Peruvian cuisine has 491 typical dishes, in addition to 2500 soups and 250 representative desserts, is another tourist attraction. Of all the dishes of Peruvian food I will show you those that you must try if you come to Peru, because you will find them in most restaurants. New flavors, preparation techniques, influences of the best foreign food that when combined with Peruvian food, created delicacies that few can resist. 

Peruvian dishes is considered one of the best culinary experiences globally for several reasons, which we will explore below. While opinions on the "best" food will always be subjective, many compelling factors make Peruvian cuisine stand out.

What is Peruvian Food?

Peruvian food is a set of traditional dishes that became popular over time, where its four traditional foods are corn, potatoes and other tubers. And the way of preparing the food was influenced from abroad are rice, wheat and meats (fish, pork and chicken). The chef that stands out is Gaston Acurio for giving importance to the great quantity and variety of local ingredients. There is also an influence of the indigenous population that includes the wisdom of the Incas. 

Anticuchos - Peru

History of Peruvian Cuisine

The origin of Peruvian food was influenced throughout history by European, Asian and some African cultures. Ingredients and techniques from diverse sources were incorporated. Peru's great richness in its millenary ingredients cultivated in different climates throughout the country, as a consequence there are more than four thousand varieties of potatoes, corn, and more. Modern chefs refined Peruvian cuisine with more techniques and pioneered new styles. Peruvian cuisine was recognized internationally as a leading culinary destination for its traditional dishes that were recognized for their unique flavors. It is a truly touristic experience to taste each of them.

  • The rich history and cultural influences: The history of Peruvian cuisine dates back thousands of years, with roots in ancient civilizations like the Inca Empire. Over time, various cultural influences from Europe, Africa, and Asia have contributed to the development of its unique flavors and textures. This blend of traditions has led to a diverse and sophisticated cuisine that pleases a wide range of palates.
  • Biodiversity and ingredients: Peru boasts a vast range of climates and ecosystems, from the Andean highlands to the Amazon rainforest and the Pacific coast. This biodiversity results in an abundance of unique ingredients, such as quinoa, amaranth, and various potatoes, which are not found in many other cuisines. These ingredients contribute to the distinctive flavors and textures of Peruvian dishes.
  • Culinary techniques: Traditional Peruvian cooking methods, such as Pachamanca (cooking in an earthen oven) and Ceviche (marinating raw fish in citrus juice), showcase the skill and creativity of Peruvian chefs. These techniques are often paired with modern culinary practices to create innovative and flavorful dishes.
  • Fusion cuisine: Peruvian cuisine is well-known for its fusion elements, particularly in the Chifa (Chinese-Peruvian) and Nikkei (Japanese-Peruvian) culinary traditions. These combinations showcase how Peruvian chefs have skillfully integrated different cultural influences into their cooking, resulting in unique and delicious dishes that are both familiar and exotic.
  • Health benefits: Many Peruvian dishes are made from fresh, nutritious ingredients, such as fish, lean meats, vegetables, and grains. This not only results in flavorful meals but also provides numerous health benefits. For example, quinoa is a popular ingredient in Peruvian cooking and is a complete protein source containing all nine essential amino acids.
  • Global recognition: Peruvian cuisine has gained global recognition in recent years, with Lima being considered a gastronomic capital. Several top Peruvian chefs, such as Gastón Acurio and Virgilio Martínez, have earned international acclaim for their innovative dishes and dedication to promoting Peruvian cuisine.

In conclusion, while personal preferences will always vary, there is no denying that Peruvian food stands out for its rich history, diverse influences, unique ingredients, and innovative culinary techniques. With its global recognition and health benefits, it's easy to see why many consider Peruvian cuisine to be among the best in the world.

Traditional Peruvian Dishes Most Popular with Tourists

1. Ceviche

From the first bite, the fish melts in your mouth with a special touch of citrus that will make you feel more energetic. When you combine the juice with the fish, corn and sweet potato in one bite you will feel a new and unique flavor that will leave you wanting more. It is usually spicy but it all depends on the place you choose to eat it.

