Top 5 experiences in Lima for Foodies
Food tours have gained popularity due to the possibility of fully absorbing the essence of a place through its gastronomy: either learning about the ingredients directly from the hand of artisan producers, traditional cooks, and food and drink specialists or participating in the process of preparing the dishes together with local chefs. Food is how we express our love for our country and its history, and sharing it with the world fills us with joy!
Peru has been recognized as the best gastronomic destination for 8 consecutive years by the World Travel Awards – the Oscars of Tourism. The variety of flavors and cooking techniques, many of them even unique in the region, as well as the stories behind our dishes, are increasingly attracting all those travelers in search of a trip out of the ordinary.
So, what about Lima makes it such a special culinary destination? What we love the most is that it is the point where all Peruvian gastronomy converges. All the flavors are here! Lima is brimming with history and culture. Lima cuisine combines the ancient pre-Hispanic heritage and external influences, such as Spanish and Chinese, which provide delicious “Creole” dishes such as Ceviche, Causa, Lomo Saltado, and Picarones.
We want you to stop seeing Lima as a transition point to visit other beautiful parts of our country. Travelers’ habits have changed so much in recent years that we now see people from neighboring countries coming exclusively to Lima for just a weekend to eat. However, most travelers arrive in the country without realizing the incredible variety of experiences hidden in the corners of the city, and they tend to miss out on the magic celebrated here.
Let’s take a look at what you can do in Lima if you are a foodie!
1. The ceviche Route
In the Peruvian territory, ceviche is part of the National Cultural Heritage and of our identity in all regions. The preparation originated in the pre-Columbian period, about two thousand years ago, and is currently one of the most famous dishes of our gastronomy.
Ceviche basically consists of raw fish cooked with lemon juice and accompanied by corn, sweet potato, onion, and chili, among other delicious secrets. However, Peru offers a wide variety of ceviches, all different and delicious, which are the result of different influences, regional inputs, and the creativity of Peruvians.
In this experience we will learn about the history and evolution of ceviche; we will taste from the most traditional to the most innovative fusions and find that both market ceviches (or huarique) and those from award-winning restaurants have their charm. We will visit 3 restaurants, each one offering a very different ceviche: a traditional ceviche, an Amazonian ceviche, and a very “modern” one with avocado and capers.
Without a doubt, it will be a festival of flavors.
2. Art and gastronomy in Callao Monumenta
Getting to know Monumental Callao, which used to be one of the spiciest neighborhoods and is now one of the most important references for art and social transformation in Peru, is something that only some people do, and we highly recommend it, especially for foodies.
Callao is a fantastic combination of elements: the main port of Peru, ancient architecture, urban art, and gastronomy. Our tour will begin in a traditional beach town full of history. Then we will visit Callao Monumental, the epicenter of mural art that houses new and avant-garde art galleries alongside classic seafood restaurants. Here, a local artist will tell you about the importance that art has had for the social transformation of the area. Throughout the tour, we will visit various iconic venues and the people who created them, getting to know their stories and traditions. At each stop, we will taste different “chalaco” (from Callao) dishes, such as the classic pejerrey sandwich, ceviche with milk, and chalaca tiger milk.
This route is only for those who dare to experience like a true local among the picturesque characters of the port.
3. The Pisco Route
Pisco is a brandy with a lot of personality, originally from Peru, and is Cultural Heritage of the Nation. It is a fragrant, seductive, strong, yet delicate drink.
Barranco is the heart of Lima’s art and culture, known as the Bohemian district. It is home to the most prestigious art galleries, cultural bars, and live music venues. Here you can find all kinds of bars: from beautiful boutique hotels and craft breweries to the most traditional bars housed in late 19th – early 20th century mansions.
We combine these two elements on this route to create a unique and very local experience. Our host will take you to his favorite Barranco bars full of good stories and top-notch bartenders to learn how to prepare a classic Pisco Sour and taste different creations based on this spirit, such as macerates and signature cocktails.
Discover this majestic drink with over 100 years of history and thousands of legends to tell. Cheers!
4. Historic Foodie Center
Lima is one of the largest cities in the region and the only South American capital by the sea that will captivate you with its tradition.
Walking through its historic center, declared a World Cultural Heritage site, is to live with the past and the present. Its beautiful squares and monuments, its imposing colonial and republican mansions with balconies, and its multiple churches that house invaluable works of art make it the perfect setting to embark on a cultural adventure.
In this experience, we start the day with a traditional Peruvian breakfast in a classic restaurant next to the Plaza de Armas. Then we visit the Cathedral, a beautiful Franciscan monastery, and a colonial mansion dating back to the mid-16th century, where you will learn about the lifestyle of Lima’s foundation times.
Walking along Jirón de la Unión, one of Lima’s most commercial streets, you will reach San Martín Square, where the historic Hotel Bolivar is. This hotel was built to celebrate the centenary of independence and is said to serve one of the best Pisco Sours in Peru. Curious to try it? We’ll have it as an appetizer to whet your appetite.
Finally, we will enjoy a “well-served” lunch in a famous restaurant in the area that serves generous portions of traditional Peruvian food, set in a fully renovated colonial mansion. Join us to explore history through its flavors.
5. Participatory cooking class with a local chef
In this interactive experience, you will discover the genuine warmth and love of Peruvian home kitchens. You’ll be the protagonist in creating authentic Peruvian dishes in an intimate and private setting, together with a local chef and host. He will take you on a local culinary adventure that starts with a visit to his favorite market. There, you will meet his “caseros” and taste a variety of fresh seasonal fruits, “superfoods,” and other Peruvian products. After buying all the necessary ingredients, our chef will open the doors of his home to teach you how to prepare 3 Peruvian recipes and our iconic Pisco Sour.
Peruvian cuisine is very complex, and there are many ways to explore it in Lima. As we said at the beginning, the city is full of history, culture, and even adventure. Mixing these activities with gastronomic ones is the best way to build an immersive travel itinerary. So how about having a traditional breakfast in the historic center? Or maybe try flavors from the Peruvian Amazon and the Andes after walking along the Miraflores boardwalk. The possibilities are endless, you just have to let your imagination soar, and we will make it happen!
We are sure that each of these experiences will make Lima conquer not only your palate but also your heart.