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Mar 1, 2010 04:20 PM

Restaurants in Lima?

Looking for restaurant/foodie suggestions in Lima. Street food, local favorites, etc. Thanks! :)

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  1. Just bumping this up since I'm looking for recs, too.

    7 Replies
    1. re: baltoellen

      My wife is Peruvian and we have an apartment in Lima. We were just there a few weeks ago. I am going to reply with a list of some of our favorite places and some photos.

      We never visit Lima without going at least once to Francesco for lunch. Absolutely incredible seafood. For us, the standout plates are: 1) rocotto relleno de mariscos (stuffed pepper with seafood); 2) pulpo a la parilla (octopus from the grill); and 3) Arroz negro con conchas (squid ink rice with scallops).

      My wife also swears they have the best pisco sour in Lima. This is not a cheap restaurant by Lima standards but an absolute bargain for the quality.

      1. re: baltoellen

        A "hole in the wall" that we really like for one specialty is a placed called "El Rincon de Bigote." Their specialty are their almejas (stuffed clams). These are served cold, chopped clams with chopped onion, cilantro and I am not sure what else. Absolutely amazing and I think they cost about 4 soles each (less than $2). They also do excellent choritos a la chalca (mussels served in a similar style to the clams). Their ceviche is also fine, but the above are what they are famous for.

        1. re: baltoellen

          Another place we tried this trip and really enjoyed is called Mi Causa. A causa is traditionally a yellow potato puree, served cold, that is stuffed with shrimp, crab, cold chicken or tuna.

          This restaurant is devoted to causas and takes the concept to a new level by serving probably 50 different types, including many causas which are served hot.

          We really loved the rocoto relleno causa which is designed to imitate a famous plate from Arequipa, the stuffed pepper.

          We also tried a causa with grilled tuna served over hot potato, which was also great.

          1. re: baltoellen

            This recommendation is way off the beaten path and I promise you if you make it here, there will not be another tourist in site. Keep in mind also, my wife tells me this is not in the greatest neighborhood. But if you want to try excellent seafood at bargain prices, El Rinconcito de Chela is pretty great.

            Their speciality is almejas a limon, clams with lime juice. Stupendous. Their ceviche is excellent, as well as their sudado de pescado (fish served in a yellow pepper sauce with seafood, tomatoes and onion).


            1. re: baltoellen

              My last recommendation is las brujas de Cachice. This is a very beautiful restaurant and is great for dinner (all of my other recommendations are lunch spots).

              I've enjoyed everything I tried there but my wife's friend order their aroz can pato (rice with duck) and I was blown away by how good it was. The rice is served in the Peruvian styles, green from cilantro and the duck is tender and soft as can be.


              1. re: baltoellen

                Pescados Capitales. Yeah, its a seen and be seen type of place (esp. for lunch) - but the seafood is first rate. My friend and I both stopped talking and were astounded by the absolute delicate grilled octopus. Hands down the best octopus we've ever had.

                1. I used to work in Lima and now I go once a year TO EAT!

                  Here are a few of my favorites:

                  LUNCH/LIGHT DINNER
                  Arugula (Calle San Fernando, 320 Miraflores) Great for salads & light lunches.

                  T'anta Various Locations Av. Prolongacion Primavera 692 (Surco), Pancho Fierro 117 (San Isidro), also @ the corner or Vasco Nunez de Balboa and 28 de Julio (Miraflores) Perfect spot for lunch. They also have a great bakery and delicious small grocer in most of the restaurants.

                  Al Fresco (Malecon Balta, 790 Miraflores)

                  La Canta Rana in Barranco: must go for ceviche and great seafood! Hole in the wall.

                  La Gloria (Atahualpa, 201 Miraflores) Impeccable. Hands down my favorite restaurant in Lima. Have a pisco sour or a glass of champagne in their charming little bar before dinner.

                  Raphael (Calle San Martin, 300 Miraflores) Also delicious. V. modern. Good bar scene on the weekends too.

                  Calla is beautiful if you're looking for a view of the water. I think the food is overrated at touristy La Rosa Nautica.

                  La Bodega de La Trattoria has delicious food at two locations if you're in the mood for Italian. One is next to the Huaca Pullana and the other is on Vasco Nunez de Balboa (Dal Macia is right there for lunch too).

                  So many good things to eat in Lima!! And the ice cream....cuatro D is awesome. Have fun!

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: walnuticecream

                    I live in Lima., I endorse walnuticecream's recommendations, esp. La Gloria, also La Causa and Pescados Capitales. The grilled octopus at Pescado Capitales is indeed excellent, got out 14-year-old son addicted to it. Would add for atmosphere and above-average food the restaurant at Huaca Pucllana, and for steaks and antecuchos (beef heart kebabs, very yummy) the new Gaston Acurio effort, Panchita's.

