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in Lima


  The meaning of "Menu" in Peru
More Info Here

Breakfast - Desayuno
More Info Here

Lunch - Almuerzo
More Info Here

Dinner - Cena
More Info Here

Dessert - Postre
More Info Here

Fresh fruit -
Fruta Fresca

More Info Here

Fine dining
More Info Here

Language of Food - Spanish translations
More Info Here


Life is an adventure, so too is travel.
Get out there and live!


Copyright 2015 All Rights Reserved.






The "Menu"

The word "menu" has a different meaning in Peru than in North America or other regions. In Lima, menu (pronounced meh-new) is basically the daily special or list of offerings for that meal or time of day. This is normally a list of options of the day for a full lunch at a flat price, that includes- a beverage, soup or salad, and entree. Some may include a light desert. The "menu" is usually for only be for a limited time period, not all day, as the proprietor determines. Most often, the "menu" and prices are listed on a sign or blackboard posted outside the front of the eatery. This is good for tourists to know exactly what the cost will be. Be adventurous! Try sample something that you can not get at home.

The printed list or "booklet" style list of offerings is referred to as "la carta." Restaurants may have standard offerings on their "carta" that are not shown on the daily "menu" offering. You could ask to see the carta by asking- "Tiene una carta que puedo ver de sus platos" or Do you have a carta that I can see of your plates (platters) ?

Lima has a varied culinary tradition, which fuses Andean and Spanish tradition as well as some African, Asian (mainly Chinese and Japanese), French, Italian and Muslim cuisine. The city is becoming world-famous for its seafood and unique vegetables, creole, Peruvian–Chinese (called chifa) and fusion cuisine. Criollo (kree-o-yo) cuisine refers to an old traditional recipe of the culture of Peru.


Desayuno starts the day in Lima as everyone wakes up to fresh brewed coffee or the whirrr of blenders preparing fresh fruit juices. Take advantage of your time in Lima to try fresh papaya juice. This juice is somewhat thick and has a distinct flavor that becomes more refreshing every time you have a glass. Fresh mango juice is similar but a sweeter flavor. There are a variety of juice combinations as well as fresh fruits to try. Fresa Con Leche (strawberry with milk) is a popular combination, like a smoothie.

A typical Continental Breakfast consists of coffee and/or tea, juice (jugo, "who-go"), bread (pan) and marmelade. Try a strawberry juice with milk (jugo de fresa con leche) or a delicious mixed fruit juice (jugo sortido). There would be restaurants in Miraflores that open to serve breakfast, eggs (huevos, "way-vos"). In residential areas, generally the eateries do not open until about noon.

There are many panaderias in almost every neighborhood of Lima. Some have tables to eat-in, while others are take-out only. They open early to serve fresh breads, interesting rolls and other items like juices or empanadas. Empanadas are very good to try, and convenient to carry if short on time. They are normally baked, not fried, but still fattening. Empanadas contain a mixture of cooked vegetables and meats, baked in a pastry crust. Empanada de carne (beef) or empanada de pollo ("po-yo" - chicken) are the two most common. When you enter the panaderia, choose what you would like to buy, then pay for it at the cashier-box "cajero." They will give you a receipt which you take over to the counter to give to the worker that will prepare your order.


Fruta Fresca

Please, do not be afraid to sample the many delicious local fruits. There is a rumor that eating fruit abroad will cause some problem. We have enjoyed all types of fresh fruits and juices in Peru with no problems caused by the fruit. Of course, be careful not to eat the skin of fruit that has just been washed, having tap water on the skin. When in doubt, remove the skin of a fruit before enjoying it.

Here is a list of the most common tropical fruits found in Lima and around Peru.

