Food at AmorAmar, Lima, Peru


One of the city’s hot spots, AmorAmar is a chic watering hole in the Barranco district that is known for its Peruvian fusion cuisine and its fashionable crowd. The arty scene is enhanced by the fact that there is an art gallery, 1900, on premises.

Food at Astrid & Gastón, Listings for Lima, Peru

Astrid & Gastón

One of South America’s most celebrated chefs, Gastón Acurio has become a true ambassador for Peru through his culinary talent. The menu at this landmark restaurant calls Peru “a land of unlimited ingredients, . . . of infinite dishes, . . . country that the world is just starting to discover.” Acurio describes his cooking as just like the new Peru: criollo, a mix of Andean, Spanish, Italian and Asian.

When I came for lunch, businessmen and well-dressed families sat near travelers who, from the looks of their hiking boots and windbreakers, were taking a break from trekking. Although Acurio has expanded his empire to Bogotá, Quito, Buenos Aires, Madrid and other cities, the emphasis here is entirely regional. Among his most popular starters: huancainos (potatoes, yuccas and corn with Peruvian cold aji-cream sauces), Peruvian ceviche and tamales with deep-fried pork and stuffed potatoes. One of the main courses, named Lima’s Favorite, is hand-shredded chicken in an aji-amarillo sauce served with pecans, Andean cheese, native yellow potatoes, black olives, egg and plain rice. In addition to the many seviches, the seafood dishes include wild scallops from Paracas and sea-urchin shots (prepared three ways), while carnivores can savor delicious veal and pork leg in peanut sauce or alpaca osso bucco in a homemade curry sauce. The dishes are not light, but you must save room for a dessert like picarónes clásicos (a kind of doughnut), manjar blanco (a concoction of milk, sugar and egg yolks) or sacha tomate (a tomato filled with cream cheese, served on French toast with a tomato sauce). There may be no better place for a crash course in the richness of Peruvian cuisine. But tips cannot go on the credit card bill, so bring cash.

Astrid & Gastón's is currently fourth on South America's World's 50 Best list.

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Blu Gelateria

Bohemian Barranco’s BLU Gelateria is a beloved neighborhood gelato shop, and for good reason.
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Café del Museo Larco Herrera

Tucked in the gardens of the 18th-century colonial villa–turned-museum, Museo Larco Herrera, this café is the perfect spot for a relaxed midday meal. Tables are set under a pergola surrounded by bougainvillea and hanging plants with views of the sprawling lawns and award-winning gardens. In the evening, the restaurant offers dining in the former stables, which is now filled with banquettes piled with Peruvian embroidered pillows and decorative colonial furniture and artifacts. The gourmet Peruvian food matches the setting, which may be why this has been called the best museum restaurant in the world. Before or after dining, visit the incredible museum and the boutiques on property.

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For years the beachfront restaurant that Limeños headed to when they wanted to eat by the water was La Rosa Náutica. Unfortunately, it became Lima’s version of New York’s Tavern on the Green, as cruise-ship passengers and tourists started streaming onto its pier, and few locals would ever eat there now. Fortunately, a much cooler option opened down the coast. Cala, in a glass box of a building set near one of the prime-surfing zones, resembles the Icebergs, the wonderful restaurant on Bondi Beach, in Sydney. The main floor contains the bar and lounge, which, in pleasant weather, opens onto a terrace of couches and umbrellas. Climb the stairs to the second floor, passing huge photos of swimmers, and you reach the main restaurant. The best tables are on the balcony over the lapping waves, but the glass walls offer everyone a view of the Pacific. The scene is super sexy, and the food, focusing on the sea’s bounty, holds up to the setting, explaining why so many Lima locals are regulars. DJs turn the lounge into a party on weekend nights.

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Central Restaurant

Virgillio Martinez Veliz, who heads the kitchen of this eatery, right around the corner from the Miraflores Park Hotel, is another of the young chefs who studied abroad (Lutèce in New York) and returned to create contemporary Peruvian food. Central has already become a place for Limeños to see and be seen while enjoying the fusion (Peruvian, Mediterranean and Asian) cuisine in a chic setting. For a tasty light meal, it’s hard to beat the arugula and horseradish salad followed by salmon shiro miso. Reservations recommended.

Food at Chala, Lima, Peru


This Barranco favorite occupies a colonial house with sleek modern interiors. An enormous Italian light hangs over the long wooden bar where red- and yellow-seated stools alternate. The atmosphere is that of a trendy café or lounge rather than a proper restaurant, but the food could win stars in any major city. The chef’s stated goal is to create a new kind of fusion by merging the elegance of Mediterranean cooking with the “wholesomeness of our own coastal cuisine.” Starters include grilled baby octopus with garlic, oregano, basil, peppers and potatoes, and sliced tuna with miso-tangerine vinaigrette and diced chilies and rice. Among the best main courses are stir-fried Peruvian beef with pisco and rocoto chilies over refried chickpeas and tempura bananas; pork slow cooked for four hours with spices; and fresh salmon sautéed with onions, yellow chilies, cilantro and scallion tempura over rice. Finish with a dessert like rose panna cotta with passion fruit and cherry granita or warm goat-cheese soufflé with Cointreau and passion fruit, and you will understand what Escoffier was raving about.

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El Mercado

Peruvian celebrity chef Rafael Osterling’s lively bistro, El Mercado prepares fabulous ceviche (which Limens know is only eaten at lunch) like scallops served still in the shell and other dishes such as duck tacos and shrimp curry. El Mercado does not take reservations, so come early to grab a table and save room for the churros, which come with chocolate and dulce de leche for dipping.

