Peru, The Gastronomic Capital of the World
In 2015, the ‘World Travel Awards’ dubbed Peru with the title of “World’s leading Culinary destination”. Such was just one of many distinctions our Peruvian cuisine has recently obtained.
We Peruvians feel proud of our heritage. In colonial times, immigrants arrived in Peru and introduced a vast array of flavors and ingredients. Spanish, indigenous, Chinese, Japanese, Italian, African, creole and Amazonian cultural trends shaped what we now know as Peruvian food. Why is our cuisine so sensational? Because it absorbed the culinary influences of the globe. Crossing many frontiers, Peruvian cuisine has achieved worldwide recognition. Indian, Malaysian or Taiwanese audiences may not know much about Peru. But they are certainly acquainted with our cuisine.
If the destiny of a nation lies in its food, then Peru has the most promising future.
It was inbound immigration into Peru that made our cuisine what it is today, but it was the Peruvian exodus of the 80s and 90s that spread our great flavors globally. As Peruvians fled the violence and poverty during the end of the last Century, they have taken part of their culture with them to all the corners of the world. From New York to California, China to Australia, London and Paris, South Africa and the UAE, and many many more, Peruvian cuisine has conquered the world.
1. Panca-New York, United States
Image Source: Courtesy of Photographer Alejandra Martins
After working with Spanish Master Chef Juan Mari Arzac, Emmanuel Piqueras inaugurated “Panca” restaurant in New York in 2008. In the ruthless market of New York, most restaurants shut down after a year or even less.
Eight years later, Panca is still thriving. Piqueras’s dishes stand out due to the “quality of the ingredients” Piqueras said that an avant-garde chef always innovates or “think like a child”: “one should always break the adult routine, in order to do crazy stuff. I like that way of seeing things. A child can do magical things.”
Located in Greenwich Village, Panca is arguably the flagship of all Peruvian restaurants in New York.
Specialty Dish: Taquitos de Camaron: Shrimp tacos in a chipotle, pisco, and aji panca cream
2. La Mar SF-California, United States
Image Source: Fine Dining Lovers
Gaston Acurio studied law at Universidad Catolica, but his passion for Peruvian cuisine was stronger. Gaston followed his dreams and enrolled at Le Cordon Bleu, in Paris. He is the most successful Peruvian chef in the world. He owns many restaurant franchises: La Mar, one of a long list, has two locations, in San Francisco and Miami. Acurio also holds the title of “Ambassador of Peruvian Cuisine.” He said: “Our cuisine is our emotional shield. After living in fear due to dictatorships, terrorism and hyperinflation, we learned that the world loves Peruvian cuisine and they admire us just for the way we are..”
Specialty Dish: Cebiche del Amor:Raw Dungeness crab, in rocoto and coral crab leche de Tigre
3. Cassia SF-California, United States (Moroccan-Peruvian)
Image Source: Cassia SF
If you love fusion cuisine, you should visit Cassia. Their menu is focused on offering a healthy menu, including superfoods such as quinoa. But if you are not into that, Cassia also has rotisserie chicken (aka Pollo a la Brasa). This place promotes “Moroccan-Peruvian goodness” combining “aromatic spices of Moroccan cuisine with the fresh and bright taste of Peruvian fare to create nutrient dense meals that are both comforting and delicious”
Moroccan-Peruvian? Don’t be surprised if other countries fuse their cuisine with ours. Considering our cuisine has multiple influences, it is easy for the rest of the world to adopt it.
Specialty Dish: Peruvian Rotisserie Chicken, paprika, garlic, lime, aji verde salsa
4. Chifa Du Kang-Florida, United States (Chinese-Peruvian A.k.a Chifa)
Staff at Chifa Du Kang-Image Source: Chifa Du Kang
Chinese immigrants first arrived in Peru in 1850 to work in the sugar plantations. We are fortunate they also brought their recipes. Immigrants said the Cantonese words Chi Fan when referring to “eating a meal”. Peruvians borrowed the term and said “Chifa” to denominate the Chinese-Peruvian recipes.
The best Chifa can only be found in La Calle Capon, in Lima, Peru. But a taste of Chifa in the United States is available at Chifa Du Kang, in Miami. My favorite dish is “Arroz Chaufa Especial”, a fried rice with chicken, pork and shrimp.
Specialty Dish: Chijaukai Chicken, Fried Breaded Chicken with Oyster Sauce
5. Lima Limon-Las Vegas, United States
Image Source: Lima Limon
What Happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. Although what happens in ‘Lima Limon’ may never stay in Vegas. Tourists who dine there can’t wait to tell all their friends about how pleasing and unforgettable their dishes are. This family-owned restaurant in Vegas prepares food with “the authentic Peruvian Flavor”. Chef Christian Vasquez Torres runs the kitchen and delights the public with new inventions such as: “Ceviche in Huacatay sauce” and “Green Causa rellena with Grilled octopus” Enjoy this fabulous food while admiring the Gigantic Llama artwork adorning the interior.
