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Best Peruvian in DC/MD

As a neophyte in the art of Peruvian food, I wonder who has the best Peruvian (non-Pollo a la Brasa)? I have tried La Canela, La Flor de la Canela and Aroma Latin Cuisine and have liked things about each. I intend to visit La Limena. But I wonder what other people who have more experience think. As a side question why doesn't any Peruvian restaurant have a good wine list?

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  1. I think La Canela is the best of the bunch. El Chalan near the World Bank in the city is also good, but has been inconsistent recently, and I think surpassed by La Canela.

    1. I like La Limena. It's informal, and the food is good home-cooked style. I'm not a fan of ceviche, but the people I've gone with to La Limena spoke highly of it. The menu also has some Cuban dishes, but I recommend sticking to the Peruvian ones. The lomo saltado and pollo saltado are both good as are the papas a la huaincaina. The passionfruit juice is also delicious.

      I haven't been to La Canela, but have heard it's excellent and definitely more elegant than La Limena. In DC, I've been going to El Chalan for 15+ years (but haven't been in a couple of months; I used to work a block away.) El Chalan's classic Peruvian dishes are solid --lomo saltado, aji de gallina, papas a la huaincaina, and the pisco sours are among the best I've ever had. The place isn't much to look at it--in a basement, but the waiters are friendly and prices are decent. Another Peruvian restaurant I like is Inti (Dupont area). I had an excellent lomo saltado there not too long ago. It has a nice ambiance, and in general, the flavoring of the dishes is more complex (probably because of the chifa influence) compared with the food I've had at other Peruvian restaurants.

      Hope you enjoy La Limena, T.K.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Gigi007

        Hi Gigi:

        I'm from Peru and I'm in DC only for 2 weeks. I will invite some friends to have lunch in DC area the last day that I'll be around here, so do you tried again Inti? Because I'm not sure if the best place is Inti or El Chalan in DC area.

        We look for a place near Thomas Circle / Dupont Circle, I think both are ok, but I would like to decide the restaurant.

        I don't have time to try both before Friday 12th, so I hope you can help me.


      2. Can we add VA? I see so many Peruvian places all over, but I have no idea which to choose.

        1 Reply
        1. I was el Chalan back in October. solid? yes. exciting not so.

          but really good ceviche.

          1. I think Flor de la Canela closed (the one in Gaithersburg, not Rockville Town Center). I haven't been in a while, this is upsetting!

            2 Replies
            1. re: reiflame

              Sadly, it's true. However, I've heard that the same family opened Carbon the rotisserie chicken place also in Rockville Center. I haven't been yet. I will miss La Flor.

              1. re: Trip Klaus

                Well, La Canela in Rockville Town Square is owned by the same folks who ran La Flor de la Canela, so there's continuity there.

                Not sure that Carbon is the same group, though, though it is also Peruvian.

                Carbon is mostly pollo a la brasa and other foods off the grill. Order at the counter, pick up your food, bus your own table, mostly carryout.

                La Canela is a white tablecloth restaurant that takes homey Peruvian food to another level of sophistication.

                They're both good!

                La Canela
                141 Gibbs St, Rockville, MD 20850

            2. For a less formal atmosphere, The Chicken Place, east of George Ave on University Blvd in Wheaton, is pretty good. They serve much more than chicken. It's my Peruvian in-laws' "go to" place when they want to keep it simple.

              Chicken Place
              2418 University Blvd W, Silver Spring, MD 20902

              2 Replies
              1. re: Sal Gee

                The Nibbler in Gaithersburg is great! It doesnt look like much from the outside, but when inside, the decor is unique. Their foods and sauces are delish! I def recommend :)

                1. re: MilaSoler

                  I have to say that after reading all the good reviews about The Nibber, we finally went a few weeks ago. I really wanted to love this place as it is 10 minutes from my house. There was nothing bad about it, just nothing great. The lomo saltado, pretty standard Peruvian fare, was probably the least flavorful Ive had in the area. It was also way over-priced for what they gave you.

              2. I like the rotisserie chicken at Pollo Fiesta in Riverdale.