50 Delicious Peruvian Food You Need To Try

Ceviche (Peruvian Sushi)

Peru’s culinary landscape is a vibrant fusion of flavors, celebrated globally for its diversity and innovation. Home to a gastronomic revolution led by chefs like Gastón Acurio and Pedro Miguel Schiaffino, Peru has proudly clinched the title of the world’s top culinary destination multiple times. This recognition is a nod to the country’s rich heritage and its forward-thinking approach to cuisine, blending traditional Peruvian elements with international techniques.

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In collaboration with Adventure In Peru, we present a tantalizing guide to the 50 Peruvian dishes you simply must try. From the coastal freshness of ceviche to the comforting depths of Andean stews, this journey through Peru’s culinary treasures is an adventure for the palate, inviting travelers to explore the flavors that define this extraordinary culinary nation.

1. Ceviche (Peruvian Sushi)

Ceviche (Peruvian Sushi) - Peruvian food

Ceviche is the quintessential Peruvian food that has conquered palates around the globe with its simplicity and burst of flavors. Picture this: fresh, tender pieces of fish marinated in a vibrant mix of lime juice, onions, cilantro, and spicy aji peppers. The acidity from the lime cooks the fish, resulting in a refreshing and slightly spicy delight that’s as colorful as the Peruvian coast itself.

This dish is more than just food; it’s a cultural emblem with roots stretching back to the pre-Columbian era, adapted over time by Spanish influence and modern innovation. It embodies the coastal lifestyle, celebrated in festivals and enjoyed as a staple in homes and cevicherias across Peru. Key ingredients include the freshest catch of the day, typically sea bass or corvina, marinated in “leche de tigre,” a citrus-based marinade that’s key to its distinctive taste.

For the most authentic experience, head to “La Mar Cebichería Peruana” in Lima, where the ceviche is always fresh and the atmosphere is lively. Located at Av. La Mar 770, Miraflores, this spot is a favorite among locals and tourists alike.

2. Lomo Saltado (Stir-Fried Beef)

Lomo Saltado (Stir-Fried Beef) - Peruvian food

Lomo Saltado is a mouthwatering fusion of Peruvian ingredients with Chinese stir-frying techniques, a testament to the multicultural tapestry of Peru. Imagine succulent strips of beef, flame-cooked with onions, tomatoes, aji peppers, and a splash of soy sauce, served over crispy fries and rice. It’s a symphony of flavors that dances on your palate, blending the savory depth of stir-fry with the bright freshness of Peruvian produce.

This peruvian food is a product of the Chinese immigrant influence in Peru during the 19th century, becoming a beloved staple that represents the successful blend of culinary traditions. It showcases key ingredients like beef tenderloin, soy sauce, and the indispensable aji amarillo, cooked rapidly over high heat to seal in flavors.

Experience Lomo Saltado in its most authentic form at “Madam Tusan,” a restaurant that celebrates the Chifa tradition. Located at Av. Santa Cruz 859, Miraflores, Lima, it offers a modern take on this classic dish in an elegant setting.

3. Pisco Sour (Peruvian Cocktail)

Pisco Sour (Peruvian Cocktail) - Peruvian drink

Pisco Sour is more than a cocktail; it’s a national treasure. A frothy blend of pisco (a grape brandy unique to Peru), lime juice, simple syrup, egg white, and a dash of Angostura bitters, it offers a smooth, tangy, and slightly sweet experience. The egg white gives it a silky texture and a beautiful foam top, making it as pleasing to the eye as it is to the palate.

Originating in the early 20th century in Lima, it was created by an American bartender, becoming an instant classic that symbolizes Peruvian hospitality and creativity. It embodies the spirit of Peruvian celebration, enjoyed across the country and holding a place of honor in every bar and household.

To sip the finest Pisco Sour, visit “Ayahuasca Restobar” in Barranco, Lima, at Av. San Martin 130. This bar is housed in a colonial mansion, offering an atmospheric setting to enjoy this iconic drink.

4. Pollo a la Brasa (Roasted Chicken)

Pollo a la Brasa (Roasted Chicken) - Peruvian food

Pollo a la Brasa, or Peruvian roasted chicken, is a beloved comfort food known for its juicy interior and crispy, flavorful skin. Marinated in a blend of spices, including garlic, cumin, and aji panca, it’s then roasted to perfection in a specially designed rotisserie oven. This dish is often accompanied by golden fries, salad, and creamy aji sauce, making for a satisfying meal that’s hard to resist.

This culinary phenomenon began in the 1950s in Lima and quickly spread across the nation, becoming a fixture at family gatherings and casual dining spots alike. It showcases the Peruvian penchant for blending indigenous and international flavors, creating a dish that’s both familiar and distinctly Peruvian.

For the ultimate Pollo a la Brasa, “La Panka” restaurant, located at Larcomar Mall, Miraflores, Lima, offers a modern and stylish dining experience where this dish takes center stage, celebrated for its flavor and tradition. In Cusco there some “pollerias” in every street.

