Since I moved to Lima in July 2007, I've eaten at some excellent restaurants which I'm pleased to recommend to other Chowhounds. This week (Nov. 17-21) the city hosts the APEC Leaders Summit, and the city is swarming with delegates who are looking for good places to eat.
Here are six picks from my recent entry on An American in Lima (the recommendations hold true for after APEC as well):
La Mar (Av. La Mar 770, Miraflores; 421-3365): Gaston Acurio's chic cevicheria is sure to be on many APEC dignitaries' "must eat at" lists. There's always a line at this trendsetting restaurant, so expect even longer waits during APEC week. La Mar's head chef tells An American in Lima he's ordering 30% more fish than usual to accommodate the rush. Open 12:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. only.*
Pescados Capitales (La Mar 1337, Miraflores; 421-8808): Top-notch, innovative ceviche served in upscale/rustic surroundings. I lurve, lurve, lurve this place, which is several blocks down the same street as Acurio's La Mar. I stopped by Friday for a private tasting (lucky me!) with owner Nguyen Chavez, who gives his chefs latitude to create six new dishes each week. (This week's dishes are inspired by APEC themes.) As of Friday, the wife of one South American president had already called to reserve a table for lunch this week, so expect the place to be full of bigwigs during APEC-o-rama. Open 12:30 - 5 p.m. only. *
Pez Amigo (Av. La Paz 1640, Miraflores; 445-9783): This low-key, elegant restaurant isn't patronized by the tour companies that parade busloads of tourists through Lima, which is exactly why it's a good bet for a relaxing lunch. I have never been disappointed by any of the dishes I've ordered here; Pez Amigo (Friendly Fish) offers flavorful, well-prepared seafood in a relaxing, intimate setting. I'd recommend this locals' favorite to visiting dignitaries who want to dine away from the media limelight.
Punto Azul (Calle San Martin 595, Miraflores; 445-8078): Limeños adore this Miraflores restaurant, which serves very good ceviche and seafood in gigantic portions. Prices are reasonable and service is friendly. You can dine like a king here for less than US$10. Not as exclusive as La Mar or Pescados Capitales, but muy rico.
Edo's Sushi House (Calle Berlin 601, Miraflores): A friendly, buzzing sushi place with various locations throughout Lima. I go to the one on Calle Berlin, and it's become my weekday sushi hangout. Very good maki rolls, with Peruvian fusion touches incorporating criolla sauces and sliced fruit.
Osaka Sushi Bar (Av. Conquistadores 999, San Isidro, 222-0405): This upscale sushi bar is elegant and pricey and worth every penny of it. The dishes fuse Peruvian and Asian flavors, with distinctive combinations that make a lunch or dinner here memorable. A thrifty Peruvian might choke at the prices (US$50-$60 is common for lunch for two), but movers and shakers accustomed to eating in Paris or NYC won't bat an eye at Osaka's cuentas. The best sushi I've had in Lima so far.
AND NOW...WHERE NOT TO EAT
Don't bother searching for Segundo Muelle, the highly praised cevicheria along the Miraflores Malecon: The restaurant closed in August due to an escandulo involving unpaid income taxes. What a pity. I thought the food there was great.
Every Peru guidebook mentions La Rosa Nautica, but I think this classic seafood restaurant is overpriced and a bit cheesy. Don't get me wrong: the food is good and the views are to-die-for. It's just that the restaurant has grown into a tourist trap, with a row of souvenir shops lining the wharf to the front door and impersonal service inside. There are extra charges added to the cuenta, and the pisco sours are inferior. Again, the splendid setting on the Pacific Ocean might compensate for some.*
* Note: Restaurants marked with an asterisk have been certified by the Ministry of Health.
Link to blog post: http://americaninlima.com/2008/11/15/...