- Alcachofa- avocado
- Algarrobina- (al-go-ro-bina) a natural dark syrup from a tree, like maple syrup "jarabe".
- Camu Camu- citrus berry, much higher vitamin C than an orange.
- Carambola- Star Fruit, cut sections resemble a "star." Also used for juice (yellow-greenish fruit, center-right of photo)
- Chirimoya (ched-e-mo-ya)- a "custard apple" with a soft, dark green skin, delicious flavor of pineapple-coconut.
- Cocona - also the "Amazon Tomato" is a citrus fruit, often prepared as a juice, mixed with sweeter fruits. One specie which most used in Lima, is the yellow oblong fruit in this photo. The specie of the Amazon region has a redish tint and a tomato shape.
- Coco- coconut
- Durazno- peach
- Frambuesa (fram-bway-sa)- raspberry
- Fresa- strawberry
- Granadilla (grana-dee-yuh) - a round yellow ball with a stem. The shell is like smooth plastic, around a white cotton-like bag. Break off the steam to crack open the top, peel off shell, and eat the interior pulp and its small seeds. It is very good! Flavor is like a sweet-tart candy!
- Guanabana (wah-nob-ana)- Soursop, similar to cherimoya, used for juice or ice cream. A must try!
- Lucuma (lu-ku-ma)- used for ice cream, great, smooth flavor
- Mango- mango
- Manzana- apple
- Maricuya (ma-dee-ku-yuh)- Passion Fruit- liquidy, acidic fruit with black seeds, used in juice or ice cream (halved fruit in lower photo)
- Melón- cantaloupe
- Naranja (nar-an-ha)- orange
- Palta- avocado (the "Haas" type of palta is creamy, somewhat sweet, very good with bread, as a substitue for butter.
- Pacai (pah-kai)- season June to August, sweet cotton lining of a pod.
- Papaya (pa-pie-ya) - papaya
- Pera- pear
- Piña (peen-ya)- pineapple
- Platano- banana. A bunch of bananas is called "una mano de platano"
- Sandia- watermelon
- Tomate- tomato
- Tuna- cactus pear
- Uva (uba)- grape

Pacai (pah-kai)- (pictured) If you are in Peru during June to August, this unique fruit is a must to try. This fruit is from the mountainous sierra region of Peru. It is sold in Lima at produce markets, supermarkets or by street vendors. Pacai or Pacay looks like a long hard pod, about 12" to 15" long. To open, make a cut along one side. Inside, there will be a white, felt-like lining protecting large black seed. This lining is eaten as a sweet treat. The cost is well worth the experience; approximately s/. 1 to 3 soles.

Pitajaya (pita-high-yuh) - yellow Amazon fruit with a tough skin. Looks something like a large yellow hand-grenade. It has a sweet white pulp with little black seeds. Very good. Try one if you pass by a fruit vendor. You might find one at a fruit vendor in the Mercado de Surquillo, which is near Miraflores. It is a walk of about five blocks from Parque Kennedy, walking south on Av. Ricardo Palma to where is crosses over a highway, and turn left for a block, to the large "Mercado" building. Any taxi driver can take you there for S/. 5 to 8 soles, depending on where you are in the Miraflores area. It is interesting to see all the different types of agricultural produce from rural areas, dried fruits and more.


Lunch time in the Peruvian culture is generally 1pm to 2pm. By noon, most eateries are open for lunch. Don't be afraid to try local plates. Small, family restaurants or cafes also very good lunch platters. Most all have daily "menu" (meh-new) specials at a pre-fix price which could range s/.5 to s/.15 soles, depending on which neighborhood you happen to find yourself between noon and 3pm, for example.

The cuisine is not hot and spicy, except for an "aji" (yellow chili pepper) sauce that may be hot or not depending on the chef, so check or sample first before ordering it. The aji is made into a yellow, creamy sauce and is very good in a dish called "Aji con Gallina."

A panaderia may offer small fare like burgers or sandwiches. A common sandwich is of shredded chicken on a roll with a handful of potato chips or "sticks." But, they put these fried chips in the sandwich! So, ask for the chips on the side (al lado) or better yet, omit them altogether, just say "No chips." Also commonly served are the empanadas, which look like a turnover or mini calzone. They are good, and great to take "on the go."

The "Empanada de carne" (car-nay) is like a meat pie- bits of shredded beef or ground beef with diced carrot and/or celery, potato and hard-boiled egg. The "Empanadas de pollo" (pol-yo -chicken), and the "Empanada de jamon" (ha-moan - ham).

Chinese cuisine in Peru is known as "Chifa," an alternative to regular Chinese food, having a Peruvian fusion. There are many Chifa restaurants in Lima, although more expensive chifa restaurants located in upscale neighborhoods would make for a better experience.

