin 101, Barranco: This place is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The owner is the son of Isolina, who opened La Red. La Isolina serves her recipes. The son has now opened Las Reyes in a tribute to his mom and her sisters (as in “the King girls”), all good cooks.
Las Vecinas, Jirón Domeyer 219, Barranco: Just down the street from La Isolina. Gluten-free, vegetarian, healthy, and all those other feel good options. Cute interior too.
Before I took the coffee class, I had already taken a tea tasting class in Barranco at Zaniti (Av. Almte. Miguel Grau 612).
The tea tasting costs 25 soles. The tasting is only Mlesna brand tea, one of the leading brands of tea in the world. This is the only Sri Lankan tea shop in Peru. The teacher was clearly bewitched by her time in Sri Lanka and that shows in her presentation. I have been to tea plantations in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh (although, I never got around to writing about that part because I was too interested in other aspects of Sylhet) so I sort of understood her fascination.
The store is filled with artwork, cups, plates, bags, and many other things to buy. It is a bit like an artists collective as the artists also own and work in the store.
I’d say to go on a South Asia kick and eat at Dhaasu before or after…
Recently, I organized a coffee class tasting at Artidoro Rodriguez (I’ll write about that another time, once the caffeine has worn off. But, if you want a foretaste, read about how gourmet coffee is a hot item (!!!) in Peru.). Felix of Artidoro Rodriguez is an expert coffee taster (a different skill from being an expert roaster). Naturally, we asked Felix where he drinks coffee in Lima, and he told us his list of where to drink gourmet coffee (gourmet coffee is coffee with a grade of more than 80 on the 100 point scale. Don’t ask about coffee below 60 — okay, okay, more about that another time). Now, I need a cup of Joe. Gourmet Joe!
La Teoría de 6 Cafés, Calle Gral Mendiburu 890, Miraflores: They have cold brewed coffee as well (there is more caffeine in cold brew). Felix, the coffee roaster of Artidoro Rodriguez coffee (and grandson of Artidoro), may be biased as he is friends with the folks at this cafe (or did they become friends over a cup of coffee?). Note in the photo below that this cafe serves cold brew with orange juice along with other hipster coffee trends.
Milimétrica Espresso Bar, Av. la Paz 580, Miraflores: The link from Beanhunters provides lists of where to drink gourmet coffee around the world.
Colonia & Co, Av San Martin 131, Barranco: From the photos, it looks like they even have a real hipster with a manbun working here.
Caleta Dolsa, Av San Martin 223, Barranco (couldn’t find a link on the cafe so inside I include one of the area including a tip on a hotel to stay in): this place is only a few months old. It’s located in a sunken (basement) space.
I start with an old photo from La Mar restaurant on Avenida Mariscal de la Mar as a tribute to Gaston Acurio who suffered the slings of society scoffing at him for opening a restaurant “out” on La Mar (yes, he has laughed all the way to the bank, but also straight into the hearts of most Peruvians and he is now considered a national treasure). True, La Red had been there but that is part of the folklore of La Red, and La Mar was the leader in “haute cuisine” places on La Mar. Now look how many have popped up in the past year (some even in just the past few months):
Poke Pacifiko, Av Mariscal La Mar 555, Miraflores: make your own Hawaiian style raw fish salad here.
Statera, Avenida Mariscal La Mar 463, Miraflores: like Central but with bigger portions.
La Verdad de la Milanesa, Av Mariscal La Mar 684, Miraflores: “chicken fried” restaurant. To do something in the style of Milan is to bread(crumb) and fry something.
Huh, Av Mariscal La Mar 760, Miraflores: new healthfood place.
Roll & Co., Av Mariscal La Mar 733, Miraflores: hand made ice cream (on a cold plate in front of you).
Maketto, Av Mariscal La Mar 830, Miraflores: new “street food” looking (it looks like an alley in Tokyo?) sushi place.
Las Barras de Ronalds, Av Mariscal La Mar 825, Miraflores: a ceviche chain.
Mayta, Av Mariscal La Mar 1285, Lima: they re-opened on La Mar.
