Novoandina (new Wave)
Central – Central reinvents Andean cuisine and rescues age-old Peruvian edibles you’d find nowhere else. Dining here is an experience, evidenced by the tender native potatoes served in edible clay. Chef Virgilio Martinez’s efforts were ranked fourth in San Pellegrino’s 2016 World’s Top 50 Restaurants list.
Amaz – Coveted thatched – roof tables give a jungly vibe to this Miraflores restaurant from chef Pedro Miguel, which is wholly dedicated to the abundance of the Amazon. Start with tart jungle- fruit cocktails and oversized plantain chips. Banana-leaf wraps hold treasures such as fragrant Peking duck with rice.The generous vegetarian set menu for two is a delicious way to sample the diversity.
Astrid & Gaston – Gaston Acurio’s flagship French-influenced restaurant remains a culinary tour de force. The seasonal menu features traditional Peruvian food, but it’s the exquisite fusion specialities that make this such a sublime fine-dining experience. The setting is a gorgeous mansion with multiple dining rooms and sterling service.
Isolina – This is home-style criollo food at its best. Isolina doesn’t shy away from tripe and kidneys, but also offers loving preparations of succulent ribs and vibrant green salads on the menu. Family-sized portions come in old-fashioned tins, but you could also make a lighter meal of starters such as marinated clams or ceviche.
Mercado de Surquillo – Want to see how Lima eats? Start your day with a wander among the throngs at this labyrinthine market. You’ll see a stunning variety of Peruvian produce, such as dragon fruit, guava, mango, a half-dozen banana varieties and fruit with no English name, stacked high alongside displays of medicinal herbs, with dedicated areas for meat, fish and seafood. Surquillo district adjoins Miraflores.
Cafe Tostado – This barely converted auto-repair shop long ago transformed into a bastion of traditional cooking, with long wooden tables and an open kitchen surrounded by scarred iron pots and drying noodles. Daily specials rotate but the sought-after signature dish is rabbit, which feeds up to three people. Award-winning coffee is served with chicharrones (pork scratchings) on Sunday for a typical Peruvian breakfast.
Choco Museo – On-site chocolate production is the seducing factor of this French-owned museum-shop, which has three sites across Lima selling fondue and fair-trade hot cocoa made from Peruvian jungle beans. It is well known for organic chocolate-making workshops, offered at least twice daily, and its bean-to-bar chocolate factory in the Barranco branch.
La Casa De La Gastronomia Peruana – Lima now has a museum providing a brief but helpful introduction to Peruvian cuisine, with three rooms that present the Inca diet, regional foods and the influence of immigration. Across the courtyard there’s a room dedicated solely to quinoa.
Museo Del Pisco – The ‘educational’ aspect of this wonderful bar dedicated to Peru’s homegrown grape spirit might get you in the door, but it’s the atmosphere and outstanding original cocktails that will keep you here. This bar occupies a 16th-century casona, serving recipes such as the asu mare: a pisco martini with ginger, cucumber, melon and basil.