Ceviche peruvian

You may have heard that several South American countries also have their ceviche, but the flavor of Peruvian ceviche is unmatched. Besides being one of the most representative dishes of Peruvian food. That is why UNESCO gave it a recognition as a heritage dish on December 6, 2023. 

Short History of Ceviche: How did it originate?

The Mochica culture is the first civilization to make a dish based on fresh fish and cooked with the citric juice of a fruit called "tumbo". It was during the pre-Inca period where its preparation also used herbs from the region. 

What ingredients does ceviche contain?

Fish, chopped onion, chopped cilantro leaves, yellow chili, lemons, salt and pepper.
salt and pepper. And to accompany it, parboiled tender corn, parboiled sweet potato and lettuce leaves.

2. Rice with chicken (Arroz con Pollo)

With a beautiful color it will provoke you to eat, a very grainy rice that when combined with a piece of chicken you will feel why it is a representative dish. A tip is to ask for it with huancaina sauce.

This is another well-known Peruvian dish that you must try. Its origin is from another Peruvian dish like Arroz con pato; a popular delicacy from the Lambayeque region in the 19th century. They changed the duck for chicken, the chicha de jora for black beer, due to the high cost of the main ingredients. As time went by, it became known for its exquisite flavor and for its ease of preparation, it spread throughout Peru. Entering the Peruvian families and becoming their favorite.

What ingredients are in arroz con pollo?

What you are going to have in your dish is coriander leaves, spinach leaves, skinless chicken legs and thighs, Salt and pepper, vegetable oil, finely chopped onion, touch of chopped garlic, chili paste, cup of beer, Rice, peas, carrot, red bell pepper, cup of white corn.

3. Aji de Gallina (Chicken Chili)

A delicacy with the exquisite flavor of the hen (or chicken). In the 14th century, in Catalonia (Spain) a similar snack was prepared with boiled chicken breast and thickened with rice. In colonial times, when it arrived in Peru, it was transformed into the aji de gallina (chicken chili) that we know today. It kept its representative color and left its old sweet flavor. When it entered the homes of Lima, they preferred to use chicken instead of hen, due to the ease of obtaining the former. It is accompanied with egg slices or olives.  

What ingredients does aji de gallina contain?

It contains chicken breast, a touch of oil, finely chopped onion, liquefied yellow chili peppers, evaporated milk, chopped nuts. It is served with grained white rice.

4. Causa Rellena

Peru has more than 4 thousand varieties of potatoes, which is why it is so important in the Peruvian diet. Causa comes from the Quechua word (Inca language) "Kausay", whose translation is "life" or "giver of life" referring to this essential food. There was a Spanish influence where ingredients such as fish, olives or avocado were incorporated, often adapting to the tastes. It has several histories, one of them is that it was used to feed a battalion of soldiers during Independence Day. It even once helped to raise funds to support the soldiers and the independence cause, becoming a symbol of patriotism.

What ingredients does the causa rellena contain?

The traditional recipe for Causa Limeña includes yellow potato, aji amarillo, lemon, shredded chicken, onion, mayonnaise, avocado and oil.

5. Lomo saltado

It is a typical dish of Peruvian food, but it had an oriental influence in the technique of its preparation. In the 19th century, oriental food (Chinese - Cantonese) merged with Peruvian Creole food. The use of the frying pan for lomo saltado shows the great influence of oriental food. At the beginning the dish only contained beef tenderloin and fried potatoes, then vegetables were incorporated over time. Its preparation is relatively simple, the meat, onion and other ingredients are placed in a hot frying pan and served with rice and french fries. 

Lomo saltado is a peruvian food

What ingredients does lomo saltado contain?

Beef tenderloin cut into thin strips, garlic cloves, finely chopped, Salt, Pepper to taste, tablespoons of vegetable oil, red onion, tomatoes (jitomates), yellow chili bell pepper cut into thin strips, tablespoons of soy sauce, tablespoons of red wine vinegar, fresh cilantro, french fries and rice.

