10 Must-Try (and Cheap) Dishes in Peru

10 Must-Try (and Cheap) Dishes in Peru

jewel of South America’s culinary landscape, Peru boasts a
wealth of dining options thanks to its varied geography. Eating our
way from the Andes to Lima on the Pacific coast, we’ve found the
country’s ten best dishes – and they won’t blow your holiday

10 Traditional Foods to Eat When Travelling in Peru

Lomo saltado

This dish forms a centrepiece of chifa – a fusion of Peruvian
and Chinese cuisine birthed by mass immigration into Peru in the
late 19th century. Marinated and stir-fried sirloin strips, red
peppers, onions and tomatoes are paired with a gluttony of carbs in
the form of rice and French fries.

Ají de gallina

The epitome of Peruvian comfort food, Ají de gallina will keep
you full for a good while without denting your wallet. This mild
stew of pulled chicken (traditionally simmered for hours) on a bed
of Andean potatoes was introduced by African immigrants in the 16th

Causa limeña

With over 3,000 potatoes grown in Peru, it’s hard to avoid a
dish showcasing them at its very core. Generous patties of mashed
potato plentifully combined with lemon juice are layered with
chicken, seafood or vegetables to create a rustic terrine that is
kind on your purse.

Rocoto relleno

Originating in Arequipa, these hot stuffed rocoto peppers evoke
the flavours of old-fashioned, peasant-style home cooking. Filled
to bursting with chunks of braised beef and a spicy tomato sauce,
they’re typically accompanied by a potato gratin to ensure maximum


High in protein and low in fat, alpaca has long been a part of
the mainstream eating habits across Peru. It’s a favourite meat of
all classes and cultures in Peru – be it found in Milanese-style
breaded cutlets, rich stews or juicy burgers.

Papa a la huancaína

Almost always brought to the table cold, this filling appetiser
of thickly sliced potatoes is generously doused in a lightly spiced
huancaína (cheese sauce) – the distinctive yellow hue of which
comes from using native peppers known as aji amarillo.


This is the quintessential “must-try” while in Peru.
Fortunately, in beach towns such as Mancora, it’s not something
that breaks the bank. Succulent cubes of white fish, chilli, red
onion and coriander are marinated generously in lime juice, the
acidity of which essentially “cooks” the meat.

Seco de carne

Sink your teeth into this rich, slow cooking. This stewed beef
dish is aromatically flavoured with citrusy coriander and braised
with beans until the chunks of beef tear with even the delicatest
of nudges. It is a staple of menu del dias across the land, from
Puno to Tumbes.

Sancayo sorbet

With a refreshing brightness that feels instantly nourishing,
the taste of this particular cactus fruit is remarkably similar to
that of kiwi. As the sun pours down over the Colca Canyon, head
straight to the street vendors for a sweet treat at a fraction of
that of an ice cream.

Jalea mixta

The most economical way to sample the Pacific Ocean’s delights?
A smorgasbord of deep-fried seafood at Agallas in Lima’s
contemporary Mercado 28. Expect white fish, mussels, scallops and
more for a fraction of what something this delicious ought be.
Plated with yucca fries, salsa criolla and a garlic and chilli
dipping sauce.

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An Extraordinary Trail through Peru