Most restaurants geared toward travelers are on Lima. For a cheap snack, try api (hot, sweet corn juice) – a serious comfort food found in several places on Calle Oquendo between Parque Pino and the market. Order it with a paper-thin, wickedly delicious envelope of deep-fried dough.
To save a few soles, head a couple of blocks away. Many restaurants don’t advertise their menús (set meals), which are cheaper than ordering à la carte. The most commercial restaurants cater to visitors with a menú turistico, which often represents excellent value and great food, and is rarely the tourist trap you might fear. Locals eat pollo a la brasa (roast chicken) and economical menús on Tacna between Calles Puno and Libertad.
If you’re feeling broccoli or sweet-and-sour deprived, head to Arbulú to fill up at a cheap and cheerful chifa (Chinese restaurant; meals S9 to S11). For self-catering, head to Mercado Central (but be wary of pickpockets) and the supermarket plaza across the road on Los Incas.