Best Restaurants in Lima · 2022
Restaurants in Lima are as colorful and diverse as the traditions and culinary creativity represented in the dishes served. Like the rest of the world, the foodie landscape was forever changed by the effects of the pandemic. Some old favorites unfortunately couldn't resist the extended closures, meanwhile new bars, cafes, and restaurants in Lima have bloomed, bringing the city back to life. In some ways the Peruvian restaurant experiences has transformed completely, generally providing more options for patrons. Peru's capital enjoys a mild climate, providing the perfect conditions for year-round al fresco dining. Motivated by the restrictions implemented, many locales opted to take advantage of curb space and outdoor areas allowing customers to pair delicious dishes with an urban view. The appetite for dining out has also increased, so be sure to make your reservations in advance otherwise you may be opting for takeout. In reality, delivery and takeout have also progressed and become more sophisticated as several top-notch restaurants launched gourmet options you can enjoy from the comfort of abode. If you're just visting, we definitely recommend planning out your meals for in-person experiences of Lima's exquisite foodie scene. If you want to head straight to the grain, you can view a list of our recommended restaurants in Lima, or read on for extra insight into our Peruvian culinary favorites.
Traditional Peruvian Restaurants
Peruvian restaurants serving traditional dishes can look like many different things depending on your angle. Here we've narrowed the classification to focus on dishes would mostly be considered "Peruvian creole" or restaurants dedicated to using local ingredients and rotating their menus depending on the season. Our top three favorites are: Isolina, Huaca Pucllana and Matria. So let's break it down a bit further.
When we want to treat my mother-in-law and extended Peruvian family to a special meal, this is our go-to place. This is Peruvian soul food immaculately executed to combine home-cooking that transports you to another era with a jovial and familiar atmosphere. Everything, and we mean everything, on the menu is delicious. After years as patrons, our favorite dishes are still the seco, the lomo saltado, the cebiche, and the papa rellena. Bonus points for the chef and his team as this restaurant has repeatedly figured among the cream of the crop in terms of best restaurants in Latin America.
Isolina · 101 San Martin Av., Barranco · +51 (1) 247-5075
The Huaca Pucllana offers an elevated interpretation of traditional Peruvian cuisine. The presentation is thoughtful and while keeping the essence of the dishes true to their roots. Additionally, this is a great place to branch out beyond the traditional pisco sour as here you can ask for the flagship cocktail and chilcanos (the pisco sour's lighter cousin) with one of many fruit and herbal infused piscos. An aguaymanto or coca sour are ideal options if you're already familiar with the traditional lime libation. Apart from the food, the most impressive characteristic is the setting, which is adjacent to a pre-Incan archeological site in the heart of the Miraflores district.
Huaca Pucllana · General Borgoño Block 8, Miraflores · +51 (1) 445-4042
At Matria, Peru's ingredients and the environment are at the heart of this palatable proposal. While not necesarily traditional recipes, the menu rotates based on the season, thus coming into tune with the country's biodiverstiy and natural cycles. The dishes offer a variety of foodie fusions that highlight the quality of the local ingredients and reflect the versatility of the restaurant's culinary team. Another plus is the location, which will take you beyond the typical tours of Miraflores to explore a different side of the district.
Matria · General Manuel Mendiburu 823, Miraflores · +51 (1) 422-2784 / +51 922 277 637
Seafood Restaurants in Lima
Seafood in Lima is a staple of the city's cuisine. With over 2,400 km (1,500 mi) of coastline, Peru has been experimenting with fare from the Pacific for millenia. Having perfected a range of cooking techniques, Peruvians were already masters of the sea before other cultures arrived to lend their own culinary influences. Today the fusions abound, but a particular nod to the Japanese and Chinese can be seen, especially in more delicate and elaborate preparations.
El Mercado has been on our list of restaurants we recommend to friends and family since it opened. The consistency and attentive service is bar none and the fresh and innovative flavors never cease to impress. It's a corner of the city that has it all ambience, food, music, and great people watching. It's one of our all-time favorites. Our picks for what to order include the grilled octopus, the chili-marinated fish carpaccio, or the Nikkei cebiche.
El Mercado · 203 Hipólito Unanue, Miraflores · T: +51 (1) 221-1322
Cala is one of those prividged places that invites guests to gaze upon the vast expanse of Pacific Ocean, connecting them to the ecosystem that supports Peru's rich heritage of marine meals. There's nothing like sitting right next to the water and getting a little lost in the waves and relaxed conversation while enjoying the catch of the day prepared in a local style. Cala does have options for those who steer clear of the sea, but if you're open to some fresh fish and beautiful views, this is your place.
Cala · Circuito de Playas, Barranco · T: +51 (1) 477-2020
La Mar is a classic go-to for a vibrant experience, a delicious variety of dishes and great service. As one of Gastón Acurio's most notable brands, it's always packed and it always delivers. For a pro tip, look up at the chalkboard for the daily specials if you're looking to try something new. It's a restaurant that also respects and communicates any temporary bans on serving specific species in order to protect them, in line with local policy. If you want to go beyond the classic cebiche, try one of their tasting platters to open your tastebuds.
La Mar · Av. La Mar 770, Miraflores · T: +51 (1) 421-3365
Pescados Capitales opens with a great tongue-in-cheek vibe as the name is a play on words in Spanish, referring to pecados capitales, or the seven capital sins. The menu follows suit with dishes that are inspired on each of the sins as well as the overarching them. The spacious outdoor patio also makes it an attractive spot to explore Peruvian seafood, hopefully without crossing the line into gluttony. Most seafood places close after lunch, a tradition establish before the accessibilty of refrigeration, however Pescados Capitales is one of the few (along with Cala) that also open its doors for the dinner service.
Pescados Capitales · Av. La Mar 1337, Miraflores · T: +51 (1) 680-4600
Top Restaurants in Lima
We would be remiss if we didn't include the names that consistently make international lists for the best restaurants in the world. There is ample information available for these rockstars, so we're sure that at least a couple of these are already on your list of where to eat in Lima. We'll leave them below along with links you can visit to begin your trip down the rabbit hole of mouthwatering instagram profiles and websites.
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Things to do in Lima that make people fall in love with the city - that's precisely what we're after. We're Lucas and Sam, a Peruvian-American couple who have run the top tour in Lima for the past 10 years. It’s no coincidence that the best activities in Lima have to do with Peru’s amazing cuisine. This Kansas City girl and Lima native have lived all over the world in their corporate past lives but they traded in the daily grind for sharing their love of good food, showing off the city’s secrets and meeting awesome people along the way.
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