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Enjoy Yourself: Lunch Time in Lima, Peru!



Lunch is almost a sacred word for Peruvians: in fact, it is still their main meal of the day, rather than dinner, despite the fact that the majorty of people cannot have lunch at home... because they are at work. Family gathering may have actually moved to dinner time, but lunch is the main meal and the opportunity to socialize with friends and co-workers. And sometime it is a good time for discussing businesses, too.

So, lunch is usually a nice experience in either top-class or budget places. We are suggesting some very nice restaurants, with memorable food, usually located near or within reasonably distance from touristic attractions.

Regarding seafood, which is very important in Lima since it is a coastal city, there are plenty of options. Some of them would be Embarcadero 41 Fusión, that blends Peruvian flavors with many international influences; Niqei and its distinctive Peruvian/Japanese fusion; or Cebicheria La Mar, that preserves the original creole Peruvian recipes and flavors.

Exploring another kind of Peruvian cuisines, there's Kamcha and its Andean flavors: T'anta and its homage to many Peruvian regional cuisines; or Pardos Chicken, for those in love with barbecued foods. Vegetarians have also some options, specially Alma Zen and El Vegetariano, both of them in Miraflores.

 


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This is another haven for backpackers and travelers on a budget, since you can find excellent menus for lunch and dinner at ridiculous prices (from 6 to 8 soles for a three course meal: soup, a salad and a main course, including bread and an infusion or herbal tea. It is always crowded, and not only by tourists, since many locals are regulars here. It is located in Lima Downtoen, only one block and a half blocks from Plaza Mayor (Main Square). The staff does not speaks much English, but is very friendly and efficient. The place also has some flat TV screens tuned in some local channels.

Read more about El Paraiso de la Salud →




Alma Zen is a restaurant that claims to serve not only vegetarian meals, but also made with 100% organic ingredients, bought from certified organic producers and from farms affiliated to fair trade programs. Thus, the quality of the foods they serve is definitely more than excellent; but this also takes its toll on the prices, that are definitely high according to local standards. However, most guests leave the place truly satisfied and saying that everything was great and that it was well worth: the flavors are truly delicious. In addition to serving foods for the soul, Alma Zen also has options for tea time, for coffee lovers, and a home-like atmosphere, since it�s a pretty small place with only four tables.

Local Expert tip: The owners are very friendly and will be more than happy to explain you anything you may want to know about the food they serve, and about their business' philosophy. If you are a true vegan, this is your place.

Read more about Alma Zen →




El Vegetariano was founded by a group of experienced vegetarian chefs, who formerly worked at a similar place nearby. They pride in offering truly healthy and nutritive options, either as complete menus (general and special) or as a la carte dishes, plus salads, yogurts, fruits, etc. This place also sells natural, organic products and ingredients. Servings are generous and the staff understands some English: you will find a pleasant atmosphere, good service and very inexpensive prices. Keep in mind, however, that El Vegetariano closes around 8pm so you may need to have an early dinner. With a little luck you may find one of their best dishes: zucchini stuffed with tofu.

Local Expert tip: Daily menu costs only 8 soles (less than 3.00USD), and includes a big soup, a main course, a small dessert and a beverage (maybe a tea or a herbal-based infusion), Cash only. Open Hours: Monday to Saturday 9am-8pm, closed on Sundays.

Read more about El Vegetariano →


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This is another of the most traditional caf� places in Lima, Peru, with more than 50 years in the business. Undoubtedly this is the most popular caf� in Miraflores, among locals and foreigners as well: but more than that, it also offers some terrific, delicious options for lunch time, too. Try their Lomo Saltado, Churrasco a lo Pobre, Ceviche, Suprema de Pollo (boneless chicken breast, fried) or simply ask for the "Menu del Dia" options. You may as well end your lunch ordering either a coffee or a digestive drink, or even a herbal tea. Its convenient location is a plus.

Local Expert tip: If you need some more "real" food, you may want to try some of these: ceviche (fish fillets marinated in lime juice), lomo saltado (marinated strips of steak over rice and potatoes) or sopa criolla (Creole soup). There is also a good selection of teas and herbal infusions, as well as digestive liquors.

Read more about Cafe Haiti →


This is an all-in-one place: bakery, pastries, cafe and restaurant, so will find a wide array of options to choose from. The name is a Quechua word meaning "bread", and yes, T'anta sells many sandwiches and casual meals "on the go", as well as complete menus and dishes "a la carte". It's a very modern place, with a trendy decor that includes some Peruvian elements and colors. The bar offers excellent drinks, many of them prepared with Peruvian fruits. T'anta has become a fashionable (and very tourist-friendly) spot in Lima Downtown, right beside the Plaza Mayor, and if you are already full, you can always sit and order some dessert and coffee �we promise you will not regret.

