#1: Eat Incredible Food
Peru is recognized worldwide for its gastronomy. Featuring over 400 unique dishes, Peru has so much to offer in so little time. If you have a day in Lima you should structure it around food.
To start, in the morning, you should find a local cafe or pasteleria, such as San Antonio’s. Order your coffee or hot chocolate (locally produced!) and grab a gourmet sandwich to start your day off right.
In between breakfast and lunch you should visit a fruit cart on the street and try Maracuya (Passion Fruit) or Granadilla or some other fresh fruit that you can peel yourself (so as to avoid sickness). If you want to play it safe, go for one of the mini-bananas.
For lunch, find a cevicheria. As a former fish-hater, I will tell you that ceviche can be life changing. Freshly caught fish, marinated in Lime, Garlic, Peruvian Yellow Pepper, and a couple other fresh ingredients, is the dish for which Peru is most well known. Why for you lunch, you ask? Because in Peru they superstitiously believe that ceviche shouldn’t be eaten at night when the air is cool – you could catch a cold! Grab a reservation at La Mar or Punto Azul or any other cevicheria and give it a try. On the side you can try Parmesan Oysters or, if you aren’t in the mood for seafood, Lomo Saltado (Jumping Beef).
For your afternoon snack, swing by Manolo’s in Miraflores and try a stuffed churro (accompanied by chocolate dip if you’re feeling ambitious). If churros aren’t your thing, find an ice cream shop and try Lucuma-flavored ice cream for a uniquely Peruvian taste.
For dinner, eat Pollo a La Brasa at Pardo’s, or any other chicken rotisserie in the city. This is a Peruvian favorite and trust me: this isn’t like the rotisserie chicken you buy at Costco. Make sure to get extra “aji” dipping sauce for your chicken and fries.
Later at night, around 8:00 PM, the street cart grills will start to roll out and serve Anticucho (Cow Heart). It tastes better than you would think. If you aren’t full, give it a try. If you are full, make just a little bit of room and try Picarones (Peruvian Sweet Potato Donuts) to finish the day off right.
Planning your day around food will ensure that your time in Lima is memorable and flavorful. It is worth taking a couple of hours to research the thousands of restaurants that you could visit. You won’t regret it.