Best affordable restaurants in Lima, Peru
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 rule of thumb does not apply to the multitude of commendable restaurants in Lima. We have merged our insider expertise and passion for food to recommend 6 top affordable restaurants in Lima for you to enjoy. These dining establishments will not only delight your taste buds, but appease your bank account.
It is not by fault 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 that’s considered the country’s unofficial ‘top dish.’ 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.
Cost range of suggested restaurants: $20-50 for an appetizer, main course and drink
Suggested tipping: about 10%
Dress Code: Flexible/Casual
Accept credit cards
Reservations not always required
Love is the theme echoed in the romantic presentation of food that’s 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 open 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.
Romance blends with ambiance at Cala.
Photo by Diversion en Lima
Chef Ivan Kisik’s contemporary Peruvian Cuisine 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. (Over-dose: Varied ceviches to share between 3-5 people.) Don’t think you have to only eat seafood if you dine at Cala since the Pastas 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 1) 252.9187
Menu: Available through website
Lunch or Dinner: Mon.-Wed./Thurs.-Sat./ Sun: 12:00-1:30/ 12:00-02:30/12:00-18:00
Note of Interest: Live Music Thurs.-Sat.
Tips: Reservations Strongly Recommended, but only available until 5pm. After that, first come first serve.
2. La Mar
It is fairly 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 prior to creating each dish: from the fishermen’s daily catch, to the farmers who nurture and harvest produce, to the chef who lovingly prepares each dish, to the waiter who charismatically presents it to you. Savor the path of production and reciprocity at La Mar- cevicheria.
Inside the casual atmosphere of La Mar.
Photo by Grub Street
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 can 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 1) 421-3365
Menu: Available through website
Lunch: Mon.-Fri./Sat.-Sun & Holidays: 12:00-17:00/ 12:00-17:30
Tips: Reservations Not Accepted
Note of Interest: Only available for Lunch
Just 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 creation and innovation—and the positive face of globalization. Osaka is a great 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 is warmly lighted. 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 Oriental 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 lechees 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: Conquistadores 999- San Isidro
Phone: (+51 1)222-0405
Menu: Available through website
Lunch or Dinner: Mon.-Fri./Sat.: 11:00-11:00/ 17:30-11:00
Tips: Reservations Recommended
Note of Interest: Not open on Sundays; call for holiday availability
4. El Mercado
According to Dwell.com, an architectural journal, “[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.” 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).
Photo by Jaime Ortiz de Zevallos
Rafael’s vision for this restaurant was to create an ample, open environment and maximize counter space which emulates a real market. This creates a friendly environment where diners can easily approach and access the preparation areas. Ignite your appetite with any 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 1)221-1322
Menu: Available through website
Lunch: Tues.-Sun. & Holidays: 12:30-17:00
Tips: Reservations not necessary.
Note of Interest: Lunch only
5. El AlmaZen
This delightful little restaurant is nestled in the heart of the Miraflores district, not too far from Kennedy Park (Miraflores’ Central Park), in a perfectly turquoise colored house. AlmaZen (a play on words: Alma- soul; and Zen play on the Spanish word, “alacén’ pantry or grocer-shop in this context) is true to its name because its owners, husband and wife chefs, Henry Vera & Gabriela Mato, are true to their concept of being well with yourself: body and mind. The little restaurant and tea house offer fresh, in season, locally produced organic, vegan and vegetarian foods. They also cater to dietary preferences and food allergies, by offering things such as gluten free pastries. It’s refreshing to visit a restaurant that is aware of the need, and is willing to prepare foods that don’t fit the traditional Peruvian diet. Accompany your delectable dinner with the exuberant warmth of the cradling candle light. Or soak up the sun in front of the broad bay-windows which are keenly accented with small toys.
Photo by Quarry Girl
Chefs Vera and Mato do a remarkable job combining seasonal products and dressing them in international, innovative and traditional Peruvian flavors. Enjoy an environmentally conscious alternative to dining in Lima and savor a Chupe de Zapallo (pumpkin soup spiced with ginger) on a cold Lima day or a refreshing Vegan Ceviche on a warm summer afternoon.
Since a major focus of the restaurant is to minimize environmental impacts, daily menus are hand-written on small leafs of recycled paper depending on the produce available and what the Chefs are inspired to create. Chef Henry Vera’s growing concern for the depletion of fisheries in the Peruvian seas inspires him to create traditional Peruvian dishes sans meat to exemplify that neither flavor nor tradition need be sacrificed to prepare vegetarian cuisine. Causa Limeña, traditionally made from yellow-mashed potatoes and seafood, is
re-invented by integrating quinoa (a high-protein grain from the Andes) or avocado and decorated with verdant alfalfa sprouts.
You’ll also want to sit down and enjoy a warm cup of Té Sorpresa (blooming tea) or a freshly brewed cup of French-press coffee. Accompany that with any number of tasty pastries, many of which do not use wheat flour or refined sugar, but substitutes such as quinoa flour, and agave nectar or yacón to add sweetness. Come on down to the AlmaZen and reminisce on your youthful pleasures while you delight in true vegetarian gourmet.
Address: Recavarren 298, Miraflores
Phone: (+51 1) 243.0474
Lunch or Dinner: Mon.-Sat.: 12:00-16:00/ 19:30-12:00
Tips: Reservations Recommended, but not always necessary
Note of Interest: Serves vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options. Not open Sundays.
At a Glance
Peruvian Contemporary, Seafood
Peruvian Traditional, Seafood
Peruvian Contemporary, Seafood, Nikkei, Fusion
Peruvian Traditional, Seafood, Nikkei