In the world of culinary arts, Peru has already seen its fair share of recognition. Now the city known as the head of the Inca Empire hopes to give Lima a run for its money as the gastronomic capital. In Cusco, long-held traditions and international influences from all over the world come together to form the perfect breeding grounds for unique, outstanding culinary creations. Read on to discover ten of the best places to eat in Cusco, all conveniently located on or near the historic main square.
1. Barrio Ceviche Seafood Kitchen
This tasteful seafood spot is known for serving up a modern spin of coastal seaside classics like ceviche, leche de tigre (a type of sauce), and arroz con mariscos (rice with shrimp). For a thorough taste of all they have to offer, try sampling one of the larger combination platters for two. Of course these delicious seafood delights are paired with variations of sweet potato, Andean corn, and plantains. Also, while restaurant-goers tend to appreciate the vibrant, put-together atmosphere, it’s the exotic, one-of-a-kind pisco-based fruit punches that really steal the show.
Address: Portal de Harinas 181, Plaza de Armas, Cusco, Peru
Opening Hours: 12 pm to 10 pm, daily
Access: Northern corner of Main Square
Contact: +51 084 266334
Website: Barrio Ceviche
2. Morena Peruvian Kitchen
Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account
Nuestro arroz con 5 leches servido con texturas de mango será una explosión de felicidad en tu boca · Our dessert 5 milk...Posted by Morena Peruvian Kitchen on Saturday, January 23, 2021
A satellite restaurant of Barrio Ceviche, the Morena Peruvian Kitchen prides itself on the diversity of flavors and cultural influences that go into its cooking. Like its sister restaurant, La Morena features yummy coastal classics, but its scope also extends to the Amazon jungle and back across the mountainous Andean regions. Food selection includes vegetarian options for every section of the menu. Take the mouth-watering quinoa and black bean burger, for example, which is topped with fresh avocado slices, grilled onion, and a spicy rocoto sauce native to the region.
Morena Peruvian Kitchen
Address: 348-B Calle Plateros, Cusco
Opening Hours: 12 to 10 pm, daily
Duration: around 3 hours required.
Access: Half a block northwest of Plaza de Armas
Contact: +51 084 437832
Website: Morena Peruvian Kitchen
Hay platos pensados para que empieces tu almuerzo o cena compartiendo, como en cualquier buena mesa cusqueña. Así nace...Posted by Chicha por Gaston Acurio Cusco Oficial on Friday, 9 December 2016
Not only does this downtown Cusco restaurant bear the name of a popular fermented Peruvian beverage made from purple corn, but one of its top selling points is that it is owned by the world-renowned Peruvian master chef Gaston Acurio. Set on the northern end of the Plaza Regocijo, Chicha sources fresh, local ingredients to provide guests with such unique samplings as the tender alpaca curry or the delicious mushroom and quinoa stew. Decadent gourmet desserts made from locally-sourced chocolate and fresh fruits are to die for.
Address: Heladeros 261, Cusco, Peru
Opening Hours: 12 pm to 10:30 pm, Monday to Sunday
Access: West Side of Plaza Regocijo
Contact: +51 084 240520
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The rustic Pachapapa is one of the most highly-regarded restaurants in all of Cusco, known especially for its slow roasted guinea pig, which is still served whole with peppers and the traditional herb known as huacatay. The pachamanca stew also holds a special place in the heart of the Andean people. Derived from the Quechua words for “ground oven” it is a local delicacy in its own right, roasted with various meats, spices, and native potatoes. These two signature dishes are so highly-sought after that you’ll need to make a reservation for them about 24 hours in advance!
Address: Plazoleta de San Blas 120, Cusco, Peru
Opening Hours: 12 to 11 pm, daily
Contact: +51 084 241318
5. Green Point
Stumbling upon a 100% vegan restaurant in Cusco is a rarity, but this delicious, all-natural eatery uses flavor, color, and imagination to offer its customers some of the most unique vegetarian and vegan meal options in the city. The flavorful falafel, quinoa burger, and meatless anticuchos come highly recommended. Pop in for breakfast or lunch at one of their two satisfying locations, both within quick walking distance of the Plaza de Armas.