Example entrees:

(the platters below, may also be found offered for lunch or for dinner, interchangeably)

- Aji con gallina- (ah-he) con (guy-yena) - boiled chicken, shredded, and mixed with a creamy, mild pepper sauce. Served with rice, as our most plates.
- Causa Limena- various versions of mashed potato layered with tuna or chicken in a casserole dish, sliced into single servings. Delicous! (one presentation is pictured, top)
- Papa a la Huancaina (whan-ka-en-a) - a delicious appetizer with similar sauce as above, served over two halves of a boiled yellow potato (skinned) on a bed of lettuce and garnished with black olives and quarter sections of a hard-boiled egg. Very good!
- Chupe (chew-pay)- soup gumbo, usually of fish or seafood. "chupe de arroz" is with rice. "chupe de pescado" is of fish. Delicious! Most prepare it by boiling it so that the potatos cook into the soup, making it seem creamy.
- Sopa de pollo (Caldo- broth)- chicken soup
- Dieta de pollo- also chicken soup. Being an option for those on a bland diet. May include a larger pieces of chicken.
- Papa Rellena- "stuffed potato," actually mashed potatos which are formed with chopped or ground beef in the center, and in the shape of an oval ball and baked.
Many times it is lightly fried to give it a brown crusty exterior. Very good.
- Palta Rellena- A ripe avocado, peeled, halved and filled with chicken or tuna salad. A delicious lunch or snack option!
-Parihuela (pa-de-whale-a)- a gumbo, usually with freshwater shrimp and/or other seafood, spice and vegetables.
- Carapulcra (cada-pul-cra) - a stew made with dried potato, pork, chicken, olives, toasted peanuts, various spices and sweet wine. Very good.
- Atun (ah-tune)- tuna or tuna fish.
- Pato - duck
- Pollo a la plancha- Grilled chicken, normally a boneless and skinless filet.
- Ceviche - Cebiche- both are pronounced "say-bee-chee." This dish is of fish cooked by marinating in citrus juice (fresh lime) and served in combination with other seafood or ingredients like fresh onion, boiled corn kernels, sweet potato ("camote" - cah-moe-tay). (pictured)
-Tiradito- this is similar to ceviche or carpaccio, with fish cut fine and long, while ceviche is of bite-sized cuts. Tiradito is served with cilantro and ginger, and without onion.
-Sudado de Pescado
(Sue-dah-doe) de (pay-ska-doe) - fish stew with tomatoes, boiled yucca or sweet potato (camote), garlic, onion, chili pepper. Very good.
- Rocoto Relleno
(Roe-co-toe)(Ray-yeah-no) - red bell pepper, usually prepared stuffed (rellenado or relleno). The seeds are normally removed as they are spicy, like chili.
- Refresco- beverage. Perhaps being Chicha Morada- juice from
from boiling to extract the flavor of the purple corn, sweetened. Flavor like a "grape-corn punch." Appears similar to grape juice.

Note: In Peru, the chicken meat is more specifically classified at restaurants as Pollo (roster) and Gallina (hen). The local people believe that there is a great flavor difference in the gender of the meat. Gallina is said to have a better flavor and smoother texture than pollo. Therefore, gallina is a better meat and does have a higher price in the markets.


Dinner in Peru is usually eaten after 6pm for most families, as the normal work schedule ends at 6pm. The larger restaurants of Miraflores and elsewhere in Lima will continue serving meals from lunch through to closing at night. The smaller, neighborhood or family-type eateries may switch meal offerings and/or prices for dinner. An example of this is a restaurant that ends their lunch pricing at 3pm, then has more expensive dinner offerings.

- A La Plancha- grilled
- Hervida - boiled
- Sancochado- parboiled (or steamed)
- Sancochado or Sancocho by itself can mean a type of "stew"

Example entrees:

(the platters below, may also be found offered for lunch or for dinner, interchangeably)

- Aji de gallina- Shredded chicken (white meat) combined in a creamy, light garlic sauce (or of yellow onion) and served with rice. Very tasty.
- Anticucho- (ante-cucho) strips of barbecued bull's heart, similar to liver.
- Bistek a la Pobre- beef steak with rice and a fried egg on top, perhaps a side of fried plantains.
- Bistek con puree- beef steak with potato puree.
- Lomo Saltado- strips of beef and tomato, and maybe green pepper, grilled or sauteed, and mixed with rice. Many times it is also served with french fries, sometimes combined. (pictured)
- Pollo a la Brasa- very popular, rotisserie chicken.
- Rocoto Relleno- stuffed pepper (red).
- Puree- (pu-ray) similar to mashed potatos but smooth and runny.
- Chancho- pork.
- Cuye "ku-e"- guinea pig (tastes like rabbit)
- Pato- duck.
- Pavo- turkey, not commonly served at restaurants.
- Carne- normally refers to beef.
- Asado de Res con Puree- broiled beef served with potato puree.
- Lomo Ahyumado- Smoked beef or sirloin.
- Mariscos- seafood- scallops, mollusks (moluscos).
- Camarones- crayfish, fresh water shrimp, usually a large size.
- Pescado- fish, may be cooked as fried. Seco - dry.
- Trucha- trout



One of the best choices for dessert in Peru is the ice cream - "helado." It is more like a fresh gelato, soft or hard to dip. Helado Naturale is refreshing and healthier as it is more of a sorbet-type, without the use of milkfat.

