Peru’s capital isn’t just Latin America’s culinary hub, Lima is the world’s best food city.
Lima has become a hot destination for culinary travellers. No self-respecting foodie itinerary is complete without reservations at Gastón Acurio’s Astrid y Gastón. Acurio has been a driving force in putting Peruvian cuisine on the international map and shares this passion – and the limelight – with former student Virgilio Martinez, whose restaurant Central continues to rank in the top five of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants. A visit to the eighth-ranked Maido is also a no-brainer. Now, Lima has a new generation of fresh faces in its already fertile dining scene. Here’s what’s happening in the world’s new food capital.
Expect the unexpected at 1087 Restaurante, its pretty-as-a-picture dishes incorporating traditional ingredients with a contemporary twist. Owner-chef Palmiro Ocampo is passionate about culinary recycling and using the whole beast to reduce food waste. Dishes such as cartilage grilled chicken (made using cartilage that would normally be discarded) are implausibly elegant and delicious.
1087 Avenida Los Conquistadores, San Isidro
Affluent Lima neighbourhoods like Miraflores and San Isidro are home to many of the city’s upscale restaurants. But a detour off the tourist trail to the less-privileged area of Villa María del Triunfo (VMT) reveals a homely, humble dining experience that is no less memorable. The tiny kitchen of the 30-seat El Populacho serves traditional dishes worth travelling for, such as anticuchos (grilled skewers) of incredibly fresh mahi-mahi with aromatic huacatay sauce (made from Peruvian black mint) and Andean corn.
1764 Avenida 26 de Noviembre, VMT
Puertas cerradas is Spanish for “closed-door” restaurants, and refers to the underground supper club scene that has recently hit Peru in the form of the Jato Project. In what is the ultimate culinary adventure, Venezuelan chef Nestor Rodriguez creates a unique menu each week for an intimate group of no more than 12 guests in a secret location in Miraflores. The venue and menu are revealed only hours before the start of the dinner.
In 2013, Renzo Garibaldi opened what he thought was going to be a butcher shop and salumeria. What began as one large table in a clandestine room at the rear of the shop quickly grew to a 36-seat restaurant that made the World’s 50 Best list for its mouth-watering barbecued meat. Following this success, Peru’s meat maestro opened a second, larger Osso restaurant in 2017. The new venue offers an expanded menu, although it’s hard to go past the flame-grilled aged beef for which Garibaldi’s was known.
175 Calle Tahiti, La Molina
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