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Isolina Taberna Peruana

Located in Lima's Barranco neighborhood, Isolina Taberna Peruana serves criollo cuisine from the highly revered chef Jose del Castillo.
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Exterior View - LA 73,  Lima, Peru

LA 73

One of the city’s trendiest restaurants is named for the bus line that runs past the restaurant. The owner wanted to create a nostalgic kitchen ambience, so the walls are covered in subway tiles, diners sit on simple wooden chairs with ladder backs, and the daily specials are written on chalkboards. Families and couples from the neighborhood come for casual dinners out, and as the night progresses a younger crowd streams in to try the many beers on tap and wines by the glass. Later in the evening music is turned up.

La Gloria

Long considered one of the best restaurants in Lima, La Gloria is a favorite of the city’s elite, drawing both businessmen and the society crowd. The atmosphere is as urbane as that of a stylish restaurant in New York or London, but the international menu has a Peruvian twist. It’s a great choice if you want the comfort and reliability of a sophisticated restaurant that offers no surprises but excellent food and service.

Mangos Café

A beloved institution, Mangos presides over a gorgeous view of the Pacific Ocean. The food is only so-so but dining on its patio with the ocean breezes is pure Lima tradition.

Mercado 28

The first indoor gastronomic market in Lima, Mercado 28 is an ideal spot for a quick bite, a leisurely lunch or a cup of coffee. With 18 different vendors, Mercado 28 is like the Peruvian equivalent of New York’s Chelsea Market.
colored plate with a meal on it


This restaurant recently opened in the trendy Barranco neighborhood and quickly has become one of the hottest tables in town.
Food at Osaka,  Buenos Aires, Argentina


Located in the San Isidro neighborhood of Lima, Osaka is the first of several international outposts from Peruvian born Chef Ciro Watanabe. The restaurant focuses on Nikkei Cuisine, which is the combination of Japanese and Peruvian food, and the menu has an emphasis on ultra-fresh seafood and using seasonal ingredients in innovative fashions. The restaurant’s atmosphere is buzzing and dimly lit and attracts a good mix of well-dressed locals and tourists. The menu is a bit tricky to navigate, but know that highlights include the Osk Tataki and Mariscos al fuego, which is served to the table on fire.


One more eatery by Peru’s celebrity chef Gastón Acurio, Panchita specializes in meat barbecued on skewers. Much less formal than Astrid & Gastón, it has a lively modern canteen feeling. Despite his gourmet credentials, Acurio loves street food and sampled many of the best carts in Lima before deciding to open his own eatery devoted to anticuchos. The young waiters deliver your order on a wooden cutting board with a pan holding the skewer, accompanied by potatoes and vegetables in the center and, around the edges, small pots of sauces, so although you’re not dining on the street, you do get the adventurous feeling of eating food just off the grill. This is a lively, dress-down place to sample Acurio’s celebration of Peruvian cuisine.

Pescados Capitales

This stylish seafood restaurant in Miraflores attracts Lima’s business class, ladies who lunch and well-heeled families. What you will rarely see is tourists. It’s a true locals’ canteen and, despite being in the center of the city, feels like a day in the country. Canopies of stick thatching let in plenty of sunlight, and rustic touches like polished concrete floors, rough-hewn wood tables and worn leather chairs create an estancia aesthetic. The menu emphasizes fresh fish perfectly grilled. Start with calamari and zucchini or the tequeños, which are wonton pockets stuffed with vegetables, crayfish, egg and chilies. The seviche menu features variations named after great statesmen, like the Cebiche Gandhi, which comes with a curry and mango chutney, and the Cebiche Mandela, tuna and shellfish in citrus juice. While the soups and paellas are favorites, I suggest ordering a fresh fish from the grill with just a drizzle of olive oil and lemon. Tip: Visit the small boutique by the bar, which sells inexpensive jewelry.

Puku Puku Cafe

With multiple locations in the city, Puku Puku Cafe is the coffee shop for Limans in-the-know, serving Peruvian small-batch coffee alongside local pastries and sandwiches.
Interiors at Rafael, Lima, Peru


Like so many of Peru’s modern chefs, Rafael Osterling fell in love with cooking and eating in his native country but went abroad to apprentice. He hired on at London’s Bibendum then studied at the Cordon Bleu, in Paris, before working at Le Grand Véfour, in Paris, and the River Café in London. When he returned to Peru, he started with a tapas joint before opening Rafael. He has dubbed his style “author cuisine,” so creative and personal are his preparations. The hunky chef, who now has other restaurants as well as a design line that features his trademark camouflage-print aprons, has an enormous following among foodies and proud Peruvians.

Interiors at Restaurant Huaca Pucllana, Lima, Peru

Restaurant Huaca Pucllana

This restaurant has one of the most spectacular settings in the city: inside the monumental ruins of Huaca Pucllana, an ancient religious structure. The interior resembles an old-world estancia, with antler chandeliers, leather club chairs and massive wooden racks of wine. There’s live music and a lovely outdoor terrace. It’s popular with tourists, but the atmosphere and food deliver a real dose of yes-you-are-in-the-heart-of-South-America. Among the standout dishes are the hot crayfish seviche, served in a baked stone with lime and chili sauce, and the tiradito of sole, served with corn and sweet potatoes. For something heartier, consider the spicy hen casserole or the breaded tenderloin with refried black beans and fried bananas. Depending on the season, the menu may include white asparagus, fresh figs or a summer salad of lettuce, hearts of palm and avocado, all of which are grown in the restaurant garden.

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