Peru is the food mecca of South America, proudly laying claim to a selection of the best restaurants in the world and the #1 restaurant in Latin America. Although the gastronomic publicity tends to focus on the capital, Lima, culinary adventures await the traveler wherever they go in this country. Each region has its own specialties and while you can find them elsewhere in the country there’s nothing like trying a dish in the place that gave birth to it. At Aracari, we have explored the vast culinary offerings in Arequipa to compile this list of our favorite restaurants.
The Best Restaurants Arequipa
The upscale European – Peruvian fusion menu at Zig Zag is rightfully popular with the main courses, desserts, and wine lists combining to provide an unforgettable experience. When you visit, check out the restaurant’s staircase designed by French architect, Gustave Alexandre Eiffel.
It’s tough to go wrong with a menu inspired by Peru’s most noted chef, Gaston Acurio. Featuring traditional favorites as well as new takes on Peruvian cuisine using fresh local ingredients, Chicha is a sure bet for fine dining in Arequipa.
Nestled within the architectural complex of Santa Catalina Monastery, La Trattoria del Monasterio serves delicious Italian with Arequipeño influences and Andean ingredients in a great location.
This is considered by many locals to be the best of Arequipa’s picanterías. Although a little touristy and a bit loud on the weekends, this is the place to go for local flavor in both food and ambiance.
A good option for families, or travelers who are looking for something simple and international, Crepisimo is from the same restaurant family as Zig Zag and offers sandwiches, salads, and both sweet and savory crepes.
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“Must-Try” Dishes at the Best Restaurants Arequipa
The city of Arequipa has distinct comida criolla, or creole food, which is a mix of pre-Colombian, Spanish, and Afro-Peruvian influences and consists of large quantities of meat, potatoes, rocoto chilli peppers and corn. The simple and original fare is showcased at the city’s various picanterias, or the local best restaurants Arequipa, which are always busy with locals and serve enormous portions.
Spicy red chili pepper (rocoto) stuffed with ground beef and onion and then baked with cheese on top. Probably the most well known specialty of the Arequipa region.
Chupe de Camarones
A rich and creamy soup made with fresh large crayfish and often flavored with huacatay herb from the Andes.
A juicy dish of pork, rocoto (spicy red chili pepper), chicha de jora (slightly alcoholic drink made from
germinated, fermented corn) and red onions.
Seco de Cordero or Cabrito
Beer-braised lamb or kid stew seasoned with plenty of fresh coriander, chili and cumin, and accompanied by either yellow potatoes or white beans.
Culinary Travel to Arequipa
About a 1.5 hour flight from Lima, Arequipa is easily accessible and a great place to extend culinary travel past Lima. The area’s cuisine is defined by its history, and has a wonderful array of cultural and gastronomic attractions for all types of travelers. For a comfortable stay in the city, check out some of the best luxury hotels Arequipa. Our favorites are Libertador Arequipa Hotel and Casa Andina Premium Arequipa.
Contact us, the experts in luxury culinary travel to Peru, for personalized recommendations and itinerary ideas to inspire for your culinary tour Peru!