Best Fries in Lima

The best fries in Lima? Many restaurants take pride in their fries, especially in using “native” species, which is odd as they are all native (Peru is the origin of the potato). But, more to the point, restaurants are branching out instead of just using the usual yellow potato. The common Peruvian yellow potato is small and is not well suited to fries. This makes the efforts of Juicy Lucy and Bao more impressive. Another fashionable potato these days is the Huayro. Most places make good fries as fries are an integral part of two of the most popular dishes: lomo saltado and salchipapas.

Here are a few of the places that I recommend:

Osso: Yes, I think they might be the best. They are made from large yellow potatoes. The fries are big, hot, crunchy, hard, floury, yellow like out of crayon box, and screaming for mushroom sauce!

Quisso: The fries are slim like that place with the arches. The fries are fresh cut like in Five Guys. They use the Huayro potato. When the potato is fresh cut and dropped in the fryer, the liquid escapes like firecracker champagne bubbles all along the surface of the fries. Bonus is that these fries are then covered in cheese.

Bao?: small wedges of round Peruvian yellow potatoes fried hard to give them that oven roasted feel.

Cafe A Bistro: I’m told that this places does great fries. Possibly one of the most charming things about this cafe is that it it located next to a gas station.

Merito: They make yuca fries. The yuca/cassava is a root but if soaked ahead of time, it makes a great fry. The ones are Merito are enormous.

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.

 

Lettuce, Lettuce, Let Us Eat Lettuce!

At the start of every year, and indeed at most other times of the year, there is someone who wants to eat salad. I was asked to do a posting about salad which I took to be about salad with lettuce. So, let us eat lettuce!

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Matria: Also has a decent salad. It’s pretty and actually makes you want to eat salad.

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Cafe Mozart: Located in San Borja, this cafe has an all-you-can-eat salad bar. The salad bar has a full selection of cooked items including pasta salads and many other salads to put in the salad.

La Mora: They have several salads. They also use a classic European mustard vinaigrette. Because the olive oil is whipped/emulsified in, the dressing has the thickness of an aoli (mayonnaise in plain language).

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Antica: One of the salads uses butter/bib lettuce and has wedges of oranges among other things making it a decent salad.

La Panka: This chain restaurant has large salads. The one below is with roasted veg and chicken. The salad is the size of small hot tub.w1juIMnVrScp_q6FwjmCp1IIUQfkxbaWXebVY9S8jaypnMl_-YvzYCcby_vkgAjMYO_M2H3nWUk8MqsdX-Y5ghc2dDC0TdS07xM0oYrX0GkrZYNDGYyzU6XQC0usC2JSAjfYsEHYKUGpKZkwkUk7vRuFEGaxAuwbf9OlnjVvbgwNC_To-HOlQEek8a

La Linterna: Also has a decent house salad with ham and pecans.vHOkB8A2EZov8WNDXSVNVW-GQiKO0F7QtiFWJG66dbkiRrWmcvWrZyp-N2zLKyhdA8mVscF4i1N1ZcLKOn0aNMzMtSsFJ12puZkkGGOiBXjJ7XDbrSo0LN5N1Tq0jhqbsQe1vBsVfQkqQBmIVGtMpa1dG-9lZ_xTw6APva1avEcMT3KjPHj3ZdrsLI

Taller Razeto: Has good salads (melted cheese on a bed of lettuce in the photo below), but the restaurant is out in La Punta so not a daily destination unless you live there.

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Poke Pacifiko: As you can order exactly what you want, I imagine you can make your own salad. I’m sure you can get it without fish.

Plus, I would guess that most of the vegetarian and vegan restaurants have lettuce salads.