I had a heck of a time trying to find a decent place to grab a bite while I was visiting Cusco this trip. I was so sick that I couldnt make it much farther than the plaza de armas or the mercado central so I decided to try a taste of home. The McDonald’s in Cusco, Peru is located in the Plaza de Armas. They have a restroom and there are plenty of ATM’s and money exchange booths in the plaza close by.
The food here is fast and hot as any McDonald’s should be. I just wish I could say the same thing about the local restaurants around Cusco. All I have found that wasnt totally disgusting was Pizza. All the food I tried was bland and tasted of cardboard and week old frozen tv dinners. The only real place to get a meal was in the Market and that was a good deal.
Cusco was the Inca Capital. The city is a cultural epicenter and is located at 10,000 feet high in the Andes Mountains. One thing I have always said is that good food is very hard to come by in Cusco. I dont know if that is because of the Altitude Sickness or just that I am used to the complexity of the cuisine in Lima. I have however experienced a great deal of what Cusco has to offer.
The Central Market is located close to the San Pedro Rail Station just a few blocks walk from the Plaza de Armas. Here you will find everything from fresh coca leaves to alpaca stocking caps. On any given day you will find a quick and tasty bite to eat here as well. In the mornings locals are quick to grab a fresh glass of custom varieties of fruit juice and freshly made sweet bread. At lunch time it is difficult to find a seat at the favorite spots as the locals all seem to enjoy the eateries.
On this particular visit I was overcome with the AMS acute mountain sickness having taken the Flores bus through the night for a non stop 23 hour ride. Let me just say I was glad to be off the bus and I needed to eat. I found a little place in the back with Caldo de chunos or sopa de chunos which seemed perfect. I enjoyed every drop of it for s./1 or about 30 cents usd. It was great and made me feel alot better.
There are a variety of alpaca stores and t-shirt shops inside as well as the usual meat market and other various stands of produce. If you are in Cusco you have to check this place out. I recommend trying one of the eateries for a decent meal around lunch time.
On my recent vacation to Mancora Peru we decided to eat at a little place on the main street running through town call Restaurant Mechita. We found the place while we were looking for a place to get Menu for cheap. We noticed that they had Menu advertised out front on the billboard for s./8 soles so we decided to give it a try. The menu lists various marisco’s seafood and criolla fare and the prices are about half what you will pay at the Espada, which I did not visit after reading several bad reviews.
We ordered chicharrones de calamar which is fried calamari for our girls for s./8 soles. The menu came with a starter of papas huancaina which was decent although it is pretty hard to screw up skined boiled potatoes in huancaina sauce, it was good though as I tried a taste. The chicharrone de calamar was very fresh and cooked to perfection. I was in the mood for some fresh shrimp and decided to try their cebiche de langostinos which is priced at s./15 soles or about $5 usd.
The cebiche de langostinos was absolutely superb! The shrimp were fresh and plentiful as I did not expect to get so many shrimp for that price. The leche de tigre was perfectly spiced with ricotta pepper and red onions combined with key limes. The dish was served with a piece of choclo corn and camote sweet potatoes on the side.
The restaurant has outdoor seating on the front patio and ample room inside. They were showing the world cup game inside which is where we were seated. If you are going to try to get Menu on avenida grau rather than the boardwalk this is a good choice. I give Restaurant Mechita (***) 3 stars for a delicious quick lunch.
The Restaurant Tumi is located on the boardwalk connecting the Pahamerican Highway to Mancora Beach on your righthand side. I chose this place because they were advertising Menu for s./ 8 soles. Tumi is an open air place with plenty of seating. The seafood was fresh and the beer was super cold.
Menu ranges from fresh fish, chicharon de pescado, chicharon de langostinos, lomo saltado and assorted other dishes as they have quite a large Menu daily. The first serving of the day was a choice of fresh cebiche or paps huancaina. The huancaina sauces was great and I like it spicey! I ordered chicharon de langostinos while my family chose chicharon de pescado and lomo saltado. All the meals were good and served hot.
I recommend it as a nice place to get out of the sun while enjoying a nice quick meal. I give the Restaurant Tumi in Mancora, Peru a rating of (***) 3 stars for budget travel dining.
The Pizza Palace located in the Plaza de Armas is my favorite place to stop in for a quick bite and the Pizza is the best I have had in Peru. The ingredients are fresh and the pizza is great. The atmosphere is perfect for a stop on a date if you are enjoying a walk through the Plaza de Armas to see the fountains, touring a nearby museaum or shopping in the jiron de la union.
Pay for a gaseosa y pizza personal (a slice) at the caja and grab your food and head to one of the many bar stools for seating. Cost for a soda and a slice of the best pizza in Peru is s./ 2.50 or about $.95 usd.
I give the Pizza Palace a rating of (****) stars for the excellent pizza and budget friendly prices it is a must try when visiting the Plaza de Armas in Lima, Peru.
The Mochileros Lorr is located on the boardwalk linking the Panamerican highway to Mancora Beach. They serve Menu daily with a wide selection to chose from. Prices for Menu are s./7 soles and include a fruit juice drink.
The food in this open air eatery was decent but the best thing about this place was the 3 cold beers for 12 soles special that they run daily. I was even offered my beer for 4 soles as well. The Menu special for the day consisted of a choice of cebiche or chicharon de pescado with a maracuy passion fruit juice and your choice of entree ranging from fish to shrimp with different preparations. I chose the cebiche and chaufa con langostinos. The food was served prompty and the beer was ice cold, probably the coldest I encountered on the entire trip up north.
The Cebiche was fresh and the Chaufa con langostinos was pretty good. They also serve parilla de tuna which smelled fantastic. I recommend the Mochileros Lorr for a decently priced place to eat close to the main drag in Mancora, Peru. I give it a rating of 3 stars.
Located in the Collectivo de Chira across from the Mercado de Limoncillo on the prolongacion Tacna just over the bridge in Rimac you will find a fantastic locals restaurant. I first ate here last year on the way to take my step daughters to school for a quick lunch, since then I have been back numerous times.
The Cristo Rey a small open air cebicheria inside the Chira Market with some fantastic food. They serve a different Menu special daily along with fresh cebiche and chicharon de calamar. Everything here is made fresh that day and I have not had a bad meal here. Price for Menu is S./5 soles or about $1.75 USD and changes daily.
Last week I tried their Menu special of Chupe de langostinos which was fantastic! It came with chicharon de calamari and cebiche for S./7 other choices for starters are papa huancaina. The chicharon is great and the cebiche is spiced perfectly.
They open around 11 AM and close late in the afternoon. The Cristo Rey is a great place to eat a tasty meal on a buget and the service is friendly and fast. Enjoy and maybe I’ll see you there!