Cuzco Cuisine

Typical Food - Restaurants


Peru boasts one of the most exquisite and varied cuisines on Earth, as local chefs have succeeded in adapting a diverse variety of native ingredients while remaining open to outside influences. Peru's cooking is an invitation to discover flavors and fragrant smells which are as authentic as they are ancient.


The Andean Cuisine, heated in a firewood oven, earthenware of the highlands gathers odors and flavors linked to earth. Meats, tubers, grains and herbs are used in a great variety of simple but tasty dishes.


Starters include corn with Andean cheese, chochos (tarwi) salad, "mote con chicharrón" or large white boiled corn and "deep-fried" pork, "cancha" (roasted corn), "humitas" (Ground corn and enveloped in its own leaves for cooking), "papa a la huancaína" (boiled potato pieces under yellow pepper and cheese cream) and "inchik uchu" (boiled manioc with peanut, yellow pepper and coriander sauce).


Cuzco and Oropesa town also emphasizes by their famous bakeries and breads (called chutas and huahuas).


Cuzco has one of the best cuisines of the Peruvian Andes where the use of the potato prevails. Remembering that this is of Peruvian origin, and well developed since the Incas, being achieved the production at the present time of more than 300 potato varieties.


Novoandina Cuisine is a modern style of cuisine from Peru and Andean countries, which combines modern techniques with traditional raw materials of the Andean and Peruvian cuisine, such as herbs, spices, meats, vegetables and fruits.


New Andean Cuisine

This trend, which appeared in the eighties, uses old Andean culinary traditions adapted to international cuisine preparation and presentation. Recipes are strict and food is very tasty and well presented, with little spices and fat, and lightly cooked.


Starters and soups: cheese and spinach rolls in a passion fruit sauce, fresh snail and quinoa salad, cheese and barley flake flan, manioc pie, celery and leech cream with barley flakes.


Main courses: grilled quinoa taboulé, pickled fish with carob syrup, “reventón ayacuchano” (with “pachamanca” and “sancochado” ingredients, but in earthen pots served with sauces), quinoa risotto, manioc and freeze-dried potato, lasagna with “morón”, broad bean stew, alpaca stew, stuffed trout, duck in a pear and elderberry sauce, crab in coconut and pineapple sauce, kid and corn purée (pepián), guinea pig in an oyster sauce, squid and veal.


Desserts: quinoa imperial (with milk and passion fruit jelly), “quinoa” and “guanábana” mousse, “oca” tart (with “oca” and “chirimoya”), “misky súmac” (made of “kiwicha”), “cañihua” custard, “pacae” nougat.


Beverages: “aguaymanto” shake, quinoa and mamey chicha, grape and cañihua chicha, maca sour, lúcuma sour, frozen tumbo and cumpa (cat’s claw sweet condensed milk, pisco and egg).



Cuzco's Typical Food Main Courses


The usual places to try food from Cuzco are the traditional restaurants called chicherias and picanterias where you can eat typical dishes like:


"Timpo" (Quechua language timpu = to boil), Delicious soup, boiled with a piece of chest beef, lamb head, bacon, besides cabbage, potatoes, chickpeas, rice, yam, peaches, pears and yuccas. The broth is served separately from the rest of the stew that is covered on the plate with the cabbage leaves.


"Chuño Cola" pottage of Inca origin. Delicious pottage elaborated with a meat broth, rice, sausages, chickpea, potatoes and potato starch. This plate is eaten with a stick spoon, called huisilla. The potato starch, is a sun-dried potato.


"Queso Kapche" (Kapche Cheese), pottage preferred in the months of November and December, prepared with green beans, potatoes, milk, eggs, cheese, and pepper, with an onion seasoning, garlic and butter. It is served with rice.


"Pepián de Cuy o Conejo" (Pepián of Guinea pig or Rabbit): Dish prepared with guinea pig pieces (or rabbit) fried in abundant oil, it is cooked with an onion seasoning, red hot pepper, and peanut. It is served with rice and boiled potatoes.


"Chicharrón con mote": pork rinds fried in their own fat, served with hominy or individual kernels of sweet corn.


"Humita": a sweet or salty tamale, served without sauce.


"Tamal": a sweet or salty tamale, served without sauce.


"Saralawa": soup of fresh corn, lima beans, dry aji Amarillo (yellow hot pepper), and huacatay (native herb).


"Adobo": pork marinated in chicha and spices and cooked in a clay pot.


"Olluco con carne": Olluco stew with jerky or llama meat.



Restaurants in Cuzco


In Cuzco you will be able to find restaurants of variety cuisine, from the cusqueña, chifas (Chinese food with Peruvian style), meat, chicken, fast food and international food. Restaurants of diverse categories exist and also for all the budgets. The best restaurants are located in the hotels 5 stars of the city and around the Main Square.


Novoandina Cuisine

This trend, which appeared in the eighties, uses old Andean culinary traditions adapted to international cuisine preparation and presentation. Recipes are strict and food is very tasty and well presented, with little spices and fat, and lightly cooked.



  • Inka Grill: Portal de Panes St. 115, Main Square
  • La Retama: Portal de Panes St. 123, Main Square
  • El Truco: Regocijo Square
  • Kusikuy: Plateros St. 348



  • El Buen Pastor: Cuesta San Blas 575.
  • Café Ayllu: Portal de Carnes 208, Plaza de Armas.
  • Trotamundos: Portal de Comercio 177, second floor.
  • Café Varayoc: Espaderos 142.
  • La Yunta: Portal de Carnes 214, Plaza de Armas.


See also: Cuzco Entertainment


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