5. Ají de Gallina (Creamy Chicken)

Ají de Gallina (Creamy Chicken) - Peruvian food

Ají de Gallina is a comforting and creamy dish that tantalizes the taste buds with its rich flavors. Shredded chicken breast is bathed in a thick sauce made from aji amarillo, breadcrumbs, milk, and Parmesan cheese, creating a smooth and velvety texture. It’s traditionally served over rice with boiled potatoes and black olives, a combination that comforts the soul and delights the palate.

This peruvian food has its origins in the colonial era, evolving from Spanish and indigenous influences into a quintessential Peruvian classic. It represents the fusion of Old World and New World ingredients, resulting in a dish that’s both hearty and sophisticated.

To enjoy Ají de Gallina at its best, visit “Tanta,” located at Av. Pancho Fierro 117, San Isidro, Lima. This restaurant offers a cozy atmosphere where this traditional dish is prepared with a touch of gourmet flair, making it a must-try for any visitor.

6. Causa Rellena (Stuffed Potato Casserole)

Causa Rellena (Stuffed Potato Casserole) - Peruvian food

Causa Rellena is a visual and flavorful masterpiece, layering seasoned mashed potatoes with fillings like tuna, chicken, or avocado, and topped with a touch of lime and aji amarillo. This dish is a celebration of Peru’s potato heritage, showcasing the tuber’s versatility and the creativity of Peruvian cuisine.

Rooted in history, Causa Rellena is said to have originated during the Pacific War, when women would prepare this dish to support their soldiers, using readily available ingredients. It has since evolved into a beloved staple, reflecting Peru’s resourcefulness and communal spirit. The key to its preparation is the lime-infused potato layers and the balance of flavors in the filling.

For a taste of the best Causa Rellena, visit “Panchita” in Miraflores, Lima, located at Calle 2 de Mayo 298. This restaurant is renowned for its authentic Peruvian dishes and offers a variety of causa options to delight any palate.

7. Papa a la Huancaina (Potatoes in Spicy Cheese Sauce)

Papa a la Huancaina (Potatoes in Spicy Cheese Sauce) - Peruvian food

Papa a la Huancaina is a humble yet irresistible dish, consisting of boiled potatoes covered in a creamy, spicy sauce made from aji amarillo and fresh cheese. Garnished with olives and boiled eggs, it’s a testament to the simplicity and depth of Peruvian flavors, often served as a starter or side dish.

This peruvian food origins are tied to the Huancayo region, reflecting the ingenuity of Andean cooking by combining locally sourced ingredients into something truly special. It celebrates the potato’s integral role in Peruvian culture, enhanced by the bold flavors of the sauce.

To enjoy Papa a la Huancaina, “Isolina” in Barranco, Lima (Av. San Martin 101), offers an authentic experience. This taverna is praised for its dedication to traditional Peruvian cuisine, presenting dishes with home-cooked warmth and richness.

8. Arroz Chaufa (Peruvian Fried Rice)

Arroz Chaufa (Peruvian Fried Rice) - Peruvian food

Arroz Chaufa, Peru’s take on Chinese fried rice, is a flavorful fusion dish where Peruvian ingredients meet Asian culinary techniques. It typically features rice stir-fried with soy sauce, spring onions, eggs, and a choice of meats or seafood, delivering a comforting and savory meal that’s both familiar and exotic.

The dish is a product of the Chinese influence in Peru, specifically from the Cantonese immigrants in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Arroz Chaufa symbolizes the successful integration of Chinese culinary traditions with Peruvian flavors, becoming a favorite in the diverse Peruvian culinary scene.

For a memorable Arroz Chaufa, head to “Chifa Titi,” located at Av. Javier Prado Este 1212, San Isidro, Lima. This restaurant is known for its high-quality Chifa cuisine, blending the best of Chinese and Peruvian culinary traditions.

9. Anticuchos (Grilled Heart Skewers)

Anticuchos (Grilled Heart Skewers) - Peruvian food

Anticuchos are much more than just street food; they’re a cultural icon. This popular dish consists of marinated beef heart skewers, grilled over open flames to a perfect char, offering a tender and flavorful bite. Served with boiled potatoes and corn, Anticuchos are a testament to the Peruvian tradition of no-waste cooking and flavor maximization.

Dating back to the pre-Columbian era and later influenced by African cuisine, Anticuchos reflect Peru’s multicultural history. They are a beloved nighttime snack, enjoyed by people from all walks of life, especially during festivities and on street corners throughout Peru.

For the ultimate Anticuchos, “Anticuchos Grimanesa” in Miraflores, Lima (Av. Ignacio Merino 466), is a must-visit. This iconic spot has been serving up some of the city’s best skewers for decades, drawing both locals and tourists alike.

10. Leche de Tigre (Tiger’s Milk)

Leche de Tigre (Tiger's Milk) - Peruvian food

Leche de Tigre, the zesty, spicy marinade used in ceviche, is so beloved in Peru that it’s often served on its own as a vibrant drink. Comprising lime juice, sliced onions, cilantro, chili peppers, and fish juice, it’s known for its supposed aphrodisiac qualities and as a hangover cure.

