Wheels up - lets do this! Those were the thoughts rolling though my head as I took off from Los Angeles to Lima with my best friends Matt + Adam on our LAN airlines flight.
We were hitting the road/air for a Peruvian adventure. This was my 4th #onlyinsouthamerica adventure and I was over the moon to be hanging out with my 2 partners in crime. You’re probably virtual BFF’s with Matt + Adam already. They’ve been all over WGC, and they have epic insta accounts that I obsessed over on the daily. We work together on the regular as they are the geniuses behind all the photos on this site. Matt is my all time favorite photographer and Adam my all time fav food stylist. They are are majorly dynamic duo and I love them to the moon and back. We’re the three musketeers no matter where we are, be it Los Angeles, Peru, Belize or any other exotic location. They are some of my favorite travel buddies and I was PUMPED to hit the road with them for a major culinary exploration of Peru. Plus we all live by the motto that if you don’t instagram it, it didn’t happen… so there’s never any judgement for instagramming before eating 🙂 First stop…. Lima.
Let’s kick this onlyinsouthamerica adventure off with one of my favorite kinds of posts…Gaby’s Guide to Lima. Get your appetites ready… lets do this!
1. We’ll start at the top of the map with La Mar by Gaston Acurio. Quite possibly my new favorite restaurant in the whole wide world. Endless plates of ceviche and seafood paired with the most delicious pisco based cocktails. I could have stayed here all day long. It’s the perfect place for lunch and we all know how much I love a leisurely lunch.
2. Astrid y Gaston - it’s absolutely not to be missed if you’re looking for the best service / best food / and best atmosphere. So basically if you like fabulous things and Peruvian-Mediterranean style cuisine, you need to go. We had an incredible 30 course meal that seriously blew me away. Everything is inventive, crazy delicious and even after 30 courses, you won't be ready to leave!!
3. Lima Gourmet - the perfect company to team up with for a walking tour of Lima. We roamed the streets of Lima and tried our hands at Pisco Sour bartending, ceviche making and coffee drinking! They were so fun, super knowledgeable plus they speak perfect english!
4. Panchita Sazon Criolla - while we didn't have time to swing by Panchita Sazon Criolla, I have it on good authority that it can't be missed if you have a little more time in Lima! Especially if you're looking for unpretentious Peruvian food that will leave you with a giant smile on your face!
5. Heladeria La Fiorentina - whoa whoa whoa. the best ice cream in all of Lima and run by my new favorite person Carlos. After turning 72 he decided to follow his dreams and sold his family farm to open an ice cream shop. The flavors were out of this world. Promise me you’ll try the mixed berry + chocolate ones!!
6. Surquillo Market - one of the best markets in all of Lima! It’s where all the chefs shop and it’s BURSTING at the seams with everything you could possibly imagine! Get ready to see some cool new produce and tons of crazy meats/seafoods!
7. La Picanteria - we've already established my love for all things ceviche, so this is a MUST if you're out for a ceviche tour like me!!
8. Bisetti - looking for a great cup of coffee? Look no further! Bisetti will make you something delicious, even if you’re a beginner coffee drinker like myself and can only handle a mocha!
9. Central - now this is how you should start every trip. Fresh off the plane from LAX we went to Central - the most famous restaurant in all of Peru (and the 4th best restaurant in the WORLD) and ate and drank until our hearts content. The tasting menu paired with corresponding wines was EVERYTHING and something that can’t be missed for anyone who loves a fine dining experience. Can't miss dish - the octopus!!! Yessssssss.
10. Maido - It’s a shame that I went 22 years without eating sushi, so I’m making up for it now! We went to Maido on our last night in Lima and were treated to an extraordinary meal with all sorts of delicious Japanese and Peruvian fusion! It's absolutely a meal that I'll never forgot - and a restaurant that I'd jump at the chance to go visit again!
11. Punto Organico - just a few feet away from La Mar, this is the cutest little organic grocery store that carries all sorts of different quinoa, sauces and vegetables! Pop in for a quick look unless you have a kitchen, then by all means pop in and stock up!
12. El Pan de la Chola - if I lived in Lima you could bet that I’d set up shop at El Pan de la Chola on the regular. Between their freshly baked breads, their avocado toast and their tomato burrito situation - there’s really nothing more you could ask for from your neighborhood cafe!
And there you have it!! My favorite food places in Lima!! Granted we were only there for a few days so I'm sure there are other incredible eateries! If you have suggestions, feel free to shout them out in the comments as I know I'll be back one day!
A HUGE/GIANT thank you LAN Airlines for putting together another unforgettable journey and for Gray Line Tours for taking us around!! Next up we're going to the Sacred Valley where I fell in love with my new favorite hotel!
Photos by none other than the famously talented Matt Armendariz