2008 Roadtrip Cuzco, Peru Restaurant Reviews by ALEDM

We spent a month in Cuzco, Peru (or Cusco, Perú) and created the following restaurant reviews. (Exchange Rate S/.2.84 = US$1) By the way, if you know the name of a restaurant and want to search for it, use the search feature in the upper left of the screen (I think it will work). At the end of this, is a list of drinks to try as well as a list of restaurants we didn't try for one reason or another. It may save you some time.
1. Our Favorites

1.1 Baco, Ruinas 465, Cusco, reservas (51-84)242-808, e-mail: bacorestaurante@yahoo.com We spent S/.127 plus tip. We had a very good dinner. We were seated in front of the gas heater and stayed warm. The room has a Mediterranean feel with a kind of rustic charm. There is lots of dark wood and dark leather banquettes. One mustard-colored wall is dominated by huge modern, oils of faces, close-up. The chairs are wooden straight backs, without pads and are, frankly, uncomfortable.

There was an amuse bouche of pizzetas, 6 tiny hot and spicy pizzas which we really liked. For our starter we had the BB'd sweet vegetables S/.18. It was a selection of 8 fresh fruits and vegetables charred on the barbeque with extra virgin olive oil and served with spicy garlic bread. It came on a large rectangular board and each selection was separate. There was candied tomato, pear, apricot, mushrooms, pepper, courgette, asparagus, for instance, and it was a perfect dish for sharing. For our main we had the fresh tuna seared on the barbeque and served with sweet cinnamon, cardamom and star anis spiced salsa, accompanied by yellow potato mash and sesame seeds S/.45. The dish was good and, although the tuna wasn't the best we've had, it was served rare the way we like it. The sauce was exceptionally good. The potatoes were good and were served with a sugar and sesame stick that caused Dimitri to remark that the chef likes to mix sweet with savory. On our new "one glass of wine at dinner" regimen we each had a glass of Carmen Carménère S/.14 x2 = S/.28 which we liked very much. We had 3 bottles of water S/.3.5 = S/.10.5 and one espresso decaffeinated coffee S/.7.50 and one dessert. It was an excellent bread and butter pudding layered with sáuco (elderberries) and served with warm pisco and cinnamon custard. S/.18. There were two waitresses from the US to help the English speakers. The servers whisked the plates away too fast (sometimes trying to take the plates before we were finished!) All in all, however, a very nice dining experience.

Our second visit was nice but we were disappointed in our main course. We spent S/.139 plus tip. The amuse bouche was an elaborate plate with delicious fried yucca and a orange-chilli sauce, choclo on a skewer and grilled cheese. Yummy. The starter that we shared was great. It was caramelized pork ribs that had been marinated in a spicy rum and honey salsa and were cooked on the barbeque S/.22. They were tasty and tender, without too much fat. We chose for our main course a lamb served pink bathing in a fruit curry sauce served with a pecan wild mushroom mint and green pea salad S/.39. The meat was incredibly tough and not too tasty, although the sauce was delicious, as was the salad. We have the impression, from the tuna main that we had on our first visit, and this lamb, that the restaurant is not paying enough attention to the quality of their main course ingredients. We ordered a side dish of papas al curry S/.7 that were perfectly cooked. With our meal we chose to have the "vino degustation" and had a Casa Silva blend from Chile, a Carmen Carménère from Chile and a Los Cardos Malbec from Argentina (S/.20 for the 3 tastes). We enjoyed that and, because the tastes were small, didn't over-indulge. For dessert we had a sorbet selection, with one scoop of pecan ice cream, which was okay and one espresso.
1.2 Divina Comedia, Pumacurco 406 (one block from the Monasterio Hotel), telf (51-84) 437-640, e-mail: info@restaurantcusco.com at the Hotel Arqueologo. The restaurant is new having opened in June 2008. The room is beautifully designed with whimsical arty dioramas from Dante's Divine Comedy. The original Inca stonework is visible and beautifully highlighted.

The room at Divina Comedia was creative and imaginative
There was no heat in the room when we arrived and it was very cold. There is one radiator which the waiter turned on but it didn't warm the room. We stayed anyway and the food and service were excellent. We spent S/.141 (with service included in the prices on the menu) plus a small extra tip of S/.9 = S/.150. We were brought an amuse bouche of a dollop of blue cheese dip, with a sun-dried tomato slice on top and 2 slices of bread. It was good; we love to get amuse bouche.
As usual we shared everything. We started with a Sweet chili pepper cream soup with red wine, served with a small timbale of goat cheese tartar (S/.22). It was very good and the kitchen split the soup for us which was very nice. The timbale had a strong taste of olive which was surprising because the dish wasn't described as having any olive.
Sweet chili pepper cream soup with red wine, served with a small timbale of goat cheese tartar

For our main we shared a duck (pato al al cacerola) stewed in its own red wine sauce, served with black bean tacu-tacu, pink pepper and (sáuco) elderberry with acid onions and quail eggs (S/.50). It was delicious and the duck was only slightly chewy. The dish had bacon in it and a small salad with avocado, neither of which were mentioned in the description. The quail eggs made a nice addition.
Our main course at Divina Comedia was the duck stewed in its own red wine sauce, served with black bean tacu-tacu (underneath), pink pepper and elderberry, with acid onion in the ceramic spoon, and quail eggs.

On our new "one glass of wine at dinner" regimen, we each had a glass of Guelbenzu Jardin Cabernet Sauvignon for S/.16 each. The meal was enhanced by a piano and an Italian-singing waiter and waitress.

For dessert we moved to the adjoining hotel bar at the Hotel Arqueologo (called Song Thé Cafe, Bar, Delicatezas) where there was a fireplace. When Dimitri got it going, we finally got warm. We had Chirimoya in 3 different parts (S/.20). It was beautifully presented and the chirimoya was very good. We also had one cafe espresso (S/.5) and one Mate de Muña (S.4) and 2 waters S/.8. We would recommend the restaurant but suggest that anyone going there in the winter dress very warmly.

