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March 24, 2020 culinary adventures, cusco

The 10 Best Restaurants in Cusco: Where to Eat in Cusco

From classic Peruvian to Japanese, Mediterranean and vegetarian options, there is something for everyone at these 10 best restaurants in Cusco.
Cusco has plenty of delicious restaurants to discover.
Cusco has plenty of delicious restaurants to discover.

Located between the Andes and the nape of the clouds, Cusco offers an impressive selection of restaurants to suit everyone’s budget. The city’s trendy dining out scene should not be missed, and our picks for the best restaurants in Cusco have been selected for their high quality of food, service, and overall presentation.

Without further ado, here is our list of Cusco’s best restaurants (in alphabetical order):

This article was updated on March 30, 2020.

Table of Contents

1. Calle del Medio

Calle del Medio is a restaurant lounge with prime real estate along the Plaza de Armas. Come for the tasty traditional and Creole dishes from Peru, and stay a bit longer for drinks from the full bar and dessert.

Enjoy casual-dining at Calle del Medio in a cool, modern ambiance. From a table on the balcony or near to a window, enjoy looking out over the historic plaza backdropped by hills. The view is really something special!

Two women toast on a wood balcony overlooking the Cusco plaza.

Calle del Medio’s balcony overlooks the Cusco Plaza de Armas. Photo by Cusco Restaurant Group.

Our team in Cusco says that this place prepares one of the best alpaca in the city. But if you’re not in the mood for grilled tenderloin, the menu is also sprinkled with enticing fish dishes (made with trout, a staple in Andean cooking), the Sacred Valley Salad topped with roasted chicken and other meat dish selections.

Address: Calle del Medio 113, 2nd floor, Cusco
Lunch, Dinner, and Cocktails
Pricing: Starters $7 – $10, Main Courses $10 – $15, Desserts $5

A bowl with fish, sweet potato and corn at Calle del Medio, one of the best restaurants in Cusco.

Calle del Medio’s take on the Peruvian classic, ceviche. Photo by Cusco Restaurant Group.

2. Chicha

Located by Plaza Regocijo, enjoy a second-story view of the activity below from one of the small balconies that overlook the park. If you didn’t get to dine at Gaston Acurio’s flagship restaurant in Lima, Astrid & Gaston, this is your chance to try one of the country’s most celebrated chefs take on regional and Andean food.

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Start your meal with chupe, a hearty Peruvian chowder. Chupe is a popular meal in the highlands because it’s a heartwarming meal packed with nutritious local products. Try the quinoa chupe, featuring local grains with Andean cheese, baked pumpkin, and grilled forest mushrooms. It’s also a perfect place to try savory anticuchos de alpaca (the heart of alpaca) marinated with Peruvian chili or even the classic Aji de Gallina, a traditional Peruvian chicken dish doused in a creamy yellow chili sauce.

A plate of anticuchos, skewered beef hearts, at Chicha, a top restaurant in Cusco.

Try the anticuchos at Chicha in Cusco. Photo by Chicha Restaurant.

Finish your dinner with the chocolate balloon. This dessert is elegantly composed of stuffed apples, caramel mouse, beer ice cream, quinoa foam, and almond crunch.

Address: Plaza Regocijo 261, 2nd floor, Cusco
Phone: (+51 84) 240 – 520
Lunch and Dinner
Pricing: Main courses $10 – $20

A plate with beef and thinly sliced fries at Chicha Restaurant.

A plate of steak frites, with beef and French fries at Chicha. Photo by Chicha Restaurant.

3. Cicciolina

Don’t let the Italian sounding name fool you. Cicciolina merges Novo Andino (New Andean) dishes, Mediterranean flavors, and international cuisine that’s served and enjoyed by Cusco locals and visitors.

