Markets of Lima… and Then There is Minka

I know someone whose hobby is photographing markets. In Lima, there are essentially four types of markets: wholesale food markets, local grocery markets, eco- or bio- markets (farmers), and previous “informal” markets (black market).

Wholesale markets

Santa Anita wholesale market in Ate is the source of all produce sold at the other markets in Lima. I was sure I had blogged about it but it was only in my mind. Santa Anita is about 25 minutes out side of Miraflores on a weekend. I describe it as 24 airplane hangars of produce. The prices are great if you need bulk (50 kilos of limes), but it’s not worth it if you are just shopping for personal use. Nonetheless, I’ve enjoyed visiting several times.

The fish market, Pescado Terminal, is the source of all fish and seafood sold in other markets and stores in Lima.

Gamarra is the textile market. Fabric at stores in San Borja can cost around 30-90 soles per meter whereas in Gamarra that same fabric will cost 6-16 soles per meter. Gamarra is also know for it’s “informal” part (they just got raided recently).

Informal Markets (but now with legal items as well like custom made cell phone covers)

Polvos Azules is the formerly known are for knock off goods and other “informal” goods. Halfway to downtown.

Polvos Rosados is the electronics and other goods market also formerly “informal” located out in Surco.

Grocery markets

The central market in downtown is a “local” market for Lima’s nine million inhabitants. It is near the old chinatown so convenient for tourist tours of downtown.

Surquillo 1 is a local market but also a central market. I still shop here as there are specialty stalls like the spice stall that other local markets do not have. The prices are better than at Wong. This is the market where the gastro tour go so there are lots of foreigners and tourists in this market. It’s gotten sort of dirty and it’s a mishmosh instead of neatly organized (meat in one area, etc.). On Sunday mornings, there is a farmers’ market outside. Lots of places to eat local food as well (and Venezuelan). The famous La Picanteria is just a few blocks behind hence why this market is part of the food tours.

Surquillo 2 is a collection of areas and not as safe as Surquillo 1.

Lince, Labotan, market is a local market for Lince. I like this market because it has zero tourists (well, me), it’s clean, organized, and covered. Plus, the area around it has many pastry industry shops.

Santa Cruz is one of the local markets for Miraflores. Exceptionally clean.

Productores in San Isidro (on the Miraflores border) is a local market for the wealthy San Isidro-Miraflores types along the malecon. There is a fish market there. One goes in to the parking lot at the San Isidro sports complex and the market is inside.

Magdalena also has a local market. As does every district/barrio.

Minka

… and then there is Minka.

This is in the words of a friend, “reason to never leave Lima.” (my photos do not do it justice. Go see for yourself).

Minka has an excellent fish market, produce market, etc., in the old style INSIDE a giant open-air California style mall. Everything under one “roof.” There are restaurants, tailors, play areas, a Metro (grocery store), cell phone stores, banks… okay, I take it back… maybe there isn’t a movie theater… nor a high end grocery store selling my imported cheese…

M’s Adventures Lima Edition Nueva Andina Cuisine Tour – 3 Days

Bites to whet your appetite at Statera

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.

Must Do

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,
Merito, Jr. 28 De Julio 206, Barranco: Venezuelan chefs who worked at Central = haute cuisine with a Venezuelan influence.
Half a fish at La Picanteria.
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.
Breakfast
El Pan de la Chola, Av. La Mar 918, Miraflores: Still my number one restaurant. This is consistently good food, good service, and world class
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.
Markets
Here is my list of eco-bio-farmers’ markets. If you want to buy the plates that you ate off of at the fancy places, shop at Jallpa Nina or Dedalo.
Ham and cheese with avocado added, at El Pan de la Chola.

