Eating and drinking in Lima

Restaurants and cafes If you have a few soles in your pocket and some good local information, you can eat like a king in
Lima. Here are few personal favorites:
 

Cafes

Café Z   Editor’s pick  Last in the alphabet but first in my book, Café Z is a home away from home for ex-pats and tourists, as well as being a fashionable spot for the rich young and bohemian not-so-young of Lima. Service isn’t always great but the coffee (also available by the kilo) is a proprietary Peruvian blend, roasted in the café several times a week. The sandwich de lomo fino is also killer-good, and likely to result in a heart attack with its slow-roast beef and melted cheese. Look out for Eli, son of the American owner and currently running the place. And if you see a guy at the big glass table tapping away feverishly on a laptop (free wifi!), don’t disturb him or you’ll end up with fewer articles in the Bean that day….  On the Bajada Balta – follow the Diagonal a block past the end of the Parque Kennedy in Miraflores. Tel 444-5579. 

Delicass

A class-act Peruvian place, here you can sip your latte alongside the serious movers and shakers in Peruvian politics and commerce. Located in a hideously fashionable district of San Isidro, the coffee is good, the limonada excellent and the sandwiches and salads put together with a gourmet touch, but the desserts are the real star here. Go for the chocolate decadence of the Delicass, or the carefully constructed Mousse de Pisco – a real delight incorporating flavours of grape, raspberry, chocolate and pisco mousses. Mmmmmmm.

Calle Miguel Dasso, San Isidro  Quick bitesSanguich la Pava

Most late-night eating places are counting on the drunkenness of their clientele: overpriced, greasy and unoriginal. Not so the Pava – here you’ll find delicious sandwiches freshly made to order, and starting at 6 soles: not bad, considering the location and that it’s open into the early hours every night except Sunday. My pick: sanguich de pollo deshilachado, con lechuga y tomate, pan ciabatta, salsas aji y miel picante. A tasty, not-too-unhealthy light meal that you can pick up for 6:50 at 2am on the way home from the Shiny Bar.

On Comandante Espinar, half a block from the Ovalo Gutierrez. 

Hermanos Pasquale A famous old sandwich place resurrected by Peru’s top chef Gaston Arcuri, this place has the style of MacDonalds and the quality of fine dining. It’s extremely popular with the Lima in crowd, so expect to spend a while waiting in line if you arrive at a popular time. Comandante Espinar, about three blocks from the Ovalo Gutierrez and a couple of blocks before Angamos.  Café San Antonio  Another café with a feel a bit like Delicass; good desserts, and a sandwich menu as long as your arm. Angamos Oeste block 14, on the corner of Tudela y Varela. 

Bars  Bar Ole   Editor’s pick If you like noise, horrible drinks, overinflated prices and tourist traps everywhere, head for Pizza Street on the Parque Kennedy in Miraflores. If not, best move on down to the far corner of the Olivar Park in San Isidro, just across from the Sonesta Posada del Inca and half a block from the roundabout at the ends of Conquistadores and Camino Real. “The Shiny Bar” is shiny in an understated way, with polished copper and mahogany everywhere. Frank Sinatra is often on the stereo, and the atmosphere is ideal for a lingering conversation over a maracuya sour or a capitan. The drinks are expertly mixed, and the décor and service flawless. See how long you can hide a cigarette in you hand before the barman offers to light it; I bet you don’t break 15 seconds. 

Cevicherias  Sonia  Favorite of incumbent presidents for the past 27 years, this hidden-away cevicheria in Chorillos will make you the real thing. The seafood is universally extraordinary, the service friendly, and the décor charming. There’s often a pianist playing on an upright piano, something that anywhere else would be a bit too much but here is just another part of the fun.
La Mar Another of Gaston’s, Cevicheria La Mar is immensely popular with the power lunch crowd. And with good reason – before starting this venture, Arcuri spent years studying ceviche and experimenting with new ideas. The menu is large and varied, but throw a dart at it blindfold and you’ll hit something delicious. Don’t miss the cocktail menu, with Peruvian takes on all the classics.Service is excellent, with waiters calling in your order as you make it using wifi-powered palm pilots, and the look of the place is a well-designed minimalist chic. Check out the taps in the bathroom.

Av La Mar 

Fine dining

The best restaurant in Peru, and perhaps in South America, is Astrid y Gaston – calle Cantuarias, near the Parque Kennedy. Enough said. 

3 Responses

  1. I really like this section – you have to add in a couple of my all-you-can-eat buffet favorites. The first is “La Hawaiana”. All you can eat seafood, including as many conchas a la parmesana as you can possibly eat, ceviches, tiraditos, sudados, sushi, nice desserts and 3 alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks for S./55. It is obviously situated on the right hand side of the via expresa heading towards Barranco from Miraflores. Chifa feasts can be had on Calle Japón for S./25. Look out for the restaurant that takes up most of the second floor on one side of the pedestrian bit of Japón. The food is very good, service is polished and the price includes as much Chicha morada as you can possibly drink!

  2. Maximiliano’s in Barranco

    I went to this restaurant on Saturday and have not been ripped off to such an extent in any place since I left London. For all afficionado’s of Peruvian cuisine, may I say this is the kind of place that gives macdonalds a good name. Poorly cooked, offhand service, and definitely not what it made out to be.
    STEAR CLEAR

  3. Interesting stuff there Julian — I’d seen Maximiliano’s recommended in guide books, but now know not to bother.

    And Mike — great! I think you mean Calle Capón in Limatown, home of Peru’s plastic fantastic chinatown. There’s also a great chifa buffet with *all* the dishes at the top of Almeda & Hacienda club, block 3 of Pardo near the Parque Kennedy. The restaurant doesn’t advertise much, but it’s friendly and open to non-members.

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