As many travelers do, we visited Lima en route from one place (Jackson Hole) to another (Machu Picchu). It was the means to an end but is worth a few days on its own merits, especially for food lovers!
We stayed at the fabulous Hotel B in the Barranca neighborhood. In addition to the elegant architecture and terrific art collection displayed throughout the hotel, the breakfast served in the library and adjoining courtyard was one of the best I have eaten anywhere.
The Mercado Surquillo No 1 is a must see extravaganza of fresh foods, seafood and
all the amazing ingredients that explain why the restaurant scene is so vibrant. Home cooks shop here, as well. I would have loved to bring some of the incredible corn and
shellfish home in my suitcase. Peru is one of the world’s largest exporters of fruits, vegetables and seafood for good reason!
We enjoyed lunch our first day at the Café del Museo Larco. The setting was perfect – a lovely covered patio – and we sampled a wide range of local specialties including (shown above in clockwise order from the top): pastel del chaco, causa, tamale, yucca with salsa, and anticuchos. The museum is a treasure trove of Pre-Columbian art and artifacts and well worth a half-day visit.
Back in Barranca, the fabulous BLU Ice Cream has a cart at the not-to-be missed design store Dédalo, conveniently located across the street from Hotel B. Dédalo is a one-stop shop for all artisanal goods from throughout Peru and has a lovely café in its rear courtyard.
We only had time for one blowout meal and chose Maido – one of the world’s top ten restaurants. The meal lived up to the hype with a wide range of Nikkei dishes that combine the best of Japanese and Peruvian traditions. My favorite was their riff on lobster rolls (once a New Englander…). Some of our friends had an extra night and dined at Astrid y Gaston. Based on their experience, I have put it at the top of the list for my next trip!