When I first arrived in Peru, I was in no way shape or form impressed with Lima. It wasn’t the pretty colonial city I had imagined in my head and for the longest time I thought I would never really feel the need to go there. Fast forward, to a couple of months in site and all that changed. I got invited to a diversity training and was able to explore more of the city – and by explore I mean eat my way into a tummy ache every night for a week.
Like many volunteers, I’ve grown to love Lima and a big part of that is because of the food. As Americans, our taste buds are super spoiled and we’re used to eating all different kinds of foods – Chinese, Indian, Turkish, Dominican, you name it. We’ve learned to appreciate different flavors and different spices and in Peru a lot of volunteers struggle with the lack of variety and and flavor in the food we eat in our sites. So when we come to Lima, it’s a much needed release from the monotony of plain rice and potatoes. And of course, there are certain places that volunteers frequent during any Lima trip to make their taste buds feel like they’re back home in America:
1. Homemade… Hecho En Casa
Homemade is such a cute and quaint spot with a breakfast and lunch/dinner menu. Mostly all the decor is pink but not in an obnoxious Barbie had too much to drink and threw up everywhere kind of way… It’s a pink that gives you the warm fuzzy feeling you get on a lazy Sunday morning in Springtime. If I get there in the morning, I usually go for the Egg Home Breakfast which is two ham, cheese, and egg sandwiches on a deliciously homemade biscuit. For a drink I almost always order the strawberry and coconut milk juice. If the clouds in heaven had a taste, I swear to you, it would taste like that juice – sweet, smooth, creamy goodness. If it’s the afternoon, I usually go for the Thai Curry with chicken and rice noodles. It comes in what looks like an extremely small portion but will leave you full and content for the rest of the afternoon!
Address: Revett 259, Miraflores 18, Peru
2. Burrito Bar
When I first got to Peru, Burrito Bar was one of the first restaurants I heard volunteers talk about as if it was the love of their lives. This hole in the wall joint is located in the hipster neighborhood of Barranco and they make handmade corn and flour tortillas to perfection. Besides burritos, you can order tacos, quesadillas, and chips and salsa as well. Oh, and lest we not forgot, the margaritas which are small but pack a punch so drinker beware!
Address: Av. Almte. Miguel Grau 113, Distrito de Barranco 15063, Peru
3. El Pan de la Chola
Honestly, I’ve never actually eaten from this very hip sandwich shop but I’ve heard nothing but rave reviews from a bunch of other volunteers who always try to carve out some of their Lima time for this spot. And because volunteers aren’t going to waste their precious Lima time on a sub par sandwich shop, I’m sure it’s well worth the effort.
Address: Av Mariscal La Mar 918, Miraflores 15074, Peru
4. Edo Sushi Bar
I’ve eaten here once about a year ago and although I’m not a sushi connoisseur it was really good. I’ve heard other volunteers, more knowledgeable about sushi, go on and on about how this place is top notch. If you’re on a budget, just know that this place can get a little pricey!
Address: Calle Berlin 601, Miraflores 15074, Peru
Last but never, ever least is Tarboush – possibly my favorite of all. Owned by Palestinians, this place serves up all the classic Mediterranean favorites. There’s falafel and kabobs and shawarma and tabouli and all the most wonderful, spicy flavors you fantasize about when you’re a PCV alone in bed at night. I usually go for the chicken or lamb kabob and the mint lemonade. And whatever you order, know that they’re always the kind of meals that you’ll eat and be full for the rest of the day. To sum it all up, I absolutely LOVE this place and for me, no trip to Lima is complete without it.
Address: Diagonal 358, Miraflores 15074, Peru
If you’re ever passing through Lima on the way to Machu Picchu or you’re a future PCV here in Peru, consider yourself notified on all the culinary goodness that awaits you in the City of Kings.