Statera Restaurant – Emerging From Central’s Shadow

I realize that I’ve been ignoring Statera restaurant. Or rather, that I haven’t been going there enough. Part of the problem, I think, has been that I forgot that they are open for lunch (their dinner service doesn’t start until 8 p.m. which is way past my bedtime.) But, their lunch is Tuesday-Sunday, 12:45 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. I think I’ll go more often for lunch. It’s located at Av. Mariscal La Mar 463, Miraflores. The place doesn’t look so big from outside so it’s easy to miss.

The reasons that I recommend Statera are:

It’s possible to eat there without planning for months out, as one has to do at Central.

The tasting menu is half the price and half the time.

The bartender is superbly skilled.

The owner, Andres, is a young chef who worked as Central’s Research and Development chef for two years. He also worked at Noma in Copenhagen. Plus, he speaks English and is personable (and he remembers the critique of his clients). He continually changes his menu, but has managed to keep menu items that worked well (like the pumpkin done in three ways — completely vegan — even though it tastes like fois gras).

While I send people to Statera if they can’t get in to Central, I think that Statera actually manages to embody the “nueva andina” cuisine better — combining both the beauty of presentation and imaginative use of local ingredients, while also providing food that is delicious and of normal portion size.

If for nothing else, go for the black aguaje butter and bread (see photo).

And before it becomes impossible to book a table.

Top Ten Restaurants in Lima

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The artichokes at Jeronimo.

Six months ago, I posted my top ten restaurants in Lima (that one was based mainly on the insider knowledge. Shout-out to her!), but as I’ve been going to other restaurants on my own, here is an updated list. It is still based on the following: good food, good service–every time, all the time. I’m highly allergic to places that are so famous that it’s impossible to get a reservation (or use a reservation system that puts me right off my dinner). My list is of places that serve Peruvian and “international standard” food (as in, everyone serves a green salad). So, to the list!

  1. El Pan de la Chola (in the “international standard” cafe/bakery category): Still at number one, despite being a “bakery and sandwich shop.” Consistently delicious. Good service. Every time. They now have salad, and they have wine and beer. Try it for nighttime and enjoy the completely hipster vibe.
  2. Cosmé (also in the “international standard” but they also serve ceviche and other Peruvian dishes, and at night!): Still the unknown place I take out-of-town visitors. Still love the red cabbage salad. Best “secret” place as they seem to do zero publicity. Open at 6 p.m.
  3. Jeronimo (In the “international standard” category and world class): Yes, they use an annoying reservation system, but, go right when they open up at lunch, or sit at the bar. This was the first restaurant opened by Moma Adrianzen, who has since brought Chinga Tu Taco and Frida to the Lima food scene. Jeronimo is a world-class restaurant of the caliber that you would find in London, San Francisco, New York, Melbourne, etc.
  4. BEST NEWCOMER: Mérito (Venezuelan chefs making fusion Venezuelan-Peruvian): Straight in at number four. They have only been open for six months (it’s been an active six months) and their menu is fairly small. Delicious food. Great service. Only one dish was not perfection. The longest yuca fries I’ve seen in a long time. Lots of pea shoots pepper almost all the dishes.
  5. La Preferida (a classic Peruvian-Italian bodega, with game!): It would probably be number one but it’s not open for dinner.
  6. La Mar (Gaston Acurio’s cevicheria): Only open for lunch, till 5 p.m.
  7. El Mercado (Rafael Osterling’s cevicheria): Only open for lunch. Go at 12:15 p.m. and wait in line. The shrimp mini burger is superb.
  8. La Picanteria (a cevicheria): Only open for lunch. Located in the “some day I’ll be the hip area of town” Surquillo, just two blocks behind the central market.
  9. Osso: (Also, “international standard”, and yes, as event though it’s a steakhouse, they have vegetarian options and not just salad.) The location in San Isidro is so large that you will most likely get a table, even at night.
  10. Osaka (a Peruvian-Japanese “Nikkei” place with a uber-hipster locale in San Isidro): The tuna with foie gras keeps Osaka on the list (although I wish they would turn on the light — the mood is clearly wasted on me).
  11. La Isolina (brought to you by the sons of La Red cevicheria): Serves old-fashion home recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
  12. La Red (the cevicheria that started it all): The legend. Only open for lunch.
  13. Taller Razeto (Italian): This would be higher on the list but it is located out in La Punta and it’s a journey to get out there. Still, some of the best pasta and pizza in Greater Lima.
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Foot long yuca fries from Mérito served with a vibrant Andean herb sauce.