The origins of Leche de Tigre are deeply intertwined with the coastal culture of Peru, embodying the spirit of innovation and the rich biodiversity of the Peruvian seas. It’s not just a dish; it’s an experience, offering a taste of the ocean’s freshness with every sip.

To experience the best Leche de Tigre, “El Mercado” in Miraflores, Lima (Hipólito Unanue 203).

11. Cuy Chactado (Fried Guinea Pig)

Cuy Chactado - Peruvian food

Cuy Chactado is a traditional Andean dish that showcases the rich culinary heritage of the Peruvian highlands. This dish involves a guinea pig, flattened and fried until crispy, served with potatoes, corn, and aji sauce. It’s a celebration of Andean flavors, deeply rooted in pre-Columbian traditions where the guinea pig was a cherished source of protein. The dish is not only a culinary staple but also a cultural symbol, often served during important festivals and celebrations.

For an authentic taste of Cuy Chactado, “La Cusqueñita” in Cusco offers a traditional dining experience. Located at Av. Tullumayo 227, this restaurant is known for its dedication to Andean cuisine, providing a genuine taste of the region’s culinary heritage.

12. Chupe de Camarones (Shrimp Chowder)

Chupe de Camarones (Shrimp Chowder) - Peruvian food

Chupe de Camarones is a hearty and comforting shrimp chowder from Peru’s southern coast, brimming with flavors of fresh shrimp, milk, cheese, potatoes, and corn, garnished with a fried egg. This rich, creamy soup has origins in the indigenous and Spanish culinary traditions, evolving into a regional specialty that warms the soul and palate. It embodies the bounty of Peru’s coastal waters, showcasing the local shrimp as the star ingredient.

To savor an exceptional bowl of Chupe de Camarones, visit “Picantería La Lucila” in Arequipa. This eatery, located at Av. Dolores 111, is famous for its traditional Peruvian picanterías, offering a cozy atmosphere to enjoy this sumptuous dish.

13. Picarones (Peruvian Doughnuts)

Picarones (Peruvian Doughnuts) - Peruvian food

Picarones are a beloved Peruvian dessert, made from a sweet pumpkin and sweet potato dough, deep-fried to golden perfection and drizzled with a syrup made from chancaca (unrefined sugar). These ring-shaped treats are a fusion of Spanish and indigenous culinary traditions, dating back to the colonial era as a more accessible alternative to the Spanish buñuelos. Enjoyed at street fairs and markets, they represent the sweet side of Peruvian cuisine, celebrated for their unique flavor and texture.

For the best Picarones in Lima, head to “Picarones Mary” at Parque Kennedy in Miraflores. This popular street vendor has been serving up these sweet treats for years, becoming a must-visit spot for both locals and tourists craving this traditional dessert.

14. Rocoto Relleno (Stuffed Spicy Peppers)

Rocoto Relleno (Stuffed Spicy Peppers) - Peruvian food

Rocoto Relleno is a vibrant and spicy dish from Arequipa, featuring rocoto peppers (a hot pepper native to the Andes) stuffed with a savory mixture of spiced ground beef, onions, olives, and hard-boiled eggs, topped with melted cheese. This dish is a testament to the fusion of pre-Columbian and Spanish culinary influences, turning the heat up in Peruvian cuisine with its bold flavors and colors. It’s a celebration of local ingredients and the adventurous spirit of Peruvian cooking.

For an authentic Rocoto Relleno experience, “Zig Zag” in Arequipa is the place to go. Located at Calle Zela 210, this restaurant is known for its innovative approach to traditional dishes, serving up this spicy delight in a charming and contemporary setting.

15. Tacu Tacu (Fried Rice and Bean Dough)

Tacu Tacu (Fried Rice and Bean Dough) - Peruvian food

Tacu Tacu is the epitome of comfort food in Peru, a hearty and flavorful dish made by mixing leftover rice and beans into a dough, then fried to create a crispy crust with a soft, savory interior. Often served with a side of steak, fried banana, and an egg, it’s a testament to the resourcefulness of Peruvian cuisine, transforming simple ingredients into a delicious meal. With roots in the Afro-Peruvian community, Tacu Tacu is a symbol of cultural fusion, bringing together flavors and traditions from Africa, Spain, and Indigenous Peru.

To experience Tacu Tacu in a modern culinary setting, “Amaz” in Lima offers a contemporary take on this classic dish. Located at Av. La Paz 1079, Miraflores, this restaurant specializes in Amazonian cuisine, providing a unique twist on traditional Peruvian flavors.

16. Mazamorra Morada (Purple Corn Pudding)

Mazamorra Morada is a beloved Peruvian dessert that captivates with its deep purple hue and sweet, spiced flavor. This comforting pudding is made from purple corn boiled with cinnamon, clove, and sugar, thickened to perfection, and often mixed with chunks of fruit. It’s a testament to the native ingredients of Peru, showcasing the versatility and richness of purple corn. The dish has roots in the colonial period, blending indigenous and Spanish culinary traditions to create a dessert that’s become a staple in Peruvian celebrations and family gatherings.