The second time we went we made a reservation and asked to sit in front of the sole radiator in the room. We also asked to have it turned on at 5 p.m. They did that and the restaurant was warm-ish when we arrived at 7:30 p.m. The amuse bouche of blue cheese and bread were served. We were serenaded again by the opera-singing waiter and waitress; it was great. We shared everything and ordered Brochetas de pollo con salsa de oporto-balsámico y espuma de yogurt natural con toques de vainilla with a salsa sáuco (S/.15). The marinade was quite delicious, with little elderberries in it, and the chicken was good. For our main we shared the “La Gula No Te Dejara” which was the Enrollado de trucha rellena con mantequilla de huacatay y limón, acompañado con tabule de quinua roja al rocoto y champiñones en salsa ácido de hierba luisa y kión. While we couldn’t taste the huacatay, the lemon verbena or the ginger, the dish was a success. The portion of trout was small but enough for us. The lemon butter was delicious and the red quinoa unusual and very, very good. On our new "one glass of wine at dinner" regimen, one of us had a glass of Guelbenzu Jardin Cabernet Sauvignon for (S/.16) and the other had an Argentinean Trilogie Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Merlot (S/.16). Again we had the Tres partes separadas de chirimoya: Helado de chirimoya con salsa de maíz morado al balsámico, vainilla espumada, Chirimoya con espuma de manjar blanco; and (the best) Chirimoya flameada con Cointreau. It was very good. We had one café espresso (S/.5), limonada which was a pisco sour without the alcohol and was excellent (S/.6) and 2 waters (S/.8). It was a delightful meal (and warm).

1.3 Don Esteban & Don Pancho Restaurante-Pisco Bar, Portal Espinar 144, Cusco (51-84)244-644, e-mail: info@donestebanydonpancho.com and web: www.donestebanydonpancho.com We spent S/.156 plus tip The room is nice with clean lines and a high ceiling. It views the arches of Le Merced out its big windows. It is warm enough, even without heat (when the doors were closed). The noise of the exhaust fan from the kitchen, people talking and the music is over-the-top, however. The service started out poorly but got better as the evening went on.

We shared everything, as usual, and had: a bottle of Fuzion Syrah-Merlot from Argentina (S/.75) which we didn't love. We were disappointed because the menu lists a Fuzion Malbec at the same price. Unfortunately the restaurant didn't actually have that wine. We shared a ceviche de perico (mahi mahi) that was very good (S/.24). For our main we had Lechón al Pisco cocida en horno, bañada de una salsa base de pisco nuestro licor de bandera, papas enana y finas hierbas con vegetales saltados y tocino confitada. The dish was very, very good even though the meat was a bit grisly. There was a generous portion of vegetables and enana potatoes that were nicely cooked. For dessert we had an order of Picarones con miel de chancaca that were fabulous--some of the best we've ever had--crunchy on the outside doughy on the inside. If it weren't for the items on the menu they didn't have and the noise it would have been our favorite meal in Cusco.

The second time we went for dinner, we were practically the only ones there. We sat far away from the kitchen and the exhaust fan didn’t make as much noise. It was warm enough too. The waiter remembered us from our first visit and remembered our suggestions. We were served bread (not as good as is sold at their own bakery (Don Esteban & Don Pancho Panaderia-Pasteleria, Santa Monica A-16, (Av. de la Cultura frente al colegio Sn Antonio) (51-84)253-659, e-mail: info@donestebanydonpancho.com and web: http://www.donestebanydonpancho.com/) and 2 olive oil mixtures. We shared everything and our starter was Andean Solitare Salad S/.16 described in English as salad of lima beans, tomatoes, pepper, cheese, onions and olives in a vinaigrette dressing. It had too many onions, too few lima beans and it was too spicy. Other than that, we liked it. For our main we ordered a Lamb Stew S/.33 (described in English as a fine cut of lamb pot-roasted and served over mashed lima beans with criolla sauce. And described in Spanish as Guiso de cordero en cama de puré de pallares—fino corte de cordero, en cocción a la olla, sobre puré de pallares y salsa criolla. The menu listed a Fuzion Malbec from Argentina but they only had a Fuzion Malbec/Shiraz blend. We were disappointed but each had one glass of the blend S/.15 each. There were no Picarones available so we didn’t have any coffee or other dessert. We spent S/.89 plus tip and weren’t thrilled but still think it’s a very good restaurant with lots of potential.
1.4 Granja Heidi Restaurante Cafe, Cuesta San Blas 525 Cusco, telf (51-84)238-383, e-mail: naturefood@yahoo.com, web: www.geocities.com/naturefood, S/.23. plus tip for lunch. They served a delicious amuse bouche of choclo, white corn on the cob,to both of us even though we only ordered one menu of the day. They brought bread and huancaína, a typical Peruvian, relatively spicy chili-cheese sauce. We ordered one menu of the day (S/.18) and there was a choice between vegetarian and non-veg. We had the vegetarian menu which started with Sopa de trigo. The kitchen put it into 2 bowls and it was very good. For the main we had curry de pepino (cucumber) acompañado con arroz. This is a most unusual main ingredient and it worked beautifully. The restaurant gave us 2 chicha moradas even though 1 only came with the menu. The dessert with the menu was pastel ruso which was a good cheesecake with chocolate. We ordered one café (S/.3) and one maté felicidad (S/.2) which was a combination of fresh herbs and quite unusual and good. The mug has a ceramic insert for the fresh herbs which is perfect. The restaurant serves mignardise with the hot drinks and we love that.
We also bought a litre of natural yogurt for S/.4.30 because a dollop came with the main and it was delicious, no sugar, just the way we like it. The server who was French was attentive and nice, giving us advice. There is a lot of light but we didn’t see any heaters. During the day it was warm enough.
The second time we went we made a reservation for lunch because we had been turned away for lunch once. They served a delicious amuse bouche of guacamole and bread. They brought huancaína again. We ordered one vegetarian menu of the day (S/.18) which started with carrot soup--very tasty. For the main we had spatztal with cheese and onion. It was good if a little too cheesy. The restaurant gave us 1 chicha morada and one limonada even though 1 only came with the menu. The dessert with the menu was a kind of fromage blanc with fruit in it. We ordered one café (S/.3) and one maté felicidad (S/.2) and they came with mignardise again. The owner was there and wasn’t busy; he was charming.

1.5 Hiram Bingham To Machu Picchu, Orient-Express Hotels, Trains & Cruises Group(http://www.orientexpress.com/web/tper/tper_a2a_home.jsp). We were greated on the departure platform with sparkling Peruvian wine and dancing.

Audre having a glass of Peruvian sparkling wine in the observation car of the Hiram Bingham

We were served two complete meals on the Hiram Bingham and one rather complete high tea at the Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge.

On the train the brunch was served nicely and it was very good. For the brunch there were three plates. On the first plate were small portions, nicely arranged, of Tamale de aceítunas con salsa de dos tomates (olive corn tamale, tree and pear tomatoes salsa), Omelette de fínas hierbas y champíñones (fine herbs omelet, mushrooms), Asado minuto de alpaca, compota de sáuco (minute roast of alpaca loin, elderberry compote (looks like blueberry). The second plate was Canelón de espínacas, quínua y pollo salsa cemosa de tomate (cannelloni of spinach, quinoa and chicken, creamy tomato sauce) and it was very good and light. The dessert was Mousse de cheesecake con gots de chocolate, coulís de frutos frescos (cheesecake mousse with chocolate chips, fresh fruit coulis) and it was good. We had water, no wine with brunch. But both were included, as well as coffee and tea.