Specialty dishes: Tallarin Saltado, Peruvian style Linguine with stir-fried beef
6. Nuna-Punta del Este, Uruguay
Chef Jaime Pesaque-Image Source: Courtesy of Nuna
As a child, Chef Jaime Pesaque learned his first recipes through Epifania, the family’s cook. Pesaque said that Epifania taught him a lot. Years later, Pesaque attended Le Cordon Bleu and sharpened his skills at El Celler de San Roca, a three-star Michelin Spanish Restaurant.
Chef Jaime Pesaque is now the owner of Nuna restaurant, in Punta del Este. Pesaque said the expanding trend of Peruvian food is due to investor’s “faith” for Peru: “I think most people believe in our cuisine, so investors want to invest in the ‘next cuisine’. They are looking ahead”.
Nuna’s menu also promotes Pisco: “There are three types of pisco : Pure, Acholado and Mostoverde. A pisco sour is the best way to start a Peruvian food. Dare to try it!”
Specialty Dish: Langostinos Soberbios, Lobster, cream of camote and Aji Amarillo sauce.
7. Osaka Ceviche Bar-Buenos Aires, Argentina (Nikkei Cuisine)
Ceviche trio-Image Source: Osaka
Peruvian chefs Daniel Delgado and Jann Van Oordt designed the menu of Osaka, a restaurant chain with locations in Argentina, Brazil and Chile. Their take on Nikkei cuisine is revolutionary. Their menu not only has the Japanese influence but embrace Thai, Chinese and Amazonian ingredients. The idea behind was to recognize that human palates are sensitive. “It is better not to saturate them with the same. Through ingredient variation, our palates are more open to exploring new flavors”, chef Van Oordt said.
Osaka obtained the title of Excellence by Trip Advisor in 2014.
Specialty Dish: Futomaki Acevichado, Sushi roll with shrimp, avocado and leche de Tigre.
8. 14 Inkas-Bogota, Colombia
Image Source: Colombia.com
Peruvian chefs Jose Luis Zarate and Alexander Dave Torres lead Grupo Nazca, a consortium of Peruvian restaurants in Colombia. 14 Inkas is located in an exciting shopping area of Bogota, mostly appealing to young crowds. This is why the restaurant interior resembles a discotheque. 14 Inkas’ specialty is the “Pollito Peruano” marinated “for 36 hours with black beer, mustard, aji panca, mustard and vinegar”. Colombians surely learn quickly.
Specialty Dish: Pollito Peruano, rotisserie chicken marinated with a black beer and aji panca.
9. Barandiaran-Santiago, Chile
Image Source: Courtesy of photographer Rodrigo Nunez
In 1992, Marco Barandiaran emigrated to Chile to cook for the Peruvian embassy. After gaining experience in many Chilean kitchens, he founded restaurant “Barandiaran” in 2006. Barandiaran has made Peruvian food a trademark in the city of Santiago. He was also distinguished as an “Honorable resident” by the Chilean government. Divided by a past war, Peru and Chile are able to strengthen their fellowship celebrating and enjoying Peruvian food.
Specialty Dish: Pescado con Salsa de Mango, fish with shrimp sautéed with butter, white wine and mango
10. Inca Wiracocha-San Juan, Puerto Rico
Image Source: Inca Wiracocha
In San Juan, there is a Peruvian restaurant called Inca Wiracocha. Reading their reviews on Yelp, Puerto Ricans seem to adore this place. There is also another Peruvian eatery called “La Concha de sus Mares” (Shells from your seas). Although “de la Conchesumare” is also a popular Peruvian phrase denoting something pretty “awesome”.
Specialty Dish: Arroz con Mariscos, rice cooked in seafood broth and sautéed with shrimp, clams, squid, bay scallops.
11. Las Nazarenas-Mexico DF, Mexico
Image Source: Photographer Alejandra Carbajal
In the October feast of “El Señor de Los Milagros”, Peruvians parade a painting of Jesus on the Cross around Lima streets. This same effigy decorates the interior of “Las Nazarenas”. Yoshi Nakasone, a Peruvian nikkei, serves the Inca menu including Tacu Tacu, Papa a la Huancaina and Aguadito de Pollo. According to TimeOut Magazine, this is the most authentic Peruvian eatery in Mexico. After observing the purple walls evoking our “Cristo Morado”, I believe it really is.
Specialty Dish: Aguadito de Pollo, spicy chicken chowder with rice and cilantro
12. La Divina Comida-San Jose, Costa Rica
Image Source: La Republica.net
“Peruvian cuisine has conquered the world due to our hero, chef Gaston Acurio”, said Marco Antonio Ganoza, owner of La Divina Comida. La Divina Comida’s menu does not offer classic dishes but a “fusion cuisine”. His restaurant has delighted Costa Ricans since 2005. Chef Ganoza feels proud that young Peruvians chefs have successfully placed Peru on the “world stage”.
The secret is promoting with pride what we have to offer. Ganoza has done that with Peruvian drinks: “Costa Ricans do not like cocktails but wine, but I’ve been pushing Pisco Sour and they really love it” he says.