For a taste of this traditional dessert, “La Casa del Alfajor,” located in Jirón de la Unión 340, Lima, offers a cozy atmosphere to enjoy Mazamorra Morada alongside other Peruvian sweets and pastries.

17. Seco de Res (Cilantro Beef Stew)

Seco de Res is a deeply flavorful and comforting dish, consisting of tender beef slow-cooked in a vibrant cilantro sauce, accompanied by beans and rice. The bright green sauce, made with cilantro, beer, and aji peppers, infuses the meat with a rich, herbaceous flavor. This dish has its origins in the northern coastal regions of Peru, where it’s a staple of local cuisine, symbolizing the blending of Spanish and Indigenous cooking practices. It’s a celebratory dish, often served at large gatherings and special occasions.

For an authentic Seco de Res, “El Rinconcito de Tiabaya” in Surco, Lima, located at Jr. Loma de los Suspiros 160, is renowned for its traditional Arequipa cuisine, offering dishes that are both hearty and full of flavor.

18. Tiradito (Marinated Raw Fish)

Tiradito is a dish that showcases the simplicity and elegance of Peruvian seafood, featuring thinly sliced raw fish dressed in a citrusy, spicy sauce made from lime juice, aji amarillo, and cilantro. It’s similar to Ceviche but distinguishes itself through its presentation and the absence of onions, allowing the delicate flavor of the fish to shine through. Tiradito reflects the influence of Japanese immigrants on Peruvian cuisine, introducing the technique of slicing fish akin to sashimi, blending seamlessly with local flavors and ingredients.

“Osaka” in San Isidro, Lima, located at Av. Pardo y Aliaga 660, is a sophisticated spot where you can indulge in Tiradito and other Peruvian-Japanese fusion dishes, known locally as Nikkei cuisine, in an upscale setting.

19. Arroz con Pollo (Rice with Chicken)

Arroz con Pollo is a comforting, homely dish consisting of rice cooked with chicken, cilantro, peas, and carrots, offering a hearty and flavorful meal. The vibrant green color of the rice comes from the cilantro, while the chicken is typically marinated in beer and spices for added depth. This dish is a staple across Peru, with variations found in many Latin American countries, each adding its own local twist. In Peru, it’s a dish that brings families together, often served at large gatherings and Sunday dinners.

For a home-style Arroz con Pollo, “La Dama Juana” in Barranco, Lima, located at Av. San Martin 701, offers traditional Peruvian dishes in a rustic and inviting atmosphere, perfect for family dining.

20. Chicharron (Fried Pork Rind)

Chicharron is a popular Peruvian snack and breakfast item, consisting of pork belly deep-fried until crispy and golden, served with sweet potato slices and salsa criolla (onion relish). This dish is particularly famous in Lima, where it’s often enjoyed in a sandwich as a hearty start to the day. Chicharron combines the textures of crunchy pork with the softness of sweet potato, creating a satisfying contrast. It’s a dish with deep roots in Spanish cuisine, adapted by Peruvians to fit local tastes and ingredients.

For the ultimate Chicharron experience, “El Chinito” in the historic center of Lima, located at Jirón Chancay 894, is legendary for its sandwiches, offering a taste of Lima’s street food tradition in a bustling, vibrant setting.

21. Jalea (Seafood Fried Chunks)

Jalea (Seafood Fried Chunks) - Peruvian food

Jalea is a feast for seafood lovers, featuring a generous assortment of fish and seafood, lightly breaded and fried, served with a tangy salsa criolla and tartar sauce. This dish is perfect for sharing, often presented as a heaping platter that’s as impressive to look at as it is delicious to eat. Jalea embodies the coastal spirit of Peru, highlighting the country’s rich marine biodiversity. It’s a social dish, commonly enjoyed at beach outings and family gatherings, where the crispiness of the seafood contrasts beautifully with the freshness of the accompanying salsa.

“La Mar” Cebichería Peruana, located in Miraflores, Lima, at Av. La Mar 770, is a prime destination for Jalea and other seafood delicacies, offering fresh flavors and a lively atmosphere that captures the essence of Peruvian coastal cuisine.

22. Sudado de Pescado (Steamed Fish)

Sudado de Pescado is a traditional Peruvian dish that brings the ocean’s bounty to your plate, featuring fish steamed in a flavorful broth with tomatoes, onions, cilantro, and aji peppers. This light yet hearty dish is a staple in coastal regions, reflecting the daily catch and the local flavors of the sea. Sudado de Pescado is known for its simplicity and depth of flavor, often enjoyed with boiled potatoes or rice, embodying the straightforward yet rich culinary traditions of Peru’s fishing communities.

To enjoy Sudado de Pescado by the sea, “Pescados Capitales” in Miraflores, Lima, located at Av. Mariscal La Mar 1337, offers a refined dining experience with a focus on seafood, set in a relaxed and elegant atmosphere.