The high tea included a lot of everything and was really a full meal. The food was good. Back on the train there were pre-dinner pisco sours, followed by a 4-course a la carte dinner, accompanied by a selection of Peruvian wines. Again, it was beautifully served.
Dimitri and Audre at their table on the Orient Express Hiram Bingham

The meal started with an amuse bouche. The first plate was Galleta de papa amarilla y centolla, Ensalada críolla de alcachofas, salsa golf (yellow potato and king crab galette, Creole artichoke salad, cocktail sauce). It was lovely. The second plate was Crema de zapallo al anís estrella, crotones a las híebas y crocante de proscíuto (pumpkin cream soup scented with star anis, herbs croutons and raw ham crisps). The soup was delicious. For the third plate there was a choice between meat and fish. We both chose the fish: Fílete de trucha salmonada, ragout de espárragos, choclo y camote, salsa de pímíenta molle y aceíte de perejíl (Salmon trout fillet, asparagus, corn and sweet potato ragout, light pink pepper sauce, parsley oil). It was very good and not dry or overcooked. I asked to have the polenta (from the meat dish) instead of the ragout from the fish dish. That was not a problem and we enjoyed this course very much. For dessert there was a Brownie de pecanas, helado de vaínílla, salsa de carmelo which was good but I could only eat a bite of it (pecan nut brownie, vanilla ice cream, caramel butterscotch sauce). We chose the Tacama Blanco de Blanco, Valle del Inca, Perú Sauvignon Blanc to accompany dinner and it was good.

1.6 Illariy, Hotel Monasterio Restaurant, Calle Palacio 136, Plazoleta Nazarenas, Cusco, tel (51-84)604-000 ext. 254, e-mail: reservas@peruorientexpress.com.pe, web: www.orient-express.com, www.monasterio.orient-express.com US$93.47 (including tax and service) and much more expensive than anywhere else in Cuzco. Even so, it was our favorite restaurant in Cuzco. The room is beautiful, the service was excellent and the food was very, very good.

The lovely table at Illariy at the Hotel Monasterio

The chef, Marco Alban, does a very good job. There was an amuse bouche of guacamole with a crunchy cracker that was good; we love to get amuse bouche! The bread basket had in it parmesan crackers which were yummy. We shared everything and had Tacama Grand Blanco Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc S/.88.75. It was good. For our starter we had Mushroom, artichoke and spinach ragout with cardamom and garlic chips in an orange, carrot broth S/.49.60. The kitchen split the dish for us and it was very, very good. Our main was Oven baked Pacific bass (charella) with artichokes, rosemary, Sacred Valley tomatoes, olives and new potatoes S/.80.10. We asked for the fish to be "1/4 cooked" and it was juicy and delicious, as was the sauce. Again, the kitchen split the portion into two for us. There was plenty of food for the two of us.
Our oven baked Pacific bass (charella) with artichokes, rosemary, Sacred Valley tomatos, olives and new potatoes at the Hotel Monastario Restaurant Illariy

For dessert we had Dacquoise de Aellanas y Mousse de Gianduja Corazón Jugoso de Café salsa al pistacho (Hazelnut Dacquoise and Gianduja mousse with melted coffee heart pistachio sauce) S/.31 and one coffee. We also had two waters and unknowingly made a US$2 donation to the charities that the Monasterio supports in Cuzco. The name of the restaurant means "meeting" in Quechua and the whole evening was a delightful fine dining experience.
On our second visit we didn't think our meal was as great as our first meal. There were long gaps between courses and it didn't look like the restauant was as crowded as it was for our first visit (maybe it was because it was a Sunday night). We spent US$94.99 (including 10% service and 19% tax) .Our waiter was Alejandro and was very accommodating. We had a card that provided a free drink and we were both given delicious pisco sours with lots of the foam we love. There was a causa con pollo for the amuse bouche and we enjoyed that. We asked for more of the parmesan crisps that we loved in the bread basket but they never appeared. For our starter we shared the Chef's Special of Grilled duck foie gras on toasted brown bread with apple purée, onion compote and balsamic sauce US$15.50. The kitchen spit the dish for us and it was excellent. For our main we shared the Shrimp crusted sword fish medallions with a garbanzo, tomato, avocado and raw ham stew US$16.28. Again, the kitchen spit the dish for us, which we appreciated very much. It was disappointing though. The shrimp crust didn't taste like shrimp; it was more like a thin piece of rubbery cheese. The sword fish itself was very thin but not overcooked (and not overly tasty either). On our” one glass of wine regimen”, we chose the Humberto Canale Malbec at S/.39.05 or US $10.06 per glass and it was very good. For dessert we shared a selection of ice cream and sorbets US$6.98 which were okay and actually didn't include the ones we had selected. We had two teas and they came with mignardise that we liked.
1.7 Inka Grill, Portal de Panes 115, Plaza de Armas, tel (51-84)26 29 92, web: www.inkagrillcusco.com This is a very touristy restaurant but it delivers in an honest way. We sat upstairs and it was warm enough although we didn’t see any heaters. There was a musician and that was lovely. The place was packed. As usual we shared everything. We ordered an Errazuriz Estate Carménère Valle de Concagua 2007 S/.75 that was very good. For our starter we had the Taradito de Trucha con refrescante sorbete de aji amarillo S/.22 (finely laminated sashimi style fresh trout served over sweet potato puree, accompanied with a fresh lime and yellow chili sorbet). It was delicious although the taradito was not the traditional rendition and the chili sorbet was odd. For our main we shared a Cuy horneado al aroma de ají mirasol y romero S/.60. The roasted guinea pig with rosemary mirasol or "Tierno donejillo de indias horneado lentamente con aceite de oliva, ají mirasol, ajos y romero" was delicious and surprisingly tender. The sauce was quite good too. For dessert we shared Piña horneado con jora y anís de curahuasi de la ciudad del mejor anís del mundo le róbanos el secreto para esta exótica combinación con la bebida gran pachacote chicha de jora S./18 (a roasted pineapple with curahuasi annisette) and it was very good. We also had 2 decaffeinated coffees S/.14 and an agua S/4.50. There was a Cubierto Musica S/.4 as well. When we got home and looked at the bill we discovered that we had been charged S/.125 for the wine instead of S/.75, a large difference. When we took the bill back and showed the waiter the menu price and the price shown on the bill, he got authorization and gave us the S/.50 for the wine mix up. We spent a total of S/.222.50, including tip.

