Restaurants in Lima add up to tens of thousands of options for dining out in the city with an even larger variety of dishes that are representative of Peruvian traditions, culture and fusions. If you do your research, you can surely narrow the offer down to a few must-visit spots to include in your itinerary. The real doozy, however, is what to order once you square away the reservation and make your way to the restaurant. If you are unfamiliar with Peruvian cuisine, even though you may speak some Spanish, selecting the perfect dishes can be a daunting task. As operators of the highest-ranked food tour in Lima for the past six years, you can imagine that our research and development includes frequent visits to a number of restaurants to try a variety of dishes so that we can give the best recommendations to our clients. We would like to shed some light on the results of all that tough work by sharing our favorite dishes in Lima and where to find them.
This is likely a restaurant that you’ll find on many lists and for good reason. The laid-back ambience and cozy, fresh style of the place will lure you in, but the food and drinks will keep you there. If you are a seafood lover, you simply cannot go wrong booking a table here.
What to order: Pulpo a la parrilla (grilled octopus) – The octopus is marinated in a secret concoction and then cooked to perfection on the grill, served smoking hot and accompanied by grilled cherry tomatoes, potatoes and mushrooms. Amazing. An added bonus for the chefs among you, if you sit bar-side, you can watch the guys work their magic and see how it’s done.
Amaz has won a number of awards from the food to the interior design, both which so elegantly reflect a refined Amazonian style. What’s more is that the restaurant is fully committed to sustainable consumption, so you know you’re participating in a dining experience that has been fully thought through.
What to order: Lomo saltado amazónico (Amazonian stir-fried sirloin steak) – While the classic lomo saltado is one Peru’s flagship dishes representing the Chinese-Peruvian culinary fusion, Amaz gives the dish a unique twist. The original version includes strips of sirloin steak stir-fried with tomatoes, onions, yellow chili pepper and soy sauce, Amaz adds a smoky flavor, sun-dried Amazonian pork called cecina and sweet jungle peppers. The combination of flavors is heavenly.
One of Lima’s most successful newcomers, Jeronimo, introduces the Mexican-Peruvian fusion to the culinary scene. This is a lively spot, great for both lunch and dinner, which has wonderful service, fantastic music and a fun, but chic feeling vibe. All of the dishes are presented beautifully, as works of art and labors of love and the citrus/spicy undertones of the food make the dishes unforgettable.
What to order: Conos de atún (Tuna tartar cones) – When you first read the title of this dish, it may stop you in your tracks; however, it’s totally worth the adventure. The tuna is incredibly fresh and served with a flavorful guacamole, all molded into a delicately crisp cone. So creative and so delicious.
It’s no surprise that Isolina made the list. Ever since the place opened, it’s had lines outside that can wrap around the corner and it made its way on to the list of best restaurants in Latin America. The concept is an old-school tavern that features classic Peruvian dishes that give the feel of home-cooking. This Peruvian soul food induces nostalgia for the locals and provides an insider experience for visitors.
What to order: Seco (Cilantro beef stew) – If you are a cilantro-lover, this dish would be your favorite. While you can find this Peruvian classic on many menus throughout Lima, the preparation of seco at Isolina is impeccable. The beef is so tender that it slides right off the bone allowing you to bathe the meat in the rich, aromatic cilantro stew. It’s just one of those dishes that after eating it, you'll already be contemplating when to organize your next visit for round two.
Av. Hipólito Unánue 203, Miraflores
Tues.-Sun. 12:30 - 5:00 PM
T: +51 (1) 221 1322
Av. La Paz 1079, Miraflores
Mon.-Sun. 12:30 - 11:30 PM
T: +51 (1) 221 9393
Av. La Mar 1209, Miraflores
Tues.-Sat. 1:00 - 3:30 PM / 7:00 - 11:00 PM}
Sun. 1:00 - 4:00 PM
T: +51 (1) 494 7336
Av. San Martin 101, Barranco
Tues.-Sat. 10:00 AM - 11:00 PM
Sun.-Mon. 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
T: +51 (1) 247 5075
ALL ABOUT LIMA
Sam and Lucas are an American-Peruvian couple who have run the top tour in Lima for the past seven 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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