Best Peruvian in 5 Boroughs?
I've been to Coco Roco, and really enjoyed it, but was then told by a Peruvian that it's 'inauthentic'. Never quite sure what to make of that comment when I enjoy the food, but by the same token, I haven't been to any others as good as Coco Roco. I have also heard that there's good Peruvian in Queens. Anyhow, who knows where to go?
Pio Pio on 91st and 1st ave and also located on Northern Boulevard in Queens is great food, great atmosphere and mucho cheap. Real find
Here is a list of Peruvian restaurants on my to eat list. I'm sharing them with you but just report back and let us know.
La Pollada de Laura
102-03 Northern Blvd., Corona
#7 to 103rd Street.
Killer ceviche, way cheap prices
100-05 Metropolitan Ave., Forest Hills
Subway: E, F, V, R to 71st Contnental: Q23 to Metroplitan Av,
The forte here is Peru's coastal cusines, but this restaurant offers a range of dishes from throughout Peru.
El ANzelo Fino Restaurant
25-39 Steinway St., Astoria
Subway: G, V, R to Steinway St.
98-01 Jamaica Ave., Woodhaven
Subway: J (Z at rush hours) to Woodhaven Blvd.
Full range of traditional Peruvian food. The Astoria location is more attractive than the Woodhaven one.
86-14 7th Ave., Jackson Heights
#7 to 82nd street or 90th St.
Named after the Peruvian holiday that pays homage to the sun god, an important god in Incan culture. A full-service Peruvian restaurant that serves Peruvian breakfast
on weekend mornings. Don't miss the spapas rellenas.
84-13 Northern Blvd., Jackson Heights
#7 to 82nd Street
The rotisserie chicken is the big deal here. The Jackson Heights location has style and pizzazz.
Pio-Pio 1746 First Avenue 212.426.5800.
El Malecon (Amsterdam between 97th and 98th Sts.) - roast chicken
Well, just to report back on the Peruvian excursion. We went to Pio Pio and weren't that impressed. The Pisco Sours were good, though weak. The chicken was very tasty but no better than at other places I've been. And the huge mound of fried food was, again, tasty but nothing special. The ceviche was a touch better than the mains. But I think we're going to try some of the other places, even if they don't have Pisco Sours.
Has anyone been to Sipan @Amsterdam & 94th St.? We don't know authentic Peruvian. My shredded chicken had a ground pecan-cumin mojo. I asked for rocoto peppers on the side and they were the real deal. The shrimp dish (Camarones Cuzco) had goat cheese with aji amarillo sauce. Portions very ample for the price. Good Peruvian beer $4. The service was very friendly and inviting. Would try again. Space was open with lots of windows.
responding to several of the above posts...
livetotravel: bajo el puente is long gone, it was a good spot
Marco: Sipan is very americanized, note I didn't say bad, but I wasn't thrilled
alexgourvitch re: Pio Pio: the Manhattan location is inferior to the main restaurant on Northen Blvd ( I don't know which you went to). Weekends they have great ceviche. The chicken is also great from the original small location on Woodhaven Blvd in Rego Park.
re: Coco Roco: used to be really good but went way downhill about two years ago, I haven't gone back
designerboy: I haven't tried Pollado de Laura, Inti Raymi, El Anzelo Fino, will check them out. I had good food at Punta Sal a while ago but deafening music from the bar and horrible service drove me away.
My favorite spot for a larger variety of real Peruvian food is Punto Fijo, also Jackson Heights, Northern Blvd at 89th St. Papas a la huancaina, ceviche, antecuchos, jalea or other fried chunks corvina, carapulcra if they have it. http://www.chowhound.com/news/show/10221
Lima's Taste is OK (E 13th St) although I haven't been there for a while.
In case anyone is paying attention, I must apologize to Punta Sal, I never had bad service there (although the food was fairly mediocre). I had them confused with the place on Queens Blvd in Kew Gardens (Inca's) which had really good ceviche but deafening music and horrible service! That was more than two years ago so I have no idea what's up there now.
try el sol on northern and around 83rd. nice looking place with outstanding cervices. mostly spanish speaking , both diners and staff, but very welcoming and delicious. i had cerviche mixto, excellent, and most other diners were eating meats.
I concur I enjoy the food very much and my peruvian friend said is is exactly as he knew in his youth down there. I fox with the mix grill for two and the green sauce spaghetti with steak. My friend says the most authentic dish i believe is called cau cau (?) and is a spicy tripe dish, Whoah!