23. Carapulcra (Spicy Chicken and Minced Pork Dressing)

Carapulcra is one of Peru’s oldest dishes, dating back to the pre-Columbian era, made with dried potatoes (papas secas), rehydrated and slow-cooked with pork, chicken, peanuts, and spices. This stew is a deeply comforting dish, rich in history and flavor, showcasing the indigenous technique of preserving potatoes. Carapulcra has evolved over centuries but remains a cherished dish, particularly in the Andean regions, where it’s often served during celebrations and community gatherings.

For an authentic Carapulcra, “El Bolivariano” in Pueblo Libre, Lima, located at Jr. Rosa Toledo 289, offers a traditional and cozy setting to explore the depths of Peruvian cuisine, including this ancient and flavorful stew.

24. Arroz con Pato (Rice with Duck)

Arroz con Pato is a luxurious and rich dish from the northern regions of Peru, particularly famous in Chiclayo. It combines tender duck cooked with cilantro-infused rice, beer, and aji peppers, creating a flavorful and aromatic meal. This dish reflects the Spanish influence on Peruvian cuisine, adapting the classic paella to local ingredients and tastes. Arroz con Pato is a celebration dish, often featured at important family occasions and festivals, showcasing the best of northern Peruvian cooking.

For a taste of the north, “Fiorella” in San Isidro, Lima, located at Av. Conquistadores 1048, offers a sophisticated dining experience where Arroz con Pato is a standout dish, prepared with attention to tradition and flavor.

25. Cau Cau (Tripe Stew)

Cau Cau is a humble yet flavorful stew made with tripe, potatoes, and aji amarillo, seasoned with turmeric and mint. This dish is a classic example of Peruvian creole cuisine, offering a comforting and slightly spicy taste experience. Cau Cau is often enjoyed as a weekend family meal, reflecting the Peruvian tradition of using all parts of the animal and creating delicious dishes from simple ingredients.

For a comforting bowl of Cau Cau, “La Picantería” in Surquillo, Lima, located at Sta. Rosa 388, is a must-visit. This restaurant takes pride in serving traditional Peruvian dishes in a vibrant and welcoming atmosphere, celebrating Peru’s rich culinary heritage.

26. Salchipapas (Sausage and Potatoes)

Salchipapas is a beloved street food classic in Peru, combining two simple ingredients: sliced sausages and fried potatoes. This dish is a favorite among locals and visitors for its straightforward, satisfying flavors, often served with a variety of sauces like mayonnaise, ketchup, and aji. Originating as a quick, affordable snack, Salchipapas has become a symbol of Peruvian fast food culture, enjoyed at street stalls and casual eateries throughout the country.

To experience Salchipapas in a lively, authentic setting, “El Tío Mario” in Barranco, Lima, located at Paseo Chabuca Granda, is the go-to spot. This popular eatery offers a classic take on the dish, perfect for a casual bite while exploring Lima’s vibrant streets.

27. Papa Rellena (Stuffed Potato)

Papa Rellena is a comfort food marvel, featuring a golden, crispy outer shell of mashed potatoes filled with a juicy mix of ground beef, onions, olives, and boiled eggs. This dish is a testament to the ingenuity of Peruvian cuisine, transforming simple ingredients into a delicious, filling meal. Papa Rellena reflects Peru’s potato heritage, showcasing the tuber’s versatility and the cultural tradition of stuffing foods to create layers of flavor.

For an authentic taste of Papa Rellena, “La Casa de la Papa Rellena” in Miraflores, Lima, located at Calle Alcanfores 455, is a must-visit. This specialized spot offers a variety of fillings, catering to all tastes in a cozy and welcoming atmosphere.

28. Escabeche (Marinated Fish or Chicken)

Escabeche is a vibrant dish featuring fish or chicken marinated in a tangy vinegar-based sauce with onions, carrots, and aji amarillo. This dish, with its origins in Spanish cuisine, has been embraced and adapted by Peruvians to feature local ingredients, becoming a staple of the national diet. Escabeche is often enjoyed as both a main dish and a cold appetizer, celebrated for its balance of flavors and its ability to stimulate the appetite.

To enjoy a traditional Escabeche, “El Capullo” in Trujillo, located at Jr. Pizarro 721, offers an exquisite version of this dish, highlighting the fresh flavors and culinary heritage of the region in a historic and charming setting.

29. Choclo con Queso (Corn with Cheese)

Choclo con Queso (Corn with Cheese) - Peruvian food

Choclo con Queso is a simple yet delightful snack, combining boiled Andean corn (choclo) with a slice of fresh, salty cheese. This dish showcases the simplicity of Peruvian cuisine, focusing on the natural flavors of its ingredients. It’s a popular street food item, reflecting Peru’s agricultural traditions and the importance of corn and dairy in the Andean diet.

For an authentic Choclo con Queso experience, “Mercado San Pedro” in Cusco, located at Cascaparo, offers a vibrant marketplace setting where you can enjoy this traditional snack along with a variety of other Peruvian delicacies.

