24 February 2016

Lima & It's World Famous Food Scene (Yes!)


It started with our dear friends in Colombia.

They raved one evening about THE INSANELY GOOD JAPANESE FOOD IN LIMA!

Wait, wait....w-h-a-t?!?

Oh yes, the sushi, the chefs, the world renowned restaurants!!

"We flew there just for the food!" They said.

Could it be? Japanese food in LIMA??? How had we not heard of this?





But our mouths started to water a little.

And then, one day prior to heading to Peru, we met an American guy our age who said, "PLEASE tell me you have a reservation in Lima at Central!!! I would go to Lima just for Central."

What in the heck? We had never heard of Central.

Turns out it is THE #1 RESTAURANT IN ALL OF SOUTH AMERICA. Right there in Lima. A food scene, huh?! This was getting real.





So off we went, determined to eat at as many top restaurants as we could in two days to make up for all the crappy bland food we've eaten in Ecuador (sorry, Ecuador!).

Turns out that a handful of The World's Top 50 Restaurants are in Lima. It's a tasting menu heaven...

Our tastebuds were ready, and the food was indeed OVER THE TOP. We were so satisfied that we'll be dreaming about those meals forever.





We don't photograph our food too often. But you can see we couldn't help ourselves. The tasting menus were works of art! 



Here are the top restaurants we were able to eat at over the two days. They were nothing short of spectacular.  I really, really wouldn't miss these if you can pull it off: 

  • (Also visit Central. We weren't able to get in as they are booked many months out.)
 

And...see some more peeks below from our visit to Lima. Being the foodie geeks that we are, the restaurant scene was definitely our favorite part. But we also loved the neighborhoods of Mariscal and Barranco. If you visit, definitely book a stay in those neighborhoods! 



















A Few Other Lima Highlights We Loved:
  • Renting Bikes to ride through Mariscal & Barranco. (There are several biking tour companies.) 
  • The Double Decker Bus Tour (so worth it as Lima is HUGE.)
  • The tiny Parque Kennedy, where hundreds of cats live. They are VERY used to humans and you can see people everywhere reading the paper with cats on their laps. Apparently the locals bring food to the cats each day. 
  • Parque de Amor! (It's a lovely little spot, right on the water in Mariscal, where they have a mosaic wall covered in sayings about Love.) 
  • Downtown Near the Capital. STUNNING.
Have any of you visited LIMA - or any of the South American cities? I'd love to hear which cities you love the most! 

P.S. One of Lima's top chefs, the owner of Astrid & Gastón, also opened a restaurant in Chicago called Tanta. My sis-in-law sent me the link and I'm now dying to go.

13 comments:

  1. i am intrigued! This is worth investigating as a potential vacation. Can you give us a rough idea of price points for these restaurants? Also, how expensive is lodging? Thank You.

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    1. Hello! So glad you asked. The tasting menus at these TOP restaurants are between $100-$200. (I remember Maido had a 15 course for $135 per person). I consider it like going to a Broadway show or something as it's absolutely an experience. Also, La Mar, on my list, it actually significantly less. We went ALL OUT with ordering and spent $50 for two. This included appetizers, drinks, and several small plates (they offer a lot of small plate items to share as the main.) The food at La Mar was off the charts! (It's one of the top 10 places in Lima).

      For the the hotel, we found a deal on-line for Hotel Ibis. It's a European chain, but the rooms were super clean, comfortable, and kind of European like. I think we paid about $50 per night. The location was EXCELLENT and within walking distance of the boardwalk along the ocean there in Mariscal. Our thought was to not splurge too much on the hotel, but to splurge instead on the food. Also, I'm guessing there are hostels that would be much cheaper, too. Anything for a tasting menu! :) :)

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  2. How awesome! Love all of the photos-- food really can be beautiful, can't it?

    I went to Sao Paolo in June and had amazing Japanese food there too. Apparently the largest Japanese diaspora is in Sao Paolo, which explained why the sushi was so darn good!

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    1. Wow. So cool. I didn't know that about Sao Paolo. I haven't been there before. So cool that you got to visit. Ah, as this sabbatical winds down, we're looking at possibly seeing one or two more cities down here. Possibly Santiago (on our way to Patagonia). And Danny doesn't know it yet, but I have my eye on Buenos Aires. We'll see what plays out.

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    2. IF you're choosing between Santiago and Buenos Aries, go to Buenos Aries, hands down. Not even a contest. Buenos Aries is one of the best cities in the world. The food is amazing, the city is just beautiful, it's very European and yet South American at the same time. Santiago is very urban and just honestly a stopover city. Don't get me wrong, I had a wonderful time there, and can give you great suggestions for both. BUT, if it comes down between the two of them. Go to Buenos Aries. Just do it. That city has a piece of my heart, and I can't imagine you two not just loving every minute of being there.

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    3. Sarah - THANK YOU FOR THIS!!! I had a feeling all this was the case. So I'm glad you just confirmed it for me. OK, I've got to figure out how to make this happen. Maybe Buenos Aires will be a stopover on the way to Patagonia. I seriously appreciate this info. XO

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    4. You are so welcome dear friend! I will send you tons of suggestions via email soon, trust me, you will NOT be disappointed. Love you so! Here's to adventure!

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  3. Lima is now on my bucket list.

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  4. I lived in Mexico City for a little over a year and miss it all the time. World class food, art, culture, an extremely rich history, beautiful weather. It's amazing. And reports of danger are highly exaggerated--just stay in the right neighborhoods and just make sure not to catch random cabs, and be street smart the way you would in any large city. You should go!

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  5. I lived in Mexico City for a little over a year and miss it all the time. World class food, art, culture, an extremely rich history, beautiful weather. It's amazing. And reports of danger are highly exaggerated--just stay in the right neighborhoods and just make sure not to catch random cabs, and be street smart the way you would in any large city. You should go!

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  6. I love this post. I don't know if Ill make it to Peru (I'm still trying for Equador!) but I certainly will go to Tanta in Chicago. That menu looks incredible--thanks for sharing!

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  7. I love this post. I don't know if Ill make it to Peru (I'm still trying for Equador!) but I certainly will go to Tanta in Chicago. That menu looks incredible--thanks for sharing!

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  8. When my husband and I were trying to decide between moving to Ecuador or Mexico we chose Mexico just because of the food!! Best decision ever. We live in a city called Guanajuato. Google it! It's stunningly beautiful. If you ever go to Mexico City as someone above recommended - consider Guanajuato too. They're not to far apart. Our food is out of this world!!
    Also I send skipping Santiago and go to Buenos Aires. It's AMAZING. One of my favorite cities in the world. Stay in Recoleta for an Upper East Side feel or Palermo Soho for a (despite the name!) Brooklyn feel.
    Also, my brother lived in Lima for 8 years. Your pictures bring back a lot of lovely memories.
    Enjoy your upcoming travels!

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