Since the demise of Pollada de Laura, I'm trying other spots, and thus far, the most promising of places I've been are Las Delicias (104th/44th Ave) and Las Brasas (Corona Ave/90th St). I haven't hit the Northern Blvd places yet (Punto Fijo, El Sol). There are a couple of small Peruvian chicken joints along Corona Ave as well that I'm hoping to check out soon.
I just realized I never responded on Coco Roco. I ate there a few weeks ago with a friend and was not very impressed. The chicken was good, but the anticuchos were really carbonized, to the point of bitterness. I wouldn't go back.
I actually had a nice meal at Lima's Taste on Christopher St. The ceviche was fresh and the service was excellent. It's not the Peruvian food I'm familiar with in Portchester (machu piccu, etc..) but for what its worth, the convinience and the location and the atmosphere, I thought it was great!
re: Neu FM
Unfortunately, most peruvian restaurants in NYC are not good (avoid especially those peru-japan fusions on les and the village). The pollada and Pio Pio kind of place in Queens do not have platos criollos which are the most intersting peruviann dishes; the only good peruvian meals I have had here were at Punto Fijo in Jackson Heights and one on Smith Street in Brooklyn, but i cannot rememeber the name. There is also an ok one in Bergenline, Jersey.
I haven't tried many peruvian restaurants yet, but my findings so far are that:
1. Pio Pio is nowhere NEAR what it used to be... especially their Mini-Pio-Pio in Northern BLVD which is a few stores down from the main restaurant. This little spot serves the same menu but apparently they serve left overs from the main restaurant. On 3 different ocassions, their rice was dry and their beans old. Their fried potatoes are definitely old, and well, you get the idea. As for the main restaurant on Northern BLVD, their quality has diminished over the years (5 years ago, Pio Pio was absolutely tasty!) But recently they served me a bleeding chicken...
2. Inti Raymi serves the best Papa Rellena! Their cebiche needs a little work however. Their lomo saltado tastes great but their meat should be a bit softer. Peruvian Breakfasts are the BEST here!
3. El Sol has great Aji de Gallina! The atmosphere is good and their service was great. They also have unlimited Canchita Frita
4. El Pollo Peruano Is the SPOT if you want to eat tasty peruvian chicken fast food style. Prices are low, their green hot sauce is weak but their arroz frito is great. Fast and friendly service, atmosphere is unimpressive though. I go here religiously.
5. El Pollito Dorado has probably the best Cebiche mixto i've tried yet... they have great deserts including Combinado, Alfajores, Crema Volteada, etc.
I will try all these other spots mentioned here :)
Coco Roco does a pretty good and inexpensive rotisserie chicken with their "Family Specials" menu. If you're picnicking in the park you can't go wrong with that. As for the rest, it's ok but I think overpriced. Though it's probably a result of the area real estate. As for authenticity, it's hard to say because on the menu the preparation and ingredients do look authentic. They even use beef hearts for anticuchos. Some places replace the hearts with regular beef because of the potential fear of beef hearts? (I don't know obviously) but trust me they are a very good if done right. I grew up in a peruvian household, having been to Peru many times throughout my life and the style of food I'm use to is simple and tasty. If you see authenticity as the average peruvian family in Lima or in the country side sitting down for a meal then no this isn't authentic. The taste of the food at Coco Roco is more complicated than it needs to be. In a sense it's more gourmet and even though they use "traditional" ingredients I taste a few other things that come from a cooking school repertoire probably to "enhance" the meal. A lot of the peruvian restaurants of this nature do this. This is not to say that it's a bad place or that it's unfortunate because if you haven't had peruvian food before then I'm sure this is still an authentic experience. I've taken my parents here and they've never mentioned it again, not that they didn't like it but had the same criticisms as me. After 30+ years of being in the US they still head to Queens and for the last 15 or so of those years we have gone to the Inti Raymi. Their Jalea is very generous in size and quality chunks of fish that I've never had in any other peruvian place. The food is good and simple, not like mom's :-), but good enough and more of the style I like. They've also enjoyed Pio Pio which for some reason have yet to try so can't really say anything about it. Ultimately I recommend going to Peru (if you can afford it) and exploring because it's a very diverse culinary experience that's hard to capture here. And for the more daring with a flare for cooking check out "The Exotic Kitchens of Peru" by Copeland Marks. I've found it to be very useful for the few peruvian meals I've made.