Specialty Dish: Corvina a la Plancha, grilled seabass with butter, lime, wine and served with rice.
13. La Casa del Cuzco-Panama City, Panama
Image Source: La Casa del Cuzco
La Casa del Cuzco is an acclaimed Peruvian restaurant in Panama. Gustavo Breña and his brother, Chef Aristoteles, designed the site which resembles the Sacsayhuaman Inca fortress. You can find several Tumis strategically placed on the walls, and a Naylamp stone at the entrance. The brothers feel proud to serve “authentic Peruvian food” and the powerful “Levantamuertos” Leche de tigre. Panamanians actually love this place!
Specialty Dish: “Corvina Fujimori”, Fried Corvina fish with rice and vegetables.
14. La Tasca de Juancho-Caracas, Venezuela
Image Source: Patrick Dolande
A food critic said that all Peruvian restaurants in Venezuela lack the authentic touch. But la Tasca de Juancho, opened in 1984, is the exception. Cajamarquinos Aurelio Cuba and his family run this business that has earned the reputation of the best Peruvian bistro in Venezuela. La Tasca is a hole in the wall, a pretty small and rustic spot. Customers usually wait in line to grab a table.
After cooking for three decades, one can imagine what delicious food they must have. Oh, la Tasca has my favorite dessert: “Suspiro a la Limeña”
Specialty Dish: Parihuela de Pescadores, Peruvian seafood stew with crab, scallops and shrimp.
15. La Carioca Cevicheria-Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Ensalada de Quinua at La Carioca-Image Source: Wikilicias.br
Cebicherias abound in Brazil, but the “coolest” nowadays is La Carioca. La Carioca launched in 2011 and has two branches, one in Botanical Garden and the other in Ipanema. La Carioca presents 15 different versions of Cebiche, but perhaps the most appealing is “Pulpo Andino”, grilled octopus with potato salad. Their pisco menu has 10 different choices, the most in demand are “Maracuya Sour” and “Chilcano de Pisco”
Specialty Dish: Pulpo Andino, grilled octopus and potato salad.
16. “Inti, Modern Peruvian”-Calgary, Canada
Image Source: West Canadian.com
If 35,000 Peruvians live in Canada, there surely must be a Peruvian restaurant there. In 2012, Peruvian chef Hans Puccinelli convinced his family to launch “Inti, Modern Peruvian” a traditional Peruvian eatery in Calgary, Canada. Before this venture, Hans Puccinelli had a long trajectory. Born in Peru, Puccinelli emigrated to Florida to work in various restaurants. Dreaming of becoming a Chef, Hans moved to Calgary to enroll at Saint Politechnic culinary school. After graduation, he worked in various Canadian luxury hotels.
Although Hans is an expert in culinary arts, Inti’s menu focuses on Pollo a la Brasa and other basic dishes as Ceviche, Papa a la Huancaina and Lomo saltado. You will feel blessed in visiting this small restaurant. The business is run by Hans’ parents whom patrons say “they are great people and care so much about their customers”… Oh, and “Inti, Modern Peruvian” sells Turron de Doña Pepa for dessert.
Specialty Dish: Peruvian Rotisserie Chicken
17. Agua Restaurant-Cayman Islands
Image Source: Agua restaurant
Although Agua advertises itself as “Mexican-Caribbean cuisine”, their menu is 80% Peruvian. Aqua serves cebiches and tiraditos, have dishes such as “the Peruvian trio”, “the Peruvian grill Mix”, “Peruvian Pulpo al Olivo” and “Clasico Peruano” They even promote their menu thus: “add the real Peruvian touch with a Pisco Sour” Why is Agua still advertised as “Mexican-Caribbean”? Hillarious.
Specialty Dish: Peruvian Grill Mix, Grilled Local Wahoo topped with Tiger Shrimp and Calamari in a traditional Aji Panca Pepper Sauce, served with Vegetables and Jasmine Rice
18. Chicha-Moscow, Russia
Image Source: Chicha
After Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, Vladimir Putin chose to place an embargo on most food imports in retaliation for European and American sanctions. Suddenly, the food supplies became expensive and many Russian restaurants shut down.
In order to eliminate public outcry, Russia tried to promote homegrown products and new recipes. Vladimir Putin found the best Russian chef for this task: Vladimir Mukhin. Chef Mukhin diversified the Russian culinary landscape, by introducing new cuisine trends. In 2015, Mr. Mukhin also inaugurated Chicha, the only Peruvian restaurant in Moscow. The high-end chef said: “In Moscow, nobody knows Peruvian food. As long as it tastes good, we can do what we want”
Specialty Dish: Bluefin Tuna Cebiche, tuna with avocado, yam & nori with tamarind sauce.
19. Choto Matte-London, United Kingdom (Nikkei Cuisine)
Ceviche at chotomatte-Image Source: Londontown
Londoners sample the best nikkei dishes in Chottomate, a restaurant slightly oriented to sushi. Chottomatte “embraces the very best of Nikkei (Japanese-Peruvian) dishes, with bold eye-catching natural colors and mouth-watering sensations.” Kurt Zdesar, the founder, arranged “the order of the dishes to be served, adhering to their philosophy of first eating colder, lightly flavored dishes, graduating to hotter, fuller flavors and ending with sushi.”