And yes, again, I’ve been to Central, Maido, Rafael, and Astrid y Gaston. If you want to try a up-and-comer a la Central, try Statera. It’s the newest offshoot of Noma/Central style food. Foam, baby, foam!

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The edges of the octopus was crunchy like potato chips.

I eat regularly at a few other places, but as the food is not Peruvian (even if they have adapted some of their dishes to accommodate the tastes of Peruvians), I’m not including them on my list. Yet.

  • Dhaasu (zero fusion here, but using local ingredients).
  • Viet
  • Dae Jang Geum
  • JingXian

I’ve also finally activated an Instagram account for M’s Adventures: madventures.me #madventuresdotme

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Lemon merengue pie at Jeronimo. Not just tasty, but also inspired.

 

The Superstar Chefs of Peru

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Andre Patsias is next…

100 Must-Eat Restaurants in Lima

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*** Updated January 29, 2020 *** I get a lot of questions about the “must eat” restaurants in Lima. Lima is a gastronomic tourist’s South American destination. So here is the list, from the fanciest (as in they are listed on the list of 50 best restaurants list) to some that I recommend, including breakfast places. Or you can go according to this list from Eater. All these places (even La Grimanesa–see photo above) are not hole-in-the-wall places, and some are downright white tablecloth fancy-pantsy. Michelin has not bestowed any stars here yet (Michelin only recently moved into Asia and North America — Michelin was a company just trying to get their customers to wear out their tires by going for drives…).

Also, read about ten new places just on La Mar. (New, as of six months ago).

1: Central, Jirón dos de Mayo 253, Barranco

2: Raphael, San Martín 300, Miraflores

3: Maido (it’s Japanese-Peruvian), Ca. San Martín 399, Miraflores

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8: Cosme (best secret), Tudela Y Varela 160-162, San Isidro

9: Malabar, Av. Camino Real 101, San Isidro

10: El Mercado (also a Rafael Osterling restaurant), Hipólito Unanue 203, Miraflores: get the shrimp mini burger. It’s the most unusual dish here…

11: Osaka (Japanese), Av. Pardo y Aliaga 660, San Isidro: I wish they would turn up the lights but the single best bite of food that I had in 2016 — was here.

12: amaZ (Amazonian food), Av. La Paz 1079, Miraflores

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Tasting menu from Astrid y Gaston

13: El Seniorio de Sulco (on the malecon with a view of the ocean), Malecón Cisneros 1470, Miraflores

14: La Isolina, Av San Martin 101, (serves heritage Peruvian dishes): as it’s in Barranco, go during a summer lunch time. From the son of the lady who started La Red.

15: La Grimanesa (the only slightly hole-in-the-wall place), Ca. Ignacio Merino 466, Miraflores (practically across the street from La Mar). These are the award winning beef hearts on skewers. If you are going to do it, do it here.

16: Chez Wong (known for cooking in his home). Ca. Enrique León García 114, Santa Catalina

17:  El Pan de la Chola (go for breakfast or for a light dinner), Av. La Mar 918, Miraflores. His newest location in Calle Miguel Dasso serves completely different breads etc. Jonathan Day, opened a pizzeria on Avenida La Mar in June 2018 just down the street from his flagship location.

18: La Lucha Sangucheria (go for breakfast or a late night dinner to enjoy the 50s look)

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Ham and cheese from La Pannetteria.

19: La Pannetteria (go for breakfast) in Barranco.