Nestled in a quaint Cusco street corner, the restaurant is on the second floor of an old colonial home not too far from the city’s central plaza. The charming interior decorated with dangling dried garlic and peppers, arched doorways, and a vaulted ceiling gives the restaurant a Mediterranean-inspired ambiance. The open kitchen and inviting bar create a warm atmosphere that’s perfect for spending time catching up with a friend over a glass of chianti and ordering a snack from the restaurant’s Tapas Bar.

Bar area at Cicciolina with bottles of alcohol and flowers on the counter.

The interior of Cicciolina restaurant in Cusco. Photo by Cicciolina.

Walking past the high top tables near the bar, you enter the main dining room where leather seats surround tables covered in crisp white clothes. Here, a more elegant lunch and dinner service at Cicciolina are provided.

Start with the duck prosciutto with fried polenta or trout ceviche in tumbo salsa. Next, freshen things up with a colored quinoa salad, featuring mixed greens, feta, sweet pumpkin, caramelized almonds, and a creamy yogurt lemon dressing. For your main, indulge in the fillet of alpaca, thrown on the barbecue and served with an Andean wild pesto on a bed of colorful potatoes.

Address: Calle Triunfo 393, 2nd floor, Cusco
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Pricing: Main courses $10 – $20
Tip: Ciccolina also has a bakery downstairs that serves fresh bread and coffee.

A plate with green lettuce and white strips on top at Cicciolina in Cusco.

Cicciolina offers Mediterranean and international dishes. Photo by Cicciolina.

4. Greens Organic

Greens Organic is culinary director Coque Ossio’s freshest proposal. Vegetarian dishes are not typical in contemporary Peruvian cuisine, and this restaurant has mastered this meat-free food genre.

Check out Greens Organic’s feature in Vegetarian-Friendly Restaurants in Cusco.

Whether it’s dinner, lunch, or a snack, Greens is a great option. Digestion generally slows down at higher altitudes. So, consuming a lighter vegetarian meal of high-protein grains native to the Andean region⁠ – such as quinoa, kiwicha, and tarwi⁠ – is an excellent alternative to eating meat in Cusco.

Inside Greens Organic restaurant looking at the wooden bar area and shorter tables

The cozy interior of Greens Organic. Photo by Cusco Restaurant Group.

On a sunny day, try the signature ensalada de nuestro huerto (salad from our garden) that features mixed greens, avocado, fresh local cheese, and a basil vinaigrette. If the weather is chilly in Cusco, warm up with a native specialty: quinoa soup. To follow, savor the beetroot and sweet potato gnocchi served in a cream sauce with parmesan and olive oil.

Greens Organics is not only for vegetarians. The restaurant’s menu has some great meat options, such as the seared trout topped with a light lemon butter sauce or rolled chicken leg and thigh stuffed with greens and Cusquenian cheese, and served with potato gratin.

Indulge in a guilt-free dessert and taste the mango ravioli – misleadingly named as such, since there is no pasta involved – is made of thinly sliced mangoes that wrap vanilla-infused apples with a passion fruit coulis.

Address: Santa Catalina Angosta 135, 2nd floor, Cusco
Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
Pricing: Main courses $15 – $5, Desserts $7

A burger with lettuce, tomato, meat, cheese and decorative flowers at Greens Organic.

Greens Organic offers plates between 80-100 percent organic. Photo by Cusco Restaurant Group.

5. Kintaro

Kintaro stands out among the best restaurants in Cusco as one that specializes in authentic cuisine from Japan. If you have a craving for ramen, our team in Cusco says this is the place!

Every dish on the extensive menu is on point and Instagram worthy. Order a few starters, rice bowls, and sushi rolls to share at your table. Begin your meal with Hirashu-Udon (cold Japanese noodles), a cucumber and seaweed salad topped with vinaigrette dressing, and tempura. Then, onto the main courses! The sashimi, nigiri, and sushi options are vast and prepared in varieties with trout, salmon, crab, and more. Roundout your food with sake or oolong tea and top it off with matcha (green tea) ice cream.

Two white bowls filled with food. One with diced salmon on top and the other with fried meat.