La Pizza de la Chola, Av Mariscal La Mar 1085, Miraflores: Chola’s pizza place. Seems so long ago that he opened this place in June…
Maria Panela, Av Mariscal La Mar 1035, Miraflores: new Brazilian home cooking.
Parallel to La Mar:
Frida, Calle Gral Mendiburu 793, Lima: Jeronimo and Tinga Tu Taco chef Moma’s new Mexican place (but also seems so long ago that it opened — it was August…)
Sakura, Avenida del Ejército 820, Miraflores: upstairs near the western end of this street. Japanese food.
Nami, Av. del Ejército 182, Miraflores: sushi.
Las Tres Suecas, Av. Gral. Córdoba 1193, Miraflores (turn right at the western end of La Mar): a Swedish cafe and shop.
On the “Barranco side” of La Mar (as in, these are in Barranco but Central once was in Miraflores):
Kjolle (Pia Leon, wife of Central chef) Av. Pedro de Osma 301, Barranco: Virgilio opened a place big enough for his wife and partner to get her own name in lights (she is also the owner of Central but no one remembers that).
Dhaasu, Av. República de Panamá 245, Barranco: Indian food.
Dhaasu=buenazo=awesome! Really, that is the definition of the name (“DAW-ah-sooo” is my best guess). Dhaasu, Av. República de Panamá 245, Barranco (between Avenida el Sol and Salazar). Step down into the eatery located on the side of the BRT Metropolitano line. Open 1-4 and 7-10 on Wednesday-Sunday, closed Monday, and open 7-10 on Tuesdays.
Apparently, in Arequipa, there is an Indian guy named Roy who has a restaurant named “India Indian” — just to make clear that the food is Indian. In Peru, the term for Indian food is “comida hindu.” In Lima, there are four restaurants claiming to be this kind of food: Dhaasu opened in just recently (instagram) and will conquer South America with its yumminess; Guru out in La Molina and is run by a Pakistani; Mantra is acceptable if desperation takes you there; and Masala is not worth the desperation. But, now back to talking about awesome!
Dhaasu is a hole-in-the-wall or huarique (Peruvian term for a hole-in-the-wall) with eight stools. No tables, no tablecloths, no reservations. Dhaasu translates to “effing awesome” or “buenazo” in Peruvian Spanish. It describes how delicious the food is at this newly opened eatery run by Rish and Camilla. They both speak English and Spanish, the chef has over ten years of experience from cooking in Delhi, and yes, there are vegetarian versions of everything. Currently, the menu is a few types of wrap sandwiches and curries. Those words are pitiful descriptions of the yummy spicy (but not spicy) meat in masala sauce (or curry by another name), the warm and fresh baked flatbread (naan) sandwiches wrapped around tender, marinated, caramelized juicy meat…
… where was I? Oh, yes. Possibly my highest accolade is to compare something to ice cream. The butter chicken is like a meaty ice cream. To be eaten by spoon (or dessert shovel?). In terms of spiciness, Rish has not developed the top level of spiciness. To many people, the food here will seem spicy. It didn’t make me sweat but I did enjoy the deliciousness of the food, even if it wasn’t vindaloo spicy.
Rish comes from a family of restaurant owners and Dhaasu is just the beginning of his empire. Dhaasu uses biodegradable containers and utensils for those who feel better knowing this. I plan to take my own lunchboxes next time and load up.
Rish plans to expand, take his tandoor on the road, cater, and can he hurry up already? Speaking of India food, I asked about dosa which is from south India. Rish said that he had a friend who was thinking about this too… Here’s to the rise of the Indian Indian food in Lima!
***Updated January 20, 2019**** If you went out for dinner on Sunday night, then maybe you also want to out for dinner on Monday night. Here is a partial list of restaurants to go to for dinner on a Monday night in Lima. The restaurants are listed by how early you can eat dinner (4 pm early bird?).
Siete Sopas, Av. Arequipa 2394, Lince (Open 24 hours; seven days a week): This is a soup restaurant from the chain La Lucha Sangucheria. They have three soups each day. They always have “criolla” and “diet” (chicken soup) and then the day’s soup. It’s advertised on the wall outside so you can see the soup of the day from outside (or just have it memorized like some of my friends… “today’s Tuesday, so not MY soup day.”).