Green Point My Vegan Restaurant
Address: 235 Calle Carmen Bajo
Opening Hours: 8 am to 10 pm
Access: Close to the main square of San Blas
Contact: +51 084 431146
Website: Green Point
People simply can’t get enough of the bright and cheery Qucharitas artisan ice cream shop, whose ceilings are adorned with smiling neon umbrellas. Made from 100% all natural ingredients, the selection of flavors and tropical fruits are a guaranteed mood-enhancer. Feed your sweet tooth with a yummy crepe, cone, or waffle. Some options are even gluten- and lactose-free.
Address: 385 Procuradores, Cusco, Peru
Opening Hours: 10 am to 9 pm, Monday to Saturday
Access: 3 min walk from Plaza de Armas via Procuradores
Contact: +51 084 226019
Awesome Italian/Peruvian fusion restaurant in Cusco- well deserved after the crazy Machu Picchu hike!Posted by Ian Selvarajah on Tuesday, 22 December 2015
Cicciolina is a very special restaurant and tapas bar located in the heart of the city. Situated on the second floor of a colonial mansion, this Italian-Peruvian fusion restaurant prides itself not only on delicious food, but on its warm, relaxing atmosphere as well. Indeed the experience of dining is meticulously studied—from flavorful wine and deluxe service to irresistible aromas and flavors, Cicciolina is sure to impress. The wild Andean mushroom risotto, duck prosciutto, and alpaca tartare are some of the best items on the menu.
Address: Calle Triunfo 393, 2nd floor, Cusco
Opening Hours: 8 am to 10 pm, daily
Contact: +51 84 239510
Papachos just might be the quintessential fusion restaurant. This popular chain features locations all throughout Lima and graces the downtown Cusco area with its tasty mashup of burgers, barbecue, Asian-, and Peruvian-inspired foods. Chaufa stir fry rice and chorizo burgers are some of the clearer examples of this diversity. Meanwhile, milkshakes and iced beverages feature the bold, fruity flavors that have become typical of Peru: lucuma, maracuyá, camu camu, chirimoya, and mango.
Address: Sta Catalina Angosta 115, Cusco
Opening Hours: 12 to 11 pm, daily
Access: 1 block east of Plaza de Armas
Contact: +51 84 228205; +51 84 245359
If all else fails, fight the urge to pop into McDonald’s by opting for the nearby Bembos instead. A large Peruvian fast food chain, Bembos offers a wide variety of wacky but flavorful burgers that are topped with some unique ingredients. For an authentically-Peruvian experience, try ordering the juicy hamburger a la pobre, a juicy poor man’s patty paired with a plantain and fried eggs. Other special toppings include sweet potato, spicy rocoto sauce, and crunchy native potatoes. Also, don’t forget to wash it all down with an Inka Cola, the national soft drink of Peru.
Address: Portal de Comercio 153, Plaza de Armas, Cusco, Peru
Access: Southwest side of Plaza de Armas Main Square
Contact: +51 84 23 2266
Website: Bembos (in Spanish)
The first order of business is a visit to the downtown San Pedro Market. It is a great introduction into the local flavors and smells of the region, offering a simple means of sampling a lot of different kinds of foods without actually paying an arm and a leg. Exotic Peruvian fruits, wholesale beans, coca leaves, and Andean cheeses are among the most popular finds, but food stalls serve up such local favorites as ceviche and quinoa soup to be enjoyed on the spot.
Cusco Food and Markets Tour: Local Tastes and Flavors
Duration: 5 hours
Satiating selections await!
With an authentic and flavorful lineup of restaurant options so close to the Plaza de Armas, Cusco certainly knows how to keep its tourists happy. These ten great eateries are proving that you don’t need to go far, pay a fortune, or sacrifice on quality to experience an exquisite array of the city’s most uniquely-satiating dishes.
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