Andean Flavors: 4 unmissable Sacred Valley Restaurants
In recent years, Peruvian cuisine has gained international recognition. However, it is not only in the city of Lima that one can eat like a king. Throughout the country, chefs have been getting very creative and this is also true for the Sacred Valley restaurants. Blending international food with their local products such as alpaca or llama, different types of beans, corn, and potatoes, as well as local herbs such as muña (a local plant with a eucalyptus-mint aroma), there are many restaurants that are worth a visit.
Here are a few of the restaurants to discover in Urubamba and Pisac in the Sacred Valley
Paca Paca is one of the few restaurants in Urubamba that is open on Sunday evening. As you walk up to the second floor of an old house, you enter a cozy, artsy, and original ambiance. The decor includes handicrafts by local artisans that can be purchased directly from the restaurant. The small, intimate restaurant finds its warmth from the friendly staff, as well as the traditional adobe pizza oven: a perfect escape from the cool nights in Urubamba.
The menu is varied, including traditional Peruvian dishes, pizzas and pastas. Pizzas are made with a very thin crust and topped with fresh ingredients. The appetizers include soups, salads, and the spring rolls are all great. One of the recommended dishes is the ravioli stuffed with habas (similar to lima beans) with blue cheese: a creative Italian-Peruvian fusion dish.
Overall, Paca Paca has great quality food, a nice atmosphere, and friendly staff, all at a great value.
Address: Av. Mariscal Castilla # 640, Urubamba 08661, Peru.
Hours: Open 6 days a week Tuesday to Sunday from 1 pm to 9 pm.
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/PaCa-PaCa/305175372915442#_=_
The restaurant named Q’anela is pronounced “kah-ne-la”. Located two blocks from the Plaza de Armas (main square) of Urubamba, Q’anela Restaurant is a small place owned and managed by women that one must discover in the Sacred Valley. As you walk into the back of the restaurant, you find a cozy atmosphere with a lush green courtyard and garden. Handmade textiles are for sale and proceeds support the local Quechua communities in the Sacred Valley who make them. Since the restaurant’s beginnings in 2012, the chefs use fresh ingredients that come from local markets or from their own herb garden.
Make sure you come to Q’anela with an appetite as portions are generous and everything is tasty. Enjoy the complimentary starter of fava beans with Maras salt which are local and delicious. Other star dishes include the aji de gallina lasagna, lomo saltado made with alpaca, the alpaca steak as well as the trout tiradito appetizer.
Address: Jr.Grau 654 Urubamba, Peru
Hours: Monday to Sunday, 12pm to 11pm.
The restaurant Alma is located directly in the Hotel Casa Andina Private Collection in the Sacred Valley near Urubamba. The restaurant blends modern with Andean styles and is spacious. The floor to ceiling glass windows allow you to enjoy the views of the mountains and gardens during the day, while sipping a pisco sour or chilcano. At night, enjoy the folk sounds of Andean music: flute players, a blind harp player, or singers bring a happy atmosphere.
The food includes many Peruvian classic dishes such as lomo saltado and aji de gallina as well as international food. The trout is definitely recommended, as are the ravioli and salads. The smoked trout and cheese tequeños appetizer is a must to share with friends.
Make sure to order the eucalyptus jello with fresh fruits: it is the perfect combination of sweet and refreshing to end the meal.
Address: Paradero Yanahuara, Urubamba 84, Peru
Hours: Everyday between 7am and 11pm
The restaurant Cuchara de Palo (The Wooden Spoon) is located on the first floor of the Pisac Inn, right in front of the city’s main plaza. When you enter the restaurant it seems a little small, but as you walk further towards the back, you discover a whole new world: a large terrace with high plants, cacti, and flowers everywhere.
Everything on the menu is made with organic, locally grown products and the dishes are beautifully presented.
The cheese tequeños with a spicy avocado sauce are a perfect starter to share with friends. All plates are generous, and the alpaca and trout are a must! (in any sauce or with any side dishes).
There are also vegetarian friendly dishes such as quinoa stir fry, warming soups and colorful salads.
Address: Plaza Central de Pisac, Peru
Hours: Open daily from 7:30 am – 8: 30 pm serving breakfast, lunch and dinner.
There are many restaurants yet to be discovered in the Sacred Valley. Make sure to get out of the hotel and explore Peru’s gastronomy. Share with us your experiences and favorite places/dishes in the comments below!
Photos by: Q’anela, Vanna Pedraglio, Benjamin (Flickr), and Pamela C, SoCalR_E, EDemaria2013, CarolAF2801, ArtTexan (Trip Advisor)