30. Olluquito con Charqui (Olluco with Dried Meat)

Olluquito con Charqui is a traditional Andean dish made with olluco, a native tuber, and charqui, dried meat (usually llama or alpaca). The dish is a fine example of the Andean people’s ability to use preserved ingredients to create flavorful, nutritious meals. Olluquito con Charqui reflects the harsh, high-altitude environment of the Andes, where preserving food is essential for survival.

For a taste of Olluquito con Charqui, “Restaurante Valentina” in Cusco, located at Calle Plateros 334, offers a traditional setting to explore the rich flavors of the Andes, serving up hearty dishes that warm the soul.

31. Humita (Steamed Corn Cake)

Humita is a traditional pre-Columbian dish made from ground corn wrapped in corn husks and steamed or boiled. This dish can be savory, filled with cheese or meat, or sweet, mixed with sugar and spices. Humitas celebrate the indigenous cultures of Peru and their reverence for corn, an essential staple of their diet. The dish is a testament to the simplicity and ingenuity of traditional cooking methods.

To enjoy Humita in a traditional market setting, “Mercado de Surquillo” in Lima, located at Jr. Narciso de la Colina 501, offers a vibrant atmosphere where you can find a wide range of freshly made Humitas, showcasing the diversity of Peruvian corn.

32. Pachamanca (Earth Oven Cooking)

Pachamanca (Earth Oven Cooking) - Peruvian food

Pachamanca is more than just a dish; it’s a centuries-old cooking method where meats, potatoes, and other ingredients are cooked underground with hot stones. This technique results in tender, flavorful food, infused with the essence of the earth. Pachamanca is a communal feast, often prepared for celebrations and festivals, embodying the Andean people’s connection to the land.

For an authentic Pachamanca experience, “El Paradero de Cieneguilla” in Lima, located at Km 26.5 Antigua Panamericana Sur, Cieneguilla, offers the opportunity to partake in this traditional cooking method, set in a scenic outdoor environment.

33. Juane (Rice with Chicken in Banana Leaves)

Juane is a traditional dish from the Amazon region, consisting of rice, chicken, eggs, and olives wrapped in banana leaves and boiled. This dish is particularly popular during the Festival of San Juan, paying homage to the Amazon’s bounty. Juane represents the fusion of indigenous Amazonian and Spanish culinary traditions, showcasing the versatility of banana leaves as cooking vessels.

To try Juane in an Amazonian setting, “La Restinga” in Iquitos, located at Calle Putumayo 174, offers a gateway to the flavors of the Amazon, serving traditional dishes that highlight the region’s rich culinary heritage.

34. Tacacho (Mashed Plantain with Pork)

Tacacho is a hearty dish from the Amazon, made with mashed green plantains mixed with bits of pork and formed into balls, often served with slices of cured meat. This dish showcases the influence of the jungle on Peruvian cuisine, utilizing ingredients like plantains and pork to create a dense, flavorful meal that’s both satisfying and emblematic of the region’s food culture.

For a genuine Tacacho experience, “El Aguajal” in Lima, located at Av. Wilson 1095, offers a taste of the Amazon in the capital, serving up traditional dishes that are rich in flavor and history.

35. Adobo (Spicy Pork Stew)

Adobo is a spicy pork stew, marinated in a mixture of chicha (corn beer), vinegar, and aji panca, then slow-cooked until tender. This dish, originating from the Arequipa region, is known for its depth of flavor and slightly tangy taste. Adobo is often enjoyed as a Sunday breakfast, a tradition that highlights the dish’s place in the heart of Peruvian family life.

For a taste of traditional Adobo, “La Nueva Palomino” in Arequipa, located at Leoncio Prado 122, Yanahuara, is renowned for its authentic Arequipa cuisine, offering dishes that are deeply rooted in the local culinary tradition, served in a friendly and welcoming atmosphere.

36. Capchi de Setas (Mushroom Stew)

Capchi de Setas is a comforting vegetarian dish originating from the Andes, featuring a rich stew of mushrooms, potatoes, peas, and fava beans, seasoned with garlic, aji, and huacatay (Peruvian black mint). This dish showcases the diversity of Peru’s native vegetables and herbs, offering a hearty and flavorful option for those seeking meat-free dishes. Capchi de Setas is a testament to the Andean people’s ability to create deeply satisfying meals from the bounty of their lands.

For a taste of Capchi de Setas, “Mercado San Pedro” in Cusco, located at Cascaparo, offers a vibrant marketplace setting where you can enjoy this traditional peruvian food along with a variety of other Peruvian delicacies.

37. Chiriuchu (Multi-Ingredient Plate)

Chiriuchu (Multi-Ingredient Plate) - Peruvian food

Chiriuchu is a traditional dish from Cusco that’s as complex as it is ancient. This festive dish combines ingredients from various Peruvian ecosystems: guinea pig, chicken, charqui (dried meat), corn, cheese, seaweed, and more, served cold. Chiriuchu is a celebration of diversity and unity, typically enjoyed during the Corpus Christi festival, reflecting the blending of pre-Columbian and Spanish culinary traditions.