- Cremalada - normally this is like a water ice or sherbert, without milk.
- Helado - ice cream, as normally made with milk.
- Helado Natural - like a sorbet or water ice.

The large variety of familiar fruits and tropical fruits offers a wide display of flavors and colors (pictured). There are ice cream stores "heladeria" or "gelateria" or retail vendors around Iquitos. Most often, natural flavors and ingredients are used, unlike the artificial colors and flavors used in the U.S.

Ice cream from Amazon fruits- "SHAMBO'S" (Chupetes & Helado Shambo S.A.C.)

Shambo's is an Iquitos family business that has been manufacturing gelato popsicles called "chupetes," for over 50 years. In 2012, they were invited to Miami, to participate in the "Peru Fest" international show. Today, they are selling two hundred thousand per month! You can find there popsicles "Chupetes Shambo" at select supermarkets and vendors in Lima.

Chupetes y Helados SHAMBO was compared with other national ice creams, and it was the Shambo product that was infinitely favored due to their use of natural products, local Amazon fruits, and organic products. They do not use transgenic or GMO ingredients.

Flavors -ALL are Very Good... well prepared!

Aguaje fruit - Good, smooth flavor, similar to pumpkin pie. Must try!
Camu Camu - an Amazon citrus berry, high in vitamin C. Must try!
Coco - coconut
Fresa - strawberry
Menta -mint
Uva - grape

"Shambo SAC" on facebook.

Other treats

Panaderias offer many types of cakes, pies and tarts.
Alfajor o manjar blanco o dulce de leche is a similar sweet concoction used in pastries in Latin/Andean countries. It is a creamy, sweet paste (almost like a milk-based caramel), made from sweetened condensed milk.

There are pies and cakes in which local produce is used to create a new twist on familiar recipes. As you pass through the panaderias or pasteleria (pastry shop), you can see the skills of the local bakers in fancy cake or pie creations, and numerous flavored or seasoned breads and rolls. Definitely try a few of those!

- Arroz con leche - rice pudding
- Empanada dulce- empanada filled with something sweet.
- Keke- cake
- Mazzamorra Morada - a pudding made with purple sweet corn.
- Pie de Manzana- Apple pie, usually with a heavier crust. (instead, it would be a better option to try something of a tropical fruit)

Fine Dining


Here are a couple of many options for an experience at Lima's best restaurants

Fine Dining with a View

Costa Verde Restaurant - This beautiful restaurant serves seafood and international cuisine, and variations of Ceviche (aka Cebiche,) a typical Peruvian recipe. This restaurant is located on a pier over the Pacific ocean and has a beautiful view of the sea and the cliffs from Barranco to Miraflores. The Costa Verde Restaurant is located to the south of Miraflores, along the coastal roadway Costa Verde. It is a restaurant with an incredible number of delicious culinary plates, enjoy a buffet or one of the many seafood or pasta dishes from the menu. Their extensive seafood buffet is listed in the Guiness Records. Buffets: Lunch - Monday to Saturday- 1pm to 4pm. Dinner- Monday to Friday, 5pm to 7:30pm. A special Sunday buffet is served from 1 to 4pm. Available for private events. The lunch buffet is approximately US$30.00. Telf. 247-1244, 477-0010.

Location: Along the beach and the Costa Verde roadway on the "Circuito de Playas," in Barranco. (Two other restaurants are along the beach, the gourmet "La Rosa Nautica" in Miraflores, and another nice, but of a lesser or mid-level atmosphere, is the nearby "la Rustica")

Fine Dining -Buffets

Los Delfines hotel - The restaurant of the 5 star Los Delfines hotel in San Isidro offers full sumptous lunch buffets wth salad bar and desert table. Tuesday to Friday, 12:30 pm to 3pm. Tuesday- Italian, Wednesday- International, Thursday- Fusion, Friday- theme day. US$22.00 plus drinks, including tax, service and cover. Check for brunch or tea time buffets, or special pricing. Valet parking. Telf. 215-9614

A unique feature of Los Delfines is their two Dolphins that have their own glass aquarium, located off the lobby. Here, there is a lounge/bar area where guests can watch the dolphins swim, enjoy drinks and listen to live music in the evening. The dolphins are fed at regular times so that diners can enjoy this as well. "Knossos" gourmet restaurant is also located on this level, serving international cuisine, buffets and flambe specialties.

