Lima offers a wide variety of culinary flavors that will not leave you unsatisfied. It is often believed that price dictates the quality of a meal, but such a rule of thumb does not necessarily apply to the multitude of excellent restaurants in Lima. We have merged our insider expertise and passion for food to recommend four affordable restaurants in Lima for you to enjoy.
These dining establishments not only delight your taste buds but appease your bank account. Here’s a roundup of what to expect:
- Cost range: $20 to $50 for an appetizer, main course, and drink
- Suggested tipping: about 10%
- Dress code: casual/flexible
- Payment: credit cards and cash accepted
- Reservations: not always required
Love is the theme echoed in the romantic presentation of food served at Cala. The design of this seaside restaurant is itself a testament to the open and vast presence of the ocean that stirs before it. Its spacious terrace allows diners to enjoy its charm with the caress of the Pacific Ocean breeze. The multi-ambient architecture with terrace, bar-lounge, main dining hall, and private den, make Cala right for any occasion – day or night.
The contemporary Peruvian cuisine at Cala alludes to Mediterranean sentiments and Oriental nostalgia. To exemplify this complex flavor try the Chita Crocante (Crusted Thai style snapper) prepared in coconut milk-basil reduction served with prawns and a side of coconut rice. Or order from the Love is Sharing menu and try the Sobre Dosis. (Overdose: Varied ceviches to share between 3-5 people.) Don’t think you have only to eat seafood if you dine at Cala since the Pasta and Rice and Meat Lovers menus are also available. Those with an insatiable sweet tooth fear-not, as decadent dessert options such as the delightful traditional Suspiro Limeño, served with chirimoya foam, guanabana sorbet and aguaymanto are available.
Address: Playa Barranquito, Espigón B-2, Circuito Vial Costa Verde
Phone: (+51 01) 477 – 2020
Lunch or Dinner: Sunday to Wednesday from 12 noon to 1 am; Thursday to Saturday from 12 noon to 3 am
Restaurant Tip: Reservations strongly recommended but only available until 5 pm. After that, first come first serve.
It is evident that to chef and restaurant entrepreneur, Gaston Acurio, a restaurant is much more than a place for dining. It’s a social and cultural reflection of everything that comes before creating each dish: from the fishermen’s daily catch to the farmers who nurture and harvest produce to the chef who lovingly prepares each meal to the waiter who charismatically presents it to you. Savor the path of production and reciprocity at La Mar.
La Mar Cevichería is Acurio’s proposal for internationalizing Peruvian cuisine via its primary spokes-food: ceviche. Acurio is working on conquering the North American palate and has opened La Mar franchises in California and New York. In the Lima restaurant, one can expect to enjoy no less than the top-quality food that Acurio’s reputation bares.
Customers enjoy healthy portions of ceviche or a sampler of creative approaches to the traditional Peruvian Causa (mashed potato casserole layered with seafood, topped with sauces, spiced with ajís and flavored with local herbs) over a casual atmosphere. Contrast your limey dishes with the robust taste of chocolate-lucuma cake or compliment it with a tangy mango-maracuya (passion fruit) sorbet.
Address: Av. La Mar 770, Miraflores
Phone: (+51 01) 421 – 3365
Lunch Only: Monday to Thursday from 12 noon to 5 pm; Friday to Saturday from 12 noon to 5:30 pm; Sunday closed
Restaurant Tips: The restaurant is only open for lunchtime, and reservations are not accepted.
When you thought sashimi and sushi couldn’t get any tastier, Japan meets Peru! Like most cultural intermingling, the creations at Osaka are exotic and tempting. One could say that food is a sensual representation of invention and innovation – and the positive face of globalization.
Osaka is an excellent example of cultural fusion in Peru. However, the restaurant doesn’t stop at Japanese-Peruvian cuisine; it also embraces and incorporates Thai and Chinese accents that will impress you and leave you asking for more.