To experience Chiriuchu, “Cicciolina” in Cusco, located at Calle Triunfo 393, 2nd Floor, offers a refined approach to traditional Andean dishes in a setting that balances rustic charm with elegant dining.

38. Guiso de Tarwi (Tarwi Stew)

Guiso de Tarwi is a hearty stew made from tarwi, a high-protein Andean lupin bean, cooked with onions, tomatoes, aji, and spices. This dish highlights the nutritional wisdom of the Andes, where tarwi has been cultivated for centuries for its health benefits. Guiso de Tarwi is a delicious example of how traditional Peruvian cuisine incorporates nutritious ingredients into flavorful meals.

For an authentic Guiso de Tarwi, “El Encuentro” in Cusco, located at Santa Catalina Ancha 384, serves vegetarian and traditional dishes with a focus on Andean grains and legumes, offering a cozy atmosphere that’s welcoming to all.

39. Sopa a la Minuta (Quick Minced Beef Soup)

Sopa a la Minuta is a rich, comforting soup made with minced beef, angel hair pasta, milk, and oregano, often served with a poached egg on top. This dish is a staple in Peruvian homes, known for its quick preparation and satisfying flavors. It’s a perfect example of the everyday culinary traditions of Peru, blending Spanish influences with local tastes.

To enjoy a bowl of Sopa a la Minuta, “Tanta” in San Isidro, Lima, located at Av. Pancho Fierro 117, offers a modern take on classic Peruvian dishes, served in a comfortable and contemporary setting.

40. Tamal (Corn Dough Package)

Tamal is a traditional breakfast dish in Peru, made from corn dough mixed with meats, eggs, olives, and wrapped in banana leaves or corn husks before being steamed. Peruvian tamales vary in color and flavor, depending on the region, showcasing the diversity of this ancient dish. It’s a staple of Peruvian cuisine, with roots that trace back to pre-Columbian times.

For a variety of tamales, “El Chinito” in the historic center of Lima, located at Jirón Chancay 894, offers a taste of this traditional dish in a casual setting, perfect for starting your day with a piece of Peruvian history.

41. Quinoa Chaufa (Quinoa Fried Rice)

Quinoa Chaufa is a modern twist on the traditional Chifa (Peruvian-Chinese) dish, replacing rice with quinoa for a nutritious and flavorful meal. This dish reflects the innovative spirit of Peruvian cuisine, incorporating the ancient Andean grain into a stir-fry with soy sauce, vegetables, and typically chicken or shrimp. It’s a fusion that celebrates both Peru’s biodiversity and its culinary creativity.

For a contemporary dining experience, “Madam Tusan” in Miraflores, Lima, located at Av. Santa Cruz 859, offers a blend of Chifa and Peruvian dishes, where Quinoa Chaufa stands out for its healthy take on a classic favorite.

42. Lechón (Roasted Suckling Pig)

Lechón is a festive dish in Peru, involving a whole suckling pig marinated in a mixture of Andean spices and slow-roasted until the skin is crispy and the meat tender. This dish is often reserved for special occasions and celebrations, highlighting the Spanish influence on Peruvian cuisine while utilizing local ingredients and cooking methods.

To indulge in Lechón, “Panchita” in Miraflores, Lima, located at Calle 2 de Mayo 298, is a popular choice among locals and tourists alike, offering a lively atmosphere and a menu that celebrates the richness of Peruvian gastronomy.

43. Bandeja Paisa Peruana (Peruvian Plate)

Bandeja Paisa Peruana is a nod to the Colombian classic, adapted to include Peruvian flavors and ingredients. This hearty platter typically features beans, rice, fried plantains, avocado, and a variety of meats, showcasing the abundance of Peru’s agriculture and its culinary cross-pollination with neighboring countries.

For a taste of Bandeja Paisa with a Peruvian twist, “La Paisana” in La Victoria, Lima, located at Av. Iquitos 262, offers an authentic dining experience that brings together the best of Andean and Colombian cuisine in a vibrant and welcoming setting.

44. Ceviche de Mango (Mango Ceviche)

Ceviche de Mango is a refreshing, innovative take on Peru’s national dish, substituting fish with ripe mango for a sweet, tangy, and spicy experience. This dish represents the creative adaptability of Peruvian cuisine, incorporating tropical fruits into traditional recipes for a burst of new flavors.

To savor Ceviche de Mango, “Amaz” in Miraflores, Lima, located at Av. La Paz 1079, specializes in Amazonian cuisine, offering a menu that explores the rich biodiversity of Peru’s rainforest, with dishes that surprise and delight in equal measure.

45. Chilcano (Pisco and Ginger Ale Cocktail)

Chilcano is a popular Peruvian cocktail made with pisco, ginger ale, lime, and bitters, offering a refreshing and lighter alternative to the classic Pisco Sour. This drink is a staple in bars across Peru, celebrated for its simplicity and the way it showcases pisco’s versatility. The Chilcano has gained popularity for its refreshing taste and its role in promoting Peruvian pisco culture.

