Anthony Bourdain brought history and unique eats from little-known countries to people all over the world. His visits were legendary and usually meant a massive spike in business for those lucky restaurants he patronized. Here are Bourdain’s favorite places to eat when he visited Peru.
Restaurant, Seafood, Peruvian, South American, $$$
The fame of Chef Wong, already a celebrity in Peru, grew to new heights since Bourdain’s visit. He is known as a ceviche genius, always looking to simplify his dishes like some kind of zen master. He cooks out of a one-story building – so you must book in advance (around a couple of weeks) to secure a seat.
Doña Pochita is a Lima street-food legend. Her cart of anticuchos (marinated beef hearts) draws large crowds and patrons who make pilgrimages across the city just to taste them. Anticuchos are one of Peru’s most popular street foods, especially on the weekend after a couple of drinks at a bar.
Restaurant, Peruvian, Seafood, South American, $$$
Part of Lima’s fine-dining class of restaurants, ámaZ pushes the boundaries and redefines what it means to eat Peruvian. Using ingredients from the far reaches of the Amazon, chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino creates astounding and unique dishes.
Though Bourdain got an exclusive seafood experience eating at a Peruvian family’s private beach house, it doesn’t mean that you can’t get the same tasty type of meal by the ocean. Head to Pucusana for some delicious seafood. It’s one of the main fishing ports near Lima and, by stopping by (it’s only an hour away from Lima), you’ll get your chance to sample the freshest fish in Peru.
This one isn’t a place to eat (although there is a great café on the grounds), but is still a worthwhile Bourdain spot. The famous chef came to Museo Larco to check out all the pottery from pre-Incan cultures – and focused on many of the erotic pieces.
La Canta Rana is known as one of Barranco’s most popular restaurants, serving up a large variety of dishes mostly centered around seafood. It can get pretty crowded at lunchtime, which is when Peruvians typically eat their seafood and ceviche.
Sonia is one of Peru’s finest cevicherias and one of the best seafood restaurants in Lima, located in the district of Chorillos. The chef, who just goes by the name Sonia, started the restaurant with her husband, a fisherman, and it remains one of Lima’s longest-running cevicherias. The restaurant has a noteworthy interior, decorated with actual fishing gear, and has a piano player who plays anything from The Beatles to local classics in the afternoons.
Bourdain ventured into the Amazon for a visit with an Amazonia shaman and a date with mother ayahuasca. Ayahuasca tourism has grown in many places in the Peruvian Amazon, especially in the city of Iquitos, which is now recognized as the ayahuasca capital of Peru.
These recommendations were updated on October 5, 2018 to keep your travel plans fresh.