There is no denying that Peru has some of the most incredible food in the world. Every restaurant you pass by in Lima radiates incredible aromas of fresh cooked food. My friends and I made it our mission to try all of the best food in the area. As we began to explore the plethora of restaurants nearby, we noticed that the food in Peru is not only delicious but also incredibly diverse.


We decided to start out by trying some of the dishes that Peru is famous for. Ceviche (sometimes spelled “cebiche”) was first created in Peru and continues to be served on almost every corner in Lima. The traditional dish is usually made with whitefish, Peruvian yellow corn, ají peppers, thinly sliced onion, and lime juice. For our first taste of ceviche we decided to go to Punto Azul, a seafood restaurant located in Miraflores. I was amazed by how fresh the fish tasted and how well all of the strong flavors worked together. Some restaurants also make ceviche with various types of fish, peppers, and unique sauces. One of the “challenges” I faced in Lima was forcing myself to try other food because the ceviche is simply too good.


In Peru, most people choose to eat a large lunch and a much smaller dinner. For this reason many restaurants have special “menús” during lunchtime. These lunchtime bargains can be as cheap as 10 soles (about $3) and include an appetizer, a main course, and a drink. Many restaurants will serve ceviche as an option for your appetizer and this is certainly the best deal you can find in Peru for fresh and delicious fish.


Chifa restaurants are extremely common and popular all around Lima. This unique cuisine combines the flavors of Chinese and Peruvian food. Common menu items include Arroz Chaufa (Cantonese-Peruvian style fried rice), Pollo Enrollado (chicken rolled in fried crust), Tallarin Saltado (Cantonese-Peruvian style Chow Mein), and Chicharron de Gallin (simmered lemon chicken). In order to try the best Chifa in Lima, my friends and I journeyed to Chifa Union in Barranco. Twelve of us from the program hopped on the metro to Barranco with excitement and empty stomachs. After asking our waiter what he suggested, we ordered six different large dishes and shared the food family style so we could all try as much as possible. My personal favorite was the Tallarin Saltado and the Pollo Enrollado. Both of these dishes had rich flavors, tender meat, and crisp vegetables. The portions here were huge and we left the restaurant with several to-go bags that we happily ate the next day for lunch.


I have always been an adventurous eater and love to try new foods as much as possible. Often when my friends and I go to a new restaurant we will order whatever the waiter suggests. While exploring the restaurants in Lima, this often meant that we had little idea what we were eating until we later looked up the ingredients from the dish. After class one day, my friend and I found a place that had a Menú so we decided to try it out. Like most meals, we asked the waiter what her favorite dish was and she suggested the “Cau Cau”. Neither my friend nor I knew what was in this dish but we decided to try it out. When we got our meal, the dish appeared to be some sort of meat with potatoes and grilled vegetables. The meat however was an extremely unique texture resembling something like raw octopus only more jelly-like. After enjoying our meal, we later looked up the dish and found out that the meat was actually the lining of a cow stomach. Knowing this may have changed our perspective of the dish but also made us very excited to try other unique food in Peru.

Mika Nagamoto studied abroad in Lima and Iquitos, Peru, in summer 2018: