Peru: Low to mid range?
On a whim, I've decided to fly to Peru at the end of this week for 10 days (I live in New York).
I've read the relatively few posts on this board for Peru, but much of it seems to focus on higher end restaurants.
Where do I go for the delicious local hole-in-the-walls?
The specialty restaurants that serve only a few things but do them superbly?
How do I go about finding huariques?
How is the street food scene and are there locations where they cluster so that I can get more bang for my time?
Where are the great local food markets?
The more unique (and less touristed) the better. I really don't want to eat anything that I can get at home.
I'm not sure where I'm heading yet (certainly Lima, of course), so I'm open to everything.
I know it's kind of late to reply, but maybe the tips will be useful to some other traveler who has the same questions about Lima (disclaimer: I am a local, Lima-born). It is a short list and I am pretty sure many places will be missing as Lima has blossomed into a foodie city lately:
For Peruvian dishes:
-Rincon Chami, Esperanza 174, Miraflores
-Don Bosco, República Dominicana 367, Jesus Maria
- For anticuchos (grilled beef heart skewers), go to Doña Grimanesa's food cart on Miraflores
- Sanguches (Peruvian sandwiches, great for late night snacking), El Peruanito on Angamos 391, Miraflores
A nice street food cluster can be found on Barranco on weekends, where they hold a small street food fair. You will get everything from starters to desserts (in the latter, don't forget to order either "combinado" -mix of arroz con leche and mazamorra morada- or "picarones", these last being the ultimate street dessert -similar to donuts but made of Peruvian pumpkin and sweet potato and covered with fruity molasses).
THE greatest local food market is definitely Mercado de Surquillo, on freshness and variety. Most of the top Peruvian chefs shop there. Proceed with caution though as the surroundings are not the safest in town.
Please report back.. I stumbled lost into a cevicheria in Jesus Maria (neighborhood) called something like Rey del Mar which I think was on Rep. de Chile near Repsol station at Arenals and Rep. de Chile. I'm sure it is just average on the scale of Lima restaurants but it was pretty good and only about $6 for two courses including a drink. Jesus Maria is a middle class neigborhood about midway between Miraflores and el Centro, only reason I was there was that I was staying nearby and got turned around looking for an ATM...I don't know that there is any reason to seek it out I'm just saying that neighborhood restaurants can be pretty good too...
Lima has GREAT food. Where to start??? For a good lunch, go to Miraflores, walk up Av. Larco and look down side streets on cuadra (block) 4 and 6, I forget the names of the streets. There are a few restaurants with menus in front, look for something that sounds good. I usually look for tallarines saltado (Peruvian style lo mein), palta rellena (avocado stuffed with Chicken salad). El Menu del dia usually has an appetizer, main dish and a drink for a few bucks and usually very tasty in this area.
Google Gaston Acaurio, Peru's celebrity chef. He has a bunch of restaurants in Miraflores, La Mar is my favorite. A little upscale, but fantastic.
There is a place I keep reading about in Lima called Chez Wong. Its in a bad part of Lima, but the foodies rave about the chef.
There are just toooooo many cevicherias to talk about. My in-laws say the best ceviche is in Callao. We ate in a great place cross the street from Castillo Real Felipe a few years ago. Don't go at night, Callao is dangerous enough in the day. And of coarse there is Pollo a la Brasa (rotisserie Chicken), the BEST chicken I ever had. Pardo's and Las Canastas are my favorites. Hope your Spanish is good. Enjoy !