Peruvian cuisine is not particularly famous around the world and is largely un-recognized outside of the country. However, little by little with the help of great local chefs like Gaston Acurio (of Astrid & Gaston fame), the delightful flavors and unique local ingredients of Peruvian cuisine are starting to be noticed further afield.
What culinary delights can you expect on a trip to Peru? If you are planning to travel to Peru in the near future you may want to discover a little more about what is on offer.
Our team of food loving travel experts have put together a list of some of the most popular dishes, including the famous, the not so famous and the slightly strange.
Our guide to Peru is even better when our readers tell us what they think; therefore don’t hesitate to post any comments that you may have about Peruvian cuisine and dishes that you recommend.
Ceviche / Cebiche
A spicy dish prepared using firm fresh white fish, typically either sea bass or sole, marinated in a freshly squeezed lime juice and ricotto (spicy Peruvian pepper). Ceviche is typically served with thinly cut white onions, sweet potato and corn on the cob.
There are several great places to eat cebiche in Peru, but the best restaurants are found in Lima around the La Mar avenue, where restaurants like ‘La Red’ and ‘La Mar’ (by Gaston Acurio) can be found.
A rich red colored soup traditionally from the Arequipa region of Peru. Adobo is flavorsome broth made from Chicha de Jora (corn beer), and infused with garlic, cumin, onions and spicy pepper. Served in a deep plate as a main dish, Adodo is traditionally served with pork loins and comes with a side of even spicier ricotto (hot Peruvian pepper).
A Peruvian stir fry made with tender beef marinated in lime and garlic, cooked with onions, sliced tomatoes, mixed with fried potatoes, and typically served with a side of white plain rice. Always a safe option if you are looking to eat something filling, and straightforward.
A simple yet tasty dish that is popular throughout Peru, usually prepared with seafood or chicken, but is often just served with avocado. Served cold as a starter or main dish, Causa is layers of potato, mashed with together with Aji Amarillo (mild yellow pepper), and served with a filling of onion, avocado and prawns.
Alternative fillings include: tuna, crab-meat, shrimp, or for vegetarian’s with just fresh tomatoes.
Chicharron de Pollo
A complicated name for a rather simple dish of deep fried chicken in a flour and herb coating. Simple and tasty, and perfect if you are travelling with kids.
Freshly boiled corn on the cob, served with Andean cheese and a sharp spicy salsa of ricotto (spicy Peruvian pepper) and onion. Commonly found as street food at local markets, and often eaten as a starter, the large fresh corns are healthy and filling.
Taste one of Peru’s strangest, yet very traditional highland foods. ‘Cuy’ or guinea pig to you and me, is a popular dish with village communities in the Andes. Cooked in a traditional adobe oven, and served crispy with potatoes and herb sauces this is a dish only for the brave (or slightly mad) travelers.
Aji de Gallina:
Shredded chicken is cooked with a sauce of milk, onions, chilies, garlic, walnuts and cheese. It is served with rice, and is a favorite of many Peruvians and tourists alike.
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Stuffed Rocoto peppers with a kick (they’re a little hot/spicy). They are usually filled with meat, onions, egg whites, olives and sometimes with nuts. This dish originally comes from Arequipa and is served with white rice and potatoes.
We have frequently seen this dish served up for breakfast in some of Peru’s top hotels.
Papa a la Huancaina
Sliced Boiled Potatoes covered in a cheesy, slightly spicy yellow sauce served on top of lettuce. This dish is usually garnished with a quarter of a hard-boiled egg and sometimes with olives too.