20: La Red, Av Mariscal La Mar 391, Miraflores (down the street from La Mar): Original place with great back story. Her son opened La Isolina.

21: Cordanos (it’s downtown by the main square so good for when out touristing): hotbed of political gossip, back in the day…

22: La Picanteria, Calle Santa Rosa 388, Surquillo. From owners of Fiesta Gourmet.

23: Pescados Capitales (various locations including on La Mariscal La Mar, down the street from La Mar)

24: La Preferida (go to the original location in Miraflores or leave that for the locals…), Calle Julian Arias Aragüez 698, Miraflores. Only open for lunch.

25: Las Brujas de Cachiche (good for Friday night dining straight from the airport)

26: La Leche, a cevicheria in Surco, well hidden, on the second floor of a building near the El Polo mall. Another location in San Isidro.

27: La Segunda Muelle (it’s a chain but delicious!) Only open for lunch.

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Pork something from Astrid y Gaston

28: La Panka (also a chain)

29: Chifa Titi (Chinese), Javier Prado Este 1212, San Isidro

30: Osso, Tahiti 175, La Molina: for meat. Or the location in San Isidro, Av. Sto. Toribio, San Isidro, inside the cul-de-sac at the Swisshotel.

31: Pardos Chicken (famous Peruvian chicken rotisserie)

32: El Rocoto: named after the famous large picante red chili from Arequipa.

33: Maria Almenara (for breakfast) or lunch, or dinner.

34: Blu (gelato), in Barranco

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Pork “chicharron” which is pork roast with crackling from La Panchita. With baked apples.

35: Paseo Colon, Av. Pardo y Aliaga 697. Like a TGIF or Friendly’s of Peruvian food.

36: Aji555, Av San Luis 2879, San Borja (delicious and Thai — really!!!), started in the ‘hood but moved to San Borja (and the prices reflect this).

37: Cafe Mozart (Italian and Euro flavor)

38: Spizza (in San Isidro). Great Italian style pizza. The best.

39: Taller Razeto, in La Punta.

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Notice the delicious bread “basket” in the background. From Astrid y Gaston.

40: La Mora (also for those who like a good northern European style meal or schnitzel) is a chain with reliable food and more cozy European cafe feel.

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Pure comfort food. Beef casserole from Cosme.

41: Las Vecinas, in Barranco, just down the small street by La Isolina. A cafe which is pet-friendly and eco-friendly. And they serve eggs for breakfast, and all the way till 2 pm!

42: Don Cucho’s, in Pachacamac. It’s way out by itself, an adventure to find, and sprawling. ****closed**** but, apparently the employees opened their own place somewhere nearby.

43: Tzu Chifa, Larcomar Mall, Miraflores. It’s elegant, got great views of the ocean, and the food it Chinese.

44: Jian Xing, in the old Chinatown or “Barrio Chino” downtown. A restaurant with the same name is on the new Chinatown (Aviacion). This place in downtown is not fancy like at Tzu but it’s economical.

45: Arirang, Calle Las Orquídeas 447, San Isidro. Authentic Korean barbecue.

46: Tambo Rural, Kilometer marker 52, Panamerican highway, south. Fresh bread out of the oven, stuffed with olives and cheese. Plus coffee so local that you might not understand the accent.

47: Juicy Lucy, Av Mariscal La Mar 1328, Miraflores . Go for the name alone. It’s burgers.

48: El Batan, Km. 198.5, Carretera Panamericana Sur, Chincha Alta. The MOST delicious lomo saltado to date. It’s located at a gas station in the middle of a town.

49. Amorelado, ice cream shop across from La Mar. Just because you will need something to do while you wait for your table at La Mar… try the lucuma. Then you can tick that off the list.

50. 500 Degrees, on Av. Camino Real. They have breakfast from 7-12. Then lunch. It’s a sunken patio. The juice is good, the salads are good.

