Foods from Peru: The 10 Best Peruvian Dishes

Peruvians love their food, and for good reason - it's delicious and the range of dish variety doesn't let you get board.
by Diego Ortiz

Peruvian food is currently experiencing a worldwide explosion. Last year, the Andean country’s culinary feats earned Peru the honor of World’s Leading Culinary Destination, according the World Travel Awards. This country’s offerings are being touted in cities from London to Tokyo, and the list keeps growing.

It’s hard to say exactly what it is that makes Peru’s kitchen so sought after and revered. It could be the diversity of ingredients, which are influenced by the various regions – from coast to mountain to jungle. Or maybe it’s the blend of color brought here by generations of immigrants from around the world, mixed with tastes inspired by civilizations that have lived off this fertile land for millenniums?

Either way, the result is a delectable and palate pleasing cuisine for the world to enjoy. Here is a list of our top ten foods from Peru.


Fish lovers need to know about ceviche (see above)! On the surface it’s a basic recipe of raw fish marinated in citrus juice and spices, but not every one can master it. Therefore, we’ll let experts handle it.

Lomo Saltado

lomo,saltado, top food, peruforless
Lomo Saltado in all of its glory.
Photo by Terra.com

Carb haters need not apply! This robust stir-fry concoction of beef, tomatoes, peppers, and onions are blended in a pan with soy sauce and fried potatoes and usually served over white rice.

Aji de Gallina

aji-de-gallina, top foods, peruforless
Photo by Alfredo Benítez

Consisting of tender chunks of chicken stewed in a rick yellow aji pepper sauce this dish is a criollo classic. It takes a while to prepare, but the results are well worth it. You’ll soon be hooked on this all at once cheesy, nutty, and spicy dish.

Pollo a la Brasa

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Pollo a la Brasa cooked over hot coals.
Photo by Expat Peru

Peruvian style roasted chicken is finger-licking good. The key is marinating the fowl in soy sauce with red peppers, garlic, and cumin in order to give the meat and skin a smoke, salty taste. The signature Peruvian recipe is found throughout the country, and it’s starting to catch on outside of Peru as well.

Rocoto Relleno

rocoto-relleno, top foods, peruforless
Photo by El Rinconcito Arequipeño Facebook page

This dish made famous in Trujillo, Peru is not your average stuffed pepper. The Peruvian recipe calls for a spicy pepper that truly gives it an extra kick. Match that with fillings of cheese, ground beef and vegetables and you’ll beg your grandmother to channel her inner Peruvian.


anticuchos, peruforlessPhoto by Perudelights.com

These skewered meat kabobs can be found from street corners to fancy restaurants around Peru. Young or old, rich or poor, if you’re in Peru you’ve got to try an anticucho.  Traditionally made with beef hearts slathered in garlic sauce, this dish dates back to the Spanish conquest.


alfajores, top foods, peruforlessPhoto by Cucharasbravas.com

We’ve got to show our love for Peruvian desserts, so what better way to do it than delightful alfajores. Rich with manjar blanco stuffed between two shortbread cookies, and covered with powdered sugar, you’ll be asking, chocolate chip who?


picarones, top food, peruforlessPhoto by Detrujillo.com

Who knew that a squash and yam could get together to make such a delicious dessert? This Peruvian donut is another street-vendor staple that dates back to Colonial times when African slaves were looking for an inexpensive alternative to Spanish buñuelos. Make sure you ask for extra miel de chancaca.

Pisco Sour

pisco-sour, top foods, peruforlessPhoto by Andres Barrios

Finally, every good Peruvian dish must be topped off with a Pisco Sour. Made with Pisco or Peruvian aguardiente, lime juice, egg whites, Angostura bitters, and ice cubes, this is the iconic cocktail. If you don’t drink one while in Peru, they might not let you leave!

Are we missing your favorite Peruvian dish, dessert or drink? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

Plan Your Culinary Tour to Peru

Ready to experience what Peru has to offer and try these delicious foods from Peru?  Chat with an expert travel advisor at Peru for Less and start planning your own dream vacation to Peru.