Cusco is a region blessed with the fertile land of the Sacred Valley. Everything that falls on its mountains grows immediately, with the permission of its wind and its sun. Any local product is the best input to pamper the passing diner. But there are three activities that are the favorites of tourists: meditating around the apus, traveling through their different destinations and going out at night. All of them, united by the same element, food, and not just any food, because if you meditate after an unhealthy dish, travel with a lot of fat in your stomach or conquer without a good house wine, then better not even try it. In this article you can find 5 Cusco gastronomic treasures that will make your visit to the historic capital a juicy experience of flavors and emotions.
If you are already familiar with Cusco, you may be familiar with Incanto or Inti Raymi Restaurant, 100% recommended options, but in this list we went a bit out of the ordinary, and selected options that are located near the Plaza de Armas. Let us begin!
One of the ways in which altitude sickness in Peru can affect it is by making your digestion slower and heavier. Considering that Cusco is 3,400 meters above sea level, the healthier and lighter you eat, the better, especially the first few days. For this reason, we cannot think of a better place to eat in Cusco than Organika, a small restaurant specializing in organic and local food, with a wide range of vegetarian dishes as well. It is about a 5-minute walk from the Plaza de Armas, and its interior terrace is luxurious.
Regarding the menu, they have veggie pizzas, soups, chicken, trout, pasta, salads and even a lot of delicious desserts. At the time of publishing this article, Organika is also the fifth most valued restaurant in Cusco on TripAdvisor.
Pachapapa, which means “father sky” in Quechua (the “made earth” would be Pachamama) is one of the best places to eat in Cusco. There you will be able to choose between the most representative typical Peruvian dishes such as ají de gallina, caucha, ceviche and chicharrones. In addition, it is one of the few restaurants in the area that has a clay oven, so it also offers delicious roast meats, including guinea pig, and even pizzas.
Pachapapa is located in an old house, next to the square in the bohemian neighborhood of San Blas. It is a cozy and traditional place with a charming patio. Open every day, from 12 to 22 hours.
This is a spectacular restaurant. Its menu is based on typical Peruvian dishes but with an international touch. It won us over with its soups (especially the quinoa one) and its stone-cooked meats, which are still cooked on the stone. Both options are ideal against the evil of Cusco.
Chicha by Gaston Acurio
In Plaza Regocijo, one of the most beautiful in Cusco, is located one of the most famous restaurants in the city, Chicha. The extremely famous chef Gaston Acurio has many establishments, both in Peru and abroad. All the restaurants serve signature cuisine of the highest quality, using local and seasonal products.
The Chicha de Cusco restaurant, how could it be otherwise, is specialized in Andean cuisine, so important in the culture and gastronomy of the country.
Cicciolina is located in a beautiful colonial-style mansion, very close to the Archbishop’s Palace and the Twelve Angles Stone and just a 3-minute walk from the Plaza de Armas. This restaurant is Mediterranean in style, its main stars being its tapas and homemade pasta, always with a little Peruvian touch, of course. It is a little more expensive than other restaurants where to eat in Cusco.
We confess that we are usually quite skeptical of food from our countries abroad, and we prefer to discover the typical local dishes. Now, reading opinions and evaluations, we see that Cicciolina is through the roof, so we believe that it is worth including it in this article. Such is his success that he also has a Cicciolina Café y Picnic on Calle Ruinas, a couple of minutes from the main restaurant.