1.8 Korean Restaurant Park Eun Mi, Calle Procuradores 341, Cusco, tel (51-84)243-097 and 235-877, e-mail: echo9005@hotmail.com, web: http://cafe.daum.net/cuscohouse (in Korean). This is a wonderful new, little restaurant run by a Korean couple. It is in a courtyard off of "Gringo Alley". It opened in March 2008 and the wife is a talented chef. We were brought the traditional 9 little dishes of savories and a Korean cold tea without asking for them. Everything was very good. We ordered one "Dubu - jjigae", a tofu stew that was small but good S/.30. The second dish we ordered was "Bibimbap" described as rice mixed with assorted vegetables and meat. We like this dish when it is made in the oven in a ceramic dish and the rice at the bottom gets crunchy but this was very tasty and large. We also had Te Verde in a pot S/.5. The service was nice and the music playing was lovely. They had a big gas heater to warm up the space. And the decorations (maybe from the previous restaurant) were adorable.

1.9 Limac Pampa Restaurant, Casa Andina Private Collection, Plazoleta Limac Pampa Chico 473, Cusco, tel (51-84)232-610, e-mail: ventas@casa-andina.com, web: www.casa-andina.com We spent S/.147 which included an 8% charge for service. The room is warm (even without heat) and charming, with several large, standing candelabrum. We liked the royal blue walls over the base of Inca stonework.

We shared everything and started with Grilled vegetables and Andean cheese tian; arúgula was on top and there was a pesto and balsamic reduction S/.35. It was unusual and very good. For our main, we shared the Cara pulca, a typical Peruvian stew with dried potatoes, chili and pork S/.35. The kitchen spit the dish for us and it was quite large and tasty. We ordered a half bottle of Peruvian Tacama Selecion Especial vino tinto blend S/.35 that was good. For dessert we had Trigiá de Maracuyá: creme brulée, tarta de queso y sorbet S.28. It was great. We also had 1 espresso S/.7 and 2 agua S/.12. The service was excellent and we left a tip in addition to the included 8% service. A delightful experience.

1.10 MAP Cafe, Plaza Nazarenas 231, in the Museo de Arte Precolombino, Cusco, (51-84)242-476 It is modern and lovely glass box but it was freezing (even with 2 large gas heaters). Even so we had an excellent meal there.

Dimitri and Audre at MAP Cafe
We shared 1 really perfect pisco sour S/.15 which the restaurant put into two smaller glasses for us and 1 agua (S./4.50). They have a 3 course menu of your course of appetizer, main and dessert with one glass of wine. We ordered one menu and that was fine with them. It cost S/.100. For our main we chose the seared tuna and it was cooked just the way we like it.
The tuna at MAP Cafe

The meal was delicious. With our meal we shared 1 glass of Baron Philippe de Rothschild Cabernet Sauvignon Valle de Rapel Chile (S/.20) which we liked. During dessert one of the players from the Kusikay production came into the restaurant and that was really fun.

Audre and the player from the Kusikay production
We also had 2 decaffeinated coffees S/.14. We spent a total of S/.153 plus tip. While it was one of our better meals, the room was too cold for dinner.

When we made the reservation for our second visit, we specified that we wanted to be seated near a gas heater. When we arrived and the table near the heater was occupied so we repeated we wanted to be near a heater. They brought one from the other side of the room and put it near our table. This time our dining experience at MAP was warm and comfortable. We spent S/.137 plus tip the second time we went. There was again lovely guitar music and a delicious amuse bouche of a mushroom and passion fruit salad. We had one 3 course menu and that was fine with them (S/.100). We started with one Quinoa Crusted Scallops Salad with Passion Fruit Vinaigrette and it was excellent (ensalada de conchitas y quinua crocrante al maracuyá). There were plump little scallops and the salad and dressing were delicious. For our main we had Canilla de Cordero con Papas al Mortero y Ajos Confitados and it was very good. The lamb shank was braised to perfection and the potato rocoto and garlic confit were a lovely addition. On our new "one glass of wine at dinner" regimen we each had a glass of Baron Philippe de Rothschild Cabernet Sauvignon Valle de Rapel, Chile S/.18. For dessert we again chose the Torrón Amelcochado con Higos y Naranjas al Anis. Again it was very good but we were disappointed that there wasn't something else on the menu we wanted. We had two waters S/.9, a descafeinado S/.7 and an infusion S.3. Another delightful (and this time warm) meal.

1.11 Pisac Sunday Market in Pisac. We had a blast there. It is a tourist and people-watching extravaganza.
A woman (in her distinctive hat) making rocoto relleno at the Sunday Pisac market

We had a chicha and kiwichi drink and we tasted a quinoa juice. Both were very good and unusual. One Chowhounder recommended the soup (and the soup vendor) but it was too early in the morning for us to try it.
We bought bread fresh right out of the traditional oven which, I think, is called a barro

1.12 Tupananchis, Plazoleta Espinar 180 -184, Cusco, Perú, tel (51-84)245-159, cel 980 9712, web: www.tupananchis.com We spent S/.147 plus tip The restaurant is well designed, with lots of bright red, and has outdoor space heaters inside (so it isn't cold). The chairs are comfortable and the tables for 2 are big enough. Our server, Marco Chariarse, was excellent and attentive even though the restaurant was pretty full.

We shared everything, as usual. We had the Los Arboles Bodega Navarro Correas '05 Malbec (S/.60) which was very good. For our starter we had Ajies Rellenos Fuego del Inca S/.26 (described in English as Inka's hot stuffed peppers from the Andes stuffed with shrimps, sautéed with olive oil and served with sautéed potatoes and parsley). The dish was excellent and the shrimp sauce very tasty. This is a new twist on a standard dish of the region. For our main we shared a Sweet potato gnocchi with pepper tenderloin in a demiglace S/.30. The meat was prepared just as we like it: "1/4 cooked". It was red, juicy and flavorful. The gnocchis were good. For dessert we had the Mousse de pisco sour S/.16 and it too was also good. All in all, an excellent dining experience.

