Best restaurants in Central Highlands

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Ayacucho

    Via Via

    The upstairs plaza-facing balcony has the best views in Ayacucho to accompany your meal of Peruvian-European fusion cuisine, made from ethically sourced, organic ingredients. You’re sure to find something to sate you – perhaps quinnoto (risotto with quinoa) or salteado de alpaca (strips of alpaca meat stir-fried with onions, tomatoes, potatoes and chili) – alongside a crisp South American wine. This is a traveler-friendly hangout, the likes of which the city had never seen before, and still does everything right a decade on from its founding, from the feistiness of its morning coffee to the originality of its dinners. Downstairs in the courtyard, and bought separately from a booth at the entrance, amazing cakes, ice creams and coffees are sold from 9am to 10:30pm.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Huancayo

    La Cabaña

    This haunt is popular with locals and travelers alike for its relaxed ambience, hearty food and tasty pisco sours (grape brandy cocktails). When you’re suitably mellow, order a scrumptious pizza or graze on trout, juicy grills and al dente pastas. It's worth a visit for its wacky decor alone. The soundtrack? Rock-and-roll classics.

  • Restaurants in Huancayo

    Huancahuasi

    This classy establishment is the local eatery of choice in El Tambo district, where Real becomes Castilla northwest of town. A flower-filled courtyard and walls decorated with San Pedro de Cajas tapestries and poems set the ambience for tucking into regional goodies such as pachamanca (meat cooked in an earthen ‘oven’ of hot rocks). Other delights include papas a la huancaína (potatoes with a creamy cheese sauce) and ceviche de trucha (river-trout ceviche). It’s all well presented and the service comes with a smile. Lunchtime is best for a visit; at other times it can be very quiet. A taxi ride from the center is S3.

  • Restaurants in Huancayo

    Detrás de la Catedral

    This well-run, attractively presented place exudes a woody, warm feeling and has garnered plenty of regular patrons with its broad menu: a flight of steps up from the usual chicken-and-rice choices. Enjoy filling burgers (veggie or meat), specials such as asado catedral (barbecued meats done in house style) and very, very lovely trucha (river trout). Save room for the tasty desserts, such as chocolate-drenched pionono helado (pastry with caramel filling). Surrealist murals of traditional Andean life grace the walls.

  • Restaurants in Huancayo

    Leopardo

    Effortlessly combining common-people’s cafeteria with upscale restaurant, this joint is so Huancayo, right down to the model train in the central dining area. Go Andean with mondongo (broth made with maize, tripe, minced pork hoof and vegetables), or go coastal with tacu tacu (a concoction of beans, rice and chili fried golden-brown and served with steak). Leonardo is so popular it's opened an identical restaurant right across the street, and won the undying affection of at least one hungry travel writer.

  • Restaurants in Huancayo

    Café Coqui

    This modern bakery/coffee shop is a contender for the best breakfast stop in the Central Andes, serving tasty sandwiches, pastries, empanadas, real espresso and other coffees. It’s lively from morning until evening and now even does a line in pizzas and other more substantial fare. You can find other good but less characterful branches under Hotel Confort, a stone's throw away, and on the 2nd floor of Real Plaza Mall.

  • Restaurants in Ayacucho

    Pizzeria Polizzi

    Not all of the culinary stars that shine in Ayacucho shine in the center. This pizzeria twinkles in a galaxy all of its own out on Av del Ejercito (although it's planning a second central branch). The food is superb but even that pales into insignificance besides the gushing Italian-style service at this Italian-Peruvian enterprise. Takeout is available. Get a taxi here, and tell the driver to head to the gas station Grifo Santa Rosa.

  • Restaurants in Ayacucho

    Sukre Cocina Peruana

    This bustling and stylish hangout advertises Peruvian food but what it serves is almost fusion cuisine. Get ready for the likes of the house lomo saltado (with broccoli) and pollo albardado ( chicken rolled around ham and vegetables in a creamy Mediterranean mushroom sauce). There's balcony seating on the Portal Constitución side of the Plaza de Armas.

