When you think of Peruvian food, what springs to mind?  We were delighted to experience a wide range of cuisine on our trip to Peru, from potato based dishes as we trekked the inca trail, to our experience of cooking in Arequipa, Peru. It was by far our favourite food in South America so far.  This is an unashamedly ‘short of text’ post which will hopefully give you a ‘flavour’ of what Peruvian food is like!  Now, enough with the terrible puns – let us know what you think in the comments!

Our Peruvian Food Experience

First up, have you ever heard of ‘Cuy’.  Sounds cute doesn’t it?  Well thats because it is!  If you had a pet as a child, chances are you won’t want to look at our first photo!  Anyone for guinea pig?

the food of Peru

Notice the potato pillows and tin foil gloves, classy.  The only way is to get stuck in!

Food of Peru

You have to draw the line somewhere though…

cooked cuy

I must admit this wasn’t the best experience we had with guinea pig, there were alternative methods of cooking which didn’t involve a) running over a guinea pig with a car, b) deep frying it and c) putting on tin foil gloves and shoes. We also got a taste of a more appetising approach to cuy which represented more about what Peruvian food is all about.  Much better…

fried cuy

Another famous dish of Peru is ‘Trucha’ or trout, which we were lucky to taste different types of it.  Grilled…

food on lake titicaca

 And fried…

perus best food

You can probably tell by now that we’re willing to try most foods, so why not follow up some guinea pig and trout with a beef heart?  Yep, fancy a bit of beef heart skewer?

eating in peru

Its was pretty tasty to be honest, slightly acidic and a bit chewy but we would highly recommend it!  What should we follow that up with?  Well, I’m a big fan of meat and potatoes.  Standard dish.  But in Peru, they do something a little bit special with the meat and potatoes…

food of latin america

Believe your eyes!  The meat stew is inside the potato, this got me very excited and its an absolute cracker.  Our overall favourite meal deal in Peru is ‘El menu del dia’ and the easiest to order.  For a cheap price, you get whatever is on the specials board that day, and usually comes as three courses, with a couple of options for each.  This is by far the best way to eat in Peru, and means you’re getting great food for a great price!  It will typically consist of soup for starter, and then either a chiken dish with rice and vegetables, or a meat dish with beans and rice.  Either way a chance to fill up for next to nothing, just don’t forget to wash it down with an Inca Cola!

cuisine of peru

If you fancy something a bit more ‘exotic’ then again you’re in the right place!  Peru is famous for its asian influences, and its Sashimi (raw tuna in oil and soy sauce) and Sushi options are incredible!  We managed to fit in these options into our busy schedule of meat, potatoes and rice…

sashimi of Peru

And for those that aren’t meat lovers, Laura had some cracking salads in Peru so don’t worry if meat isn’t your thing!

beef heart skewer peru

what to eat in peru
Now, how to wash this all down?  Beer always works well, but we also fell in love with the ‘Pisco Sour’ cocktail and could never quite decide which to get.  As always, theres a solution if you look hard enough.

Failing that, how about a pint of Chicha?  A maize based drink which can be pretty potent. Theres also a fruit based one if you’re not too fussed about maize.

peru drinks

And to finish it all off?  Well for all you dessert obsessives, coca leaf tea, churros and chocolate!

peruvian leaf tea


peruvian desert


how to eat in Lima

So there you have it, a quick tour of our culinary experience in Peru! What are you favourite dishes from Peru? Have you tried any of the above or would you want to? After being so excited about Peruvian food, we decided to try making it ourselves at a cooking school in Arequipa! Stand by for more ceviche!

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  • Globetrotters April 11, 2012   Reply →

    Yum! Our mouths are watering guys! Plenty of BBQ’d guinea pig in Laos for you to get your gums round in a few months!

    • Barry April 11, 2012   Reply →

      Hopefully it’ll be better than our first experience of guinea pig! Didn’t realise it was popular in Laos as well so will search for it when we get there!

  • Megan April 16, 2012   Reply →

    ok so im not too sure about guinea pig haha! i think it sounds like a good and adventurous idea until it would be sitting in front of me!

    excited to follow yall on your trip through your blog 🙂

    • Barry April 18, 2012   Reply →

      Thanks Megan, I must admit to being a little taken aback when my deep fried guinea pig roadkill appeared in front of me! It was alright but if I went back to that restaurant, lets just say I’d double check the salad options…

  • Wow, guinea pig,huh? That’s actually cute, even though it’s fried. How’d it taste?
    Not sure what that tin foil is for though.

    • Barry April 30, 2012   Reply →

      It tasted a bit like greasy chicken…not great! But the non deep fried version was pretty good, I’d still recommend you try it!

  • maria April 24, 2012   Reply →

    I am glad you enjoyed your trip to Peru. If you return to Lima try the anticuchos at Matalaché, in Benavides Av, Surco. You can eat two sticks for around 3 dollars and have potato and corn in the side :). If you ar enot sure about try again the heart cow again they make a version with pork, tasty too!

    • Barry April 30, 2012   Reply →

      Great tips! Well be back in Lima in February 2013 so will check that recommendation out!

  • Grant January 21, 2014   Reply →

    Peruvian food is simply the best in South America – nowhere else comes close (Peruvian is currently the “hot” cuisine in London at the moment). So much more for you to try! Ceviche (raw fish but NOT sashimi – they marinate it in Peru), tacu-tacu (kinda like stir fried rice I guess), causa (the nearest equivalent cold seasoned potato salad)… Local fruits like Pacay.. Lucuma icecream… Alfajores… Yum!!
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    • Barry January 22, 2014   Reply →

      Totally agree Grant the food is a welcome relief in Peru, it’s not often you can find spicy food there! We’ll need to try some of those other things you mention, they sound great!

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