Best Restaurants in Lima, Peru: Part I
It’s been named South America’s Best Culinary Destination and the World’s Best Culinary Destination for several years in a row now: Lima, Peru is a feast for the palate of any traveler. With high-end restaurants touting celebrity chefs and innovative fusion, to low-key local favorites promising the freshest and most flavorful seafood you’ll ever dig into, you’ll find it all in Lima. Here are the best restaurants in Lima, Peru that we highly recommend:
1. Punto Azul
If delicious seafood in a bright atmosphere is what you’re after, Punto Azul is the place for you. This local lunchtime favorite offers colorful plates of ceviche and similar coastal Peruvian classics, right in the heart of Miraflores- and at a great price. Lines can be long, but it is always worth the wait. Make sure to sample the ceviche, tiradito tres colores, and arroz con mariscos. Pour a cold glass of chicha morada, and you will have had one of the best (and most classic) Peruvian lunches to be found in Lima. Please note that Punto Azul in Miraflores is closed for lunch on Monday.
2. La Mar
Owned by the famous Gaston Acurio, La Mar is a world-class cevicheria with a handful of locations throughout the world. It is the perfect intersection of sophisticated seafood to please foodies in a contemporary yet casual environment, and the service is some of the best in Lima. This restaurant is known for ceviche, but guests love the paella, catch of the day, and causa as well. Don’t be shy to ask your server for recommendations, and you can be sure to end up with exactly what you’re looking for.
3. Huaca Pucllana
If you haven’t already heard of Huaca Pucllana, you certainly won’t be able to miss it when you walk by. An ancient ruin nestled right in the heart of the modern Miraflores district, this pre-Inca structure should be a point of interest on every itinerary. What’s even better is that right within the site of this unique ruin sits a phenomenal restaurant. Come for an early dinner and watch the view transition as sunset leaves the ruins delicately illuminated by beautiful lights throughout. The fare at Huaca Pucllana features upscale version of Peruvian classics, with favorites such as anticuchos, lomo saltado and ceviche. Call ahead to score a reservation, and ask for a table on the patio.
4. La Rosa Nautica
The most famous restaurant on Lima’s Costa Verde shore, La Rosa Nautica is situated on the Miraflores pier for an especially unique location. Indulge in Peruvian food and wine, with views of the ocean in every direction. While it certainly is on many tourist’s radar, it’s a Lima staple that most travelers don’t want to miss for the location alone.
Considered by many to be their favorite restaurant in Lima, Cala sits at the bottom of the cliffs of Barranco, one of just a couple of restaurants allowed to occupy the pristine shore. The elegant modern décor attracts an upscale crowd, yet it’s seaside location keeps the atmosphere laidback and relaxing. A great list of artfully-presented seafood (don’t miss the octopus) and Peruvian fusion will satisfy any foodie, and the wine list will give you a reason to stick around afterwards. During the week and earlier evenings, the bar is a very romantic spot to unwind to the sound of the crashing shore, yet transitions into one of Lima’s trendier places to see and be seen once the DJ gets started.
Not only is Amaz one of the best restaurants in Lima, it has been named one of the 50 best restaurants in the world. Experiment with modern Amazonian fare at this innovative restaurant, where science and gastronomy elevate Peruvian food to a culinary awakening. Amaz is one of the finest restaurants in the city, but the artful food and inventive atmosphere make it absolutely worth it.
Another of Gaston Acurio’s many beloved restaurants, Panchita focuses on hearty, homestyle fare (comida criolla). This is the best restaurant in Lima to try classics more local to the highland regions such as cuy, papas rellena, and delicious sopas. Of course, some simply love it for the trendy yet cozy atmosphere, and the wealth of dishes cooked in the giant woodburning oven (the swordfish is always a great choice).
8. Sangucheria la Lucha
From gourmet fine dining to Lima’s best sandwich shop- we told you this city has it all! For a quick lunch in between sightseeing or on your way to the airport, make a stop at Sangucheria La Lucha. Sandwiches are a standard amongst casual Peruvian fare, and they present all the classics. Even the turkey taste revolutionary. Make sure to order a fresh fruit shake to accompany your meal, and people watch from the patio.
9. Edo Sushi Bar
You may be wondering why a sushi spot is on our list of the best restaurants in Lima, but don’t disregard it just yet. Lima actually has a significant Japanese population, leading to a plethora of incredible sushi (Nobu himself trained here, at this very sushi bar). Many restaurants in Lima feature Nikkei cuisine (a fusion between Peruvian and Japanese), and you’ll find that influence at Edo, along with some reliable Japanese classics. We highly recommend the acevichado roll, but you can’t go wrong with anything you order at Edo. Plus, you’ll get impressive quality for a fraction of the price you would pay at home.
10. El Veridico de Fidel de Miraflores
Another great lunch spot, El Veridico de Fidel is perfect for trying some of the city’s best seafood. Airy, spacious, and great for a group, this spot serves up one of Lima’s most popular leche de tigre (literally ‘Tiger’s Milk’, it is somewhat of a ceviche with more of the ‘juice’). Go family-style if you can, and order a combination of leche de tigre, ceviche, chicarron, and tacu tacu. Top it off with a pitcher of chicha morada or pisco sours and enjoy!
Choosing the best restaurants in Lima isn’t easy when it seems every street boasts an unforgettable meal, but this will give you a place to start. Better yet, we hope this will help you break into Lima’s exploding foodie scene, and see what all the fuss is about for yourself! Stay tuned for Part II, where we'll list even more restaurants you can't miss! For more information please contact us.