The upmarket neighborhoods of Miraflores and San Isidro undoubtedly host Lima’s finest restaurants, including an array of delectable gourmet establishments that rank among the best in the world. Nonetheless, there are a number of decent eateries worth trying in the city center too, and Culture Trip has searched far and wide to bring you the best.
Restaurant, Seafood, Chinese, Peruvian
As the undisputed king of ceviche, chef Javier Wong has been serving this famous Peruvian delicacy for as long as anyone can remember. Despite operating a casual establishment behind an unmarked door in a run-down neighborhood, Limeños book weeks in advance to secure a seat in what many consider to be the city’s best seafood restaurant.
Serving up sandwiches in the center for over 50 years, this delightful little eatery has stood the test of time for its mouthwatering roast and fried pork offerings smothered in a variety of Chinese-inspired seasonings. A few other branches have opened up around the city, although most locals agree that the original is the best.
Situated in the heart of Lima’s colorful Chinatown, this exquisite Cantonese restaurant is a highlight of the area’s many chifa establishments. Over a hundred classic Chinese and chifa dishes adorn the menu, although the standout favorites are their delicious pork and shrimp dumplings.
For an authentic taste of a bygone era, head to Antigua Taberna Queirolo in the Pueblo Libro neighborhood. Here, a mostly elderly clientele sip pisco sours and nibble on Peruvian snacks as they flick through newspapers among charming wooden décor, much like they did when it opened back in the 1880s.
Perhaps the most upmarket establishment in the city center, Maras is famous around town for its refined molecular gastronomy which draws on a variety of exotic ingredients from all corners of the country. It’s inside a fancy hotel, so dress your best and expect to spend big.
Of Lima’s countless chifa restaurants, Titi is a standout for their willingness to expand beyond the typical Peruvian-Chinese fusion fare. Give everyday options such as chaufa (fried rice) a miss and opt for something more creative such as pigeon in black bean sauce instead, at this exquisite fine-dining establishment.
Popular with the after office crowd, this local favorite is a hit for its cheap lunch and dinner menus as well as a range of delicious pisco-based cocktails. It’s by no means fancy, but a worthwhile option for those after a cheap and non-touristy meal in the center.
Built out of an elegant 19th-century mansion, this small and intimate restaurant is excellent value for money considering the quality of the food it serves. Don’t expect to order off the menu, but rather a rotating selection of fine Italian and Peruvian fusion dishes which always include at least one vegetarian option.
Run by the renowned Gastón Acurio, the central Lima branch of this casual bistro franchise pumps out huge servings of traditional Peruvian, pasta, salads, and sandwiches to a ravenous clientele. Be sure to leave some room for dessert, especially their divine passionfruit cheesecake-mousse.
Right across the road from the presidential palace, this old-school Lima institution has been serving up hearty Peruvian fare to important politicians since 1905. Above all else, it’s known for making a mean tacu tacu (fried rice with beans and spices).