Food in Peru – Part 1

Finally, I have time to write about the food I’ve tried on my recent trip to Peru!  Hope you guys enjoy it!

This post will be separated by the different cities that we visited, so for those of you who are planning on visiting Peru, hopefully this will serve as a good guidance.  🙂  Please note that prices are in Peruvian Soles.

 

Ica

El Pallar Restaurant

Address:  Carretera Panamericana Sur Km. 297, Subtanjalla, Ica, Peru

This was recommended by the lady running the hostel since she was worried about our safety going into the local Sunday market for breakfast.  So the taxi whisked us away to this restaurant.

We weren’t really sure what to order, since the restaurant staff didn’t speak any English, so we decided on a breakfast for four option.  Everyone at the restaurant was super nice — the owner came out to greet us and showed us his “zoo” in the backyard, while also offering complimentary shots of wine and pisco at 7am.  After our meal, our chef came out to explain the history of the restaurant and to see if we liked the food.

Our breakfast.  Can anyone guess what this is?

 

We later found out from the chef that it was stir-fried bull-meat.  The meat is tougher than beef but the sauce was really good with the bread!  S/24 for the 4 people portion

 

 

Nazca

La Encantada Cafe

Address: Calle Bolognesi 592, Nazca, Nasca, Peru

Our taxi driver took us here after I explained to him, in my broken Spanish, that we were all really hungry and just wanted to eat some good Peruvian food.  At first we thought that this was one of those tourist restaurants, but the food was actually really good!

I ordered the seafood soup, which was excellent.  Even though the soup is listed as a main entree, it’s just soup. Remember to order a side of rice!  I think it was S/23 for the soup.

 

One of my friends order the lomo saltado – Peruvian stir-fried beef with fries.  Nice pyramid shape on the rice!  S/28

 

My other friend ordered escabeche de pollo – a chicken dish, which she really liked.  S/22

 

 

Arequipa

Pura Fruta

Address:  Calle Mercaderes, No. 131, Arequipa, Peru (just about a block from the Plaza de Arma, on the same street as the Burger King/KFC/Starbucks)

After wandering around Arequipa for a bit, we were hungry and wanted to find a good place for lunch.  We happened upon this place, on our way to the Plaza de Arma.  This place serves a good selection of smoothies and sandwiches!

 

My lunch:  large butifarra sandwich – Peruvian roast pork  S/9.  Yum!

 

Smoothie:  maracuya, melon y fresa (passion fruit, melon and strawberry) S/8.  This was a great combination!

 

 

Chi Cha por Gaston Acurio  

Address:  Calle Santa Catalina 210, int 105, Arequipa, Peru (this is literally across the street from the Monasterio de Santa Catalina)

For dinner, we decided to splurge on a more high-end restaurant.  Chi Cha was in our guidebooks and has pretty decent reviews on TripAdvisor, so off we went!  Apparently, the chef is pretty famous.  And there is a location in Cusco as well.

 

The restaurant serves an assortment of bread and breadsticks, once your food order has been taken.  Some of the bread is made from potatoes.  Freshly baked and warm.  Mmmm…

 

Starting off the dinner a drink – I ordered the Pichu Pichu which contains pisco quebranta, jugo de tumbo, hojas de albahaca, peachtree, ginger ale.  Really strong!  S/18

 

For appetizer, we shared a ceviche trio.  3 different types of ceviche with varying degrees of spiciness and spices.  Good!  S/38

 

Since freshwater shrimp is only limited to certain months of the year and was available in September, I decided to order the tacu cauche de camarones (creamy sauce of potatoes, onion, tomatoes, hot pepper, cheese and fresh water shrimps served over mashed arequipenean beans).  The freshwater shrimp tastes like crawfish but without the muddiness!  S/42

 

 

Puno

Tulipans Restaurant Pizza Bar

Address:  Jr. Lima 394/ esq. Jr. Libertad 414, Puno, Peru

There are a lot of tourist restaurants along one of the main streets in Puno and we just picked one out for lunch.  Most of the restaurants have a menu in front for you to peruse through.  Some even have promoters in front, like in some parts of Asia.  🙂

 

The menu

 

Since Puno is located at pretty high altitude (over 12K feet), we all ordered coca tea to alleviate any possible altitude sickness.  Trust me, the tea really works!   Also, just as a side note, coca tea leaves are used to make cocaine… so don’t get addicted!  😉  Inka Cola is also a must-try (although you can also get it in Peruvian restaurants in LA)… tastes just like bubble-gum!  S/3 each

 

Puno is located very near Lake Titicaca which has an abundance of trout and king fish.  So I ordered Tulipan’s king fish.  There’s even star-fruit as a garnish!  I thought star-fruit was only in Asia. :p  The king fish was pretty good, although a bit small on the portion size   S/26

 

One of my friends wanted to try cuy (guinea pig, yes guinea pig!) ever since we started planning our trip, so this was the first one that he tried.  I tried a very small bite – the meat was bland and the texture is similar to chicken.  I just don’t have it in my heart to eat a pet…. Most restaurants serve the whole carcass, so that you can see it and eat it in its entirety. S/30

 

One of my other friends ordered Tulipan’s special chicken – chicken cooked in white wine and it was really tasty!  S/25

 

For dessert, we all shared a banana flambe!  Yummy!  S/11

 

 

Restaurant “Karol”

Our hostel recommended this local restaurant for dinner.  It’s located near the main square.  When he said local, it was really local.  I think we were the only tourists there.  Well-prepared Peruvian home-style food and the prices are unbeatable.  Tourist restaurants generally charge at least 6 times more  for food than local restaurants.  Be prepared to speak some Spanish!

 

The limited menu – only 4 items!

 

Since it was really cold in Puno while we were there, we all ordered the caldo de pollo (Peruvian chicken noodle soup with potato and egg).  It comes with lime, green onions and roasted corn nuts on the side, which then you can leisurely sprinkle over your soup.  S/3

The toppings – the roasted corn is on the second stack

 

Caldo de pollo

 

 

Will try to post Food in Peru – Part 2 sometime later on this week.  Stay tuned.

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