These are unusual times, and the state of affairs can change quickly. Please check the latest travel guidance before making your journey. Note that our writer visited pre-pandemic.
Renowned chef Gastón Acurio opened his first restaurant in his hometown of Lima in 1994. Since then, the Peruvian capital has blossomed into one of the world’s most fascinating gastro-powerhouses. Native, Spanish, Chinese and Japanese techniques and traditions mix in the melting pot city. Andean staples such as quinoa, amaranth and a myriad of potato and tuber varieties combine with the fishy riches of the Humboldt Current to provide chefs with superlative raw material.
Whether you’re after comfort food or creative cuisine, the city is a good-value, and delectable, pitstop en route to Machu Picchu and Peru’s other tourism honeypots. Here are the best restaurants to sample Lima’s culinary highlights.
The laboratory and work station of Virgilio Martínez, the most celebrated of all Lima’s innovative chefs, and his wife Pía León. The restaurant relocated from Miraflores to a more spacious site in Barranco in 2018. Martínez, a passionate student of ecosystems and culinary history, bases his tasting menu (the only option) on a journey through Peru’s latitudes and altitudes. The 12 or 16 courses look small but are as richly flavoured as they are elaborate, featuring limpets, river snails, seaweed, native tubers such as yacón and oca, raw cacao, chicken and curious items such as clay. For a memorable and educational dinner, few places top Central.