The maze like Peruvian capital Lima claims to be a perfect place for those craving anything delicious. Not surprisingly, dozens of coffee shops dot the city’s busy streets, offering some of the delicious flavours of Peru. It might be hard to pick just one place for a coffee and a snack, so here are the best options for coffee aficionados in Lima.
Bakery, Cafe, Pastry Shop, Pastries, Dessert, Gluten-free, Fast Food, $$$
Bread from Pan de Chola | Courtesy of Pan de Chola
A few blocks inland from the dramatic Costa Verde, stands a bakery café, El Pan de la Chola. Opened by a British ex actor and model Jonathan Day, El Pan follows the style of London hip coffee shops, with the minimalist decor, white walls and plain wooden tables, delicious artisan bread, yummy cakes and near perfect coffee. Day, nicknamed ‘Chola’ by his Peruvian friends, fell in love with the art of baking bread, and created what has since become one of the most fashionable eateries in Lima.
El Pan’s delicious organic coffee goes perfectly with cakes and snacks, their pecan bars are to die for. Those in need of more substantial meals will find scrumptious sandwiches made of whole grain, crusty bread and no nonsense fillings. You can take home whole sourdough loaves, or watch the process of baking, as the working area of El Pan is open. You will often see a bearded Englishman, patiently kneading dough.
If you’re longing for a coffee with a view, look no further. Few places can beat BuenaVista Café. Located on Malecón Cisneros, part of the seaside esplanade lining the posh neighbourhood of Miraflores, BuenaVista is a cozy hut tucked between the cliffs of Costa Verde. Several tables scattered outside overlook the grey waters of Pacific, with a stunning view spreading from a distant peninsula of La Punta to the rocks of Barranco. BuenaVista serves Peruvian coffee brand Grandcafé exclusively, so you can expect the highest quality cappuccino. There are also snacks and salads, but the showstopper snack is a typical Peruvian treat called alfajores, cookies with a filling of toffee like manjar blanco.
A legendary address for all serious coffee aficionados in Lima, Tostaduria Bisetti resides in the spacious interior of a colonial mansion, a stone’s throw away from the main square of hippy Barranco. The history of the café dates back to 1950s, when Romulo Bisetti, a son of Italian immigrants, founded a coffee roasting company in a district of Breña.
Half a century later, Bisetti is still going strong. They pride themselves on using blends of the best quality, always coming from organic Peruvian farms. Bisetti’s team also organises courses of coffee roasting, preparation and tasting. Open late into the night, Bisetti often hosts acoustic concerts, art exhibitions and other artistic events, and will feed you well at any time of the day, there are plenty of options for lunch and dinner, and some truly scrumptious desserts.
Near El Puente de los Suspiros, Lima’s quirky attempt to beat Venice, stands one of the most charming cafes in town. La Bodega Verde is hidden in a leafy backyard on a quiet alley of Barranco, and is the perfect place for those seeking refuge from hectic limeño life. With comfortable sofas and plenty of space, it’s hard not to be tempted to stay for hours. For those who prefer to sip their drinks outside, there are a few wooden tables in the garden. La Bodega Verde is probably the best place in the city to drink tea, they have a vast selection and mixtures from around the world. However, coffee drinkers won’t be disappointed either.
La Bodega Verde explores and reinvents traditional Peruvian foods and flavours. They serve a spectacular cheesecake with aguaymanto, a local sweet and sour fruit resembling a cherry tomato, and lúcuma ice cream made of a creamy, honey coloured fruit adored by the Peruvians.
Small, shady and somewhat labyrinthine, Arabica is a must visit for coffee aficionados in Lima. Located on Calle Recavarren, a few blocks away from the bustling Parque Kennedy, it is a popular spot for students, backpackers and hipsters alike. Arabica’s welcoming red facade hides of a few colourfully painted rooms filled with magazines, books and board games. Despite the relaxed atmosphere, coffee is a serious matter, and the knowledgeable baristas prepare drinks with utmost care. Sweet and savoury snacks, with their famous carrot cake taking the lead, make the whole experience even better.