Specialty Dish: Anticuchos de pulpo, Octopus, yuzu, purple potato
20. Lima-London, United Kingdom
Image Source: Correo Canadiense
“I should go to Europe to even peel potatoes if I have to..But I can’t stay in Peru”, thought Virgilio Martinez, back in the nineties. “There were hard times…everyone wanted to leave since there was no future in Peru. Our economy was wrecked and there were kidnappings and terrorism” Eventually, Martinez left for Canada to study in Le Cordon Blue. Afterward, Chef Martinez worked in kitchens of New York, London and Madrid. His efforts were worth it. His restaurant “Central”, located in Lima, is #1 in the Saint Pellegrino list of the 50 Best Latin American restaurants.
Chef Virgilio Martinez also owns Lima, the best Peruvian restaurant in London. “Our idea of gastronomic luxury is simply having something natural, indigenous and unique” said Chef Martinez. “We thought it would be hard to introduce Peruvian cuisine in London. At first, I even planned moving there. But ‘Lima’ became a success and I was able to stay in Peru”, he concluded.
Both Virgilio Martinez and Chef Roberto Segura (see bottom) are destined to become the greatest of contemporary Peruvian Chefs.
Specialty Dish: Fillet Pachamanca, Prime beef seared in a coating of mild sun-dried chili with yellow potato purée and fresh cheese
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21. Piscoteket-Oslo, Norway
Cuisine team at Piscoteket-Image Source: Jaime Pesaque
Chefs Jaime Pesaque and Mariano Cerna designed the menu at Piscoteket, a Peruvian restaurant in Oslo. Piscoteket specializes in ceviches and tiraditos. Chef Pesaque said: “the chilis are the DNA of our cuisine, not necessarily for spicy dishes, but they carry a lot of Peruvian flavors..” Pesaque also incorporated certain Norwegian ingredients to their menu. “This is a Menu that Oslo has never seen before”, he said. A Peruvian-Norwegian mix? mmm..that sounds interesting.
Specialty Dish: Pollo Chifero, Fried chicken breast, quinoa salad, aroma mushrooms, pickled radish and omelette.
22. Peru DeputaMare!-Bonn, Germany
A Cebiche from Peru de Putamare-Image Source: Peru de Putamare
Don’t be surprised that Germany has over 12 Peruvian restaurants. By personal experience, I can assure you that Germans are very fond of Peru. In addition, 66,000 German tourists visit Peru every year.
Peru DeputaMare! is known as the best Peruvian restaurant in Germany. Peruvian Edwin Palomino worked as a chef in the best 5-star German hotels for several years. Chef Palomino is now Peru Deputamare’s chef de cuisine. In his statement, Palomino shared his commitment “to seduce the German public with simple homemade Novo Andean food and take them on a culinary journey to the Inca homeland”
DeputaMare! comes from the phrase “De la Puta Madre!” This popular saying is used to allude to “the greatest of greatest”, which should always come from Peru, obviously. At times, Peruvians also say “Puuuutaaa Maareeeee!” to express disappointment.
Specialty Dish: Ceviche Deputamare (peruanisches Nationalgericht), raw fish marinated with aji limo, lemon juice and cilantro.
23. Miraflores-Lyon, France
Chef Carlos Camino-Image Source: Michelin Guide
Asked about how great the food is at Miraflores, a customer said: “Putain, c’est bon!” (Wow, Amazing!, in English/Puta, buenísimo! in Peruvian slang) According to reviews, the experience at Miraflores is extraordinary.
Miraflores’ Head chef Carlos Camino said in his statement: “The Andes produce great crops: root vegetables, quinoa and coffee. The Pacific Ocean contains thousands of marine fish species. Our southern desert hosts the best wine regions. Peru is a melting pot of many influences: natives, Creoles, Spanish, French, Italian, Chinese and Japanese. ‘Miraflores’ offers product diversity, regional flavors and fusion techniques, and all prepared with love. Because Peru, as I like to say, is “lots of love”.
Specialty Dish: Quinoa Souffle, quinoa, oca root vegetable, garlic, muña and concha negra sauce.
24. Vale un Peru-Torino, Italy
Patricia Trujillo-Image Source: Google Plus
When something is worthier than gold, Peruvians say: “Vale un Peru!” This figurative speech originated in colonial times. Having the Inca gold in mind, Spanish colonials used it to compare the worth of any bullion.
Patricia Trujillo and husband Miguel Bustinza are the owners of “Vale un Peru” in Torino, Italy. Vale un Peru has a ‘groundbreaking’ service. Every time you order a dish, the house gives you a quick lesson. They teach you the history of the dish, their ingredients, taking into account Peru’s geography and biodiversity. They said their idea “was an instant success. Our customers greatly appreciated it: to learn while eating. Many have thus felt the curiosity to visit Peru and scheduled a vacation there.”
