Most people immediately think of Machu Picchu and beautiful landscapes when they think of Peru, but Peruvian food is now one of the top reasons to visit the country. Lima has been declared the World’s Leading Culinary Destination by the World Travel Awards for seven years in a row! It should come as no surprise then that the food scene is spectacular. With three restaurants in The World’s 50 Best restaurants list (surpassed by no other country), colorful markets filled with unique produce and hole in the wall restaurants with stunning dishes, Lima offers an incredible gastronomic experience.
The combination of incredible ingredients only found here due to the varied climates and the variety of influences from immigration to Peru from European and Asian countries in the late 19th and early 20th centuries is what makes Peruvian food so spectacular. Culinary experiences offer the opportunity to delve deeper into the country’s culture, the places and people that make it special and enjoy new flavors while having fun! These are our top recommendations for the best Culinary experiences in Lima:
Culinary Tour Lima
Five hours of unique and thrilling Peruvian cuisine are offered in this wonderful thorough tour perfect for groups or independent traveler interested in socializing. The day starts off with a sampling of organic Peruvian coffee and continues to a vibrant local market where you can observe the variety of freshly caught local fish and seafood and enjoy a demonstration of the techniques used in their preparation. After the seafood section, you will sample local, colorful fruits, some of which you are probably experiencing for the first time! Next up is learning how to make Ceviche with the top chef of one of the best local seafood restaurants. After enjoying your delicious raw creation it’s time to learn how to prepare the famous Pisco Sour, along with other popular Peruvian cocktails at a classic Pisco Tavern. You’ll mix and sip a cocktail or two- then, just when you’re belly’s rumbling, it will be time to enjoy a buffet-style restaurant that includes a sumptuous spread of Peru’s most popular dishes. Finish off the late lunch with some coca tea before returning to your hotel for a much-needed opportunity to “sleep it off.”
Interactive Cooking Class
Urban Kitchen is a Peruvian culinary experience that is the perfect mix of a cooking class and a restaurant experience, in a social and fun environment. If you love cooking or are curious to learn how to make simple and delicious dishes, this is the perfect option. This tour is such an entertaining experience, it is equally popular with native Limeños as an authentic fun day out with friends and colleagues. The day starts off with a visit to local markets to buy directly from vendors the fresh and natural ingredients. You will learn about these ingredients and the influences and factors that have contributed to Peruvian gastronomy being designated as one of the world’s best cuisines. This produce is then taken to Urban Kitchen where along with a professional chef you will have a hands-on exploration of various cooking techniques. Once your meal is ready, a large dining area awaits on the second floor where you can enjoy the sumptuous feast you had a hand in creating along with unlimited Peru-style drinks to accompany the meal. Urban Kitchen offers a memorable food, friends, and fun experience that we truly recommend.
Ceviche on Board
Most Peruvians will insist that you can’t leave Lima without trying the national dish, Ceviche. Many Latin American countries have ceviche, but nothing surpasses the Peruvian raw fish dish. Ceviche on Board gives you the experience of learning how to prepare a fresh Ceviche from the day’s catch, while enjoying spectacular views of Lima from the Ocean! The experience begins at the port of Chorrillos. Here, you’ll observe the artisan fishermen’s lifestyle, from setting off in their picturesque boats, to cleaning and repairing their nets, to arriving with their daily catch. Wander the fish market and observe the many varieties, colors, and shapes of freshly caught fish and seafood for sale, all thanks to the abundance of Peru’s Pacific coastal waters. After wandering for a bit, it’s time to board the typical Peruvian fishing boat, known as a Peke Peke, for a short ride along the coast of Lima. Enjoy riding the ocean waves all the way to the La Herradura, a famous point break for surfers. On the way back, in calmer waters, you will watch and learn from the crew how to prepare the freshest of ceviches from that day’s catch. While your delicious marine lunch is being prepared, relax, enjoy the surrounding ocean, and sip on a pisco sour.
This tour was tailor-made for bike lovers and people that love being on the move. The gastronomic bike tour will take you along an exploration of San Isidro, Miraflores and Barranco with tasty stops along the way. First stop, coffee at a famous coffee shop in the middle of Barranco. You’ll put the caffeine to good use by cycling to a traditional market to discover the fruits and vegetables that can only be found in Peru. The gastronomic adventure will continue with a powerful fish or shellfish ceviche and four types of “causa limeña” (prawns, octopus, chicken and crab), it will be difficult to decide which one you like the most. The tour continues with a tasting of the famous “Lomo Saltado”, the magic of the drink made with purple corn, “chicha morada” and the famous Peruvian cocktail “pisco sour”. The bike tour ends on a sweet note at a beautiful place with two desserts based on traditional Peruvian fruits.
Peruvian Culinary Experience
If you are short on time or want to taste a little bit of everything without driving around Lima, this is the ideal culinary experience. The Peruvian Experience building where the gastronomical experience takes place, is a “one-stop-shop,” designed with different rooms displaying a variety of themes. Upon entering the building, you’ll board a special amusement park train that makes way through various “regions” of Peru, where typical products and dishes of each region are explained. After deboarding the train, the more hands-on experience with Peruvian Cuisine begins. Learn about pisco in a simulated vineyard and then proceed to prepare your own Pisco Sour in a twenties-themed vintage “bar.” Drink in hand, move onto the “fish market,” where a chef will guide the preparation of a Peruvian Ceviche, using the freshest of fish and seafood. After enjoying a wonderful ceviche move on to a “market room” and enjoy savory traditional Peruvian meals, such as Ají de Gallina and Lomo Saltado, along with delicious desserts, such as Suspiro Limeño. To wrap up this thoroughly enjoyable culinary experience, a band will provide music and dance to celebrate the day’s delights.
These wonderful food tours and culinary experiences are the starting point for your gastronomic experience in Lima, but it would be incomplete without a visit to one of the spectacular internationally award-winning restaurants that have put Lima on the foodie map. Visit our best restaurants list to help you decide which one to visit. Whether it’s the famous Central or Maido, or perhaps one of the new restaurants Kjolle or 500 Grados, the gastronomic experience will be unforgettable.