Restaurants in Cusco
Recently, Peruvian food is starting to garner acclaim across the globe and one region with a proud culinary tradition is Cusco. With various stews, soups of choclo (a type of maize) and, of course, roasted cuy (guinea pig), there's plenty to try. In recent years the city's restaurant scene has come on leaps and bounds, and it is now possible to dine in style throughout the historic centre. Local restaurants are also worth a look for truly authentic, no-frills fare.
The Cusco restaurants below have been hand-picked by our guide author and are grouped into three pricing categories:
Expensive (over PEN 80)
Moderate (PEN 30 to PEN 80)
Cheap (up to PEN 30)
These Cusco restaurant prices are for a three-course meal for one, including half a bottle of house wine or equivalent, tax and service. Tipping at 10% is optional, unless a service charge has already been added to the bill.
Another Tammy Gordon eatery, but newer than Cicciolina, this handsome bistro feels more like a gastro pub than its elegant sister restaurant. The specials are chalked up on a board and its countless bottles of wine are stacked in a huge cabinet. The food is a mix of Mediterranean and Peruvian, with treats such as grilled Andean cheese, terrific salads and a mixed grill starter, which includes a local speciality, anticucho (heart), and fine chorizo. The sticky toffee pudding with pecan ice cream and fig jam is unmissable.Address: , Calle Ruinas 465, Cusco,
Telephone: (84) 242 808.
One of the innovators of Cusco's dining scene, Tammy Gordon opened Cicciolina a decade ago, and it has become a local institution – as well as popular with visitors in-the-know. Back then, there were only a handful of places offering high-end cuisine here and now there are several on each street in the city centre. It has a homely bar area and an alluring red dining room with broad-brush contemporary portraits on the wall. While it's a charming place to try Peruvian, Argentinean and Chilean wine, guests come for the inventive mix of nouveau cuisine and Peruvian cooking. Don't miss the prawns coated in toasted quinoa and seared alpaca.Address: , Calle Triunfo 393, 2nd floor, Cusco,
Telephone: (84) 239 510.
Modern Incanto serves Italian pasta, pizza and contemporary Peruvian fusion. Inside, the bright white plaster gives way to exposed stone walls. An open kitchen sits at the back of the restaurant and a large pizza oven perches in the middle. Try the alpaca and rosemary pizza or pop in for an afternoon helping of the excellent hot chocolate, which is served with sugar-coated, deep-fried churros.Address: , Santa Catalina Angosta 135, Cusco,
Telephone: (84) 254 753.
Jack’s CaféCuisine: International
Serving up comfort food at its best, Jack's Café is a beacon for tourists in search of a brief pause from their Peruvian adventures. A relaxed western-style restaurant, open from very early until late, it's renowned for its hearty breakfasts, particularly the huevos rancheros (fried eggs on tortillas with salsa). For lunch or dinner, there are excellent soups (try the roasted pumpkin), huge cheeseburgers, deliciously indulgent toasted sandwiches, Thai curries and plenty more besides. Jack's is also one of the best stops for coffee in the city.Address: , Calle Choquechaka 509, Cusco,
Telephone: (84) 254 606.
MuseCuisine: International, Peruvian
Everything about Muse is eclectic: from the food and drink to the music. Its lounge area is a flamboyant living room, with leather sofas and armchairs, pink walls, high ceilings and curious light fixtures like floating orbs; while the bar serves up a formidable selection of cocktails. The restaurant is barely more restrained: all sultry red, colourful paintings and dark wood furniture. The menu offers good pasta, excellent burgers and Peruvian classics like lomo saltado (strips of sirloin cooked with onions, tomatoes served with rice and potato slices).Address: , Calle Triunfo 338, 2nd floor, Cusco,
Telephone: (84) 242 030.
Tapa Tapa y ¡Ole!Cuisine: International
Unsurprisingly, some of today's Peruvian cuisine is related to Spain's 16th century conquest, so it's worth visiting an Español eatery while in Cusco. Run by a couple from Valencia, Tapa Tapa is known for its rich paellas, fideuà (noodles with seafood) and other favourites from the Mediterranean coast.Address: , Calle Suecia 343, Cusco,
Telephone: (84) 529 091.
Café de Mama’ Oli’Cuisine: French
Next to the Museum of Pre-Columbian Art, this little café serves up the best coffee in the city from traditional red-coloured ceramics. Perhaps because the owner's husband is French (his photography of indigenous people graces the walls), there's a Parisian feel to the place, with French music, children's books and decoration. The quiches are delicious, as is the banana and chocolate cake, which is baked fresh daily.Address: , Calle Nazarenas 199, Cusco,
Telephone: (84) 779 928.
El EncuentroCuisine: Peruvian
This inexpensive vegetarian restaurant resembles a tavern. It has benches instead of tables, so diners are encouraged to squeeze in and get to know each other. Business and shop owners flock in to fill up on the healthy choclo (Peruvian corn) soup, plentiful salads with local ingredients, omelettes and much more.Address: , Santa Catalina Ancha 384, Cusco,
Telephone: (84) 247 977.
Panaderia QosqoCuisine: French, Peruvian.
Another French-run café, this handsome little spot is great for breakfast, with freshly baked croissants filled with chocolate or ham and cheese, bocaditos de maracuyo (sweet mini-pastries packed with passion fruit), excellent cookies and superb coffee.Address: , Avenida Tullumayo 465, Cusco,
Telephone: (84) 234 025.