Kintaro offers a wide array of Japanese and Nikkei dishes. Photo by Kintaro Japanese Restaurant on Facebook.

Come to Kintaro for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. With simple wooden furniture and lanterns, the restaurant’s Japanese inspired interior sets the tone for a nice dining out experience.

Address: Calle Plateros 334, 2nd floor, Cusco
Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
Pricing: Starters and Main Dishes $5 – $12

A white plate with eight makis at Kintaro, one of the best restaurants in Cusco.

Head to Kintaro for sushi, ramen, udon and more. Photo by Kintaro Japanese Restaurant on Facebook.

6. Limo

Located in the heart of Cusco, Limo overlooks the city’s picturesque central plaza. Enjoy lunch or a romantic dinner of Peru’s Nikkei cuisine with a view from this modern restaurant’s fully encased second-story balcony.

Limo’s Bar offers a wide selection of crisp and innovative cocktails. Treat your taste buds to a Mula Nikkei for a fusion of caña alta azul, ginger cordial, kwai feh lychee, and red nopal fruit (prickly pear). After a drink, enjoy an appetizer or a complimentary rotating starter, such as tuna with wonton and ankake sauce.

restaurant interior with wooden tables overlooking the plaza of Cusco.

Limo overlooks the main plaza of Cusco. Photo by Cusco Restaurant Group.

Limo also has a variety of sushi-fusion and tiradito (Peruvian version of sashimi) dishes. Not sure know what to choose? You can also try one of the chef´s suggestions, such as the vibrant Trucha Yamimono, consisting of grilled trout covered in Andean chili sauce, beans, caigua sour relish, and huacatay leaves.

Finish your dining experience with chirimoya alegre in Japan, comprised of native Peruvian cherimoya fruit macerated with orange, wasabi, chocolate, and clementine granita.

Address: Portal de Carnes 236, 2nd floor, Cusco
Lunch and Dinner
Pricing: Main courses $10 – $20
Tips: Request a table by the windows overlooking the plaza.

Close up of several sushi dishes on ceramic plates.

Tasty sushi options await at Limo. Photo by Cusco Restaurant Group.

7. MAP Café

Dine in the crystal cube of MAP Cafe and feel like another elegantly framed display at the Pre-Columbian Art Museum in Cusco. This contemporary Peruvian haute cuisine restaurant offers an artistic dining experience in the presence of the region’s history.

Enjoy a romantic dinner with a live harp performance and candlelight for a dazzling evening ambiance. Start with the MAP Café classic, capchi de setas, for a creamy Andean mushroom soup. Then, order the truffle-perfumed quinoa cannelloni as a main course. For a more adventurous option, try the grilled tender alpaca served with native roots, asparagus spears, and sweet pepper sauce.

White linen tables inside the glass-walled MAP cafe in Cusco.

Discover the elegant MAP Cafe while touring Cusco. Photo by Cusco Restaurant Group.

Don’t spare dessert! You must try the Lucuma kisses in five textures, which features liquid, creamy, foamy, and powdery lucuma under a delicious chocolate shell served with homemade, coffee-flavored chocolate sorbet from Quillabamba. Lucuma is a super nutritious Peruvian fruit, beloved by the Incas, with flavor notes of caramel, maple, and sweet potato.

Address: Plazoleta Nazarenas 231, Museo de Arte Precolimbino, Cusco
Lunch and Dinner
Pricing: Main courses $20 – $30

Handmade ice cream with sliced strawberries and aguaymantos at MAP cafe.

Haute cuisine paired with Peruvian ingredients makes MAP Cafe a unique dining option. Photo by Cusco Restaurant Group.

8. Organika

Organika is a great place to go for a laidback meal in a cozy environment. It’s cash-only and open daily for lunch and dinner.

Organika serves delicious meals to patrons with vegetarian, gluten-free, and meat preferences. Don’t expect to pay rock-bottom prices, but with appetizers starting at around $4 and main courses for $7 to $11, the menu is reasonably priced. Looking for recommendations? Try the goat cheese salad and alpaca steak.

