Peru has quickly gained a reputation as the ultimate in gastronomy and Lima is home to the best high-end restaurants the country has to offer. These restaurants will take you on a culinary tour of Peru’s diverse landscape and history. They boast the best ceviche you can find and some other dishes you’ll find hard to name. No matter what, it’ll be delicious. Here are Lima’s best gourmet restaurants.
With a clear mission to value the biodiversity of the Peruvian landscape, chef Virgilio Martínez presents you with a novel cuisine organized by altitude, so that each dish features ingredients from a similar area. Enjoying the Central experience involves using the senses to surrender to a subtle tour through Peru’s landscape. The dishes seem more art than edible fare, until you try them. For the fourth consecutive year, Central has been voted best restaurant in Latin America. It comes in at number five on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, and its chef and owner has been voted best chef in the world.
La Mar is an upscale cevicheria offering visitors innovative takes on ceviche and other Peruvian classics and fusions. With a beautiful ambience and outdoor seating, as well as delicious ceviche and unique dishes, there’s nothing not to love about this delightful spot.
Coming in at number 8 on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, as determined by top chefs and other industry insiders, is Maido, run by chef Mitsuharu ‘Micha’ Tsumura. Maido is the result of Micha’s passion for Nikkei food, which is a Japanese-Peruvian fusion style of cooking. The menu runs from exquisite Japanese sushi classics to original creations such as “cau cau,” a pre-Columbian potato stew, given a modern twist with the addition of sea snails. This is another Peruvian restaurant that’ll treat your palate to something new and unique.
Isolina is probably Lima’s best criollo restaurant. This is your grandma’s home cooking, a style that is mostly lost on Lima’s restaurants. Traditionally the term criollo referred strictly to people of Spanish descent living in Latin America. But in Peru, over the centuries, its meaning has transformed from racial to cultural in scope. Criollo cuisine is a bizarre and unique fusion of flavors cooked by abuela that truly cannot be found anywhere else in the world. Isolina captures this tradition with its large dishes meant for sharing.
Somewhat hidden down a side street near Barranco’s plaza, you’ll know you’ve found Canta Rana when you see groups of people drinking beer outside the restaurant waiting to be seated. Join the queue – you’ll wait for about 20-30 minutes, but it’s worth it. Though the restaurant has an Argentine-themed interior, with flags and soccer jerseys everywhere, don’t let that trick you, as it is most definitely a Peruvian cevicheria. They also offer criollo food and everything else you could possibly want in Peru.
Astrid y Gastón is the signature restaurant of Gastón Acurio, Peru’s celebrity chef who has created Peru’s top culinary schools, with a focus of helping kids in need. The restaurant was the birthplace of Peru’s fine dining revolution and Gaston himself has inspired generations of chefs all over Peru. The dishes are high-end version of classic Peruvian dishes such as ceviche, chifa and criollo.
Located in Miraflores, not too far from the boardwalk, and with beautiful outdoor seating, El Mercado is a must visit if you’re in town and want to enjoy a ceviche experience to remember. El Mercado is a experimental fusion cuisine, pioneering new ways to enjoy Peruvian classics. El Mercado is a true homage to Peruvian Cuisine while offering something different and entirely unique.