Social Restaurant & Bar in the Hilton Hotel, Av. la Paz 1099, Miraflores (Mon: 6:30AM–1AM)
Franklin, Av. Alvarez Calderón 198, San Isidro (6:30 a.m. — midnight, 365 days a year): American food. Named after Franklin D. Roosevelt.
La Vista Restaurant in the JW Marriott Hotel, Malecón de la Reserva 615, Miraflores (Mon: 6AM–11PM)
Bodega de la Trattoria, Armendariz 299, Miraflores (Mon: 7AM-10PM)
La Tiendecita Blanca (Swiss Peruvian), Av Jose Larco 111, Miraflores (Mon: 7AM–12AM)
Mangos Restaurante in Larcomar Mall, Malecón de la Reserva 610 (Mon: 8AM–1AM)
La Lucha Sanguchería Criolla in Larcomar Mall (casual sándwich shop) and at various locations including Av. Sta. Cruz 847, Miraflores (Óvalo Gutiérrez – the circle with the Wong and the movie theater) and Diagonal 139, Miraflores (Mon: 8AM–12AM)
***Updated February 19, 2020 to update Spizza’s new address**** So it’s Sunday night and you want to go out for dinner… Here are some of the places that I found. The restaurants are listed by how early you can eat dinner so that if you feel like eating linner/dinner at 5 pm, you can. Many of these restaurants are located in hotels or in Laromar Mall but I’ve noted that if that is the case. More power to you going out to eat on a school night!
Siete Sopas, corner of Angamos and Via Expresa, as well as Av. Arequipa 2394, Lince (Open 24 hours; seven days a week): This is a soup restaurant from the chain La Lucha Sangucheria. They have three soups each day. They always have “criolla” and “diet” (chicken soup) and then the day’s soup. It’s advertised on the wall outside so you can see the soup of the day from outside (or just have it memorized like some of my friends… “today’s Tuesday, so not MY soup day.”).
La Vista Restaurant in the JW Marriott Hotel, Malecón de la Reserva 615, Miraflores (Sun: 6AM–11PM)
Franklin, Av. Alvarez Calderón 198, San Isidro (6:30 a.m. — midnight, 365 days a year): American food. Named after Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Paprika Restaurante Lima in the Costa del Sol Hotel, Av. Gral. Salaverry 3060 (Sun: 6AM—11PM)
Social Restaurant & Bar in the Hilton Hotel, Av. la Paz 1099, Miraflores (Sun: 6:30AM–1AM)
La Tiendecita Blanca (Swiss Peruvian), Av Jose Larco 111, Miraflores (Sun: 7AM–12AM)
Tanta in Larcomar Mall, Circuito de Playas 3773, Miraflores (Sun: 8AM–10PM)
Mangos Restaurante in Larcomar Mall, Malecón de la Reserva 610 (Sun: 8AM–12AM)
La Lucha Sanguchería Criolla in Larcomar Mall (casual sándwich shop) and at various locations including Diagonal 139, Miraflores (Sun: 8AM–12AM)
Restaurante Vivaldi, Av. Camino Real 415, San Isidro (Sun: 8AM—10PM)
Sarcletti Dos De Mayo, Av. Dos de Mayo 1297, San Isidro, (Sun: 8:30AM—11PM)
La Vaca Loca in Larcomar Mall, C.C 18,, Malecón de la Reserva 610 (Sun: 11AM–12AM)
Papacho’s Miraflores (burgers), also in Larcomar Mall and this location: Av. la Paz 1045, Miraflores (Sun: 11AM-10PM)
La Rosa Náutica, Espigón Miraflores, Lima 18, Circuito de Playas (Sun: 12PM–12AM)
Delfino Mar, Jorge Chávez 509, Miraflores (Sun: 12PM-10PM)
Bao? (café with Asian sandwiches), 15074, José Domingo Choquehuanca 411 (Sun: 12PM–11PM)
Restaurante Alfresco, Av 28 de Julio 331 (Sun: 12PM–11PM)
KO Asian Kitchen in Larcomar Mall, Local 207, Malecón de la Reserva 610 (Sun: 12PM–12AM)
Bon Beef, Av. Pardo y Aliaga 596, San Isidro (Sun: 12PM—11PM)
Antica Pizza, Av. Dos de Mayo 732, San Isidro (Sun: 12PM—12AM)
Baco & Vaca, Av. Dos de Mayo 798, San Isidro (Sun: 12PM—12AM)
La Bodega de la Trattoria, Av. Dos de Mayo 715, San Isidro (Sun: 12:00PM—11PM)
Dánica, Av. Emilio Cavenecia 170, San Isidro (Sun: 12:30PM—10PM)
Restaurant Cuarto y Mitad, Av. Los Conquistadores 1266, San Isidro (Sun: 12:30PM—11PM)
