Best of Peruvian cuisine in our Trekking tours to Machu Pichu
Another reason to visit Peru besides Machu Picchu is its gastronomy. Peru has become the best culinary destination in South America in the last decade and of course, Peruvian food is one of the best of the world.
Peru has many microclimates and ecosystems from the mountains, the desert, and the Amazonian tropical forest. Every region has different products that allow us to prepare delicious dishes using local products.
While in Lima are located some of the top Best Restaurants in the World like Maido, Central, Osso, and many other world-class restaurants, Cusco is famous for its unique dishes like alpaca and guinea pig.
Top 10 best Peruvian dishes you will try on our Tours.
Ceviche or Cebiche
You can not leave the country without trying this delicacy, the national dish of Peru. The essential ingredient is fresh fish, marinated in lime juice and served with onions, sweet potatoes, lettuce, fresh corn, cilantro, garlic, and chili to taste.
Ceviche can be found in Peru’s tourist restaurants, not usually at a local restaurant, since Peruvians like ceviche in seafood restaurants and brunch. We recommend trying ceviche in the coastal area to get the freshest fish. In places like Cusco, trout ceviche is served in most restaurants.
Our trekking chefs will prepare mango or mushroom ceviche for you as a variation of this classic dish.
The most popular dish in Peru. You will find this dish in every restaurant, either tourist or local. Beef strips sauteed in soy sauce with onions, peppers, cilantro, and tomatoes and served with white rice and french fries on the side.
You will often find a variation of this dish with chicken, alpaca, or vegetarian options. Pollo Saltado is also a must-try in a local restaurant while in Peru.
Our chefs will prepare this fantastic dish with fresh local ingredients during our trekking tours to Machu Picchu, Like the Classic Inca Trail 4 days.
Aji de Gallina
Peruvian chicken stew prepared with shredded chicken cooked with yellow chili (Aji Amarillo), bread, peanuts, garlic, white onions, white rice, potatoes, hard-boiled eggs, and black olives.
Our expert local chefs will provide this special meal for you on all our trekking tours.
Usually served as a side dish to the guinea pig or other dishes—red Peppers stuffed with minced meat, vegetable, and cheese.
Traditional Peruvian dish prepared in the Andes since the Inca Empire. Pachamanca consists of marinated beef, chicken, lamb, pork, cuy, alpaca, and other meats buried underground with hot stones, fruits, and vegetables.
You can put all kinds of meat you choose; fruits and vegetables can be plantains, pineapples, beans, potatoes, sweet potatoes, fresh corn, and other local products.
Cuy al horno (Guinea Pig)
Cuy or guinea pig is a classic Peruvian dish prepared in Inca times: Peruvians usually have the cuy on birthdays, holidays, weddings, and special occasions.
There are several ways to prepare cuy; the most common are:
- Cuy al Horno is typical of Cusco. The guinea pig is baked with potatoes and other side dishes.
- Cuy Chactado, typical to Arequipa, the guinea pig, is deep-fried with the help of a stone in the pan; this way, you will have a crispy experience.
Pollo a la Brasa
Roasted Chicken served with french fries and salad. Pollo a la Brasa is the most famous Peruvian dish. You will find a Polleria (roasted chicken restaurant) anywhere you go. We recommend visiting a local restaurant instead of having it in a tourist restaurant to enjoy this delicacy. Every 3rd Sunday of July is the national day of Pollo a la Brasa in Peru.
Cusco is a perfect place to enjoy Pollo a la Brasa since all local restaurants are just a few minutes away from the city center. The dish is so typical and embedded in Peruvian culture that it even has its own day of the year: 16 July is celebrated as the “Dia del Pollo a la Brasa.”
Antichos are chicken or beef skewers, typical Peruvian street food. You can find it in tourist restaurants, especially in Custom, The Sacred Valley, and Machu Picchu Pueblo.
If you prefer an authentic experience, we recommend trying the Anticuchos In Cusco at night. You will find in the corners of the most famous streets like Avenida el Sol, you can choose between chicken or beef, and If you feel more adventurous, you can go for beef heart or liver.
This list can not be complete without Peruvian Chinese cuisine. This dish is mainly fried rice accompanied by chicken, beef, ham, pork, chives, and an omelet cut into pieces.
You can also add mushrooms or choose the toppings you prefer. Chinese food restaurants are all over Peru, and you will find them easily with the name “CHIFA.”
An exotic Peruvian delicacy. Alpaca is one of the World’s healthiest, low in fat, high in proteins, and lowest cholesterol levels.
We recommend trying Alpaca meat in Cusco, Sacred Valley, or Aguas Calientes; many local restaurants offer grilled alpaca.
Peruvian Food FAQs
Is Peruvian food good?
Peru has been the best culinary destination in South America and the World in the last few years. Lima has 2 of the best top 50 restaurants in the World. You can not go wrong with the food in Peru. We have so much variety, from typical dishes like Cuy, Alpaca, and Pachamanca, to the most innovative new fusions like Nikkei (Peruvian- Japanese food)
Is Peruvian food spicy?
When you read Ceviche, Rocoto Relleno, and Aji de Gallina sounds like most famous Peruvian dishes are chili-based; however, Peruvian food is not spicy. Ceviche is spicy; if it’s not spicy is not ceviche, that is what Peruvians say. However, you can choose how spicy you want.
Most dishes like Aji de Gallina always have Aji Amarillo, garlic, and onions, which are not spicy. You can always request chili on the side of the restaurant or Pico de Gallo.
Where is Peruvian food from?
Peru has a long history, from the first civilizations that flourished in the desert in 5000 BC to the great Inca Empire that ended in the XVI century with the Spanish Invasion. During the colony and republican era, Peru has received migrants from all over the World, and each of them brought their own Chinese, Japanese, African, and European traditions.
Peru is famous for its traditional dishes and many cultures in the past, and now we have so much variety for all tastes.