                    1. re: spicysquid

                      These are great responses. Anyone have suggestions for Arequipa? (I suppose I should start a new thread, but thought I'd ask here first...)

                      1. re: baltoellen

                        New ones, go for Chicha and the one that is next to Monasterio de Santa Catalina (sorry, I don't remember the name). If you want something more traditional, La Nueva Palomino is a classic picanteria that ranks pretty well.

                        1. re: pbabyfly

                          We actually ate at La Nueva Palomino, and thought it very good, but not great. We may not have ordered correctly, but I thought he ordered typical Arequipean food of rocoto relleno and chupes de carmarones. We did like what seemed to be a very traditional scene there, and the restaurant was close to a mirador, with a most fantastic view of that gorgeous city.

                    2. re: walnuticecream

                      Thanks for tall the great recommendations!

                      What would you recommend to eat at "La Gloria" or "Raphael"?

                      Also, are there any new / recent openings (within the past year or so) that have made big splashes?

                      1. re: eatfood

                        La Gloria!! If you must choose, definitely La Gloria. Can't be missed.

                    3. I just got back from Peru, tried a few places in Lima for Cebiche/ceviche

                      Canta Rana (Barranco) 22 soles including drink. Disappointed, some things didn't taste fresh in the mixto. I don't really think this is a local "find", there were a fair number of Gringos in there. Pleasant casual atmosphere.

                      Kapallaq (near Plaza Vea I think it's Jesus Maria). Very fresh cebiche mixto, including the black snails. A bit underseasoned for my taste. Expensive, they add tax, tip and a 7 sole cover charge. Good, though. A bit upscale casual and you might reserve unless going when the open.

                      Plaza Vea food court on Arequipa in Lima. Don't laugh, this was excellent! Just straight pescado cebiche, but I'll bet they bought the fish from Plaza Vea, I had it early, about 12:30 pm and it didn't last. Nicely seasoned. You can get a big portion for maybe 5 soles. It's the first photo.

                      "El Arenal" on Arenales near Ave de Cuba. I'm sure this is typical of the local cebicherias in Lima that no one writes about. 12 Soles for the Menu Marino which is two courses plus drink and dessert. I went kind of late and the cebiche mixto became just pescado, and there wasn't much mariscos in the Picante mariscos, but boy was it delicous!

                      I also had lenguado cebiche in Pimentel, which we had to wait for because the fish needed to be retrieved from the fisherman. Of course it was fresh.

                      As far as ice cream, the Gelateria 4-D had a Pisco Sour flavor that was delicious.

                      1. I didn't have much time in Lima, but I did have a chance to hit up both of super celebrity chef Gaston's two biggest restaurants in Lima. He's an almost unknown here, but he's pretty much the reigning king of Peruvian cuisine.

                        Unfortunately, I can't recommend Astrid & Gaston, the supposed best restaurant of the city, which was probably the worst dining experience I had in Peru for reasons I won't go into here.

                        However, his Cebicheria la Mar is literally TO-DIE-FOR. It is a traditional cebicheria, so it's open only during lunchtimes. And the food is simply incredible. As soon as you sit down, you're served an assortment of different kinds of gourmet potato chips and a whole bucket (yes, I mean an actual bucket) of roasted, unpopped corn seeds. It's just about the most addictive junk food you could ask for.

                        And if you want ceviche, it's not going to get any better than the one here. The restaurant serves up (I think) somewhere between 7 and 9 varieties and even has a degustation of 5 types. With that many different varieties, you better believe it's innovated the art of ceviche, coming up with really unique versions, like the Miraflorino (Classic version leche de tigre with fruits of the sea, i.e. a wide variety of seafood), the Japanese-inspired Nikei, and the far too spicy Potente.

                        As for a real Pisco Sour, I'd recommend the one at El Bolivar, where the Pisco Sour is said to have been created.

                        Hope that helps!

                        Take care,
                        The Food Buster

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: The Food Buster

                          Not surprised you didn't care for Astrid y Gaston. It used to be amazing and the ambience is still elegant, but the restaurant has really suffered from a lack of attention and gone downhill over the past few years. Now A&G mostly stands on its reputation and is mostly visited by tourists and locals entertaining clients.
                          In sharp contrast to A&G but only a few blocks away is my favorite hole in the wall restaurant, Samantha. It has no elegance to speak of and is only open for lunch, but is a fantastic place to go for cheap, great Peruvian standards like Asado de res, Aji de gallina, and Pollo al horno. The day's menu items are posted on the wall on removable strips of paper, the bathrooms are revolting, and sharing space at the cheap linoleum tables is expected, but I consider it one of the best restaurants in Lima. It's located on Av Jose Pardo, one block away from the Ovalo de Miraflores, right next door to the Banco de la Nacion. You'll know the place from the yellow banner hanging in the door, "Samantha: Comida Criolla"

                          1. re: The Food Buster

                            There is a branch of La Mar in San Francisco at the Ferry Building.