Oldies But Goodies – Eateries Only Known to Limenos

***May 1, 2020 — See update about San Antionio*** Peruvians have been through many tough times before, and through them all, many of the older restaurants made it through too. Let us dream a little of times gone past, and those to come…
These restaurants may not be Internet famous like La Picanteria (which is almost unknown to Limenos), but, they are places that Limenos have eaten at for decades. Here are some of them. One thing I’ve found that many of these places have in common — the waiters seem to have been around since the beginning, and many wear bowties.
Tip Top is a drive-up diner from 1953 (drive-up only available at the location in Lince).
Punto Italiano is out in La Molina, famously at a gas station, but really that’s the name of the road (as in “gas station” road).
Monstrous sandwiches are about 20 percent larger than the usual size and this place has been around since the 1980s.
La Preferida is a classic place in a residential area of Miraflores. Well-known but still a local place. Second branch out in Surco.
Cordanos is quite famous and is located across from the presidential palace. It was, in its heyday, a hotspot for political intrigue and gossip.
San Antonio is a chain of sandwich shops where many Limenos go for a bite to eat, often for “lonche” which is the “tea” time snack here in Peru. (Update May 1, 2020, San Antonio is returning to their original business — they started out as a bodega selling groceries — and then switched to only selling sandwiches and cafe items. Now they have returned to selling bodega items — the location is the original location on Angamos. Like I said, these places will survive.)
El ítalo is an Italian style place, as are many of these places, located in Magdalena del Mar. It has quite a bit of charm and an old fashioned counter straight from Happy Days.
Elia in Magdalena del Mar is a time warp from the 1960s (even though the place is only from the 80s) and reflects the food of Italy when it encompassed the other side of the Adriatic sea. The stuffed artichoke appetizer may be their best dish.
Calamares is a ceviche place over in a less refined part of town. A favorite dish here is olluquitos (a waxy sort of tuber).
Rose bakery also has that faded photo sort of feel. The current owner is the son of the original owner.
Mozart is a new place located in the basement, out on the extension of Primavera Avenue. They are also Italian themed but with a bakery, salad bar, ice cream counter, deli counter, and lots of sitting areas. Favorite hangout for ladies of a certain age to gather for gin and tonics on a Friday night.
Tumbes Mar is a ceviche place in La Molina. Huge portions. Popular with Peruvians.
Cafe Tostado is located in Lince.
Don Tito is a rotisserie chicken (“Pollo a la brasa”) place in San Borja.
El Bolivariano in Pueblo Libre is a famous creole restaurant that foreigners go to when on food tours. Peruvians go for lunch.
Once we are allowed to go out again, these places will need customers more than ever. Try them out!

The Great Pizza Hunt – Lima

DsI0Qg9msH3LwXNtTuTA7erbleTz5JwZVOSSz6nTmommj30KP2Q9YydyXH3PsfexQIt0P50Qe6vJfA-to46SZQDbe9gqE0dIORTizSe4FI6usaLO22ohBX3RGCo9S_wJ6strWAhAWnaTsTbvnKbqsTtDcv7A0NLHbaNXUc4MDyhC68w4NmbNbjx55A******* Updated February 2020******** My idea of a good pizza is chewy Italian style pizza. Apparently, what I like is called an artisanal pizza. Having now eaten lots of pizza for a few months, I would say that there are four types of pizza in Lima. Andean: thin crust; Lima-style: cracker thin crust: artisanal as in hand stretched, artsy, and often with a moist center; and American as in from the USA in the style of Pizza Hut or school cafeterias with a bready high crust.

My favorites are:

Troppo’s pizza dough is the best in town — it is salty, crunchy, chewy, and made by a prize winning Italian chef.

Spizza, recently moved to Miraflores: a chewy Italian style crust and the oven is all wood burning. Some of their toppings are not good but select carefully. They also deliver through food delivery apps.

Punto Italiano, in La Molina: touted as a non-fancy place, I’d say it has a sort of rustic feel but it’s not a hole-in-the-wall, and the waiter speaks English. All wood burning oven as well.

Mercado 28: has a good pizza place. Few options but good.

La Caleta: cracker thin but good toppings.

Pan Sal Aire, Almirante Miguel Grau 320, Barranco: all wood burning oven but pizza crust is very wet and they use CANNED mushrooms which I think should be illegal when fresh ones are available.

La Pizza de la Chola: The oven looks right, the place is “hip” looking, but, but, the wood is for show, and most of the time, Chola (the owner, also owns El Pan de la Chola and Chola Dasso), fires up the gas in the oven when he bakes the pizzas. Good ingredients and super-chi chi such as Stilton Cheese and Caramelized Walnuts (I think). There are only four flavors.

Antica: Don’t go for the cocktails (I say this because some folks do go there and think that they will also be able to get a good cocktail…), but they make a solid pizza and have the closest thing to a pepperoni a la the U.S. pizza that I’ve found here. They also make a nice oily spaghetti with oil and chili (when having carbs, go for carb with carb!).

Fornaria 850, in Barranco: they look legit, have the oven, but their toppings are not top. But, I’ll say that when I went, they gave me a free arugala and proscuitto pizza. That was good. The other toppings are not.

8wzEbRP7oPY4i8Oib9sX6Xi6taWxzorQg9xZFZKZP6fkYP9o9VmvRRzlk08fcV5dVITWj6mjK70WSm-073OTBKEyjHaahiy79oEZvDDtUnG6v5v6aysBAAKVehSlbpdutG3TB5DxvcFmdqH1PR3y6riUD0e9-7qLpPN8aXWG700qtOP91jrSatxrjCPizza Al Volo, a mobile wood burning oven pizza cart, 984 714 955; pizzacateringperu@yahoo.com: the owner, Brian, speaks fluent English, and he will bring his wood burning oven to your garden party. It’s thin pizza but he can make thicker ones if you want him to. See photo above.

Vd2fkzCSIgxGm_CuM2lp_CHl7nJyhdccBGjqbaqW5FOqvWFgshWi0fOCuhqIwLpeZICMMQAEjkRSxjdPomQhHb-kgrUKrfgX3iuy-t3IapFaFy6O_Q_wXw26LsMVKyTbQa-eic14N2tJlKcTOd-Ew7VC17RTTz-xrT9Zy9DdM27PVTbRIfeVjIXU-dMorelia, Miraflores: very kid friendly. Good salads, and the pizza is actually a large oblong flat bread which they cut in half for the “personal size” pizza!

La Linterna: an old fave with the Limenos. Also good carb on carb pasta options.

CimLr8NIEUTsWt4OS-yYDns_URyDWgQItgBj3OtjkhdtiETUhueaznPlKg_xfYi9Ux2WEg0qrVNMwDOrGq2Eqf2iQdStCLduNsHctXWXSUwJCer5BzPvcI_V9pCmbJq_NLjePVtwDU5yzzBqSsbZVJSJyYhz_sFyrlkPh21EuKKaAB9PDcNnhplTd0Veggie Pizza: a chain. Each of the locations has a different feel. The pizzas look artsy like sushi or dominoes. I took mine home and added meat. The story of this chain is cute because it’s four or three brothers who wanted to improve the health of their other brother.

Then there are other places that also serve pizza: Donatella, Danica, Rafael (yes, THAT Rafael) who all make Lima style pizza. Not exceptional.

Mama Rosa: this is high foccacia (but not as tasty) style pizza.

Lima has a Pizza Street. For Limenos of a certain age, they recall wandering down this street (off of Parque Kennedy) after a night out. I did not go there for my great pizza hunt.