If you’re going to experience the full range of cuisine Peru has to offer, one thing you must try is chifa, also known as Peruvian-Chinese cuisine. Chifa restaurants in Peru come from a long line of cultural history: thousands of Chinese immigrants moved to Peru in the late 1800s, mostly arriving from China’s Guangdong province. The Chinese community of Peru has made a big impact on the nation’s culture and customs, and has added more depth and richness to Peru’s overall diversity.
Today, more than one million people of Chinese descent live in Peru, and a unique blend of Peruvian and Chinese culture has surfaced as a result. Certain Cantonese words have even made their way into Peruvian Spanish. A wonderful culinary result of this cultural diversity is chifa. This style of cuisine combines traditional Cantonese cooking techniques, Peruvian ingredients, and food traditions from Peruvian Creole culture for one very delicious outcome. The result is a food preparation style that is somewhat reminiscent of Cantonese food you’ve tried elsewhere in the world, but with its own very distinctive (and delectable) spin.
Chifa Restaurants In Lima
Chifa restaurants in Peru have made this hybrid cuisine one of the most popular food styles in the country. Often, restaurants that don’t exclusively focus on chifa will still have a few chifa-inspired dishes on the menu because it is simply that integral to Peruvian eating habits. The word chifa is derived from the Cantonese phrase meaning “to cook food.”
Lima is an especially great place to try chifa for the first time. You’ll find fantastic chifa offerings all over the city, from high end to low end to everything in between. If you have the time to truly immerse yourself, you’ll want to pay a visit to Barrio Chino (Chinatown) in Lima. Here, you’ll get to know a vibrant Chinese-Peruvian community that fuses treasured traditions of the past with the exciting customs of modern Peru. Barrio Chino is home to several Chinese temples, Chinese-Peruvian businesses, a vibrant tight-knit community, and of course, some of the most fantastic chifa restaurants in Lima.
Classic Chifa Dishes
Ready to try it for yourself? Here’s what to order.
Arroz Chaufa. This is fried rice with a Chinese-Peruvian twist. It includes tasty ingredients like white rice, soy sauce, Chinese onions, fried eggs, and a protein like chicken, pork, or fish.
Tallarin Saltado. This twist on chow mein consists of egg noodles, usually with chicken.
Sopa Wantan. Wonton soup, chifa style.
Gallina Tipakay. This dish consists of mouth-watering sweet and sour chicken.
Where to try chifa in Lima
Not sure where to try chifa first? Stop by one of these fantastic restaurants in Lima.
Great Chifa Restaurants In Lima
This restaurant is helmed by Gastón Acurio, the famed chef behind big-name establishments like Panchita and Astrid y Gaston. At Madam Tusam, Acurio offers creative twists on the traditional favorites, and it’s an experience you won’t soon forget. You’ll find flavorful sauces, satisfyingly spicy plates, and a hip, happening atmosphere. Make sure you get a reservation for this one, as it’s one of the most popular chifa restaurants in Lima.
This luxurious dining experience in San Isidro has been a Lima favorite since 1995, and has received accolades from critics in both China and Peru. Owner Cesar Loo serves up a Mandarin-style menu that adheres to traditional preparation techniques that are no longer commonly practiced in restaurants. Restaurante Royal goes above and beyond for chic brunches and buffet lunch experiences. The World Association of Chinese Cuisine named Restaurante Royal the Best Chinese Cuisine Restaurant for its dedication to traditional Chinese preparation methods.
Chifa Wa Lok
This beloved establishment has a whopping 300 dishes on offer, so it’s your chance to try just about anything you’ve been craving. If you’re stumped, ask the waitstaff for their favorites – they’ll no doubt have plenty of wisdom for making the most of your order. If it’s your first chifa experience, be sure to order at least one of the classic dishes listed above. After all, they’re the staples!
Kuo Wha Gardens
As the oldest chifa in Miraflores, Kuo Wha is something of a local legend. In half a century of serving customers, Kuo Wha has learned a thing or two about how to create delicious dishes you’ll never forget. Here you can enjoy a wide range of Cantonese delicacies and dim sum, but one of the most memorable aspects of the restaurant is the space’s design. When you walk inside, you’ll find a gorgeous central courtyard, featuring a traditional Chinese garden and a pond full of fish. Talk about an experience for all five senses.
Chifa Titi takes the central traditions of chifa and builds on them to create more innovative, unique offerings than you’ll find elsewhere. This is a great place to honor your adventurous side and order a Cantonese dish that veers far away from chifa’s core staple foods. Your taste buds will thank you!