Dining in the Clouds: 6 Top Restaurants in Cusco

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Travelers from around the world come to Peru to explore the Andes Mountains and visit the Inca ruins of Machu Picchu near Cusco. Whether you have an adventurous trek planned or want to travel in luxury, dining at Cusco’s first-class restaurants should not be missed. Located between the Andes and the nape of the clouds, Cusco offers an impressive selection of restaurants, bars, and eateries to suit everyone’s budget.

We have selected 6 restaurants for their high quality of food, service, and overall presentation to give you a taste of the city’s culinary fusion and traditions. 

Limo | MAP Cafe | Cicciolina | Greens Organic | Chicha | Pachapapa

This post was last updated in January 2019. While the restaurants continue to serve noteworthy cuisine, we’ve double checked contact information and details for each dining establishment.

1. 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.

Photo by Cusco Restaurant Group / Limo

Limo’s Pisco Bar offers a wide selection of crisp and innovative cocktails. Treat your taste buds to a ají seco (hot pepper martini) for a fusion of passion fruit and chili-pepper infused pisco. After a drink, enjoy an appetizer or the complimentary potato fries served with three delicious homemade dipping sauces.

Limo also has a variety of sushi-fusion and tiradito (Peruvian version of sashimi) dishes. For a traditional Peruvian dish with a gourmet twist, try the alpaca steak with quinoa or adobo (pork stew) marinated in chicha (Andean corn beer).

Photo by Cusco Restaurant Group / Limo

Finish your dining experience with de maiz su manjar, a crispy chocolate  kiwicha (Andean grain cousin to quinoa) cone dessert stuffed with caramel and served with a side of strawberries in a sweet purple-corn reduction.

Address: Portal de Carnes 236, 2nd floor, Plaza de Armas
Phone: (+51 84 ) 240 – 668
Website – here 
Lunch or Dinner: Daily 11:30am – 11pm
Price Point: Main courses $10-$20
Tip: (1) Request a table by the windows overlooking the plaza (2) View the full menu on restaurant’s website

2. 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.

Photo by Cusco Restaurant Group / MAP Cafe

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.  Try the patitas de cuy crocantes sobre esponjoso puré de choclo  (crunchy guinea pig legs served on a fluffy bed of corn purée) for a more adventurous option.  Another popular choice is the three course meal set by the chef from the Prix-fixe menu (price fixed menu).

Don’t spare dessert! You must try the chirimoya and crunchy almond spheres bathed in white chocolate and topped with goldenberry sauce and a praline cookie. Chirimoya is a delicious tropical fruit from Peru with a signature creamy texture and sweat taste of pear combined with pineapple. The dessert is called esferas de chirimoya on the Spanish menu.

Address: Plazoleta Nazarenas 231, Museo de Arte Precolimbino, Cusco
Phone: (+51 84) 242 – 476
Website – here
Lunch or Dinner: Daily 11:30am – 3pm and 6pm – 10pm
Price Point: Main courses $20-$30

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.

Photo by Cicciolina

Nestled in a quaint Cusco street corner, the restaurant is located on the second floor of an old colonial home not too far from the city’s central plaza. The charming interior is decorated with dangling dried garlic and peppers, arched doorways, and a vaulted ceiling that 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.

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 is provided. Try the prosciutto de pato (duck prosciutto) with fried polenta or beef tenderloin doused in sauco (elderberry) and gorgonzola sauce. For dessert you can’t go wrong with the white chocolate and whisky mousse served on a brownie and smothered in butterscotch.

Address: Calle Triunfo 393, 2nd floor, Cusco
Websitehere 
Phone: (+51 84) 239-510
Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner: Daily 8am – 11am breakfast, 12 noon – 3pm lunch, 6pm – 10 pm dinner
Price Point: Main courses $10-$20
Tip: Ciccolina also has a bakery downstairs that serves fresh bread and coffee.

4. Greens Organic

Greens Organic is chef Jorge Luis Ossio’s freshest proposal.  Although vegetarian dishes are not commonly featured in contemporary Peruvian cuisine, this restaurant has mastered this meat-free food genre. 

Photo by Cusco Restaurant Group / Greens Organic

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 good alternative to eating meat in Cusco.