51. La Ciccolina, Cusco. It’s upstairs from a courtyard. One of Gaston Acurio’s kingdom.

52. Fiesta Gourmet. The original place. Now they also have La Picanteria.

53. Amoramar, Garcia y Garcia 175, Barranco. For the love of seafood. The large restaurant is hidden behind a wall on one of the residential streets of “the other part” of Barranco as in the non-touristy part. The food and drinks are good. It’s a bit pricey, and some dishes are slightly off (too salty, etc.) but overall, it’s worth recommending.

54. Viet, Av. Aviación 2590, San Borja, It’s supposedly the best Vietnamese food in Peru. It was delightful. Good service, good food, good place.

55. Bao, José Domingo Choquehuanca 411, Miraflores (go west from La Mar and turn on Jose’s street). Not completely authentic but, who cares? It’s got hipster vibe. Also in Calle Manuel Bonilla off of Parque Kennedy.

56. Jeronimo, . Apparently one of the top places to eat. Shhh, don’t tell anyone. Completely international class food. The beef short rib was great if you are a meat lover. The grilled artichokes were a delightful surprise (scrapping the flesh off the leaves with fingers slick with garlic butter…) Also, the Poke (“poke-A”) bowl is passable for those who miss Poke.

57. La Cucharita. Also tapas, across from Jeronimo.

58. Morelia, Calle Atahualpa 196, Miraflores. Home made pasta, nice salads, and crispy flatbread pizza.

59. Mantra, Avenida Alfredo Benavides, 1761, Miraflores. Third best place to eat Indian. (Massala is not on the list.)

60. Puku Puku, Narciso de la Colina 297. Premier cafe with biodegradable straws.

61. La Linterna: The location in San Isidro is a family place where many of the local families walk over. The pizza is flat Peruvian style and the food is much like I imagine a Peruvian Italian grandma would serve.

62. Rasson. Calle Gral Mendiburu 1007, Miraflores. The name is the reverse of the last name of the siblings who opened this place. They also own La Panka. Rasson has lots of space. Comfy food. I liked their warm choclo with cheese, their grilled mushrooms, the anticucho of chicken breast was juicy (and healthy), the brownie dessert was excellent, and their “waters” with fruit infusions and lots of mint leaves are good as well. And they have SWEET POTATO FRIES!

63. Pan Sal Aire. Almirante Miguel Grau 320, Barranco. The best pizza so far. Service is slow but the atmosphere and the pizza is great. Too bad they use canned mushrooms. One of the few places with fancy breakfast. The interior is quite stylish and you can take your upper crust friends here. But, why, why, use canned mushrooms?

fullsizeoutput_17764. Homemade. Revett 259, Miraflores . They serve breakfast all day. It is homemade and organic. And yes, everything is homemade.

65. Franklin, Avenida Alvarez Calderon 198, in the Roosevelt Hotel. Very American food including pastrami.

66. La Milanesa Verdadera, several locations. It’s chicken fried steak. Also have salads and veggie options.

67. Antica, several locations. Good pizza, good pasta, good salad.

68. Quisso, Av. Paseo de la República 5250. Open 1-3 PM, 5-11 PM. The name is combo of “queso” and “guisso” which are are the words for cheese and stew. It’s a raclette restaurant (the first in Peru) but the idea is typical Peruvian fast food (burgers, hotdog and fries) with a raclette-melted ooze of cheese on top.

69. Dondoh, Av. Los Conquistadores 999, San Isidro. According to some, the best sushi place in town  (Maido is in it’s own class).

70. Fuji, Av. Paseo de la República 4084, Miraflores. Apparently a favorite with the Japanese. It was good and they have a menu all in Japanese. Probably the most “authentic” Japanese food in Lima.

71. Punto Italiano, La Molina: Good Italian food.

72. Matria, Calle Gral Mendiburu 823, Miraflores: one of the few restaurant owned by a female chef.

73. Frida, across from Matria: Chef Moma of Jeronimo and Chinga Tu Taco’s Mexican restaurant, opened in August 2018, and a raging success.

