Latin American restaurants that made to the list
The World’s 50 Best Restaurants have been announced. And, once again, we have 2 restaurants from Lima that have made it into the top 10 list. And that is not all, a further 5 Latin American restaurants have made it to the top 50.
I recall when we were in our formative years developing tours to South America we used to recommend just a short one-night stop in Lima. At the time, it was not a nice place for a traveller to visit: the centre was crowded with street stalls and all sort of “hawkers” trying to sell anything to make a living. The food was bad, average hotels and poor infrastructure. Things have clearly changed, and today, we recommend our clients that if they can afford the time in their tour to stay 3 or 4 nights, they should do it.
It is still a very crowded city with about 8 million people. However, hospitality areas have improved beyond recognition from those early days. Great hotels, small boutique accommodation to international 5-star brand names. The city centre Plaza de Armas is a delight to walk around, 18 century colonial buildings that are beautiful to explore and some of the best museums in the world like the Larco Museum.
But the food…The food is like heaven in your mouth. Today, you can buy from a street vender pop up shop and not get sick! I have had the delightful experience of eating at Central and at the Astrid and Gastón (both in the recent list of the Best 50 restaurants) and they are without doubt incredible food experiences. I also met the man that put Peru gastronomy on the map: Gaston Acurio- thank you for showing us what we were missing out on!
The other restaurant in the top 10 list is Maido located in Lima. It specializes in Japanese-Peruvian fusion cuisine. There are hundreds of great eating places you can find in Peru as well. For example, in Barranco you should try “Isolina”, in Cuzco you should go to “Limo” and “La Feria” and in Arequipa look for the dish “Rocto relleno”- a spicy filled pepper. I personally love “trucha”, which is a grilled trout from the Andes (see the photo). I had this about 5 weeks ago in a restaurant called “PachaPapa” in San Blass Cuzco. And of course, the traditional ceviche which is white fish marinated with lime and chilles, served with corn and sweet potatoes. The top restaurants have the tasting menus of up to 20 dishes structed around native ingredients from different parts of the country from the sea to Andes to jungles! All washed down with a perfect Carmenere from Chile!
Some of the other Latin American restaurants on the top 50 is “Quintonil” and “Pijol” located in Mexico City, “Baragó” in Santiago de Chile, “D.O.M” in Sao Paulo, Brazil and “Astrid and Gastón” in Lima, Peru.
We can design a gastronomical and wine tasting only tour for your clients who want to experience the best when it comes to a Latin culinary experience.
Ted Dziadkiewicz is Director and Founder of Contours Travel, Australia’s longest running tour operator to Latin America. He has been more than 100 times to Latin America over the past 40 years and visited over 20 countries. If you want to know more visit www.contourstravel.com