Lima: The Culinary Capital of South America.
Over recent years, the Peruvian culinary industry has grown to be world renowned with a number of Peruvian restaurants now being considered amongst the top restaurants in the world. Today, Peruvian chefs are internationally recognized as leaders in the culinary world. Peruvian restaurants are springing up all over the world and are very popular and are known to fill up quickly. For example, Peruvian born chef Martin Morales and his Ceviche restaurant in SoHo, London, started as a pop up but much to his surprise, the restaurant has been full every night since. The chef has also written a best-selling cookbook, for everyone to attempt and enjoy Peruvian cuisine at home.
But when you are speaking of Peruvian cuisine, the home of food is without a doubt Lima. Filled with fabulous restaurants with a mix of fusion cuisine from all of the different cultures that reside in the Capital of Peru, Lima is now one of the top ranked destinations in Latin America for food and every year, around 4 million visitor spend time in the Peruvian capital just to experience the food scene.
Flavors of Peru
The flavors of Peru are based on a history of many different influences; Japanese, Chinese, Spanish, West African, Creole as well as regional Peruvian cuisine from the highlands, the coast and the jungle.
Lima´s emergence in the world food scene was certified by 3 Lima restaurants placing in the world’s 50 best restaurants list in 2016.
If you are a foodie, here are some of the best restaurants in Lima to try on your next visit to the great capital of Peru. The first is restaurant is called CENTRAL, owned by head chef, Virgilio Martinez who is a national superstar in Peru and globally. He even has his own television show on Netflix called Chef’s Table! The restaurant’s exquisite meals are all made from Peruvian ingredients sourced from the coast, the mountains and the jungle. Don’t expect the norm here as you will receive cuisine that is quite outside of the box, so keep and open mind and prepare to be pleasantly surprised at the imagination that has gone into the creation of these quality dishes.
Next on the list of fine dining experiences is Astrid y Gaston, the owner and chef is Gaston Acurio and he is probably South America’s most famous chef, accompanied by his wife Astrid, a famous pastry chef, the pair have restaurants all over the world. But it is well worth your time to visit where the great culinary empire empire started in MiraFlores in Lima. Here, you will dine on fine dishes like guinea pig with Peking Sauce or marinated scallop cooked with coriander and pistachios and other unforgettable meals you likely won’t see back home.
Lima cuisine has been shaped by various influences, one of the main influences has been immigration from the Asian countries of Japan and China. From this area, many restaurants have emerged holding the Asian influence, the most famous today would bel Maido owned by chef Mitsuharu Tsumura. The restaurant features a selection of sushi, sashimi and nigiri and other dishes that are a mix of Peruvian and Japanese inspired, this restaurant is also featured on the best restaurant list.
But if you don’t have the budget for big name restaurants, don’t worry there is plenty of choice for a foodie on a budget.
Anticucheria Dona Julia
Anticucheria Dona Julia in the Jesus Maria district, is a family run business featuring Anticuchos which is marinated and barbequed beef heart. Whilst this may not appeal to everyone, don’t let the unknown sacre you, once you try them, you may well become addicted. Dona Julia has among the best restaurants in the city and while you are there also try the Picarones, fried pastries served with a sweet honey sauce.
Whilst in Lima you must also try Lomo Saltado, this dish is considered by many as Peru’s national dish, this tasty plate is a mix of beef, tomatoes, onions and French fries. The restaurant La Muralla is considered by Gaston Acurio to be one of the best restaurants in Lima for its Lomo Saltado, most restaurants in Lima will serve this dish so, with its high praise, it is a must try.
Another Peruvian specialty is Pollo al la Brasa, barbequed chicken served with French fries and salad, there is chicken restaurant nearly on every block in Lima and this is a weekend favorite of all Peruvians. The chicken is tender and the skin is salty, this simple but delicious dish is definitely something you should try on your trip in Lima.
Not only can you get a great lunch or dinner in Lima, but eating on the street in Lima can also be a rewarding experience. Limenos love their sandwiches and a favorite is the Butifarra, a pork sandwich served on crusty bread with mustard, mayonnaise, tomatoes and onions. Eaten all day this delicious sandwich can be found on almost every street corner in Lima. In addition to sandwiches, you could also try Picarones, cakes and in central Lima´s Chinatown you can also try a grand array of delights from Asia including tasty street food from China, Japan and Korea.
Lima, the Culinary Capital of South America, famous all over the world, is not to be missed. If you have a love of food (don’t we all?), than Lima is certainly the destination for you, come and give it a try, you won’t be disappointed.
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