The "Delphos" coffee shop is open 24 Hours. There is a special tea time buffet, another chance to watch the wonderful tricks of Yaku and Wayra, our dolphins.

Location: Hotel Los Delfines, Av. Los Eucaliptos 555, San Isidro.

Language of Food


Restaurant's Menu- la carta
Daily special(s)- "menu" (may-new) (commonly a prefix price for a 2 or 3 course meal)
Chifa- chinese cuisine with a Peruvian fusion
Comida- meal

Enjoy your meal!- Buen provecho!
Very delicious- Muy rico!
Parking- estacionmiento
Rest room- Baño (ban-yo)
Tax- impuesto
Tip- propina
Waiter- moso, Waitress- mosa.

And - y (pronounced as "e")
All - todo
To - a ("ah")
On the side - al lado (lad--doe)
Nothing - nada
No Peanuts/nuts - No mani
No eggs - no huevos (way-vos)
I have an allegry to __ - Tengo una alergia (al-air-he-ah) a ___
No ice - no hielo (yail-low)

Mesa- table
Chair- silla (see-ya)
Seat- asiento (as-ee-en-toe)
Cup- copa

Fork- tenedor
Glass- vaso
Knife- cuchillo
Tablespoon- cuchara
Teaspoon- cucharita


Appetizer- entrada
Bread- pan
Dessert- postre (pos-tray)
Entree- plato al fondo
Salad- ensalada
Soup- sopa


Spicy- picante

Cinnamon - canela
Hot pepper- Aji (ah-he). This can be prepared mild or can be very hot, depending on the chef. Ask first!
Pepper- pimiento
Powder - polvo
Salt- sal
Sugar- azucar


Butter on the side- mantequilla al lado (mon-tea-key-ya)
Cream- crema (cray-ma)

Cheese - queso (kay-so)
Lemon/Lime - limón (Peru's lemons are like a lime, being green and only mildly sweet and somewhat sweet)
Mushrooms- Champiniones
Olives- aceitunas (ah-say-tuna)
Olive oil- aceite oliva

Onion- Cebolla
Syrup- jarabe (ha-rah-bay)
Tomato sauce- salsa de tomate


Drink/beverage- Refresco or Bebida (bay-bee-da)
Beer- cerveza
Bottled Water- agua botella (boiled- agua hervida)
Chicha - refers to a juice, normally being Chicha Morada- a sweetened purple corn. This is a popular drink included with the "menu"
Coffee- cafe
Juice- jugo (hu-go)
Milk- leche (lay-chay)
Fresh Milk - leche fresca

Hot- caliente
Pisco- grape alcohol (clear like vodka)
Pisco Sour- pisco, egg white, sugar, lemon. Strong and sweet.
Tea-te (tay)
Wine- vino, vino tinto (red wine)


Eggs- huevos (way-vos)
Beef- bistek, or "rez"
Chicken- pollo (po-yo, Rooster), gallina (ga-yin-ah, Hen). Local culture believes that gallina is a better meat.
Meat- carne (car-nay)
Tuna- atun (ah-tune)
Turkey - pavo


Apple sauce- puree de manzana.
Fruit- fruta
Beans- frijoles (free-hole-ace)
Carrot- Zanahoria
Choclo- Peruvian white corn, having very large niblets. Not sweet.
Potato - papa
Mashed potato- "puree." commonly this is of Peru's delicious yellow potato or papa amarilla, which has a natural flavor of having butter.
Stuffed/filled- rellena or rellenado (ray-yea-na)
Red Bell Pepper- stuffed- Rocoto relleno (ray-yeah-no)
Red Beet - remolacha

Tomato- tomate (to-mat-tay)


Almond - almendra
Oatmeal- avena (a-vay-na)
Peanuts- mani (or nuts in general)
Raisins - pasas
Rice- arroz
Walnuts - nueces (new-e-ses)
Wheat - trigo (tree-go)

Life is an adventure, so too is travel.
Get out there and live!


Copyright 2015 All Rights Reserved.

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