For a lively atmosphere and the best Chilcano, “Barra Lima” in Barranco, Lima, located at Av. Almirante Miguel Grau 308, is the perfect spot to enjoy this beloved cocktail, offering a modern setting to experience the essence of Peruvian mixology.

46. Refresco de Chicha Morada (Purple Corn Refreshment)

Refresco de Chicha Morada is a sweet, refreshing drink made from purple corn boiled with pineapple, cinnamon, clove, and sugar, then chilled and served with lime juice. This beverage is deeply rooted in Peruvian culture, dating back to the Inca Empire. It’s not only delicious but also packed with antioxidants, showcasing the nutritional wisdom of ancient Peru. Chicha Morada is a staple at family gatherings and celebrations, symbolizing Peruvian hospitality and tradition.

To enjoy Chicha Morada in a classic environment, “La Mar” Cebichería in Miraflores, Lima, located at Av. La Mar 770, is renowned for its authentic Peruvian cuisine and offers this traditional drink, providing a perfect complement to their seafood dishes.

47. Sangrecita (Chicken Blood Pudding)

Sangrecita is a traditional Peruvian dish made from chicken blood or meet cooked with spices, onions, and sometimes mixed with potatoes or rice. This dish is highly nutritious, rich in iron, and often recommended for combating anemia. Sangrecita reflects the Peruvian approach to nose-to-tail eating, ensuring that no part of the animal goes to waste. It’s a testament to the resourcefulness of Peruvian cuisine, turning simple ingredients into dishes that are both flavorful and healthful.

For those adventurous enough to try Sangrecita, “El Fogón del Asador” in Surquillo, Lima, located at Av. Angamos Este 1551, offers a traditional Peruvian menu where Sangrecita is prepared with care, emphasizing its rich flavors and nutritional benefits.

48. Ensalada de Quinua (Quinoa Salad)

Ensalada de Quinua is a light and nutritious dish, showcasing the versatility of quinoa. This salad combines cooked quinoa with vegetables like tomatoes, cucumbers, and avocado, often dressed with lime and olive oil. Quinoa, a superfood native to the Andes, is celebrated for its health benefits, including high protein content and essential amino acids. This dish reflects the modern Peruvian kitchen’s ability to blend traditional ingredients with contemporary health trends.

“El Vegetariano” in San Isidro, Lima, located at Calle Schell 630, specializes in health-conscious dishes and offers a vibrant Quinoa Salad, perfect for those looking for a nutritious yet flavorful meal.

49. Sopa Criolla (Creole Soup)

Sopa Criolla is a hearty and spicy soup made with beef broth, angel hair pasta, beef strips, and aromatics, enriched with milk and a beaten egg. This soup is a staple of Peruvian comfort food, known for its warming and satisfying qualities. It embodies the Creole (criollo) tradition of Lima, blending Spanish, African, and Indigenous influences into a rich culinary heritage.

For a comforting bowl of Sopa Criolla, “Tío Mario” in Barranco, Lima, located at Av. Paseo Chabuca Granda, is a classic choice. This eatery is beloved for its traditional Peruvian dishes, serving up flavors that are both authentic and heartwarming.

50. Alfajores (Dulce de Leche Sandwich Cookies)

Alfajores are a beloved Peruvian dessert, consisting of two delicate, buttery cookies sandwiched with a generous layer of dulce de leche (sweet milk caramel). Often dusted with powdered sugar, these treats are the perfect sweet to enjoy with a cup of coffee or tea. While alfajores are found throughout Latin America, the Peruvian version is particularly renowned for its melt-in-your-mouth texture and balance of sweetness.

For the best Alfajores in Lima, “Pastelería San Antonio” in Av. Vasco Núñez de Balboa 770, Miraflores, is a legendary spot. This bakery has been delighting locals and visitors alike with their artisanal pastries and sweets, including some of the city’s finest alfajores, for decades.

As our culinary tour comes to a close, it’s clear that Peru’s gastronomy is not just about food; it’s a vibrant expression of the country’s rich culture, diverse ecosystems, and deep-rooted traditions. Each dish tells a story of heritage, innovation, and the passionate people who bring these flavors to life. From the high Andes to the depths of the Amazon, and along the sprawling coastline, Peru serves as a bountiful source of inspiration and delight for chefs and food lovers alike.

We hope this exploration of the 50 must-try Peruvian dishes has ignited your appetite for adventure and a deeper appreciation for the culinary masterpieces that Peru has to offer. Whether you’re wandering the bustling markets of Lima, exploring the ancient ruins of Cusco, or simply dreaming of your next travel destination from home, the flavors of Peru are sure to captivate your heart and your palate. Adventure In Peru invites you to embark on this delicious journey, where every meal is an opportunity to explore, savor, and fall in love with the rich tapestry of Peruvian cuisine. Buen provecho!

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