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  • Writer's pictureCecilia Tupac

Top 10 Must-Try Foods in Peru

Top 10 must try foods in Peru

With its rich history, breathtaking landscapes and vibrant culture, Peru is an incredibly diverse and fascinating country. However, what truly sets it apart is the diverse and delectable array of dishes it offers. From the coastal regions to the highlands and the Amazon rainforest, Peru presents a culinary adventure that is unparalleled, with its capital city, Lima, regularly being voted as a global culinary capital and must-visit place for all foodies! Whether you are an experienced traveler or a curious food enthusiast, here are the top 10 must-try Peruvian foods that are bound to love and eat time and time again!

What are the Most Popular Peruvian Dishes?

1. Ceviche

Peruvian Ceviche

It wouldn't be a proper Peruvian food list without first starting with the country's national dish - Ceviche. This invigorating seafood delicacy consists of raw fish marinated in lime juice, combined with onions, chili peppers, and cilantro. This dish truly is an explosion of flavours, that is enjoyed by both locals and tourists alike. Locals will argue over what Cevicheria spot is best, but all will agree that this dish is only suitable up to lunchtime rather than in the evening when the fish won't be as fresh!

2. Lomo Saltado

Peruvian Lomo Saltado

Next on the list is one of the prime examples of fusion foods in Peru. Delightfully combining Chinese and Peruvian influences, Lomo Saltado is a stir-fry dish that typically features strips of smoky beef, onions, tomatoes, and peppers, all seasoned with soy sauce and vinegar. Served with a double dose of carbohydrates (white rice and french fries), it is a hearty and satisfying meal that showcases Peru's culinary diversity.

You can find Lomo Saltado in any almost every Peruvian restaurant across the country. It's an iconic dish that is the favourite of many due to its delicious smoky flavours. Yum yum!

3. Aji de Gallina

Peruvian Aji de Gallina

The ultimate Peruvian comfort food - this creamy chicken stew is another firm favourite in Peru, and is a popular dish prepared in homes across the country. Made with shredded chicken cooked in a sauce of yellow chili peppers (aji amarillo), bread, milk, and spices, aji de gallina offers a beautiful balance of flavours and textures.

Aji de Gallina is normally served with white rice and topped with a boiled egg and black olives.

4. Anticuchos

Peruvian Anticuchos

Many tourists come to Peru with the idea of having an adventure, and for the adventurous eaters among you, anticuchos are a must-try! These grilled skewers of marinated beef heart are bursting with smoky and salty flavours.

This is a dish that comes out at night and you will often see many street venders sell this on the streets of big cities such as Lima and Cusco. Often accompanied by boiled potatoes and a spicy chili sauce called aji panca, anticuchos are an amazing dish that we absolutely recommend that you try!

5. Papa a la Huancaína

Peruvian Papa a la Huancaina

Creamy and flavoursome, Papa a la Huancaína is a potato lovers paradise! Boiled potatoes are covered in a creamy 'Huancaina' sauce, made from cheese, yellow chili peppers and evaporated milk. Served with boiled eggs and olives, this dish is a true Peruvian classic and is a common appetizer in many restaurants.

6. Causa

Peruvian Causa

Following on from our potato-theme, we have a beautiful appetizer named 'Causa. This layered potato dish makes use of the famous Peruvian yellow potatoes, which are mashed together with lime juice and yellow chili peppers. It is then filled with a selection of savoury fillings, usually chicken, tuna, avocado or other seafood, resulting in a colourful creation that is as visually appealing as it is delicious!

7. Cuy (Guinea Pig)

Peruvian Guinea Pig

Another one for the list of adventurous eaters, Cuy (Guinea Pig), is a dish that is deeply ingrained in Peruvian traditions. Normally in Peru you can find this roasted or fried, with a host of herbs and spices, and served with potatoes and aji sauce.

Whilst it may not be for the faint-hearted who are used to having guinea pigs as pets, the taste is tender and flavourful and is considered a delicacy in Peru that is normally only eaten for a major celebration.

8. Rocoto Relleno

Peruvian Rocoto Relleno

Hailing from the Arequipa region, rocoto relleno is another very popular Peruvian dish. Named after the spicy Peruvian rocoto peppers that are used, the peppers are opened and filled with a delicious mixture of ground beef, onions, raisins and spices, before being baked to perfection and topped with a gooey melted cheese.

These thick and juicy peppers are so flavoursome are an often served as an appetizer or entree.

9. Arroz con Pollo

Peruvian Arroz con Pollo

Another beloved comfort food in Peru is 'Arroz con Pollo', translating simply as 'Rice with Chicken'. It may not sound the most exciting dish, but Arroz con Pollo is one of the flavourful meals you're likely to have in Peru! Tender chicken pieces and rice are cooked in a savoury broth infused with onions, garlic, bell peppers, coriander and spices. The result is a fragrant and satisfying meal that's perfect for sharing with family and friends.

10. Chaufa

Peruvian Arroz Chaufa

Another popular Chinese-inspired Peruvian dish is 'chaufa. This is a classic Chinese fried rice cooked with a mix of vegetables, eggs and meat or fish.

This dish can be found in the thousand of Peruvian 'Chifa' restaurants located throughout the country.

What about Peruvian sweets or desserts?

Peruvian Picarones

Peru is also full of an array of delicious sweet treats, including Picarones, Alfajores, Turrones, Arroz con Leche and many more!

Make sure to check out our article on the 10 must-try Peruvian desserts that will satisfy any sugar cravings you may have!

Why is Peruvian food so diverse?

Peruvian Pachamanca

With thousands of different dishes in its repertoire, Peruvian Food has both its history of immigration and geographical diversity to thank for its vast cuisine.

To find out more about how Peru ended up being one of the most vibrant food scenes in the world, make sure to check out our article on 'What is Peruvian Food?'

Bringing Peruvian Food to your doorstep

Peruvian Alfajores in the UK

If you're based in the UK and are looking to sample the authentic flavours of Peru, without the hassle of cooking, then you're in luck!

We prepare and deliver Peruvian delights such as Tamales, Alfajores and Turrones and deliver them to anywhere in the UK. You can order these from the Cecilia Tupac shop.

Alternatively, if you're a big fan of Empanadas then you'll love our new website 'Empanada Express' - a UK nationwide Empanada deliver service offering 12 delicious Empanada flavours.

In 2023, we also hosted 3 Peruvian Events where we offered traditional homemade Peruvian food that people could sample. Make sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram so that you don't miss the next event!

Find a Peruvian Restaurant Near You

Local Peruvian Restaurant

If you've on the hunt for a local Peruvian restaurant, then make sure to head to Google maps and search for 'Peruvian Restaurants Near Me' and see what shows up.

If you've ever in the UK, make sure to send us a message and we'll be happy to point out some of the best Peruvian restaurants in this country.


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