Last night I dined at Inti Raymi in Jackson Heights. I ordered at the recommendation of the waitress Pesado a lo Macho (assorted mixed seafood mixed in wine sauce served over a sea trout fillet). A very large portion of mixed seafood served with potato and a side order of white rice. Outstanding.
Lima's Taste is the best. The food is sensational... family business built on true love from patrons, dating back to their e.village location. Their lomo saltado and causa puts tears in my eyes.....
*FEEDBACK FROM A PERUVIAN - I'm from Trujillo-Peru.... a city up North in Peru but I have been living in new york for 18 years. I got back to Peru frequently and have peruvian food at least once or twice a month with my girlfriend here in New York. I have a pretty good idea of what the traditional dishes are supposed to taste like and where to go get genuine dishes... not the fake fusion places that keep popping up everywhere. So here is my list with addresses and reviews:
1. LIMA LIMON
94-20 Roosevelt Ave
Queens, NY 11372
*Great papa a la huancaina and tallarin saltado.... the best!!!
Also this is more low key traditional dishes.... super home-made feel.
2. LA MAR
11 Madison Ave at 25th St
Manhattan, NY 10010
*Great selection of ceviches (best i've had so far) and amazing cocktails
This restaurant is more for a nice occasion or date. Going back soon!!!
92 7th Ave S
New York, NY 10184
Neighborhood: West Village
*Amazing ceviches (the sashimi ceviche is great) and also try the 3 color ceviches with the different aji sauces. Also make a mean tacu tacu with fried fish. Great pisco sour cocktails.
4. PIO PIO
210 E 34th St
(between Tunnel Exit St & 3rd Ave)
New York, NY 10016
Neighborhoods: Midtown East, Murray Hill, Kips Bay
*Best rotisserie chicken in the city.... also make a mean arroz chaufa which surprised me.... top everything off with a maracuya sour (pisco sour with passion fruit).
852 Amsterdam Ave
(between 101st St & 102nd St)
Manhattan, NY 10025
Neighborhood: Manhattan Valley
*This one is new... enjoyed the causa and lomo saltado there.
well the Pio pio address i gave you in the list is the original if i'm not mistaken... and it's also the biggest.... so no waiting time... they own the block too... across the street they have a TAKE out PIO in the corner.... so if you don't want to do a dinner out... you can just call and order and then pick up. cheers and happy eating!!!
re: E Eto
What would either of you guys pick for the basic traditional ceviche de pescado (or mixto)? I used to go to places whose names I can't recall on Juntion Blvd and 100-something Northern Blvd, but they're gone. And the fancified (and pricey) versions at La Mar aren't really what I'm looking for. I would order a jalea as well, but ceviche is the thing. Thanks for any thoughts.
re: Jack Barber
I would go with the mixto... i'm a big seafood lover myself... but if you can't have seafood because of allergies (like my girlfriend) just go for the classic ceviche of just fish... both good... depends on your mood. I just went to check out "LA CUARTA" in brooklyn and they made a mean TIRADITO which is like a ceviche... more like a sashimi (long strips of fish marinated in a yellow pepper sauce)... it was the bomb... and also try their more traditional dishes like "cabrito" - it's a lamb stew with rice and beans.... i was very pleasantly surprised.... I will go back soon.
LA mar ceviches are good... but you are right they are a little on the pricey side.... have you tried the ceviches in PANCA? i like their 3-color tiradito and their ceviche mixto is not bad as well. Happy eating.
Just wanted to give you an update. I visited two new peruvian spots in the last two months one was RAYMI http://www.richardsandoval.com/raymi/ and the other was LA CUARTA http://www.menupages.com/restaurants/...
I highly recommend both of them. RAYMI has a great selection of seafood dishes... particularly their tiradito was incredible and their lucuma sunday is to die for. La cuarta on the other hand has a good grasp on traditional peruvian dishes. I would try the cabrito (lamb stew) and the lomo saltado (flank steak with potatoes and sun dried tomatoes). They have pretty good alfajores (dulce de leche cookie) as well.
I'm peruvian... the only ones in manhattan worth your time are RAYMI and PANCA. The absolute best one in queens is LIMA LIMON. No other restaurants really make the cut. There is a peruvian food cart in midtown called "MANOS PERUANAS" that cooks better food than most restaurants claiming to be peruvian. The PIO PIO in queens also gets the peruvian stamp of approval not only for their chicken. Cheers!