Best Places to Eat in Cusco

Storm clouds rolling in over Cusco

We spent two weeks in Cusco over Christmas and New Year’s Eve and ate out. A lot. Cusco is home to hundreds of great restaurants where you can find everything from traditional Peruvian cuisine, western food (to satisfy any pesky cravings) and great veggie options.

Here are our top recommendations for places to dine for all budgets –

1. Cicciolina

This place is our top choice and not to be missed if you want to treat yourself to a delicious dinner washed down with a flavoursome pisco sour. It has a trendy wine bar feel to it and they combine local produce with international flavours to create a fusion of Peruvian Mediterranean cuisine. Definitely get some starters to share, the trout ceviche is incredible! We hear they also do a very good breakfast too.

2. Jack’s

It’s hard to miss this buzzy cafe, there is often a queue out of the door! We were regulars here during our two week stint in Cusco and our favourites were the burgers, pumpkin soup, nachos and hot chocolate. It is a little bit pricey but the portions are huge and so if you are on a budget it is worth sharing meals.

3. Korma Sutra

After nearly two months without a curry, we were starting to get serious cravings and this was just the place to have a tasty Indian feast. It’s slightly on the pricey side but it’s worth getting a couple of starters, we tried the onion bhajiis and garlic naan which were both good. The signature chicken korma dish is our (•ahem• Antonia’s) top choice for mains.

4. The Meeting Place

Located in the San Blas square we regularly went here for everything from hearty soups, big tasty burgers to flavoursome carrot cake and huge milkshakes. There is also an affectionate and very large cat roaming around who enjoys cuddles. The cafe is run by volunteers which adds to the community and relaxed feel to the place. Definitely a must visit.

5. JC’s Cafe

This is a great little place and very convenient if you are staying at Loki or Wild Rover hostels (up a ridiculous hill, which climbing will leave you more out of breathe than at any point on the Inca Trail…) We loved the yummy big breakfast options (a perfect hangover cure) which are reasonably priced and the fresh juices. We also enjoyed the large pots of fresh mint tea.

6. Organika

After a couple of months of eating Latin American food, which is notoriously carbohydrate heavy and vegetable/salad starved, we really appreciated eating at Organika. It’s an organic… vegetarian/vegan place, although some dishes do have meat. The salads are huge, fresh, and above all, safe and there’s a good range of pastas and other healthy options.

7. San Pedro Market

In Cusco’s bustling market, designed by Gustav Eiffel (yup, that Eiffel), has a whole row of amazing fruit juice stalls with friendly Peruvian ladies calling you over. There is also a great cereal cafe, which I feel some hipsters must have discovered and then brought to Shoreditch…

8. Nuna Raymi

We went to this place twice during our stay in Cusco. The tasty and good value menu of the day is a good shout and we also tried the Peruvian speciality cuy (guinea pig) here.

Guinea pig in Cusco
Guinea pig in Cusco

9. Paddy’s Irish pub

A perfect spot for some home comfort food. They do a great lasagna and shepherd’s pie. It has a real pub feel to it and is conveniently located right on the square.

10. El Encuentro Vegetarian

We stumbled across this cute little restaurant and really enjoyed the set menu of the day for lunch which included a soup for starter, salad, a main tasty dish and a drink. It’s very good value and definitely worth a visit if you are vegetarian or, like us, fancy some veggies!

Buen provecho!

Amazing hot chocolate at Jack's
Amazing hot chocolate at Jack’s

P.S. So, we, um, kind of ate pretty much all this food before we had a chance to take any photos… Sorry, we were really hungry after all that trekking!

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