We could try to pare down our entire Lima office’s Lima restaurant recommendations into one succinct three-restaurant list, but that would likely result in some pretty heated in fighting. So, we’ve looked instead to an objective outside source for this list of the best restaurants in Lima. Summum is a Peruvian gastronomic contest that annually selects the best restaurants in Peru according to specific categories. Incidentally, they did the hard work for us by putting three Lima restaurants at the top of their 2018 list. They are:
Categorized as Japanese and Peruvian-Japanese cuisine, Maido earned the #1 spot on Summum’s Best Restaurants list and for good reason. The chef, Mitsuharu Tsumura, has forged his own path in the gastronomy world and, in the process, has made a name for himself far beyond Peruvian borders. Fortunately for you, he hasn’t let his hard-earned fame lure him outside of Peru. He continues to pour his heart and soul into Maido, a Lima restaurant that Summum says has “undoubtedly reached full maturity.” They tout that “Micha” has found his style in the kitchen, one that is “based on high-quality ingredients, outstanding technique, and – one of his greatest’s.
- Costanera 700
At #2 on Summum’s list, Costanera 700 presents you with yet another exceptional Japanese Peruvian Lima restaurant option. This one, however, comes with a bit of a father-son backstory as well as a host of other classic Peruvian dishes that fall under the Nikkei cuisine category. The chef at the helm of Costanera 700, Yaquir Soto, took over the restaurant from his father who had founded it four decades before. With respect for what his father had built, Yaquir found opportunities to insert his own spin on the dishes and décor, a personal touch that put Costanera 700 on the Lima culinary map. Summum calls it a “temple of cebiches, tiraditos, grunt fish, and Nikkei dishes” and a “restaurant that will also surprise with other exquisitely cooked Peruvian dishes, such as the tasty aji de gallina or the crispy roast suckling pig.”trengths of all – undeniable creativity.”
Chefs Virgilio Martínez and Pía León’s restaurant, recently relocated to Barranco, is a love letter to everything that is Peruvian. The ingredients that he investigates and sources from around the country are turned into works of culinary art. The tasting menu takes you on a journey through every altitude in Peru, from 20 meters below sea level to 4,100 meters above it, in 17 courses making it very obvious why Central has been repeatedly ranked Latin America’s best restaurant by various sources. If you want to challenge your senses, explore new flavors and discover rarely used ingredients make your reservation months in advance, people travel to Lima just to eat in Central.
We couldn’t wrap up this list of Lima’s best restaurants without including the top 3 of the Summum’s Best New Restaurant category, where some of our favorite options are placed.
Here they are:
This cozy Lima restaurant is nestled on a beautiful street in Barranco. The chef, Ricardo Martins, learned his craft under the expert guidance of Peru’s culinary heavy hitters, Virgilio Martinez of Central and Rafael Osterling of Rafael mentioned above. At Siete, you can expect a dining experience that masterfully incorporates ingredients and techniques Martins picked up from his extraordinary teachers and his personal international experiences ranging from the Mediterranean shores of Italy and Spain to Sweden and Asia. Our recommendation: order a few different dishes to share as a group. That way you can enjoy the vast variety of flavors on offer.
Chef Pía León, Virgilio Martinez’s life and business partner, managed the day to day operations in Central for 10 years and has always been widely respected in the restaurant industry, has now finally opened her own restaurant Kjolle. She didn’t go very far though, Kjolle is located up a set of stairs from Central, and Martínez and León live right above both restaurants. The menu however differs from Central and its altitude based menu. She brings her own special touch that highlights and combines only peruvian ingredients resulting in delicious and innovative dishes. You can order à la carte or from the eight-course menu created by the recently named Best Female Chef in Latin America.
Created by Chef Jaime Pesaque, who has become a global ambassador of peruvian food, with restaurants in Hong Kong, Miami, Uruguay and New York to name a few, is best known for his restaurant Mayta but his new dining experience “500 grados” offers wonderful dishes in a sophisticated yet casual experience. This cozy and trendy place features two very large firewood burning ovens, nicknamed Celsius and Farenheit, where everything from incredible pizzas to meats, empanadas, wonderful breads, sauces and even some of the fruit for the spectacular cocktails are cooked at 500 degrees. With such a varied and wonderful menu it’s easy to see why the restaurant has become a favorite among locals almost immediately.