If you’re heading to the city of Cusco the chances are it’s because you’re going to see the incredible ruins of Machu Picchu. Cusco is the base city for explorers looking to see some of the many Inca ruins in the area. People chose to go on hikes to the ruins, while others take the train. Whatever way you get there, you’ll need some great food before you leave to ensure you’re well-fueled for your trip. With that key requirement in mind, we’ve rounded up the five best restaurants in Cusco.
1. Crepería La Bo’m
Crepería La Bo’m is a great budget option with a delicious crepe-based menu. It has a gorgeous, bohemian interior with Peruvian textiles covering the seats and walls. The menu offers up a big selection of sweet and savory crepes and there are great lunchtime deals, which include a crepe of the day and a juice. Guests love it’s awesome location, in the heart of San Blas, known as the artsy, Bohemian district. Try the homemade caramel and locally-sourced-salt crepe for dessert, you won’t regret it.
Pachapapa also sits in the hipster San Blas district on one of its cobbled, winding roads. It serves up delicious, traditional Andean dishes, including locally-sourced trout, roasted guinea pig, and skewers of alpaca meat. The restaurant has a beautiful courtyard and large wooden tables, which are great if there’s a big group of you looking for a place to eat. Inside, the restaurant features traditional Cuzqueño decor and feels as if you’ve stepped into a local’s house.
3. Jardin Secreto
Jardin Secreto is a casual restaurant offering up local cuisine. It serves up Peruvian staples including grilled trout and lomo saltado, which is strips of beef that have been stir-fried with onions, chili, and vegetables. It’s got a great, budget lunchtime menu, which is around $2.50 and includes a soup, a main dish, and a drink. Some evenings there’s live music, including local Andean folk groups and rock bands.
4. MAP Cafe
If you’re looking for fine dining, look no further than MAP Cafe. It’s located in the stunning courtyard of Cusco’s Pre-Columbian Art Museum. The restaurant is set within a glass cube in the courtyard, so you’ll feel like you’re part of the exhibition. It offers artistic, Peruvian cuisine, including Andean mushroom soup, quinoa cannelloni and crunchy guinea pig legs.
Head to Justina if you love pizza and getting off-the-beaten-track. Justina is located on a winding road near to Cusco’s central plaza. It’s set within a derelict courtyard that’s incredibly picturesque with fallen columns and crumbling houses. The pizza is baked in an authentic oven and you can order your pizza ‘half and half’, so you can enjoy two different types of toppings. It’s a small restaurant with only a few tables, so get there early to snag a spot.
If you feel like cooking at home, check these Recipes from Cusco.