  • Restaurants in Ayacucho

    Frutelli

    The closest central outlet stocking the delicious CREAM'Z ice creams and really unusual hard candies. Doesn't look much from outside, but let your taste buds have their say.

  • Restaurants in Ayacucho

    Recreo Las Flores

    Cuy, cuy and more cuy (guinea pig): let's hope you like it if you're eating here. It mostly comes fried with various accompaniments. Fried trucha (river trout) and puca picante (a spicy potato and beef stew served over rice) are also on offer. The inside resembles a vast Communist-style cafeteria but over by the windows that feeling is less apparent. This and several other places nearby form a ‘Barrio Gastronómico’ in Conchapata district, south of the center.

  • Restaurants in Huancayo

    Sofa Café Paris

    With the chilled vibe you’d hope from the name, this is a lively venue with a wrap-around mezzanine level to oversee the action below. It favors Nirvana over Andean music and is frequented by trendy young huancaínos (Huancayo residents). It does elaborate coffees – in what must be Huancayo’s second coffee machine – and cakes, alongside other more substantial Peruvian fare. The retro pics of London on the walls make one wonder if the decorators ran out of moody Paris images.

  • Restaurants in Ayacucho

    El Niño

    The specialty at this large restaurant is grilled meat – often cooked over a wood fire on the sheltered patio in the evenings – but a variety of Peruvian dishes, as well as pasta and pizza, are dished up, too. Inside seating is also available. After years in the game, this remains one of the city’s better restaurants. The individual parrillada (grilled-meat platter) for S55 is good, and in practice sufficient for two modest eaters.

  • Restaurants in Ayacucho

    Café La Miel

    Café La Miel spent years trying to make the Plaza de Armas a convivial place to eat. Now, it has competition, but with its chirpy atmosphere strangely reminiscent of an English tearoom, it should still be on your radar. Breakfast is the time to visit – we’re talking great fruit salads and some of Ayacucho’s best (fresh-brewed) coffee. It serves hearty lunches and phenomenal chocolate cake, too.

  • Restaurants in Huancayo

    La Tullpa

    Currently one of the best restaurants in Huancayo, La Tullpa has a simple but attractive wood-floored interior which leads through archways onto a plant-draped courtyard. The gastronomy of the central Andes is showcased here through the likes of papas a la huancaína (potatoes with a creamy cheese sauce) and ceviche de trucha (river-trout ceviche).

  • Restaurants in Huancayo

    Zalema Social Coffee

    Keep your eye on this neat little bohemian space: if it keeps on like this, it's really going places. Understated decoration themed around the other passion of the owners (mountain climbing), a laid-back feel, decent coffee, an open fire come evenings and humble but tasty local food, much of it served tapas-style, are just some of the reasons why.

  • Restaurants in Ayacucho

    Mamma Mia

    An exceptional pizza shop, run by a Ukrainian, no less. He has taken his extensive catering experience and come up with an atmospheric place for delicious pizza and pasta. Round off your meal with a 'Mamma Mia' cocktail: vodka, coconut rum, peach schnapps and melon. The restaurant is in Plaza Moré.

  • Restaurants in Ayacucho

    La Casona

    This popular, ambience-filled courtyard restaurant has been recommended by several travelers for its big portions. It focuses on Peruvian food, such as the excellent trucha (river trout) and lomo saltado (strips of beef stir-fried with onions, tomatoes, potatoes and chili), and often has regional specialties.

  • Restaurants in Río Mantaro Valley

    El Paraíso

    The best eatery in town is this vast plant-filled restaurant popular with locals who are attracted by bargain specialties such as trucha (river trout) from Laguna de Paca and picante de cuy (roast guinea pig in a spicy sauce). It’s just south of the main plaza.

  • Restaurants in Huancayo

    La Leña

    If you like meat, you'll love this plaza-fronting place. Chicken is the specialty; have it done the most famous way, a la brasa, a coal-roasted rotisserie chicken served with a spicy salsa.

  • Restaurants in Huancayo

    El Consulado

    This spacious, high-ceilinged establishment specializes in cuisine from Arequipa, such as the trademark rocoto relleno (cheesy stuffed bell peppers), as well as traditional Andean fare.