Read more about T'anta →


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San Borja


"Kamcha" is in Peru the name of a Peruvian snack, that is, toasted corn, that has always been part of the Quechua culture. This is a thematic restaurant, dedicated to Peruvian food and to all the cultural elements traditionally related to it, focusing on the typical, Peruvian regional flavors and colors: the decor is mostly Andean-themed and with bright, intense color combinations. There's a dining room decorated like a street market, for example. The menu is large enough to have options suitable for everyone, but we recommend specially the "cabrito a la nortena" (suckling goat prepared in the northern coast style) . There's some kid-friendly options, too.

Local Expert tip: The selection of drinks is also large and excellent, but do not forget to enjoy a very Peruvian pisco-sour. And you may want to try some of the local fruit-based desserts, specially those made of passion fruit, elderberry and fig.

Read more about Kamcha →




Owned and run by the popular Peruvian chef Gaston Acurio, this top-class restaurant is inspired in the Peruvian popular cebicherias, or restaurants specialized in cebiche along all Peru. If you do not have issues with the idea of enjoying some raw, fresh fish fillets marinated in lime juice, you will for sure enjoy an unforgettable gastronomical experience here. Take into account that La Mar does not take reservations, so you should arrive early for lunch. Stylish decor, moderate prices, it take the popular cebiche to a new level. La Mar aims to spread worldwide this Peruvian flagship dish, so nowadays it has franchise restaurants in San Francisco, Mexico DF, Santiago de Chile, Sao Paulo, Bogota and New York.

Local Expert tip: There's also many options for those who do not dare trying raw fillets, like many rice-based dishes, risottos, and many seafood-based and well-cooked dishes, many of them are fusion with Asian and Italian cuisines. And the bar is excellent, too.

Read more about Cebicheria La Mar →




One of Peruvian most popular foods is the pollo pollo a la brasa, or "Roasted Chicken Peruvian Style"; you can find a poller�a in almost every neighborhood, and there's also different prices to fit every budget. Peruvians are very keen on pollo a la brasa since it's affordable, kid-friendly, and the most important thing -delicious. Pardo's Chicken claims it serves the best pollo a la brasa in Peru, and its large servings are easy to share and unexpensive; they come along with fries and some greens, but you can also order any of the large house salads. The menu offers other Peruvian barbecue specialties, too. Pardos Chicken currently has branches in Chile, Bolivia, Mexico and Miami.

Local Expert tip: Ask the waiter for other creole specialties, such as the Tallarin Saltado, the Lomo Saltado; or the new Grilled Mushrooms, or for any of the huge chicken salads. And of course try the national beverage Chicha Morada (made of purple corn) and don't miss the desserts table.

Read more about Pardos Chicken →


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Surco


Peru claims to have one of the best Japanese-fusion cuisines in South America, and since there's a big community of Peruvians from Japanese descent, there must be some truth in this. And you will feel inclined to believe it when you visit Niqei, a place that has earned itself a reputation re-inventing Peruvian-Japanese fusion. Niqei has very large offer of makis and sushis including Peruvian flavors and textures, even in crispy versions, and with Peruvian sauces. Its most famous creation is the "Maki Atakutado", a maki made from "tacutacu", a very Peruvian mixture of rice and beans. Check also for the desserts and the cocktails.

Local Expert tip: If you are always looking for some new flavors, or if you are inclined to culinary adventures, try ordering one of the most exotic desserts: Wasabi ice-cream with passion-fruit jelly and chocolate chips. We can say it's something truly unique.

Read more about Niqei →


If you are searching for seafood, then this is a place you cannot miss. Embarcadero 41 has evolved in only ten years from a single, neighborhood place to a valuable restaurant chain but preserving the quality and creativity of its culinary offer. Despite the fact that the star here is the ceviche, it has other superb Peruvian options, too, like its excellent "Causas", that won the 1st prize in 2011's Mistura Food Fair (the most important gastronomic event in Peru). You may also want to try the Ceviche del Inca, or the "Chupe de camarones" (a delicious and very Peruvian shrimp soup).

Read more about Embarcadero 41 Fusión →


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Meet Isabel Guerra

Isabel is a freelance Journalist, Writer, and Photographer born and raised in Lima, Peru, where she currently lives: in addition to her writing career and to her traveling almost all over...  More About Isabel

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