Food & Drink
You may already be aware that Lima is regarded as the capital of gastronomy in South America. Indeed, with an abundance of internationally acclaimed restaurants dotting the Peruvian capital, tourists may find it difficult to determine which are the finest restaurants in Lima independently. In order to provide you with some peace of mind, our team has compiled a list of the finest restaurants in Lima that we recommend you visit during your Peru luxury excursion. Anticipate an authentic gastronomic encounter!
In recent years, Chef Virgilio Martínez has attained international renown, significantly enhancing Lima's standing as a preeminent gastronomic locale. Martínez's allure for Peru's varied ecosystems and commodities was evident well in advance of his appearance on the Netflix series Chef's Table. Evidently, his efforts have been rewarded, as his primary Peruvian eatery, Central, is presently ranked as the second-best in the world and the best in Latin America.
From arid Pacific coast regions at 14,500 feet (4,420 meters) to highland regions at 14,500 feet (4,420 meters) in elevation, Central's tasting menu features locally sourced, nutrient-dense ingredients. The Central group does an exceptional job of visually appealing and palatable presentations that highlight the extraordinary abundance and diverse variety of Peru's natural resources.
The former skateboarder, along with his spouse, Pía León, and sister, Malena Martínez, advocates for inquiry and scholarly inquiry via the on-site initiative Mater Iniciativa. The pioneering laboratory is tasked with collaborating with local communities across Peru, whose knowledge of obscure and traditional ingredients ultimately influences avant-garde recipes and is relayed to the culinary staff.
Nikkei is an irresistible fusion cuisine that is created by combining puréed seafood from Peru with the traditional cooking methods of Japanese immigrants. Maido, situated in the amiable Miraflores district, is regarded as one of the city's preeminent Nikkei establishments of haute cuisine variety.
The experience commences upon entering the restaurant, whereupon the staff cordially greets patrons with "Maido!" (the Japanese word for "Welcome"). Although patrons are presented with the option of reserving an a la carte table or dining at the sushi bar, the 16-course, multi-hour tasting menu crafted by Chef Mitsuharu Tsumura offers the height of indulgence.
The tasting menu at Maido, which is regarded as the third-best restaurant in Latin America, is aptly titled the "Nikkei Experience." The menu features an extensive variety of seafood-inspired dishes, including ceviche, algal stew, and sushi made with sea urchin. As time has progressed, the menu has progressively integrated a greater quantity of indigenous Peruvian terrestrial ingredients, including lesser-known tubers and aromatic botanicals.
"This magnificent cuisine is a manifestation of the Japanese influence on Peruvian gastronomy," as stated on the Maido website. "The components of both cultures harmonize in a manner consistent with their inherent unity."
Kjolle, which only commenced operations in 2018, has rapidly ascended to the top ten of the list of the finest restaurants in Latin America, in addition to being regarded as one of the finest in Lima, Peru. However, its apparent overnight triumph is the result of a wealth of experience, given that Kjolle is Pa León's inaugural solo endeavor. Before opening her first solo venture, León, the spouse of Peruvian super chef Virgilio Martínez, served as the chief chef at the acclaimed central for an extended period of time.
Adorned with the name of a yellow flower cultivated in the elevated Andes of Peru, Kjolle is situated in the trendy Barranco district, directly above Central. León, who was named the Best Female Chef in 2021, has curated an upscale yet endearing menu that highlights the rich variety of ingredients that Peru has to offer.
An exquisite tablecloth serves as a container for the eight-course tasting menu. Dishes such as Squid and Humantanga (a native potato) and Scallops and Sweet Cucumber (adjusted with the acidity of the indigenous tumbo fruit) offer opportunities to experiment with novel flavor and texture combinations. Patrons have the option to complement their menu with either alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages, which each showcase an assortment of rare Peruvian botanicals and fruits. Request a table near the expansive windows that overlook the on-site native-plant urban garden.
Regarding traditional Peruvian cuisine, Gastón Acurio appears to possess the Midas touch, and his seafood pioneering establishment, La Mar, is no exception. "La Mar," which translates to "the Sea," derives its name from the thoroughfare situated in an emerging locality of Miraflores.