Specialty Dish: Seco de Cordero con Frijolitos, lamb stew with beans seasoned with Aji Amarillo
25. Tampu Restaurant-Madrid, Spain
Miguel Angel Valdiviezo-Image Source: Con el Morro Fino
Along with Germany, Spain also has lots of Peruvian restaurants. Tampu restaurant constantly innovates their menu. Chef Miguel Angel Valdivieso recently added more Chifa and nikkei dishes to their menu. But Tampa also serves Lomo saltado, Aji de Gallina and Sanguchito de Chicharron.
Specialty Dish: Escabeche de Codorniz, pre-cooked quail marinated with citrus juice and vinegar.
26. Tanta Restaurant-Madrid, Spain
Pez Gallo Entero-Image Source: Tanta
The fans of Gaston Acurio should visit Tanta, in Madrid. The awesome feature in their menu is that all dishes are divided by their respective cultural roots. So the Tiradito criollo and the Maki Anticucho are in the Japanese section. The Aji de Gallina and the Bistec a lo Pobre are in the African section. Pretty didactic, don’t you think?
Specialty Dish: Plancha Marina, grilled shrimp and octopus sautéed with Anticucho sauce, baked potatoes and corn
27. Casa Peru- Amsterdam, Netherlands
Image Source: Casa Peru
Located in the heart of Amsterdam Historical Center, Casa Peru was the first Peruvian restaurant in Netherlands. It is a small comfy place with a great décor. According to most reviews, the dishes are delicious and have a stunning presentation. The only downside is that, due to its location, the menu is considered to be overpriced.
Specialty Dish: Escabeche de pescado con tacu-tacu de frijoles, poached fish on a layer of sour onions, cilantro, tacu-tacu of white beans, sweet potato
28. La Morena Restaurant-Helsinki, Finland
Rene Rodriguez-Image Source: Courtesy of Mikko Hannula
After its inauguration in 2014, La Morena restaurant received favorable reviews. Finnish food critics, unacquainted with Peruvian food, were very surprised. La Morena is a family owned business. Rene Rodriguez is the chef, and folk musician Rodrigo Rodriguez, her husband, is in charge of the weekend musical shows. This is one of the few Peruvian restaurants in Europe that features a live show of Peruvian music. ‘La Morena’ has become a meeting point for the Peruvian diaspora in Finland.
La Morena has a huge menu and the prices seem reasonable.
Specialty Dish: Arroz con Mariscos, rice cooked in seafood broth and sautéed with shrimp, clams, squid, bay scallops.
29. Indio Kitchen-Stockholm, Sweden (Nikkei Cuisine)
Indio Kitchen- Image Source: Yelp
Swedish nationals also love Peruvian food. Indio kitchen is one of the many Peruvian restaurants that have conquered Sweden. Indio kitchen specializes in Nikkei Peruvian food. Their menu has noteworthy variations of Sushi, sashimis and “enrollados.” And you can pair that with Canchita (Roasted Peruvian corn)
Specialty Dish: Alianza Lima Ceviche, seafood, cilantro, Aji amarillo, red onion, celery, roasted corn, lemon, sweet potato.
30. El Sabor Andino-Antwerp, Belgium
Image Source: Taste point
Peruvian food is never short of recognition. Belgian magazine “Knack” recently picked “El Sabor Andino” as one the best places to enjoy exotic cuisine. This restaurant has been in service since 2006, promoting our gastronomy with its “500 years of influence” in a “unique setting that will transport you to Peru with all its rich heritage in display” Their decoration is autochthonous, as you can see.
Specialty Dish: Brochetas de Guanaco, Grilled llama meat with salsa Chimichurri, Andean salad and Peruvian fried potatoes.
31. Qosqo Cebicheria-Lisbon, Portugal
Image Source: Yelp
After earning a master’s degree in Madrid, Peruvian Gabriela Ruiz emigrated to Lisbon. As soon as she moved, Gabriela Ruiz learned something tragic: Peruvian food was quite unknown in Portugal.
Gabriela Ruiz decided to change that. She said: “about 5 years ago we committed to making known Peruvian food in Portugal, first Jantares Peru in Lisboa, and after that Qosqo. Now this wave is growing, and we are very proud of what we started. Now Portugal has experienced an “invasion of Ceviche.”
Qosqo, also known as Cusco, was the city capital of the Incas. It means “Navel of the world” (Ombligo del Mundo).
Specialty Dish: Pasta a la Huancaina, Spaghetti with Huancaina sauce, cheese and bacon bits.
32. Rosa Morena-Geneva, Switzerland
Chef Pilar Lara-Image Source: Youtube
“It’s not easy to win over European gourmets; they don’t like spicy food,” said Peruvian Chef Pilar Lara Mendoza. But with hard work and talent, Pilar’s restaurant “Rosa Morena” overcame all odds. ‘Rosa Morena’ has achieved great recognition in Geneva. How did Pilar do it? “I come from a family of cooks. My family carried the tradition for five generations. I learned to cook from grandma when I was 10.” Pilar said. How did she name it “Rosa Morena”? “Rosa is my mom’s name and ‘Morena’ is how most Peruvians call black women”
Thanks to Pilar Lara, Peruvian cuisine and Peru are becoming well known in Switzerland.