We had another lovely meal at this restaurant. We spent S/.174 plus tip. We arrived around 9 p.m. and it was full. There was no pedestal gas heater inside when we arrived, so they brought one in from the terrace and put it near us. We were happy. We started with one Crema de Habas Gratinada S/.16 (described, in more detail as crema andina fundida con caldo de verduras y gratinadas con el mejor queso). Dimitri liked it; I thought it was too cheesy and that the bean taste got lost. For our main we shared the Pollo en Salsa de Ciboulette S/.29 (described in more detail as pollo en salsa de verdeo y ciboulette acompañados de champiñones empanizados y un timbal de vegetales grille). We forgot to mention that we like it juicy but, even so, it came out perfectly cooked for us. The breaded mushrooms were tiny but the stack of sliced eggplant, tomato and zucchini was great. The dish very good. On our new "one glass of wine at dinner" regimen we each had a glass of Cuesta del Maero Cabernet Malbec and it we liked it. We shared a dessert called Fresas Acarameladas S/.17 described as deliciosas fresas recubiertas con caramelo de azúcar y una reducción de vino tinto acompañado de frutas mixtas de la estación. Dimitri liked it a lot. We had one cafe and two waters as well.

2. Good Restaurants

2.1 Aldea Yanapay, Ruinas 415, 2do piso, Cusco, tel (51-84)255-134, web: www.aldeayanapay.org Very cute place and they put on the small heater for us. They have vegetarian and a non-veg menus. We had a Crema Indigena, a soup made with local products, como olluco, leche, queso, muña S/.10. It was very good. And we had a Rocoto (fruto picante) relleno de vegetales acompañado de papas S/.25. We forgot to specify that the Rocoto was to be vegetarian. It was good too.

2.2 A Mi Manera Cafe Lounge Restaurant, Triunfo 393, 2 nd Piso, Cusco, tel (51-84)222-219, e-mail: amimanera@culturasperu.com, web: www.amimanera.com S/.80.50 plus tip. The space is small and nice. We asked for a regular table and chairs near a heater but they don't have one. Still, it wasn't cold.

There was a nice amuse bouche of bruschetta, with cheese and tomato. They also serve bread. We shared everything and started with rocoto, a hot pepper filled with beef and raisins, served with potatoes S/.12. It was good and it was spicy. For our main we shared the Adobo de pollo in chicha broth (corn beer) with panca pepper that were kind of spicy and served with yuccas S/.26. It was good but the chicken was a little dry. We also ordered a side of grilled polenta S/.8 that was good. On our new "one glass of wine at dinner" regimen we each had a glass of Peruvian Tabernero Merlot/Malbec (S/.15 x 2 = S/.30). It wasn't bad. We also had 1 water S/.3.50. Since there wasn't any dessert we wanted, we didn't have coffee or tea either. It was good, not great.

2.3 Cicciolina Bread & Breakfast, Calle Triunfo 393, Cusco, Tel 239-510, e-mail: cicciolinacuzco@yahoo.com This restaurant is touted as Cuzco’s fine dining experience. It’s good but it’s not elegant, it’s more of a bistro. We spent S/.160.50 + 10 tip. We were charged 2 cubiertos S/.14 for the bread and dips. We ordered a Dona Paula Los Cardos Malbec 2006 S/.35 that was good and 2 agua S/.3.5. For our starter we shared Peruvian scallops in their shells bathed in buttery salsa of soy with ginger, crispy garlic and a drop of lime S/.24 that was very good. For our main we shared the lamb shank that was the special of the day S/.50. It was very, very good. For dessert we shared a crisp filo pastry basket filled with warm sautéed fruit (including aguaymanto wild fruit which is physalis or cape gooseberry), in a sauce of coconut with pepper ice cream S/.20. The dessert was good and the pepper ice cream quite spicy and unusual. We had 2 decaffeinated coffees (S/.14) The room was rustic and nice (actually warm too). The service was correct but very slow and annoying in the end.

2.4 Don Esteban & Don Pancho Panaderia-Pasteleria, Santa Monica A-16, (Av. de la Cultura frente al colegio Sn Antonio) (51-84)253-659, e-mail: info@donestebanydonpancho.com and web: www.donestebanydonpancho.com This is a new outlet and the bread is very good. The menu is extensive but they didn’t have many of the items the first time we went. On subsequent visits, the menu had expanded. We spent S/.27 plus tip for 2 good salads and water the first time we were there. The second time we went we spent S/.20 plus tip. We had one vegetarian lasagna (S/.10) that was good but had no pasta in it. And, we had one vegetarian sandwich which was also good (S/.10) and a bit unusual.

2.5 El Truco Museum & Restaurant, Plaza Regocijo 261, Cusco, tel (51-84)235-295, e-mail: eltruco95@hotmail.com, web: cuscoperu.com/eltruco We spent a total of S/.150 plus tip. The place is large, with high ceilings and lots of "over the top" decoration. The origin goes back to the 18th century when it served first as home to the Viceroy La Serna, later as a coin plant, manufacturing gold and silver currency, then a gambling house. It is very touristy, with music and dancing. That’s why we went; not for the food. It was also freezing until it started to fill up. The dancing and music were fun.

We had two soups to start: one I (S/.12.50) and one Trout Peruvian style Chowder (S./20). Both were good not great. For our main course we shared one Piquero Machupicchu (S/.35) which was described as beef heart, pork chop, chicken breast and filled hot chili pepper. We had asked for it to be lightly cooked and juicy (jugoso). The pork and chicken were very, very dry. The brochettes of heart weren't bad. The deep fried stuffed chili pepper was the best thing on the plate. The wine selection was limited and lacked any Malbecs. So we had a Cocho y Torro Cabernet Sauvignon (S/.60) that wasn't bad.

2.6 Greens, Santa Catalina Angosta 235, Piso 2, Cusco Peru, tel (51-84) 24 33 79, e-mail: greens@cuscorestaurants.com, web:
www.cuscorestaurants.com/greens We spent a total of S/.167 plus tip. We shared everything and ordered a Baron Philippe de Rothschild Carménère Reserva from Chile S/.85, one agua S/.4, and as a starter, one order of the Magic Table of appetizers S/.15 (that’s the cost with a main course; there's a different price if it is ordered by itself). It was a varied buffet table that was good. For our main, we ordered one Costillas de cordero crocantes con ajo y limón, acompañado de puré de camote el comino y salsa balsámica y menta S/.40. The lamb chops were thin, tough and over-cooked. The sweet potato purée was very good, as was the rugula, but the dish failed because the meat wasn't good. We had one turron tahini for dessert S/.18 and one maté de hierbas S/.5. The room is nice and the service was correct. There was nothing special, however. And, the organic greens didn’t jump off the plate with freshness and goodness.

2.7 Incanto Ristorante, Calle Santa Catalina Angosta 125, Cusco, Telf (51-84)254-753, e-mail: incanto@cuscorestaurants.com, web: www.cuscorestaurants.com We spent S/.130 plus tip. The restaurant is large and modern with big windows onto the street. There is a big pizza oven on one side and an open kitchen view in the back. We sat in the front of the restaurant near the bar because there was a table next to a wood-burning oven which kept us warm. We had a very nice meal except for one thing. The restaurant (contrary to the law) allows smoking in the bar section. We were only slightly bothered, not asphyxiated when a couple went there to smoke after their meal.

