Peruvian food: 8 specialties that you need to try!

peruvian food

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Peruvian food is varied and tasty. A paradise for food lovers and for those who like to discover new flavors. Contemporary Peruvian gastronomy was born on the solid foundations of the culinary culture of the Incas.

Therefore, on your trip to Peru you will find several thousand varieties of potatoes, quinoa, many unusual fruits and vegetables, seafood, fish and meat prepared in a traditional Peruvian way. To prepare your palate, today we bring you some of the specialties you should try:

Peruvian Ceviche

The most popular traditional dish considered an aphrodisiac: it is seafood or fish marinated in lemon juice, salt, red onions, chili and rocoto peppers.

It is prepared raw (taste compared to sashimi) or cooked, and served on a plate with sweet potatoes and corn. The juices left in the dish are called Leche de tigre (milk of tiger). If you are going to Peru, you absolutely must try it! The price of this traditional Peruvian dish is around $3.

peruvian ceviche

Pisco Sour

Pisco sour is a Peruvian national cocktail based on pisco, lemon juice, egg white and bitter liqueur. Pisco is the alcohol resulting from the distillation of white grapes.

The name itself comes from the Peruvian city of Pisco. Tasty and extremely popular, you will undoubtedly find Pisco Sour in every corner during your trip to Peru.

Just don’t drink it if you are going on a trip to Machu Picchu, you don’t want to intensify the effects of altitude sickness. You know, no alcohol 😉.

pisco sour of peru


Also known as guinea pig, cuy is a controversial Peruvian dish that some find a bit frightening. For ethical reasons, few tourists request this specialty.

In Peruvian cuisine, guinea pig meat is much more highly valued than rabbit meat. It is served fried or baked with spices. Most of them are found in the south of the country. As for the taste, guinea pigs do not have much meat, many people compare it to chicken or dried duck. The price for that pleasure and unforgettable experience is about $16.

cuy peruvian food

Ají de Gallina (Chicken chili)

As its name suggests, we need aji to prepare this Peruvian dish! Aji is a South American hot sauce. It is a chicken in a rich yellow sauce based on broth, to which aji, cheese, milk, and nuts are added. The price of Ají de Gallina is approximately 9 dollars.

chicken chili peru


This dish has its roots in Andalusia (Spain) but has become well known in Latin America. In Peru, it is any meat that is fried until it has a crispy texture. In Peruvian cuisine, it is usually made with pork, but you can also find chicken, fish, and beef chicharrones.

Peruvians serve it as a starter and as a main dish with fried or boiled sweet potatoes, corn, and creole sauce. In Lima, street food works very well (we tell you from our experience in Lima!), in many stalls you can eat sandwiches filled with chicharrones with salsa Criolla (sauce of local ingredients, onion with pieces of lemon and mint).

peruvian chicharron

Lomo saltado

If you like Chinese food, you will also like this Peruvian food, since it is a Peruvian variety of Chinese chifa cuisine.

At the end of the 19th century, it was already known as lomito de vaca (beef tenderloin). It is a juicy mixture of beef, onion, tomatoes, yellow paprika paste, and soy sauce. All this is fried in a large pan and Peruvians serve it with rice. The price starts at $8.

peruvian lomo saltado


They resemble doughnuts or donuts whatever you prefer to call them. They were created during colonial times and were a cheaper substitute for doughnuts. People replaced the traditional ingredients with pumpkin and sweet potatoes and served them with molasses syrup. By accident, someone created an amazing dessert, which quickly gained popularity.

picarones peru

Chicha morada (purple chicha)

It is not a Peruvian food, it is a refreshing drink based on:

  • Purple corn
  • Pineapple
  • Quince
  • Cinnamon
  • Cloves
  • Ice
  • Lemon juice

Health benefits were once attributed to it as the drink has a good effect on intestinal function, strengthens immunity, and is anti-inflammatory.

chicha morada peruvian food

For us, these dishes of Peruvian food are some of the best we have tasted. Peruvian cuisine has many other delicious and unusual dishes, desserts, and drinks. So the best way to discover it is to pack your backpack and go on an adventure. What better way to find out than to try them yourself?

If you are still curious about the gastronomy of Latin America, visit also our post about the most exotic dishes of Latin America, you will find true wonders, or not?

Which dish looks the best? Have you tried any of them? Would you add any more to our list? Tell us about it!


Lily is happy with a backpack on her back. Every year she travels through one country in Latin America and has repeated several times, especially Peru where she says she feels at home (although she says the same about Argentina, Chile and Bolivia).

She loves ceviche, hiking and Sunday picnics with her friends, although whenever you ask her, she's always planning her next destination.

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