74. Los Dos Hermanos Coreanos: on Aviacion. Korean and quite authentic.

75. Statera, Av Mariscal La Mar 463, Miraflores. Described as “like Central but bigger portions.”

76. La Pizza de la Chola: Chola of El Pan de La Chola’s third iteration. Italian style artisanal pizza but the oven uses gas after a bit of wood for show. As of May 2019, they now serve breakfast.

77. Las Tres Suecas, Av. Gral. Córdoba 1193, Miraflores: Three Swedish ladies have opened this little corner of Scandinavia, right around the corner from Avenida La Mar.

78. Dhaasu, Avenida Republica de Panama 245, Barranco. Delish food! Indian food has arrived in Lima! This place opened in early October 2018 and it’s blowing up Instagram. The line is going out the door. Luckily, the owner, Rish, and his Peruvian girlfriend, Camilla, both speak excellent English, and Spanish, so they can explain “what is hindu food?”

79. Mo Bisto, Angamos Oeste 1146 Miraflores; super white staff. Good food. Very yuppy if that’s still a term folks understand.

80. JianXing, Avenida Aviacion 2619, San Borja: across the street from Viet. This place serves authentic Chinese Chinese food, not Chifa. Not sure if this is true when not with a Chinese speaker…

81. 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.”). As of May 2019, they have a second location in Surquillo.

82. Bangkok, José Bernardo Alcedo 460, Lince: This is the other Thai restaurant with Thai owners (a factoid that seems to be important to some). Some of the dishes were nothing but their papaya salad and green curry were good.

83. Carnal, Calle Elías Aguirre 698, Miraflores: steak. This is where the Juicy Lucy chain was born. Same owners.

84. Mérito, Jr, 28 De Julio 206, Barranco: Venezuelan chefs making delicious food. Biggest yuca fries…

85. El Mexicano, Calle Manuel Bonilla 248, Miraflores: Lots of sauces.

86. Sushi Pop, Calle Manuel Bonilla 112, Miraflores: Surprisingly good burger (Angus) and so on.

87. Guru Kebab & Curry, Av. Alfredo Benavides 4518, Surco: Second best Indian. Sit down restaurant.

88. Maria Panela, on La Mar. It’s Brazilian. It’s a cute little place. Not amazing but I did like some of the food. Did I mention it is cute? The owner is friendly.

89. Las Reyes, corner of Mendiburu. Third restaurant from La Red, La Isolina…

90. Boca y Vaca, on Dos de Mayo. It’s a steak house but has everything on the menu.

91. Kaikan, Ovalo Guitierrez, from the same people who brought you Noruto. Cute manga figures and the place is like a Fridays or Chillis of Nikkei food.

92. Enkai, from one of the former chefs at Maido. The hottest new place to go!

93. Monstruo, Nicolas de Pierola 113, Barranco: sandwiches and juice. Open since the 80s. Open from 8 a.m. to 3 a.m.

94. Bingsu, in downtown and Jesus Maria. Korean style shaved ice dessert. Yum.

95. Cafe A Bistro, Av. Augusto Pérez Araníbar 2193, San Isidro, brunch and other things. Located next to a gas station.

96. TipTop, Av. Arenales 2499, Lince: open since 1953. A drive-in diner where you can still get your food on a tray attached to your car. Delicious soft serve. Go to this location.

97. La Traviata, small Italian place with a really good caprese salad.

98. La Casa de la Nonna Lina, Av Brasil 3898, Magdalena: Some of the dishes were acceptable. Not bad. Spacious interior.

99. Siete, Jirón Domeyer 260, Barranco. It’s got a dark Madrid cosmopolitan feel. Food is good.

100. Troppo: Calle Los Libertadores 199, San Isidro. Best pizza dough in town. Excellent pistachio gelato, tiramisu, meatballs, pasta, salad, ricotta, and bread.