Specialty Dish: Saltado de Pollo, stir-fried chicken and fried potatoes, served with rice
33. La Cusqueñita-Luxembourg City, Luxembourg
Image Source: Pinterest
This is the only Peruvian eatery in Luxembourg. It’s a small place, nothing too fancy. Mind you, the restaurant owner is not Peruvian but Cuban. The menu is also small and their Cuban and Peruvian dishes have a “homemade taste”. Above all, patrons love the warm atmosphere.
Specialty Dish: Arroz con Pollo, fried chicken with cilantro rice, red pepper and carrots.
34. Lomo-Sofia, Bulgaria
Image Source: Multikulti
After living in Germany for a while, Peruvian Chef Carlos Porten emigrated to Bulgaria in 2006. Determined to open a Peruvian restaurant there, Porten planned this venture for over five years. Finally, in 2012, he inaugurated “Lomo”.
As many other chefs, Mr Porten also imbibed inspiration from his grandmother. He said: “My grandmother died many years ago, but to this day, for me, she is the best cook in the world. The main recipes that I use in Lomo are from my grandmother. In Peru, we eat quite a lot of rice. We combine everything with rice. If rice is missing, Peruvians get indignant and complain (pitean): Where is the rice?!”
Specialty Dish: Papa a la Huancaina
35. Nikkei- Athens, Greece (Nikkei Cuisine)
Chef Thanos Stasinos-Image Source: Foodwalkin
The Peruvian cuisine fever also reached Greece. And this time, there is no Peruvian involved.
In the past, most foreign chefs devoted their lives to French cuisine. Now many are starting to do the same with Peruvian cuisine. Entering Greek Chef Thanos Stasinos. Chef Stasinos loves Peruvian cuisine and opened Nikkei, a Peruvian restaurant. Nikkei is located in Kolonaki, the most luxurious neighborhood in Athens. Nikkei’s specialties are the Sea Bass Cebiche and Chicken skewers (Anticuchitos de Pollito)
Nikkei’s success inspired other investors to inaugurate ‘Cinco’, a bar that provides an “authentic JPS experience”. JPS standing for “Japan, Peru and Spain”. I feel proud when others use the beautiful name of “Peru” to attract more customers. As I said earlier, get used to that. We are really that awesome.
Specialty Dish: Anticuchitos de Pollos, chicken skewers with fried yuca on the side.
36. Vue Lounge and Bar- Istanbul, Turkey
Chef Bruno Santa Cruz-Image Source: Timeout Istanbul
On the 17th floor of the Hyatt Regency Hotel of Istanbul, you will find a chance to relish in Peruvian flavors. Bruno Santa Cruz, the master de cuisine of Vue Lounge and Bar, is an acclaimed Peruvian chef in Turkey. Featured in many Turkish magazines, this 29-year-old has made Peruvian cuisine popular among Turkish audiences.
The lavish Hyatt Regency felt honored to hire Chef Santa Cruz. The hotel owners also organized a promotional event in other Turkish cities, with the invitation “Meet the Master of Peruvian Ceviche, Chef Bruno Andres Santa Cruz Gaviria.” Although Ceviche is an indispensable dish, Turkish gourmets are also very fond of Chef Bruno’s Aji de Gallina.
Specialty Dish: Aji de Gallina, chicken in aji Amarillo cream with ground nuts, and served over rice.
37. Charango Grill Bar-Cape Town, South Africa
Image Source: Cape town my love
Most patrons feel speechless admiring the vibrant décor of Charango, a Nikkei Peruvian bar in Cape Town. Surrounded by brick walls and one mural, this place was designed by faith47, an acclaimed South African artist. Cape town chef Kieran Whyte incorporated fruits and vegetables to their menu. Although Charango gravitates to fusion style, patrons can still order “Anticuchos”, “Quinotto” and “Picaroncitos” for dessert.
Specialty Dish: Exotic Mushroom Ceviche, mixed mushrooms, chili, truffle, balsamic, leche de Tigre
38. La Cuchara-Rabat, Morocco
Peruvian ambassador at the Festival of Peruvian gastronomy-Image Source: Andina.com
La Cuchara was originally a Spanish Restaurant. But the demand for Peruvian dishes convinced Amin Azmani, the executive chef, to add ceviche to their menu. His idea brought so much success that Azmani soon contacted the Peruvian ambassador in Morocco to organize a “Festival of Peruvian Gastronomy”. The event caused a sensation in the Moroccan press. Months later, Azmani threw a New Year’s celebration event cooking “Choritos a la Chalaca”, “Anticuchitos de Corazon” and Ceviche. What a spectacular way to begin the New Year! Don’t’ you think?
Specialty Dish: Brochettes péruviennes de cœur de boeuf, beef heart skewers.
