Fast Food in Lima – Even in the Time of COVID

Peruvians love fast food. They love hamburgers, hotdogs, fried chicken, and pizza. Peru has chains like Bembos which is their version of McDonalds, and many other chains including Pizza Hut, KFC, Popeyes, and the newest arrival from the U.S is Little Caesars (pick up only). Taco Bell (part of Pizza Hut and KFC) was closed for a decade but it has made a reappearance, perhaps as a sign that more Peruvians have been exposed to U.S. television and pop culture. Three years ago, the taco was a foreign food. Now, the taco can now be found on almost all menus in Lima, even at the high end places.

As of May 14, 2020, many of these chains are now delivering. I have added them to the massive google document (down around 700 something of places that deliver) which is linked in my previous blog posting on delivery in Lima.

I can’t find any photos from the fast food places mentioned, so I include a photo of the last good burger I had in Lima (at Django’s).

Best Burger in Bogota

14,000 pesos for a huge meal!
14,000 pesos for this meal (here with Belgian fries) at Street Gourmet.

Hamburgers are a popular food here in Bogota. There are so many hamburger restaurants here that I can’t keep there names apart. But, when I want a burger, these are the places that I’d recommend Xarcuteria, located down the street from McDonalds in Parque 93. This place grinds their own meat, makes their own sausages, and they make good burgers. Some people find the experience unpleasant because they perceive that the waitstaff aren’t nice to non-Spanish speakers. I don’t really care. But, recently I’ve found that the mushrooms (on my burger) have something funky going on that is not so much to my taste. A burger with fries (not included) costs about US $23.

Vegetarian with meat.
Street Gourmet’s vegetarian with meat.

Agadon, Carrera 13 # 85-75 across from the Sofitel, was the place recommended to me. Lots of people like these hamburgers. I don’t but that doesn’t mean that others won’t.

The food cart and tables.
The food cart and tables.

Street Gourmet, a food cart on Parque Virrey and 19A (technically that corner of Parque Virrey is Calle 88 but just walk down the park). This is my new favorite burger joint. The chef is Belgian as are the fries (or Dutch depending on their provider). They also grind their own beef. With two tables and picnic blankets to borrow (where they will deliver your burger to you), the couple who run this place are smiley and charming. A huge burger (the buns are from a specialty baker), equally huge portion of “frites” and a small soda costs only 14,000 pesos (that’s under $7). The burger patty is a flatter style to fit the bun. Street Gourmet makes their own spicy sauce (and I insisted on mayonnaise for my Belgian fries), and a subtle garlic sauce. Yes, they also have vegetarian burgers (and they will even make a vegetarian burger with meat for you if you ask for it). The down side to this burger cart is that they are only open during lunch on the weekends. But, it’s a good reward for walking Ciclovia?

The short menu at Street Gourmet.
The short menu at Street Gourmet.

And then there is El Corral which is the Colombian answer to McDonalds. Carl’s Jr. is also opening up in Parque 93 so now I’m wondering if In-N-Out Burger and Five Guys will also enter the Colombian market?

Street Gourmet have picnic blankets for use in the park.
Street Gourmet have picnic blankets for use in the park.

McDonalds in India

McDonalds is not in Bangladesh yet but they are in India. McDonalds in India serves a fried paneer (pressed cottage cheese product much like tofu) sandwich with peri peri sauce; masala fries; and chicken nuggets fried not in beef fat (much crispier and lighter tasting). But, they don’t sell “Paneer Nuggets” or “Frozen Mango Lassi.” Both of these omissions in their menu seem a huge loss of cultural product offerings. I hope they will add these.

Mouthful flavored fries.