Lonely Planet Writer

Dine in the Peruvian mountains at this award-winning chef's latest restaurant

Peru’s newest restaurant is unique in every sense of the word. Located near Moray, the famous amphitheatre-like Inca remains above Cusco, and surrounded by inter-Andean valleys, lakes and ravines, MIL stands 11,706 feet above sea level, and can be seen as somewhat of a pilgrimage for food enthusiasts.

The restaurant looks out over the ancient archaeological site of Moray in The Sacred Valley.
The restaurant looks out over the ancient archaeological site of Moray in The Sacred Valley. Image by César del Rio

The brainchild of award-winning chef Virgilio Martínez Véliz, owner and operator of Central Restaurante in Lima, Peru, it is not just its unique location that sets MIL apart. An experience at the restaurant costs $145 per person and contains eight separate, carefully selected “moments” consisting only of ingredients that belong to the region, with dishes that are inspired by the unique tradition and culture of the Andes. Guests also have the opportunity to sample produce from farms nearby, as well as chocolate created from scratch in a local workshop, high-altitude spirits, beers, other fermented beverages and coffee.

MIL only serves high altitude ingredients gathered from the region.
MIL only serves high altitude ingredients gathered from the region. Image by César del Rio

“Our main objective is to highlight this region’s diversity and to expose products that deserve to be valued for the story that comes with them or the hard work of the people involved in their existence,” a representative of MIL said.

Guests at MIL also have the opportunity to explore the unique location. Image by César del Rio

More than just a dining experience, when guests visit MIL, they have the opportunity to explore the local area, as well as the architectural remains of Moray, and the restaurant’s dining room even looks out over the unique site. MIL’s architecture was designed so that the building merges with and adds to the nature of the location, in an effort to respect the balance and ecology of the unique site and the surrounding communities. The site is also the home of Mater Iniciativa, the biological and cultural research facility behind Central Restaurante that sees Virgilio and his team testing ingredients and local project.

More information on visiting MIL is available at the official website.