Updated: Oct 21, 2021
Known for its cuisine of opposites, which means hot and cold, and robust and delicate on the same plate, Peru is a sunny paradise for food lovers.
If you plan to visit Peru and, besides exploring its natural beauty, you are also interested in catching a glimpse of its rich culinary heritage, continue reading this article and find out which is the best Peruvian food Peruvian cuisine is one of the best, if not the best, in Latin America.
Colors & Flavours of Peruvian Cuisine by @centralrest
If you are a foodie, you probably know already that South American countries are known for their ceviche craze. However, the acknowledged cradle of cebiche is Peru. Here it was eaten for years before the arrival of the Spaniards. From Peru, it was spread throughout the pacific litoral.
The dish, however, is prepared differently in each country, and if you travel to Peru, you should definitely indulge in the local delicious mix of raw fish ‘cooked’ in citrus juice. La Mar Cebichería, Gastón Acurio´s restaurant, for instance, is a famous restaurant in Lima that promises you a memorable culinary encounter, serving mouthwatering ceviche dishes. Other options are Astrid & Gastón, Restaurant Sonia, and Chez Wong among the most famous.
Check our Instagram TV Episode about “How to …a Peruvian Quinoa Salad & Ceviche”. Our Local Peruvian hosts from @mangosrestaurante and @sumaqhotel will teach us how to make this two delicious dishes and their Peruvian secrets! WATCH HERE
Aji de Gallina
If you love chicken, aji de gallina will satisfy your taste buds’ desires. Expect to be served a plate filled with shredded chicken covered with a thick sauce made with cream, cheese, walnuts, and aji Amarillo, served over rice with boiled potatoes and black olives.
Traditional Aji de Gallina
If the raw fish in ceviche doesn’t seem like a good idea for you, then you should indulge in Peru’s second famous dish. The mix of Chinese stir-fry and classic Peruvian cuisine makes Lomo saltado create a paradise in your mouth, and gives it a special place on our best Peruvian food list. Marinated in soy sauce, the tender strips of meat are then stir-fried together with tomatoes, aji chilies, onions, and other spices, and served with French fries and steaming white rice.
Depending on where you grew up, you probably had a guinea pig as a pet. Well, in Peru the guinea pig is known as cuy, and it’s an important dish for locals. Usually baked or barbecued and served whole, cuy is a must-try when visiting this charming country.
Served cold, usually as a side, causa is something you can find all over the country in different variations, but the best known is the Causa Limeña. The yellow Peruvian potatoes make a great mash when combined with lime, oil, and spicy aji Amarillo sauce, and the filling is usually tuna, chicken, or salmon blended in with mayonnaise and layered with avocado, boiled eggs, and olives. Delicious!
Causa Peruana by @lamarcebicherialima
Meat lovers can continue exploring foods of Peru with a tasty portion of anticuchos. Similar to shish kebabs, the skewers of grilled, marinated meat can be found in high-end restaurants as appetizers, but they are also sold by street-cart vendors. Anticuchos deserve a place on our best Peruvian food list, not only because they are delicious, but they are also usually made of beef heart, instead of regular meat.
Arroz con Pato
If you are a big fan of roast duck, don’t miss indulging in the tasty Arroz con pato, a dish that perfectly combines the leg or thigh of roast duck with white rice, mixed with cilantro and other herbs, as well as dark beer. It goes really well with pinot noir!
Arroz con Pato is one of the dishes that will leave you speechless on your trip to Peru. @foodie.viajera
Pollo a la Brasa
Though it is now served everywhere in the world, Pollo a la Brasa is still a must-try when visiting Peru, and it has a special spot on our list of best Peruvian food. The Peruvian-style roast chicken is so amazing because it is marinated in soy sauce and flavored with garlic, cumin, and red peppers. It is served with fried yuca, and it’s mouthwatering.
If you travel to Peru and visit the Andean highlands, make sure you taste their traditional alpaca dish. It tastes almost like buffalo or other grass-fed meats, and it is famous for its lack of greasiness.
Alpaca heart’s, bee pollen by @centralrest
Our best Peruvian food list cannot be complete without adding something to satisfy your sweet tooth. Alfajor is the cookie of South America, and it comes in many varieties. If you are a big fan of dulce de leche, this cookie brings it sandwiched between two thin cookies, promising to make your taste buds run wild.
Peru is a high cuisine destination that offers several dishes that will leave you speechless. These are our 10 best Peruvian foods, but there are plenty of other dishes you should try when traveling to Peru, as well as a multitude of restaurants you should visit if you really want to satisfy the foodie inside you.
Start planning your trip to Peru now, to access any of the famous restaurants in Peru it is necessary to book in advance. Check our suggested tour 3 weeks South America itinerary: South American Essentials: Culture, Cuisine, and Photo Safari or contact us and we can design your perfect gourmet trip to South America.