39. Lima-Mumbai, India
Image Source: Qq India
The first Peruvian bar in India recently opened on March 15. Renowned Indian Chef Atul Kochhar is an “ambassador for Peru in India”. After getting acquainted with Peruvian food in London, Kocchaar decided to bring it to Mumbai. After its inauguration, Lima has earned the attention of curious gastronomers. Lima sits in an exclusive complex, filled with banking and finance crowds. Their pisco and ceviche menu are quite pricey. A reviewer recently said: “Lima is a decidedly upscale bar..you end up considerably poorer after the meal”
Specialty Dish: Avocado Cebiche, fish, avocado slices, leche de Tigre
40. Bepocah-Tokyo, Japan
Image Source: Robbie Swinnerton
The first 1894 Sino-Japanese War left Japan in shambles. This was the year when the first Japanese nationals emigrated to Peru to work as contract laborers. This was a stroke of luck for our Peruvian nation. The Japanese were skilled farmers and very entrepreneurial. Also, they were the masters of sushi.
Over a century later, the Peruvian Nissei have raised our cuisine to a higher level. Their experience with raw fish enlarged the variety of our ceviches, tiraditos and Causa rellena.
Bepocah, a Peruvian restaurant in Tokyo, brings the best Peruvian food to Japanese audiences. Peruvian Chef Christian Vasquez said he does not serve fusion food. Aiming at Japanese customers who seek for novelty, Bepocah offers traditional dishes, just the way they are eaten in Peru.
Specialty Dish: Estofado de quinua con Pescado a la plancha, Quinoa stew with grilled fish
41. Azul Tapas-Shanghai, China
Image Source: Missi blurkit
If Peruvian food conquered America, it obviously couldn’t be absent from China. Peruvian Eduardo Vargas is a well-established Peruvian Chef in Shanghai. Azul Tapas, his most recent adventure, occupies the top floor of a building that provides a magnificent view.
Due to the competitive market, Vargas felt obliged to diversify his menu with other South American plates. Yet, he still serves Ceviches, Escabeche de Pescado and Piscos. Eduardo Vargas was a former successful banker in Shanghai, the financial hub of China and Asia. But his passion for Peruvian cuisine won over him. Considering that Vargas grew up under the shadow of his grandmother, it’s hard to blame him. Who was she? One of the old glories of the Peruvian kitchen, the legendary Chef Teresa Ocampo, the “Julia Child” of Peru, who featured the popular show “La Cocina de Teresa.”
Specialty Dish: Escabeche de Pescado, fried fish drizzled with vinegar-onion sauce, and served with rice.
42. Pico Pico Restaurant-Taipei, Taiwan
Anticuchos de Pollo-Image Source: Yelp
National Geographic recently nominated Peru as one of “the Best Places to Travel for Food.” Although very soon worldwide citizens may not need to travel to Peru to enjoy our food. If you find yourself craving for some ceviche in Taiwan, just visit Pico Pico, the only Peruvian bistro in this distant land. Neither the cooks nor the owners are Peruvian, but most reviewers assert the staff can really cook.
Specialty Dish: Arroz con Mariscos, rice with calamari, squid, shrimp and clams.
43. Above Eleven-Bangkok, Thailand
Image Source: Bangkok.com
Chef Omar Frank Maruy successfully runs a Nissei restaurant in Lima. But in 2012, Maruy received an interesting proposition. He had been selected to design the menu and train the cooks for a new Peruvian bistro in Bangkok, Thailand. Maruy accepted the challenge.
Maruy, a Peruvian nisei, was behind the food concept of Above Eleven. This bistro is located on the rooftop of the Fraser Suites Sukhumvit, a leading brand of luxurious apartments. Thai patrons can enjoy the taste of Peru while admiring the Bangkok skyline. The best ‘Above Eleven’ entree is the “Tiradito Seabass Aji Amarillo”, a sashimi made of Seabass, orange glazed sweet potato, Aji Amarillo and leche de Tigre.
Specialty Dish: Salmon Tacu Tacu, grilled Salmon, white beans & rice cake, Crab meat sauce and Creamy yellow Chili sauce.
44. Pisco Bar-Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Anticuchos at Pisco Bar-Image Source: Eat Drink KL
“By visiting Pisco bar, you will eat today what the rest of the world will be eating tomorrow” is read on the Pisco Bar statement. Pisco Bar is one of the most exhilarating hangouts in Kuala Lumpur. Owned by a Spaniard, Pisco bar has been heavily publicized by TimeOut, Elle and Esquire magazines. Peruvian chef Miguel Hokama helped with the menu. How good is the food? Malaysian food critic Sean Yoong gave it two thumbs up, recommending the Tacu Tacu and the Snapper Ceviche.
At night, Pisco bar turns into a disco with live musical shows and DJ performances.
Specialty Dish: Snapper ceviche, raw fish marinated with tiger’s milk, onions and chili peppers.
45. Chimu-Bali, Indonesia
Image Source: Chimu-Bali
Peruvian Gonzalo Villaran came up with the idea of Chimu, a restaurant located in the “Sublime Hidden Valley” resort in Bali, a paradisiacal hideaway for European tourists. Villaran’s business partner, Chef Alonso de Romana, said he aimed to keep Chimu’s menu “as traditional as possible” with ceviches, Jaleas, Tiraditos, Pulpo al Olivo, etc. The tables are set in the open air, but apparently the relaxing Bali vibe has affected the waiters. According to most reviews, Chimu needs to have a more attentive service.
