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Dining in the Clouds: Top Restaurants in Cusco

Don't miss 6 of Cusco's best restaurants. Get the lowdown on what makes each spot unique and advice on dishes to try.
by Steff LazoHerencia

Located between the Andes and the nape of the clouds, Cusco offers an impressive selection of eateries to suit everyone’s budget. Whether you have an adventurous trek to Machu Picchu planned or want to travel in luxury, the trendy dining out scene in Cusco should not be missed.

We have selected six top pick restaurants in Cusco, presented in no particular order, for their high quality of food, service, and overall presentation.

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 RestaurantGroup / Limo

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.

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.

Photo by Cusco Restaurant Group / Limo

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, Plaza de Armas
Phone: (+51 84 ) 240 – 668
Website
Lunch or Dinner: Daily 11:30 am – 11 pm
Price Point: Main courses $10 – $20
Tips: Request a table by the windows overlooking the plaza.

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. For a more adventurous option, try the grilled tender alpaca served with native roots, asparagus spears, and sweet pepper sauce.

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
Phone: (+51 84) 242 – 476
Website
Lunch or Dinner: Daily 11:30 am – 3 pm and 6 pm – 10 pm
Price Point: Main courses $20 – $30

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 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.

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

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.

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 an excellent alternative to eating meat in Cusco.

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.

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 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, Plaza de Armas, Cusco
Website
Phone: (+51 84) 243 – 379
Lunch or Dinner: Daily 8 am – 11 pm
Price Point: Main courses $15 – $5, Desserts $7

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.

Photo by Chicha

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.

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
Website
Phone: (+51 84) 240 – 520
Lunch or Dinner: Daily 12:00 noon – 10:30 pm
Price Point: Main courses $10 – $20

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 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.

One of Pachapapa’s signature dishes is roasted cuy.
Photo by Cusco Restaurant Group / Pachapapa

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
Website
Phone: (+51 84) 241-318
Lunch or Dinner: 11:30 am – 11 pm
Price Point: Main courses $10 – $20
Tip: Call 24 hours ahead to reserve the cuy (guinea pig).

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, Veg Options, 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. For personalized dining out tips and help planning your visit to Cusco, contact our team of experts.

*Updated October 2019 by Britt Fracolli