SPizza, Luis Arias Schereiber 147, Miraflores (Sun: 12:30PM—10PM)
San Cerefino (Italian-Peruvian), Av Dos de Mayo 793, San Isidro (Sun:12:30PM—9:30PM)
Makoto Sushi Bar & Restaurante, Av. Dos de Mayo 585, San Isidro (Sun:12:30PM—11PM)
Fuji Japanese Food, Av. Paseo de la República 4084, Miraflores (12–3PM; 6–11PM)
La Trattoria di Mambrino in Larcomar Mall (Sun: 12PM-4PM; 6:20 PM–12AM)
Dhaasu, Comida Hindu: Avenida de la Republica de Panama 245.
Tragaluz in the Belmond Hotel, Los Carolinos 118, Miraflores (Sun: 7PM—11PM)
Vegan food in Lima? Yes, apparently. I asked some vegans for their list of places to eat. This blog posting is cribbed off of their list (though, I think you can ask at any place and then can probably make it vegan for you.)
La Isolina, Av San Martin 101, will make you vegan food if you ask for it.
Veggie Pizza: This is a chain so there is also a location in Barranco. This location is right under the chocolate shop (and many of the chocolates are vegan…)
Mozart Cafe, Av. Primavera 605, San Borja, also has a massive salad bar.
Given the rise of the Peruvian food culture, I would guess that most restaurants on my list of 100 restaurants to try can do various vegan options (You can ask, “tiene platos veganos?” or “tienes opciones para veganos?”) Let me know what you try by commenting on my blog.
****Updated address on May 29, 2021**** El Cacaotal has always been located on Jirón Colina, but it’s been in three locations. Currently, the address is Jirón Colina 111.
Chocolate tasting class? For as little as 60 soles (20 bucks) or 120 soles (40 bucks), you can learn all about chocolate, where it’s grown in Peru, where it comes from, how to taste it, what it should sound like, snap like, smell like, and so on… but, no fear, the class is not intimidating. AJ is clearly an expert (she really is — see below), but she is so warm and friendly that you hardly feel like you are sitting on a school bench.
AJ is an American anthropologist who did her graduate degree in chocolate! Then she opened up a shop to share the knowledge and help Peru’s chocolate field. Her shop is called El Cacaotal (cocoa field) and it’s decorated with dried cacao tree leaves and everything chocolate (or items in support of non-chocolate small entrepreneurs). The shop is located on Jirón Colina 111 in Barranco (two streets west from the Metro grocery store on Grau, down the street from a yellow corner building).
AJ’s chocolate tasting classes can be in English or Spanish and at the end, you will be in situ to buy chocolate! The chocolate is sustainable small batch delicious healthy dark chocolate, but you can ignore that if you want and just enjoy the delicious varieties of chocolate from all over Peru.
I emailed to set up a class for seven of us (she can fit up to ten in a class). Her email is: firstname.lastname@example.org. Make it a thing you do when you visit Lima.
I’ll be too busy eating chocolate, because, did I mention that I don’t even really like chocolate? So I’ll be trying to find one that I really do like… And not just the world champion from last year… I’ll give them all a try! Even the (healthy, sigh) spreadable version.
Food in Lima. I finally created a book with some of the foods I’ve tried on my many visits to Lima these past few years. Buy it here, on Lulu, if you wish. It’s just a little book, 7×9 inches, so it will fit in a bag easily (that way I can carry it around with me).
In reality, since my first visit, when I first had the classic ceviche as seen in the photo, all of my visits to Lima have been “food tours.” Some day, I’ll even get to Mistura, the food festival. I will, I will!