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Best country for food in South/Central America

Worldwide Diner | Feb 10, 201508:05 PM

I've been to Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, Guatemala, and Peru, but that was over a period of over 10 years. In Mexico, I visited the tourists towns of Cancun and Cozumel - good food but expensive and nothing special. Panama City had cheap food, but again nothing special. Similarly, Guatemala isn't expensive, but nothing special. Costa Rica was downright crappy, but that was 15 years ago. Lima definitely had the best food, but the high end restaurants can get expensive. Once you get outside of Lima, even Cusco doesn't have really good food.

I'm planning my vacation and I just need some feedback on where else to go for really good food, tasty and innovative. The reason that I love food in Lima is that they're classically trained chefs but they grew up with Chinese, Japanese, and South American influences. Nothing like a douchey celebrity chef who travels abroad for a 1 week and then opens a restaurant in the U.S. claiming he's mastered the cuisine of the country he visited (e.g., Jose Garces and Jose Andres).

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