We had two main dishes and shared them. Dimitri had the pappardelle pasta in a lamb ragout sauce (S/.30). He liked it very much. I had the Locro de zapallo (S/.27) described as stewed pumpkin with Andean cheese, cream, egg and olives. It was very tasty and also had the Andean corn, choclo, in it which gave it a kind of crunch. On our new "one glass of wine at dinner" regimen, we each had a (generous) glass of Vina Morande Valle Rapel Casablanca Maule Pionero Carménère (S/.15 x 2 = S/.30) which we loved. Our waitress asked the kitchen if they could make our favorite Italian dessert: zabaglione and they did. We had 2 and they were excellent, with fresh strawberries at the bottle of the glass (S/.17 x 2 = S/.34). We were thrilled. We would recommend this restaurant, although sitting near the smoking area is risky.

On our second visit we sat near the pizza oven and were warm enough. There was a guitarist playing lovely selections. We spent S/.137 plus tip (but the bill also included 10% service which we, again, didn’t realize). There was a S/.3.50 per person cover charge as well. We think that this restaurant is solidly good. The bread served is pretty good and the olive oil accompanying it has a dot of balsamic vinegar in it. We shared a pizza which was half vegetables primavera and half fungi (portabella and porcini). It was thin crusted and good S/.29. Then we shared the saltimbocca with veal filets covered with prosciutto and sage in a Marsala sauce. S/.30 On our "one glass of wine at dinner" regimen, we each had a (less generous) glass of Pionero Carménère (S/.15 x 2 = S/.30) which we again loved. For dessert we had a helado de café S/.15 which was very good. And we had two decaffeinated espresso S/.12.

2.8 Inti Raymi, Libertador del Inka, Plazoleta Santo Domingo 259, Cusco Perú, telf (51-84)231-961, We spent S/.234.98 (10% service was included) or US$82.73. The hotel is a mixture of Inca and colonial styles. It's walls once formed part of the "Aclla Huasi". The stone arches were built on top of the ruins. Pizarro had his family coat of arms scupted and busts of his family in the palace that was first built on the site. Thus the popular name "la casa de los cuatro bustos".

There was an amuse bouche of a dollop of a ham-cream with a little crunchy bacon bit on top. It was tasty and we love amuse bouche whatever they are. We started with a carpaccio mixto that was described as perjerrey y trucha, finas hierbas, queso parmesano, salsa pesto andina S/.40. The salsa pesto andina was made with huacatay and I was happy that I was able to identify the herb correctly. The parmesan was a cruchy crisp parmesan cylinder in the middle of the plate so it didn't interfere with the taste of the fish. The fish was very thinly sliced and hardly had any taste at all, frankly. We weren't impressed with this dish. About the time we finished our starter, Gil, the pastery chef stopped by the table. Dimitri started to speak to him in French and they discussed what we would have for dessert. Gil is a specialist in chocolate desserts. We weren't enthusiastic and asked for a souffle. Gil said he would make us a cognac souffle for dessert. We were starting to enjoy the restaurant.

For our main we ordered the corvina a la plancha, vegetales bebé, crocante de berenjenas, pimienta molle S/.86. In English this is described as grilled sea bass, baby vegetables, crispy eggplant and pink peppercorns. The fish was cooked the way we asked for it "1/4 cooked". It was very tasty, juicy and thick. We were happy with this dish. On our new "one glass of wine at dinner" regimen we each had a glass of Chilean Casillero de Diablo Cabernet Sauvignon (the restaurant didn't have any Carménères by the glass). It was good enough but at S/.27 per glass it was about twice as expensive as any other restaurant would charge.

The souffle was delicious, a real triumph (S/.20).

Gil, the pastry chef at the restaurant at the Hotel Libertador Cusco. He made us a special Cognac souffle for dessert.

We had one espresso (S/.6.78) and one water S/.9. And we enjoyed the meal.

2.9 KinTaro Japanese Restaurant, Heladeros 149, Cusco, Peru (51-84)22 6181, web: www.kintaro-cusco.com We had lunch for S/.19. We ordered 1 udon soup, 1 miso soup and 1 spinach. They served a little amuse bouche (which was very good). The food was good but the place is very cold (no heat) and the service was really slow. The second time we went we had 2 soups, 2 teas and water for S/.30.50 plus tip. We were the only ones there and the service was terrific. With the sun streaming in, it was warm.

2.10 La Casona del Inka Tradicional Restaurante (de Luis), Carretera Circunvalación Paradero Balconcillo, No. K-2, Cusco telf (51-84)431 374, cel 084 507 378. S/.20 plus tip. This restaurant has a panoramic view of Cusco and on a Sunday afternoon had tables of middle class Cusqueño families. We shared one menu of the day that had lots of choices on it. We started with a soup called Chairo, which was full of meat, potatoes and vegetables in a broth. Then we had Seco de Cordero the lamb stew with coriander and rice and fried yucca. "Seco" is evidently used in Quechua to refer to all dishes in a green sauce. For desert we had ice cream. They offered us 2 pisco sours but we chose to have 2 chicha moradas instead. Everything was good, typical and we were well taken care of.

2.11 La Cava de San Rafael, SantaCatalina Ancha 370, Cusco, tel (51-84)261-691, e-mail: cavadesanrafael@infonegocio.net.pe, web: www.cavadesanrafael.com We spent S/.139 plus tip and there was a cover charge of S/.14 for the two of us. The space is a large cave. It is nicely decorated but it has no heat and the windows were open when we arrived. When the kitchen (below) started heating up, the room got warmer. But the restaurant is so large, it really needs heat.

We were served filtered water (without asking) and bread on adorable plates with oil and balsamic vinegar when we arrived. There was a little amuse bouche of a slice of a ham and chicken roll with elderberry (sáuco) sauce. We shared everything and started with Camarones al pisco en salsa de fresas y mango S/.25. The shrimps and langoustines had been frozen and were a little dry but the sauce and the fresh fruit was delicious. For our main we shared the Pollo lechal en salsa de ostión al aroma de kión acompañado de papas glaseadas à l'naranja y legumbres bb salteadas S/.36. The large plate had a small thigh and leg on it. If it had oyster sauce on it, we couldn't taste it. The chicken was cooked nicely and was tasty and juicy. The plate also had a large assortment of baby vegetables that were nicely cooked and good. Also on the plate were Cusqueña potatoes that were supposed to be glazed but were, instead, in a honey sauce. Another example in Cuzco of chefs liking to mix sweet and savory was Dimitri's comment. That type of potato is a bit dry. On our new "one glass of wine at dinner" regimen we each had a glass of Santa Julia Fuzion Syrah/Malbec from Argentina (S/.15x2=S/.30) which was good. For dessert we had Helado de cholo con prealine de maíz chullpi en marmelada de recotto, coulis de maíz morado y touile de queso. The description was so unusual we had to try it. The ice cream with the praline of crunchy corn chullpi was good but the whole concoction was too sweet for us. We had one decaffeinated coffee (S/.6) that turned out to be Nescafe so we ordered two maté de hierba luisa or lemon verbena (S/.4 x 2 = S/.8) which were good (specifying without sugar). The service was lovely and tended to make up for the deficiencies in the food.

