Mitsuharu “Micha” Tsumura

For three years in a row, Mitsuharu “Micha” Tsumura’s Lima restaurant Maido has been crowned the best restaurant in Latin America by the World’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards. Proud of both his Asian and American roots, Micha is Peru’s unofficial ambassador of Nikkei cuisine, the country’s distinct mash-up of Peruvian and Japanese cooking. He’s just as enthusiastic about all of Lima’s food influences: this is how he'd plan a moveable feast in his home city.

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A Contemporary, Fun Ceviche Restaurant

La Mar Cebicheria is a restaurant by Gastón Acurio, the most important chef of Peru. He is a pioneer regarding promoting Peruvian cuisine and bringing together chefs in Peru and all around the world. His most successful brand is La Mar: it’s the perfect example of a contemporary-style cevicheria that also features a lot of tradition. It’s only open for lunch because it’s tradition in Peru to have ceviche (also known as cebiche in Peru) at lunch, not dinner. Acurio works with a lot of fisherman and the restaurant serves most of the fish and seafood found along the coast of Peru. The preparations range from typical Peruvian ones to Nikkei and also some creative combinations. There’s lots of flavour, lots of incredible seafood products and very good drinks. I would say it’s a perfect concept and the perfect place to go and spend a good afternoon. It’s like being in a party and it’s so much fun to be there. You could stay there for four, five hours.

Regional Flavours From Chiclayo In Peru’s North

Fiesta is one place I really like to go as often as possible. It’s a restaurant from Hector Solís, the most important chef from the north of Peru and a pioneer of bringing regional cuisines to Lima and showing them to people in the capital as well as international visitors. It’s a fine dining restaurant, but combines the flavours of home cooking in Chiclayo with beautiful presentations and takes them to another level. Lobsters. Lamb. Seafood. Duck. He grows his own vegetables in the north. He has his own cattle, his own ducks. He feeds them. He takes care of them. He makes his own fermented drinks to cook. He makes his own beer. He’s always innovating but together with tradition. Solis is also the owner of La Picantería. For me, it’s one of the tastiest places to go in Lima. La Picantería is like Fiesta, but it’s a more casual concept where you share tables and you don’t buy dishes. There aren’t many plates on the menu: you buy the fish or the seafood and they will prepare it for you: deep-fried, ceviche, steamed, whatever. The concept has been in Chiclayo in the north for a long time in, but it’s the first time that it’s been done in the capital.

A New Approach To Modern Peruvian Cooking

Kjolle by Pía León is a new restaurant in the same house as Central is. Pia is the wife of chef Virgilio Martinez of Restaurante Central and has been a friend of mine for many, many years. She has managed to create a restaurant where fine dining Peruvian cuisine has become, I would say, her signature way of cooking. It’s a la carte. You don’t need to do a tasting menu, you can just go there for a couple of dishes. Or maybe for some drinks. Or to do the whole menu. But always with creativity and a lot of flavour. And with a unique style of Virgilio and Pía. It’s a place that I really want to go once in a while. People love it. It just opened I would say one and a half years ago or so, and it’s already in the Latin America 50 Best List. I think that it’s a restaurant that we really needed now because it’s a different way or doing, I wouldn’t say casual, but different Peruvian cuisine a la carte without a tasting menu.

Where To Eat After A Night Out

Siete Sopas is the place you go after partying or working late. It’s open 24 hours and you can have what people like to eat in Peru. Fried rice. Fried chicken. Milanese (breaded beef or chicken fillets). Lomo saltado (a traditional Peruvian dish of stir-fried beef, chillies and French fries). And Soups. There’s a signature soup for every day or the week. It’s a very successful company. There’s no celebrity chef or anything like this: it’s just a very tasty place that people like to go to and eat everyday things. It’s a huge restaurant. They seat about 400 people and it’s always full. It’s a good place if you end up out late at night and you want to go have something to eat. There’s also La Lucha Sangucheria Criolla which is a typical Peruvian sandwich place. We have our own sandwiches: sandwich con chicharron, which is pork belly; asado, which is a beef stew; smoked turkey and many different sandwiches with many different Peruvian sauces. It’s from the same company as Siete Sopas and it’s very successful. They’re open across South America. It’s a very good place to eat sandwiches late at night or in the morning as breakfast.

Two Creative Chefs To Watch

There has been a lot of Venezuelan immigration in Peru over the last few years. All migration brings together food and culture. Mérito is an example of that. It’s a small restaurant in Barranco and run by two very good chefs and they do creative Peruvian-Venezuelan cuisine. There’s a small counter for six people and then I would say just six or seven tables. They cook in front of you using local ingredients at a very good price. Very tasty and very creative.

Peruvian Comfort Dining

Panchita is another restaurant from Gastón Acurio and is a typical Creole place. It’s always packed and a place where all the blocks of Creole cooking meet. Very big portions. Peruvian-style grilling and stewing. And a very good environment and ambiance. You’ll find local Peruvian favourites like anticuchos (Peruvian beef heart skewers) and aji de gallina which is like home for me. Gallina means hen and aji means chilli and this spicy Peruvian chicken dish is one of the first things I eat when I get back to Lima after travelling. It’s the one dish that you always want your mum or your grandma to make. It’s a dish that’s really in the heart of Peruvians. It’s usually eaten at home, but they do a very good job doing it here. There’s also Isolina from José del Castillo. It’s a typical Peruvian tavern in Barranco. The chef is a very good friend of mine and he’s rescuing and bringing back grandmother’s recipes from many, many years ago. He’s doing something which has never been done before.

An Introduction To Chifa: Peruvian-Chinese Cuisine

In Peru, a chifa is a Chinese-Peruvian restaurant. It’s like Nikkei cuisine, but with Chinese food. My favourite chifa in Lima is Chifa Titi. It’s a Chinese restaurant that represents what Chinese culture has brought to Peruvian cuisine. I go here quite often. Its pork and chicken wontons with tamarind sauce and Peruvian chillies are, for me, one of the best in the world. You have to try the whole duck stuffed with sticky rice, and the beef tenderloin sautéed with garlic – amazing. It also has the best fried rice in town. The owner Patricia is a very good friend of mine and they do really well. It’s one place you cannot miss.

Guide last updated November 2019

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