This cevicheria is without a doubt the best location to order the dish that embodies Peru. The extensive menu features an assortment of seafood dishes; however, the traditional ceviche, which consists of cubed pieces of the day's catch marinated in citrus juice and tossed with onions and a pinch of aji pepper (or to your preferred level of spice) is highly recommended. La Mar is a local favorite that is closed from 12 pm to 5:30 pm. Why is the window of opportunity to feast so brief? To ensure that seafood is provided at its absolute freshest.
Ensure that your ceviche is accompanied by an ice-cold lager or the national cocktail of Peru, a pisco sour. Consider chicha morada, a perfectly sweetened juice derived from purple maize, as a non-alcoholic alternative.
In honor of his mother, Chef Jose del Castillo named his eatery Isolina, where he prepares traditional Peruvian fare in his own kitchen. Isolina, an attempt by the chef to reclaim traditional Lima fare that he himself consumed as a child and which was a mainstay decades ago, has succeeded in gaining the favor of diners of all nationalities and generations.
At this tavern-style eatery, ample portions make it a perfect location to order a variety of dishes to share with loved ones. Don't anticipate a peaceful meal at this establishment, which is housed in a trendy Barranco district mini-mansion from the early 20th century; the homestyle cuisine seems to elicit boisterous delight from diners.
Isolina serves substantial fare that perhaps even the most jaded traveler has never tried before, including beef brain tortilla and cau cau (tripe stew with potatoes and blood sausage).
After opening his flagship restaurant, Astrid y Gastón, in 1994, Gastón Acurio has been an unofficial ambassador of Peruvian cuisine around the globe and a tireless promoter of Peruvian delicacies ever since.
A few years ago, Astrid y Gastón and his spouse, Astrid, relocated from Miraflores to the esteemed Casa Moreyra mansion situated in the fashionable San Isidro district of Lima. The moment one beholds the three-story colonial mansion, their experience is immediately elevated.
The restaurant's innovative menu undergoes a six-month rotation, featuring a remarkable fusion of hues, tastes, and textures in each dish. Contemporary interpretations of traditional fare are evident, such as ceviche prepared in a leche de tigre marinade that unexpectedly incorporates loche squash. Although you'll likely wish the experience never had to come to an end, guests are presented with a map of Peru at the conclusion of the tasting menu that indicates the precise locations from which each ingredient originated.
For your dining experience, you have the option of bringing your personal wine (corkage is not included) or having the restaurant's wine sommelier suggest one. Astrid & Gastón has also been honored multiple times with the Summum award for the finest wine list in Peru. Ensure that reservations are made in advance.
Although cuisine receives the majority of the attention in regards to Peru's culinary scene, signature cocktail craftsmanship is rapidly gaining ground. Carnaval, which was established by Aaron Diaz, an accomplished bartender with years of experience traveling the world, provides its own rendition of a liquid-tasting menu.
The inception of Carnaval in 2017 was the result of an indigenous Lima-born individual's extensive sensory travels throughout Europe, Africa, and the United States. Two years later, at the fortunate number 13, the upscale San Isidro watering establishment was named Highest New Entry on The World's 50 Best Bars 2019.
Carnaval is an extravagant occasion with conceptual cocktails presented in whimsical and dramatic vessels. In the three-cocktail Carnaval Experience, traditional cocktails are reimagined in a manner that reflects the spirit of Peru. Request a tour of the Ice Room, where ice blocks are carved by hand into exotic forms to complement one-of-a-kind cocktails, if you are especially inquisitive.
Already, the variety of cuisines in Peru is sufficient justification to initiate preparations for a luxurious sojourn in the country. In addition to its diverse array of flavors, Peru's culinary prowess is a testament to the preservation of tradition by means of modern-day storytellers, so you are ready to taste and wake a new sense about of Peruvian dishes.
To initiate the process of organizing your trip to Peru, please contact one of our travel designers immediately if you are in search of a culinary adventure that will be truly unforgettable. In order to ensure that the finest dining establishments in Lima accommodate your dietary preferences and requirements, be certain to inform your travel designer of any restrictions or allergies.