We’ve traveled through Lima a few times since we’ve arrived here in Peru and have taken the opportunity to explore the city, visiting different neighborhoods and trying out restaurants.
We typically stay in the Miraflores neighborhood, which is one of the most developed and wealthiest sections of Lima. It has everything you could want, including a large mall, Larco Mar, filled with many familiar stores (Banana Republic, Gap, North Face, Starbucks, etc.). There is also a well-maintained malecón (boardwalk) that locals use for strolling, jogging and cycling, and that extends all the way through the next neighborhood to the south–Barranco. We stayed in Barranco the last time we came through town. The neighborhood is known for its art scene and it has even more cafes, bars and restaurants to try.
Some of our favorites places in Miraflores and Barranco, so far, include:
Panchita – We call this the “grilled meats” place. It is an upscale restaurant in the Miraflores neighborhood that serves primarily traditional Peruvian meat dishes. Chris tried anticuchos (beef hearts), which are traditionally a street food grilled shishkabob style. All over Peru, you will see women sitting on the corner in the late afternoon/evening roasting up a few skewers of anticuchos on a small hibachi-style grill. Chris has been wanting to try them for months now, and since we tend to try to avoid street corner food this was his opportunity to try them from probably the best place in all of Peru. And, honestly, they were DELICIOUS. We didn’t really know what to expect, but they just kind of tasted like really well grilled and seasoned beef. We also tried a new-ish artesanal beer from the Cumbres company made from quinoa. It was a light, crisp beer that tasted similar to a lager or pilsner. The company also makes beers from other grains, like corn.
Delfino Mar – Located in a quiet, residential part of Miraflores, Delfino Mar is a local place with delicious seafood. If you go, you have to try the tuna ceviche. It’s a heaping plate of delicious raw tuna cured in lime juice and served according to whatever level of spiciness you want. And, considering it’s basically a huge plate of tuna sashimi, it’s a steal in terms of price!
La 73 – This is where we discovered the wonder that is the maracuya sour (a pisco sour made with maracuya, or passion fruit, juice). It will blow your mind. We also really enjoyed the hamburgers that are served up with a side of yucca fries. It’s located on the border between Miraflores and Barranco.
Canta Rana – We return to this place each time we pass through Lima. In the Barranco neighborhood of Lima, this place has character coming out its ears. It has a casual atmosphere and the walls are lined with 20+ years of futbol (soccer) memorabilia. We love the ceviche, which is delicious and reasonably priced. We also love that the place is frequented by locals. Go before 1 pm if you want to get a table before it fills up for lunch!
La Bodega Verde – This is a cute little spot in Barranco with outdoor seating. They open at 9 am on the weekends and serve brunch with a wide selection of teas that are served in a personal teapot. The brunch dishes are also all served with a side of house-made, multi-grain bread. The morning we went, the crowd ranged from young families (dressed like they came out of an Anthropologie catalogue) to cyclists who had just come off the road and stowed their bikes in the garden.
Barranco Beer Company – After spending multiple months in the Andes with access only to cheap, bottled beer, this place was a revelation for us. It’s a microbrewery with five or so beers on tap and a small menu with beer-friendly foods like sausages and pretzels. We tried the Weiss Presidente (hefeweizen style), Bulls Ay! Ale (saison-style red ale) and 50/Fifti (German-style lager). Our favorite was the 50/Fifti lager, not the least because it was served cold!
We are looking forward to more opportunities to travel through Lima and try more restaurants!