3 of the World's Best Restaurants are in Lima?
Updated: Sep 26, 2019
I love to try new food, but you already know that. As a fan of the show Chef's Table, I have become interested in learning more about the World's Top 50 Restaurants. I was skimming this list and making notes about the ones I would like to try, when I noticed something interesting; three of the top 50 restaurants in the world are in Lima, Peru. This puts Lima's number of World's Top 50 Restaurants on par with New York City, and only just behind London and Paris which each have four. Yet how many consider a culinary tour of Peru? Perhaps more of us should. The three restaurants are also highly rated on the list: Central is #6 (also awarded #1 restaurant in South America), Maido is #7, and Astrid y Gaston is #39.
Most travelers have a night in Lima on their way to Cusco to see Machu Picchu and spend much of that time watching the waves rolling in off the Pacific. These three restaurants, however, and the culinary scene which produced them, make a fair argument for spending several nights in the city. In addition to nightly feasts at three of the world's best restaurants, treat yourself to daytime walking tours of the local markets where you can sample the local delicacies and street food. Try traditional Peruvian fruit like cherimoya, lucuma, and aguaymanto and an abundance of fish and shellfish. Learn how to prepare ceviche and Pisco Sour, the most famous of all Peruvian drinks.
If you want a little culture along with your food and drink, be sure not to miss the remarkable Larco Museum which is filled to the brim with treasures of Peru's long and ancient history. See the changing of the guards at the Palacio de Gobierno, and view the art in the beautiful Iglesia y convent de San Francisco. At night be sure to visit the Parque de le Reserve to see the beautiful fountains all lit up by beautiful light shows. Huaca Pucllana is also worth a visit. This huge pyramid built of clay has a restaurant where you can sit an enjoy a view of the pyramid along with some traditional Peruvian cuisine. While not really in the center of the city, the Museo Oro del Peru is worth a visit for the beautiful collection of pre-Columbian burial masks, traditional jewelry, and more.
Lima's fabulous restaurants, rich culture, and ancient heritage all add up to a perfect reason to extend your stay a bit in the city. While I know you are probably going to be anxious to see the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu, why not give Lima another day or two to truly experience this foodie destination?