Culinary tourism is on the rise to Peru, and with good reason. Peruvian cuisine has adapted to new tastes and cultures over the centuries to create a truly unique style, and that style has begun to gain worldwide renown. Famous chefs and critics have traveled to this South American country to experience the flavor profiles in this region.
The cuisine in Peru has evolved over the centuries because of the varying influences the region has faced. The Inca people were native to the region, which was conquered by the Spanish in the 1500s. Spanish conquistadors incorporated local foods into their cooking and even created a unique alcoholic beverage called pisco. Chinese immigrants to Peru also had their own influence, and the Peruvian-Chinese infusion called Chifa is a must-taste when visiting Lima or Cusco.
To sample the delicacies Peru has to offer, travel to Cusco and there are several restaurants worth noting that use local ingredients to help you experience the wide array of foods grown locally. Peru’s geography includes the central high mountain peaks in the Andes and the coastal beaches and valleys, which is why such a diverse range of food is available. That is what makes quinoa, lucuma and guinea pig all items that be on your menu (plus many more!).
Want a taste of local cuisine while you’re in Cusco? The ChiCha restaurant is run by Gastón Acurio and is one block from the main square. Local produce is cooked up with dexterity and flavor, utilizing a wood oven, charcoal grill and outstanding service. The open kitchen is visible from the dining area so you can watch the chefs prepare the food you are about to enjoy.
The Incanto Restaurant on top of the remnants of the ancient Inca Yupanqui’s Palace in the Main Square provides an interesting infusion: Italian-Peruvian. Try Italian delights with a Peruvian flair in a comfortable setting (with plenty of wine and cocktails to choose from).
There are hundreds of restaurants worth sampling on trips to Peru, depending on your preferences and location. If you’ve been to Peru before, where would you recommend people stop for a taste of local cuisine?