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Feb 8, 2011 08:05 AM

Cusco and Lima Peru Food Suggestions?

I am doing up the Inca Trail trek in early March and although I have read some of the threads here about food suggestions, I was wondering if i can a bit more info.

In Cusco, I am staying around the Plaza de armas and I am pretty interested in eating street food. I havent read much about the market scene over there if anyone has any input. I am interested in trying guinea pig and llama if anyone has any suggestions on that.

I will be in Lima for about 2 days and I was set on hitting up La Mar and Pescado Capitales, I am staying at the Sheraton in the historic district (horray starwood pts) does anyone have any suggestions for food around there?

I will be solo traveling so do you think I need a reservation for La Mar or Pescado? all suggestions are welcomed, I pretty much will eat anything or try anything.

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  1. I don't know where you're from but I caution against any sort of street food unless you know you're not going to get sick. We only drank bottle water yet we got sick. Chi cha in Cusco is a Gaston Acurio restaurant. They serve "cuy pekinese," or guinea pig Peking duck style. I've had it at Astrid & Gaston and loved it. Cusco itself is pretty small, you can pretty much walk everywhere. The altitude may slow you down a bit though.

    I do like La Mar and am not sure that you can make a reservation. I suggest you go early if it's the weekend as the place gets crowded. Personally I read the restaurant reviews on Fodor's and Frommer's and cross referenced them with the posts here.

    1. Go to Segundo Muelle ( Their seviches are creative and simply delicious. The aji amarillo seafood soup was decadent. Lastly, order the flan - so heavy and rich which would just smother you in cream and sugar... But avoid the pasta.

      1. In Lima, go to Manolo's and have a coffee and churros:

        And El Buen Gusto in Miraflores for empanadas.

        Go to Jack's for a solid breakfast in Cusco:

        And to Cicciolina for an amazing meal:

        Have fun and enjoy!!

        1. thanks for all the suggestions! I the churros sound great because I have a bit of a sweet tooth. Is there any special breads/desserts/bakeries I should be on the look out for?

          My stomach has survived many trips to Taiwan and other Asian country street vendor and market food so I am hoping it is up to par with the markets in Peru. Any markets I should go to in Lima? I think Mercado Centrale is my best bet.

          side travel note: My spanish skills is High school spanish level, what is the experiences of taking taxis? From my research I know dont get into any shady looking ones and price is negotiated before hand.

          9 Replies
          1. re: jester99

            Manolo seconded. I am hopeless in front of food - I have to taste everything. The food hygene for my stomach was fine, but some others with less blessed constitutions may disagree.

            Taxis, funny you should mention it. We had a problem, actually, on our way to Segundo Muelle. You have to make sure that the drivers truly understand what you are saying, instead of just rushing into driving with "OK, OK!" SM is located in a residential neighborhood, so there are not that many landmarks that you can refer to. But I think one of the museums was not far, so tell the driver that it is in such and such direction. You, I am sure, know all these as you seem to have traveled wide and far. Just be firm, and absolutely firm - do not pay until you get to where you want to go.

            1. re: Au Gourmand

              thanks for the tip! I am too hopeless in front of food. If I see a line of people lining up for food, I immedeately jump in line...and then find out wtf they are selling haha.

            2. re: jester99

              Mercado Centrale is worth visiting and Chinatown is next door. One street food I had to try was anticucho (beef heart) sold by a butcher next to the market (it's a butcher shop with a grill). I thought it was pretty good. I also got some dim sum from a Chinatown street vendor that wasn't very exciting. Inside the market are a bunch of vendors that smelled pretty good but our guide didn't think it was a good idea for me to try them.

              1. re: Worldwide Diner

                Mercado Centrale is a place I really want to go to while I am there, is Mercado Centrale near Miraflores? I was also thinkin of maybe seeking out a guide to maybe help me with getting around and showing me places to eat.

                1. re: jester99

                  Mercado Centrale is close to the Plaza de Armas (near your hotel) but not Miraflores. If you read the guidebooks, it tells you not to walk around at night in that neighborhood. Miraflores is about a 15 minute drive. When you go to La Mar, plan to spend the rest of the day in Miraflores. We enjoyed shopping at the markets on Petit Thouars (it's long road and the markets are near the end of the street in Miraflores).

                  1. re: Worldwide Diner

                    thanks for the feedback, my tentative plan is that i fly back cusco to lima friday morning and then spend that day in miaflores. I live the next night around ten so i was going to stick around Mercado centrale and barrio chino.

                    1. re: jester99

                      There's next to nothing in the Lima airport. Market Centrale and Chinatown might take you about 2 hours to visit, max. If I were you, I'd plan on lunch at La Mar when you get to Lima. After that, walk down to the coast to check out the park and Larcomar (for the views), then head north towards Petit Thouars for souvenir shopping. It's a hike but if you're gonna do the Inca Trail, you should be able to handle some city walking. For dinner, I'd suggest going to Huaca Pucllana, it's good not great good but the restaurant itself is a sight, not as fabulous as Machu Pichu but with glowing braziers and a pyramid in the background, it's something you should see if you're only doing Peru once. Next day do the market and chinatown, and the cathedral next to Plaza de Armas).

                      1. re: Worldwide Diner

                        dude you are awesome! thank you for all the advice and I am very much excited to go to Peru!

                        1. re: jester99

                          Cebicheria "Lobo del Mar", across the street from the Miraflores Colon Hotel, is my favorite place in Lima. A huge plate of delicious flounder ceviche costs about $10 and is enough for two people. Add to that a big bottle of ice cold Cusqueña lager and some cancha (toasted giant corn) and I'm very happy.

            3. Alpaca is something you should try around the Sacred Valley. The restaurant at El Albergue in Ollantaytambo does an excellent alpaca loin with a huacatay flavored potato mash. Be sure to try the giant corn if it is still in season. It was the only street food I was brave enough to try.


              1 Reply
              1. re: mlgb

                Yes, we had alpaca two or three times while in Peru and it was always very good - a bit like grass-fed beef. Giant corn was served to us as a appetizer in several places and it was good; I especially liked the toasted corn called "cancha", like "corn nuts" here but not quite so hard on your teeth.