Meat with potatoes, greens and a red decoration at Organika, one of the best restaurants in Cusco.

Organika caters to many diets and dietary restrictions. Photo by Organika on Facebook.

Dishes are thoughtfully presented and feature fresh ingredients. In fact, all the soups, pasta, pizzas, and edible-flower topped salads are prepared with produce from a Urubamba-based farm in the Sacred Valley.

Address: Calle Resbalosa 410, Cusco
Lunch and Dinner
Pricing: Main courses $10 – $15

Colorful fish dish topped with greens and edible flowers from Organika in Cusco.

Organika harvests their own produce in the Sacred Valley. Photo by Organika on Facebook.

9. Pachapapa

Pachapapa’s name (Pacha-earth; papa-potato) is inscribed over the front door in ancient Cusco chronicle typography to match its traditional Peru theme. It feels like you could be walking into a local Cusco home when you enter the restaurant. Sit at a table in the central courtyard or venture into one of the cozy side rooms that are warmed by little chimneys.

While Pachapapa serves several delicious traditional Peruvian dishes, the restaurant is known for its oven-roasted guinea pig (cuy) served with local herbs and spices. Another menu favorite is the eponymous PachaPapa, which is a marinated alpaca brochette, with stuffed hot pepper, corn tamal, assorted potatoes grilled with Andean cheese, and fresh salad.

A whole fried guinea pig served over herbs with chili peppers on the side.

Adventurous eaters can try guinea pig, or cuy, a local delicacy. Photo by Cusco Restaurant Group.

If the comfort of the familiar is what you’re craving, then order a tasty clay-oven baked pizza or calzone. Leave room to finish off with a sweet treat such as the quinoa biscuit or torta tres leches, which is a homemade sponge cake moistened with a three milk mixture and topped with cinnamon and strawberry.

Address: Plazoleta San Blas 120, San Blas, Cusco
Lunch and Dinner
Pricing: Main courses $10 – $20
Tip: Call 24 hours ahead to reserve the cuy (guinea pig).

The outdoor patio at Pachapapa with a harpist playing while people eat.

Sit outside at Pachapapa to enjoy the brisk Cusco air. Photo by Cusco Restaurant Group.

10. Uchu

Our team in Cusco touts Uchu a the best steakhouse in town. Try the protein-packed BBQ ribs or alpaca tenderloin cooked on hot volcanic stones with your pick of potato side, and pair your meal with causa or ceviche. The combination platters are great to share and sample a variety of meats and seafood.

This Peru-style steakhouse is tucked away on a patio-style nook along a narrow street just a few blocks from the Plaza de Armas. Within the whitewashed adobe walls of Uchu, enter into a charming and low-lit atmosphere for lunch or dinner. The avant-garde textile and sky-blue walls inside contrast the aged wood and classic vaulted ceilings and come together in a wonderfully eclectic blend.

Meat dish on a wood platter with sauces, a salad and wine at Uchu, a top restaurant in Cusco.

Meat and seafood lovers will appreciate the high quality found at Uchu. Photo by Cusco Dining.

The menu at Uchu also has a handful of great vegetarian dishes (or ones that can be prepared so). These veggie options, also great if you want a light meal, include a salad with mango and avocado, red quinoa causa, or potato cream soup topped with sour cream and caramelized pecans.

Address: Calle Palacio 135, Cusco
Lunch and Dinner
Pricing: Appetizers starting at $9, Main courses $12 – $22, Desserts $7

Three small cuts of meat with vegetables stacked on top. Two wine glasses behind the platter.

Accompany your meat with regional wine from South America. Photo by Cusco Dining.

Happy Dining

From veggie-centric dishes to Andean classics, the establishments we’ve selected for where to eat in Cusco, Peru have something to satisfy a hungry traveler. For help planning your visit to Cusco including personalized dining tips, contact our team of experts.

 Steff LazoHerencia
Steff LazoHerencia
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.
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