The environment in Osaka’s Miraflores restaurant is chicly decorated with Japanese styled wooden carvings, has an open kitchen, and has warm lighting. Enjoy perfectly sliced Sashimi, the classic Tiradito Mi Peru (thinly sliced raw fish marinated in an acidic or spicy sauce), or any of the fusion ceviche varieties for lunch or dinner.
Make use of your time and money and feast on Osaka’s world-class sushi bar. Accompany your feast with warm or chilled sake and Chocolate Banana Cheesecake (caramelized bananas, vanilla ice-cream, and rum custard crème) or stay light with Fresh Leechee (two texture lychees with mint crumble).
Treat yourself to a trendy Peruvian-born Japanese fusion restaurant that leaves no questions as to its growing popularity around the world (franchises include Santiago, Buenos Aires, Mexico City, and Sao Paulo).
Address: Av. Prado and Aliaga 660, 1st floor, San Isidro
Phone: (+51 01) 222 – 0405
Lunch or Dinner: Monday to Saturday from 12:30 pm to 4 pm for lunch and from 7 pm to 12 midnight; Sunday closed
Restaurant Tips: Reservations are recommended. Osaka is not open on Sundays and call for holiday availability.
“[Lima’s El Mercado Restaurant’s] theme is old meets new—not just in the food, where acclaimed chef Rafael Osterling puts a new twist on classic Peruvian dishes, but also in the architecture,” according to Dwell.com, an architectural journal. He has created “a little green space [in an otherwise industrial]area,” remarks the restaurant’s architect, Zevallos. This transformation has created a lunchtime niche where one can escape to an open area and enjoy a wide range of dishes ranging from the traditional to the creative. You must experience Osterling’s sushi inspired Causa (mashed yellow potatoes that envelop savory combinations of seafood and spices).
Rafael’s vision for this restaurant was to create an ample, open environment and maximize counter space, which emulates a real market. The design creates a friendly environment where diners can easily approach and access the preparation areas.
Ignite your appetite with an array of ceviches or something a little more exotic like the Pulpo a La Parrilla (grilled octopus) served with mushrooms, native potatoes, and parsley sauce. Go traditional and order the Spicy Peruvian Stew where the flavors of bull crab, shrimp, squid, and scallops have boiled and steeped in yellow chili, white wine, and onion stew. Although El Mercado does an exemplary job on seafood preparation, rest assured you can find pasta and rice dishes as well as soups and salads.
Don’t forget dessert! Try the Picarones (fried dough with a hint of anise drizzled in home-made clove and cinnamon chancaca syrup) – yum!
Address: Hipolito Unanue 203, Miraflores
Phone: (+51) 974 – 779 – 517
Lunch Only: Monday closed, Tuesday to Saturday from 12:30 pm to 5 pm
Restaurant Tip: Reservations for lunch are not necessary.
At a Glance – Affordable Restaurants in Lima
It is not an accident that our top modestly-priced restaurant choices are dominated by seafood options, as it’s a food genre that the coastal capital of Lima does best. Among the many culinary gems in Peru, Lima is renowned for its ceviche. To enhance the cultural value of your seafood favorite, don’t forget to accompany your meal with a national Peruvian drink, such as a pisco sour cocktail or a purple corn beverage called chicha morada.
Peruvian Contemporary, Seafood
Peruvian Traditional, Seafood
Peruvian Contemporary, Seafood, Nikkei, Fusion
Peruvian Traditional, Seafood, Nikkei
Check out our Lima Restaurant Guide for more dining out inspiration in Peru’s capital city.
* Updated in November of 2019 by Britt Fracolli.
Steff is a traveler at heart and the wildness of South America never seizes to captivate her exploratory spirit. While she spent a majority of her childhood in the United States as a free-range “Austinite”, she was born in Peru and feels a deep connection to this continent. She has been fortunate to experience the remarkable landscapes and diversity of Chile, Venezuela, Brazil and Peru.