On a sunny day, try the signature ensalada de nuestro huerto (salad from our garden) that has beautiful fruit accents and edible flowers.  If the weather is chilly in Cusco, warm up with the native specialty – quinoa soup. To follow, try campesino, a vegetarian friendly sandwich with a  flavorful balance of vegetables caramelized to perfection on toasted bread.

Photo by Cusco Restaurant Group / Greens Organic

Greens Organics is not only for vegetarians. The restaurant’s menu has some great meat options, such as an alpaca steak served with ratatouille and trucha en papillote (parchment trout) topped with Andean cheese gratinade. Or savor a grilled presentation trucha del valle (valley trout) that’s served with high protein quinoa tabbouleh to give you strength and energy for your Andean exploration.

Indulge in a guilt-free dessert and taste the mango ravioli – misleadingly named as such, since there is no pasta involved.  This is a dessert of thinly sliced mangoes that wrap vanilla-prepared apples and presented in the shape of a cinquefoil flower.

Address: Santa Catalina Angosta 135, 2nd floor, Plaza de Armas, Cusco Website: – here Phone: (+51 84) 243 – 379 Lunch or Dinner: Daily 8am – 11pm Price Point: Main courses $15-$25, Desserts $7

5. 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.

Pierna de Cordero is among the specialty dishes served as Chicha.
Photo by Chicha

Start your meal with chupe, a hearty Peruvian chowder. Chupe is a popular meal in the highlands because it’s a warm meal that is packed with nutritious local products. Try the vegetarian take of this traditional dish called chupe 5 sabores (5 flavor chowder) for an Andean superfood mix of quinoa, olluco, zapallo (pumpkin), tofu, coconut milk, yellow curry, spearmint and Chinese-style bean salad. It’s also a perfect place to try savory anticuchos de corazon(beef-heart shish-kabob) or even a vegetarian version of the rocoto relleno (hot chili pepper traditionally stuffed with minced flavorful beef, onions and olives).

Finish your dinner with a refreshing queso helado (frozen cheese), a regional dessert from Arequipa. Queso helado is a traditional homemade ice-cream made from the simple ingredients of cinnamon infused with milk and sugar. Don’t forget to sample any of the innovative pisco based cocktails from the menu.

Address: Plaza Regocijo 261, 2nd floor, Cusco
Websitehere
Phone: (+51 84) 240 – 520
Lunch or Dinner: Daily 12:00 noon – 10:30pm
Price Point: Main courses $10-$20

6. 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.

Photo by Cusco Restaurant Group / Pachapapa

While Pachapapa serves several delicious traditional Peruvian dishes, the restaurant is known for its cuy horniado con hucatay y ají panca (whole guinea pig  roasted with a special Peruvian herbs and hot yellow pepper) and pachamanca (assortment of tubers, corn and meats baked in a traditional ground-oven) Pachamanca is a true Andean community feast tradition for a minimum of 20 people. To enjoy either of these specialty dishes, be sure to call the restaurant 24 hours in advance to make a reservation.

A roasted cuy masterpiece, one of Pachapapa’s signature dishes.
Photo by Cusco Restaurant Group / Pachapapa

Other savory menu options include any of the restaurant’s stews that are slow-cooked in a clay pot for a natural earthy flavor. Try the seco de cordero (slow cooked lamb stewed in beer and herbs). If the comfort of the familiar is what you’re craving, then order a tasty clay-oven baked gourmet pizzas or calzone.

Address: Plazoleta San Blas 120, San Blas, Cusco
Websitehere 
Phone: (+51 84) 241-318
Lunch or Dinner: 11:30am – 11pm
Price Point: Main courses $10-$20
Tip: Call 24 hours ahead to reserve the cuy (guinea pig) or pachamanca (ground-oven baked assortment).

At a Glance

Restaurant

Cuisine

LimoNovo Andino (New Andean), Sushi and Pisco Bar
MAP CaféInternational New-Andean Style Haute Cuisine
CicciolinaMediterranean/International, Bakery and Tapas Bar
Greens OrganicSalads, Sandwiches, Mains and Bar
ChichaPeruvian Fusion, Regional Food and Bar
PachapapaTraditional Peruvian Cuisine

From veggie-centric dishes to Andean classics, the restaurants we’ve selected have something to offer anyone’s hunger. Click “Go Discover” now for help planning your own trip to Cusco and personalized dining out tips.

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About Author

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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