Lima is the ultimate South American city break, and it’s the best place in the world for delicious Peruvian cuisine and international dishes.
Situated on the coast of the South Pacific, Lima is one of the largest cities in the Americas, with a population of almost 10 million people. You’ll find a splendid old town, surfing beaches, street art and excellent dining here.
Whether you’re seeking Michelin-star dining, feasting on street food, or seeking fresh ceviche, you can eat around Lima and never get bored!
With a reputation for world-class dining, Lima has quickly become one of the hottest foodie destinations in Latin America, with many top restaurants in the city offering world cuisine, fusion cooking and traditional Peruvian dishes.
Interested in traditional Peruvian cuisine? Don’t leave Lima until you’ve tasted these!
Lomo Saltado is a classic and beloved Peruvian stir-fry dish which blends Chinese and Peruvian flavours beautifully.
This exciting culinary fusion is a testament to Peru’s diverse culinary heritage and the influence of Chinese immigrants on the country’s gastronomy.
Lomo Saltado is a flavorful and hearty dish that typically features strips of beef, stir-fried with vegetables and Peruvian spices, and served over rice or French fries.
One of the best places in Lima to try Lomo Saltado is Isolina Taberna Peruana – a modern, high-end tavern serving traditional Peruvian and Limeño dishes.
Lima is known for having the freshest and the zestiest ceviche in the world, so it’s safe to say it’ll never taste the same again!
Ceviche is Peru’s national dish, and you’ll find different versions across the city. It’s fresh fish cooked in lime juice and served as a light starter mixed with chilli and other zesty flavours like cilantro and onion.
For the best ceviche in Lima, head to Mercado de Surquillo if you’re on a budget (the market), Chez Wong, a favourite of Anthony Bourdain, or El Mercado if you’re after something more upmarket.
Lima isn’t the birthplace of ceviche; you can find it across the country, from the Amazon to deep in the Andes Mountain range. But even if you are in the Andes, it’s worth the 7-hour journey from Huaraz to Lima solely to feast on ceviche!
Picarones are a popular Peruvian dessert that originated during the colonial period. They are made from a batter of squash and sweet potato mixed with flour, yeast, and anise. The mixture is then deep-fried until golden brown, resulting in round, doughnut-like shapes.
What sets picarones apart is their unique syrup made from chancaca, a sweetener derived from raw cane sugar.
This syrup is drizzled over the freshly fried treats, adding a rich and distinctive flavour. They are sometimes sprinkled with sesame seeds for an extra layer of crunch.
These are most popular among locals as a late-night snack after a night out on the booze, and you’ll find some of the best being fried up on the street corners of Parque Kennedy in Miraflores, Parque Castilla in Lince and Parque de la Cruz in Barranco.
The Peruvian Causa Limeña is a layered potato dish chilled as an appetizer or light meal. While potato is a fundamental ingredient, chefs throughout the city take pride in the creativity of presentation and flavours of the different layers.
The war between Peru and Chile raged from 1879 to 1884; during this time, all that was left for soldiers to eat was potatoes.
Soldiers’ wives did their best to make the best of it by serving them in layers with other ingredients, and thus ‘the cause’ was born.
Different ingredients and versions depend on the region and the chef, but you’ll typically find it served with tuna, tomato, or avocado between the layers.
Anticuchos de Corazón
Anticuchos de Corazón, or Grilled Beef Heart Skewers, is a quintessential Peruvian street food that embodies the country’s culinary creativity and love for bold flavours.
The preparation of anticuchos de corazón involves marinating thin slices of beef heart that includes garlic, cumin, aji panca (a Peruvian red pepper), vinegar, and oil, giving a rich, savoury flavour.
After marinating, the seasoned beef heart slices are threaded onto skewers and grilled to perfection.
Sudado de Pescado
Sudado de Pescado, or Fish Stew, is a delectable and comforting dish that hails from the coastal regions of Peru.
Known for its rich flavours and aromatic spices, this stew is a testament to Peru’s diverse culinary heritage.
The key ingredients of sudado de pescado typically include a variety of fish, such as sea bass or other white fish, and a flavorful combination of tomatoes, onions, garlic, aji amarillo (yellow chilli pepper) and cilantro.
Adding Peruvian spices, including cumin and aji panca (red chilli pepper), contributes to the stew’s robust and savoury profile.
The Chicharrón Sandwich is a popular and indulgent street food in Peru, known for its flavorful and satisfying combination of crispy pork, sweet potato, and salsa criolla.
At the heart of the Chicharrón Sandwich is the chicharrón itself, which refers to deep-fried pork belly or pork loin.
The pork is typically seasoned with a blend of spices, including cumin, garlic, and sometimes aji amarillo (yellow chilli pepper), before being fried to achieve a crispy and golden exterior while maintaining succulent and tender meat inside.
According to The Travel Goals Podcast, one of the best places to try a Chicharrón Sandwich in Lima is El Chinito.
Seco de Cabrito
Seco de Cabrito is a traditional Peruvian dish that features goat meat stewed in a flavorful sauce made with cilantro, beer or chicha de jora (fermented corn beer), and various spices.
This dish uniquely represents Peru’s culinary diversity, combining indigenous ingredients with Spanish influences.
The main protein in Seco de Cabrito is goat meat, specifically young goat or kid. The meat is typically marinated to enhance its flavour before being slow-cooked, resulting in tender and succulent pieces.
Portia has spent years traversing the globe and having many misadventures. She now works as a freelance travel journalist, editor of Pip and the City and hosts the Travel Goals Podcast. She specialises in adventure travel, destination guides and city breaks. Her work has appeared in The Times, National Geographic and Lonely Planet. She can normally be found hiking, swimming outdoors in icy waters, or drinking coffee in bougie cafes.