6. Arroz Chaufa

If you want a delicious combination of flavors of Peruvian and Chinese cuisine, this is a unique cultural fusion. To learn about its history we go back to when Chinese immigrants arrived in Peru in the 19th century, who opened small food businesses and made their oriental techniques known. They received rice as part of their labor payment, and added ingredients such as soy sauce and kion, thus creating chaufa rice. It was successfully adapted throughout Peru and was accepted by Peruvian families, adapting it with seafood, quinoa or Amazonian products.

What ingredients does chaufa rice have?

White rice, vegetable oil, beaten eggs, chicken thighs, 2 teaspoons of salt, teaspoons of ground pepper, red bell pepper, onion, chopped garlic, grated ginger, soy sauce, ground cumin, granulated sugar.

7. Papa ala Huancaina

The Peruvian found various ways to use their multiple potato species in amazing dishes. Papa ala Huancaina is a spicy boiled potato topped with a huancaina creamy sauce that acts as an appetizer. This dish is used as holiday cuisine throughout Peru, giving visitors a taste of kind. When you visit Peruvian restraint, you will be served cold Papa ala Huancaina with some lettuce leaves, white corn kernels, boiled eggs, which are then garnished with black olives.

10. Pachamanca

Peruvians will excite with their cooking style that creates a unique taste of their dishes. Pachamanca is one such unique dish, baked underground on an earth pot or earth oven. The locals use hot stones to cook meat and vegetables, such as sweet potatoes, green lima beans, corn, yucca, humitas, tamales, and chiles. This food is covered with herbs to improve taste and cook for sometimes, giving the meal a sweet earthly taste. You do well to try this delicacy while you visit Peru.

11. Pollo ala Brasa

This Peruvian chicken has found its way in many American and European restaurants. It is rotisserie chicken—prepared the Latin way. Pollo ala Brasa is very versatile and distinctly juicy. It has a perfect balance of inside moist and crispy at the same time. You can carry a takeaway and eat it anywhere at the beach as you enjoy the best of Peru. The marinade and cooking method gives Pollo ala Brasa its unique taste and fame.

12. Chicha Morada

After a hefty meal of Peruvian best foods, it is time to have none of the most famous drinks that would make you feel empowered like a vampire- Chicha Morada. This purplish-black beverage looks like blood. It is made from purple corn infused with cinnamon, pineapple rinds, cloves, beet, lime, and fresas. It has been primed to promote good health due to its ingredients.

Top Restaurant of Peru.

Peru is one place you want to be to enjoy the best of the world, with its restaurants drawing from the fresh produce grown in different parts of the country. Their cuisines, such as Ceviche, show Peruvian ingenuity in the kitchen. Some of their top restaurants have mastered the art of traditional meals fused with modernity, including Amaz Lima, Huaca Pallana, La Lucha Sangucheria, and Pachapapa.


Amaz restaurant is located in the Peruvian capital, Lima, providing a taste of the Amazon. Here you will find distinct dishes, such as coconut rice, snails, and traditionally cooked plantains. Furthermore, you can enjoy succulent fish dishes served with spicy sauces.

Huaca Pullan

If you are looking for a restaurant that would give you tasty food among the pre-Inca ruins, Huaca Pullana got you covered. Here you will experience magical dining, allowing you to eat as you stare at the famous Inca ruins. Its delicacies include roasted guinea pig, seabass, lobster risotto, aji de gallina, and yellow pepper sauce.

La Lucha Sangucheria

This restaurant is established in Lima and Arequipa, and you will be wrong to complete a Peruvian trip without enjoying the taste of a sandwich in a rancheria. La Lucha has various sandwiches for meat lovers and vegetarians alike, so you have nothing to worry about; there is an alternative if you don't like a certain ingredient.

Peru is at the heart of cooking, diet, and good health. Their food provides a cocktail of the past, present, and even future tastes. If you are a foodie tourist, you can bet on Peru, and you will never be disappointed with the diversity here.