Specialty Dish: Jalea de Mariscos, deep fried fish, combined with calamari, served with fried yuca, tartar sauce and salsa criolla.
46. Don Andres Peruvian Kitchen-Quezon City, Philippines
Lomo Saltado-Image Source: Don Andres
“Peruvian cuisine is largely underrepresented in the Philippines and until Don Andres, we didn’t think much about it” said Sasha Lim, a Philippino food critic. “But those bright flavors are hard to ignore. In fact, we can’t stop thinking about it.”
Don Andres kitchen opened in 2013, hoping to establish in the market by selling Pollo a la Brasa. Pretty soon the trend of Peruvian food compelled Warner Lee, Don Andres’ owner, to hire a Peruvian chef. Now Don Andres has an extensive Peruvian menu, with diverse choices such as Choritos a la Chalaca, Lomo Saltado, or Pescado al Ajillo. Besides Pollo a la Brasa, Lomo Saltado has seized the preference of Philipinos. Customers are so satisfied, they often leave a note of gratitude to the staff.
Phillipinos also have another Peruvian Restaurant named Mantaro.
Specialty Dish: Lomo Saltado, beef tenderloin strips, onions, tomatoes, and fried potatoes.
47. Pastuso-Melbourne, Australia
Alejandro Saravia-Image Source: City of Melbourne
Why is Peru a gastronomic Mecca? Because, besides our history and recipes, we also have talented chefs. Peruvian Alejandro Saravia dreamed of becoming a chef after watching his grandmother cooking one day. He is now one of the leaders of the Peruvian “gastronomic revolution” that took the world by storm. After founding “Pastuso”, Chef Saravia feels the duty of making everyone “taste the divine essence of Peru”
Specialty Dish: Tartare de Alpaca — 30-day dry aged alpaca loin tartare with black garlic and Peruvian caper berries
48. The Act-Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Image Source: The Guide Istanbul
Born in Lima, Roberto Segura emigrated to Dubai at 18 to work as a line cook. His supervisors were impressed by his talent, and he escalated positions in no time. Segura became a sous chef at the unlikely age of 19.
Although he keeps a low profile, Chef Segura has often been nominated for “The Good Food Middle East Awards”. In the culinary world scene, Roberto Segura is perhaps Peru’s best-hidden gem. Those who have worked with him assure he is brilliant, and down the line, either him or Chef Virgilio Martinez may become the likely successor of Gaston Acurio. Segura’s imagination is boundless and he is constantly experimenting with new ingredients.
The menu this talented chef designed is still served in “the Act”, a luxurious restaurant in the Shangri-la Hotel. Chef Segura is now the Executive chef in “3 Hospitality” a Dubai consulting firm.
Specialty Dish: Pulpo Anticuchero Grillado, grilled Spanish Octopus, sweet panca chili sauce.
49. Peruvi Fast Food-Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
When Saudi student Adnan Kayal tasted “Pollo a la Brasa” in the US, he felt marked for life. Years later, Adnan inaugurated a Peruvian fast food restaurant in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Peruvi sells “Pollo a la Brasa” and “Alfajores”, which Saudis call “Peruvian cookie” Their promo video is picturesque: Saudis wearing traditional thobes, speaking Arabic, and a huayno pumping in the background. One of the patrons said: “Peruvian food is a holy meal. A must have. Twice a week.”
Specialty Dish: Peruvian Rotisserie Chicken, paprika, garlic, lime, aji verde salsa
Peruvian Cuisine:¡Que Rico, Carajo!
Image Source: Universidad privada del Norte
¡Que Rico, Carajo! Such was the expression I often heard in Peru as a child. Little did I know then that Peruvian food would emerge as a world titan in the culinary scene. Sociologist Gilberto Freyre once said that “a kitchen in crisis represents an entire civilization in danger: the danger of cultural decay”. Peruvians can be confident that our cuisine will only strengthen Peruvian culture along the years, aiming at higher achievements. This article is a token of gratitude to all the magnificent Peruvian Chefs who, with hard work, talent and perseverance, have made Peru the Gastronomic Capital of the World.
Finally, while you are now suitably excited about all the great Peruvian restaurants, you might want to try the original. Book a flight to Peru, enjoy our gorgeous beaches, find out a little more about our unique history and try out our favorite Peruvian restaurants in Peru, Chez Wong (from the world’s greatest Cevichero Javier Wong), ‘Astrid & Gaston’ and ‘Central’.
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XpatNation is a Social News and Lifestyle magazine, focusing on the insights and experiences of ex-patriots living in The United States. XpatNation brings together the voices, thoughts, perceptions and experiences of the people of the world who have made the USA their home. Using their insight and unique understanding of the global world we live in to discuss culture, lifestyle, Geopolitics and the day to day ongoings of this proud and powerful nation.