2.12 Maikhana Indian Restaurant, Av. El Sol No. 106 (2nd Piso 207), Cusco, telf (51-84) 252-044, e-mail: maikhana@gmail.com, web: www.maikhana@net We had a lunch and a dinner at this very good Indian restaurant. During lunch the owner served and it was very pleasant. We had chickpea marsala (S/.14), poori (S/.5), and 2 chay (S/.6). There was no heat but it was warm enough. At dinner we sat in the “warmer” room near the kitchen and it was not uncomfortably cold. The serving staff was inexperienced and the meal was kind of disorganized. The food was good. We spent S/.63 and shared Aloo saag S/.12, Chicken dal Makhani S/.22, pillau rice S/.8, Bhatora S/.5, agua S/.3, cerveza 1.1 litre S/.10, 1 chay S/.3.

2.13 Restaurant Manu Café, Av. Pardo 1046, Cusco, telf (51-84)252-524 We had lunch there and it’s a lovely place with lots of plants and lots of light but there is no heat. When it's sunny, the heat pours in through all of the glass. At night it would be too cold. I wanted to have the tamale from the menu but they didn’t actually have any. I had the criollo soup and Dimitri had something else that I can’t remember. It was good. S/.34

2.14 Mayuyama Japanese Restaurant, Calle San Agustín 236, telf (51-84) 232-716, cell 9966101 (next to the Tupac Yupanqui Hotel) S/.64.50 This is a new restaurant. The room is well decorated and the staff is nice. There is a heater which was put near our table. The chairs and table are not comfortable, unfortunately. For the set menu at S/.35 you can choose the soup and the main course. Dimitri chose the miso soup and the vegetarian stir fry. I chose to have an udon soup S/.25. The set menu with salad and vegetable was good but not tasty enough. The udon soup had fat noodles which were good but weren't udon and the soup wasn't tasty enough either. There was no fruit or anything else for dessert. It was okay on the way to good.

2.15 Mundo Hemp, Qanchipata 596, San Blas, Cusco, tel (51-84)258-411, e-mail: info@mundohemp.com, web: www.mnudohemp.com The place is a temple to hemp and cute. But it was very cold, even at lunch time, and the gas heater was broken. I had a spinach soup that was too salty and Dimitri had another soup that he liked. Thebill included 10% service.
2.16 My Uncle Restaurant & Narguila Restaurant, Tecsecocha 405, Just off the Plaza de Armas. For something a little different we had a Falafel plate and yogurt S/.16. It was okay.

2.17 Pacha Papa Restaurant, Plaza San Blas 120, Cusco, tel (51-84)241-318, e-mail: pachapapa@cuscorestaurants.com, web: www.cuscorestaurants.com We spent S/.137 (and that included 10% servicio). We sat in a small room next to a wood stove at Table #8 and it was still cold. The outside picnic tables would be uncomfortable and freezing even with the gas pedestal heaters. The food was very good and our server very attentive and professional.

We shared everything (as usual) and had a bottle of Errazuriz Reserva Carménère (S/.70) which we love and an agua (S/.4). For our starter we had the marinated alpaca on skewers (S/.20) which was very tasty and tender. There were 2 skewers which were plenty for us. The dish is called Anticucho de Alpaca which we thought translated to heart meat but it wasn't the heart, just alpaca meat.
According the Wikipedia, Anticucho is “from the Quechua language for Cut Stew Meat consisting of small pieces of grilled skewered meat. Anticuchos can be readily found on streetcarts and street food stalls (anticucherias). The meat may be marinated in vinegar and spices (such as cumin, aji pepper and garlic and while anticuchos can be made of any type of meat, the most popular are made of beef heart (anticuchos de corazon). Anticuchos often come with a boiled potato on the end of the skewer.”
For our main we had the Adobo de Chanco which was pork meat in a stew (S.23). It was very good. For dessert we had a mazamorra morada which had dried and fresh fruit (S/.10) in it and was very good (and better than the one we had in Arequipa). We had one tea infusiones de anis (with a tea bag and not too tasty) (S/.3). We had one chocolate caliente (S/.7) that was good.

2.18 Papillon, Portal de Carnes 260, Plaza de Armas, Cusco, tel (51-84), 256 610, e-mail papilloncusco@hotmail.com S/.25 We had lunch there overlooking the Plaza de Armas. The soups were good, the view excellent.

2.19 Pucara Restaurant Cafe Bar, Plateros #309, Cusco, tel (51-84) 222-027, We spent S/.35.50 plus tip for lunch. We had one Sopa de Ajo S/.9 that a Chowhounder had recommended and it was excellent. The taste of garlic was accented by a little spiciness. We also had the Aguadito de Pollo S/.10 that was also excellent. We liked the pottery dishes and the interior design too. It wasn't crowded but there was a nice buzz in the room. The service was efficient. We ordered 2 bread S/.1 and a water S/.3. For dessert we had a Torta de Queso S/.6.50, a cafe S/.3 and a mate de hierba luisa (lemon verbena) S/.3.

2.20 Tika Bistro Gourmet, Boutique Hotel San Blas, Tocuyeros 566, San Blas, Cusco, tel (51-84)237-900, web: www.tikabistro.com We had a nice lunch there and were the only ones in the tiny restaurant. It is a pleasant space (without heat so not a place for us at night in the winter). We spent S/.50 and shared one Oriental Variety Plate S/.21 which was 2 fried vegetarian spring rolls, 2 fried beef wantons in coconut milk reduction, and 2 fried chicken & ginger rolls, all served with a sweet and sour sesame sauce (made with a base of tamarind). The sauces were very good. We don't usually order fried foods because they aren't our favorite and this dish was no exception. We also ordered a 'For the Veggies' (S/.20) which was one zucchini and eggplant ravioli in a mushroom and herbal cream sauce with organic confit tomatoes. It was good.