And counting…

Obviously, I’m not including the places I’ve been where the food was awful or mediocre.

No Reservation? The Secret to Eating at All the IT Places in Lima

1Ixj1rxxZqvSspIgjynQ8D905KDRVtWDZ-uUU5swEJLIgFBOFWw5sR7PyGFR4uWFzQY9s17bKvSTz3m7ecterJTw4YAWpZjTCMdvS9l1kWmgr_lqkKxzz9vX7ssziUCnkLI1JaA22Wg-KJmWNhQaeIMiqX8nCeJL6Wycsgs5WyGIIwE1AMqsdXRj7When entering a restaurant in Lima these days, the waiter will automatically ask if you have a reservation. Even if the restaurant is empty and it’s 5 p.m. So what do you do? How do you get to eat at the places that are a MUST? Like Maido, recently ranked as the number 1 — No. 1 — numero uno restaurant in the world by The World’s 50 Best Restaurants?

BtKUQ6V6jxqWsY97ak9sRGoyjRRSM8F-BUbiX-jozDyc572U9eUJrj720jLdYj6pn0R9t41YS1Z0O0L4iaQ0sxFO3PKd20VwuF4F2wnfgBQE2E7Ie1fSUb8wyk3humZ7OnuchyzvvVEDTsawN3UgZaDMRiX-2_tkTbMkhtMVpxgITNV7usr79Rv0-What indeed. What’s the secret? Go at an off-hour. Walk in at 5 p.m. or 6 p.m. and promise to be done by 7 or 8. Maido doesn’t even open for dinner until 7 so try going at 3:30 p.m. at the end of their lunch hours or be at the doors waiting to get in at 12:25, five minutes before they open for lunch (try a Saturday or Sunday when Peruvians would normally eat lunch at 1:30 or later). Or at a place like La Mar, which serves lunch (they are not open for dinner) until 5:30 p.m., try going at 4 p.m. for an early dinner or “linner” as the kitchen is still open until 5:30 p.m. For other places, try going on a Monday or Tuesday night. If it’s a famous breakfast place like El Pan de la Chola, try eating there at night (when you might actually feel like having a glass of wine or beer — which they always have on the menu — but you perhaps don’t want at 9 a.m.).

vip4sIalbpXFxKa4EJi0NiDL6RzpCiHb3guDbDmnpdxUhSrv1xpi70_LvwwJUHVRnKE7JaDmFqEabBXxlgDzhEK3x5njmnZt524pERoTsIgU06b8KB3hf6k6XMEKV1K_iZ6yUOAvdMGkv5Ehrou3pWPJBl677T4EvQadvW9sLsSF0Kew0RuuSCnBzOr you can plan your visit around the restaurant visit. Make the reservation and plan your visit around it. Perhaps this is the solution for places like Central. It’s possible that you are super well-connected, but for the rest of us, try one of my tips.

xSsnZxTI3RVENsDUEFdqwOAp42jc68NBp-l4V9mfNz6bBb-lMdwhDY2Ct6YT-8vMwIOzoIEM-12A8LAP51hoMS9mGUlS-A25v_tlEJLdvLMtYGI7d1QCjR3FfiRjAbMKLX5gQ2VS7LhOmjqO-5mST9hm1rOhNLT4sg9yBuk1VoTcm9qH9CxKKCx0eOr, go to one of the lesser famous places but with equally delicious food (a chain — horror! — like La Seguende Muelle, or La Preferida) or my secret, Cosme. The current trend in gastronomy is a wee bit too fancy for me, but then I don’t like hype over foam and tiny portions. The exception is Statera. Easy to get in to and the owner worked at Central for two years.

Note: Most of the photos are from Astrid and Gaston, including the Guinea Pig Peking “Duck” Style (object in photo appears larger than in real life).