2.21 Varayoc Restaurante, Espaderos 142, Cusco, tel (51-84)232-404, e-mail: varayocusco@hotmail.com We had one cheesecake, one coffee and one hierba luisa (lemon verbena) It was not a special place.

3. Restaurants we would not recommend

3.1 al grano (de Samalvides Cuba Edilma Nora), Calle Snta Catalina Ancha #398, telf (51-84) 228-032 S/.106 plus tip. This restaurant is listed in every guidebook. This is the worst meal we had in Cuzco. It was not fusion food, it was just uninteresting food with fancy names. We had 1 tea S/.5, 1 order of pasteles S/.8, 2 main plates S/.64, one 1/2 bottle of Tabernero Valle de Ica Merlot Syrah wine S/.25 and 1 yogurt S/.4.

3.2 El Meson del Regocijo, Portal Escribanos No. 177, Plaza Regocijo, Cusco. The location on our favorite Plaza Regocijo was the draw but the service was terrible and so was the food. Additionally, street vendors are a constant annoyance. We spent S/.35 for 1 mediocre salad and 1 uninteresting chupa Andina with corn and cheese. We recommend that sitting in the plaza is preferable to sitting in that restaurant.

3.3 Moni Café Restaurant (de Esther Marina and Hidalgo Montogy), San Agustin 311, Cusco, Peru, telf (51-84)231-029, web: www.moni-cusco.com We had lunch at this restaurant and we not impressed. The stuffed pepper S/.14 wasn’t tasty. We also had one (good) smoothie S/.7 for a total of S/.21 plus tip.

3.4 Café Trotamundos, Portal de Comercio 177, tel (51-84)239-590. We climbed the stair but didn’t stay because the restaurant allows smoking and the place stunk.

4. Chifas

4.1 Chifa Status, Av. de la Cultura 2000-B, Magisterio, tel. (51-84)257-013. The place was very cold and the food wasn’t very good.

4.2 Sipan Chifa, Av. La Cultura 2005 Urb. Magisterio, tel (51-84)248-068, e-mail:
chafasipan@hotmail.com. There is also a Sipan on Calle Quera 251 in Cusco. This restaurant was better than Chifa Status but not great. We had 2 soups for lunch (and wore our jackets throughout).

5. Drinks to Try

Of course everyone knows to try pisco sours in Peru. They are made with beaten egg whites and are very special. Also people know to try chicha morada made with purple corn and quite a good juice-like drink. And maté de coca is a must as well. The beer made from corn called chicha de jora is worth trying. But the one drink that few people try is really unusual and good. It's a Cusqueños drink called "frutillaza" made with wild berries (very small strawberries), chicha de jora, flour and herbs. We found a "hole in the wall" in a courtyard off of Tullumayo downhill from the walk street called Santa Monica (and also downhill from Calle Ruines) that served us a litre glass for S/.1. It was excellent and reminiscent of some of the more exotic beers in Belgium. Oh yes, and at the Central Market in Cuzco, I had a juice made of kaywa and piña; it was good. I was told that the strange-looking kaywa would not be any good by itself.
6. Restaurants we didn’t go to for one reason or another
If you don’t have much time to scope out restaurants in Cuzco, maybe our take on the following restaurants will help you.
6.1 Blueberry Lounge doesn’t exist anymore.
6.2 Chez Maggy, Plateros 348, Cusco, tel (51-84) 234-861. There were uncomfortable benches and a menu with nothing on it that appealed to us.
6.3 Fallen Angel, Plazoleta Nazarenas 221, Cusco, telf (51-84)258-184, web: http://www.fallenangelincusco.com/ It was too funky for us.
6.4 Govinda’s, Calle Espaderos 128, telf (51-84)450-4864, e-mail: raghuraram@hotmail.com We looked at the menu and there was nothing that looked to us to be “govinda-ish” (or interesting) on it.
6.5 Inka Wall, Santa Catalina Ancha 342, telf (51-84) 253-498. There’s a buffet and show at night, neither of which appealed to us.
6.6 Jack’s Café Bar, Corner of Choquechaka and Cuesta San Blas, telf (51-84) 425-4606. It looked like a backpacker’s hangout and so not for us. There was frequently a line waiting outside.
6.7 Kachivache, San Jan de Dios 260, San Blas telf (51-84)974-6638, e-mail: kachivache_peru@yahoo.com We looked at it and it didn’t look interesting.
6.8 Kusikuy, Calle Suecia 339, telf (51-84) 262-870, e-mail: reservas@kusikuycusco.com, web: http://www.kusikuycusco.com/. It’s a tiny hole in the wall type place and didn’t appeal.
6.9 "La Chomba," Tullumayo 339. A Chowhounder said ”a locals only kind of place - perfect for chowhounds. It's located on one of the two main avenues, Tullumayo, but just out slightly from the city center. If you just tell a cab driver "La Chomba", they all know the place. True local cuisine in a bare bones setting - you pass through a gate into a courtyard filled with playing children, laundry hanging out to dry, and a locals hanging out chatting, up a small stairway - do go upstairs, don't eat downstairs in the bar - and you'll pay next to nothing for a really good meal - possibly the best lechon I've ever had, great cabrito, and other dishes. Main courses are enough to really serve two people...”
We didn't go because there was no heat and there were only uncomfortable benches.
6.10 Le Nomade, Choqechaka 207, telf (51-84) 443-8369. It’s more of a lounge than a restaurant so it wasn’t for us.
6.11 Quinta Eulalia, Choquechaca 384, Cusco telf (51-84) 224-951. We went and looked at this down market type of place and agreed with the Chowhounder who said “Quinta Eulalia borders on disgusting.”
6.12 Witches Garden, Calle Intikí’ijllu or Loreto 125 (Plaza de Armas beside the Chuch Compañia de Jesús). This is a new location.. Telf (51-84) 244-077, web: http://www.witchesgarden.net/. We looked inside and it was too funky for us. Also the menu didn’t have the unusual dishes we were led to believe would be on it.


  1. I'm surprised you didn't like Al Grano. I have eaten there on several occasions in the past two decades and was never disappointed. The Pakistani & Indian dishes really tasted as they taste in India or at least in any Indian restaurant while the owners are Peruvians.
    There are really good places to have lunch or dinner away from the center of Cusco like Las Machitas. Have you tried the typical dishes like chicharrónes in Saylla, cuy in Tipón or pato in Lucre?

  2. Thanks for your comment. We really liked cuy and recommend everyone try it. Now chicharrones are something altogether different. For those of us who watch our cholesterol, it's a "no no". There are so many fabulous restaurants in Cuzco, enjoy!

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  4. Agreed with guys! There are pretty much places to have a lunch far from the center. I am just a big fun of diffrent cuisine!