One of the best ways to understand a country, its people and its culture is through food. Currently, Peruvian gastronomy is considered one of the best cuisines in the world. For this reason, we have dedicated an article to a type of cuisine unknown to tourists visiting Lima, a low-budget, full of the most characteristic Peruvian dishes. We talked about street food in Lima.
Peruvian cuisine is one of the top current exponents of international cuisine. Its recognition is flagged by prestigious chefs of world fame and for the fact that some of the best restaurants in Lima are included in the list of the 50 best restaurants in the world prepared by the British magazine «Restaurant«.
The data indicate an increase in the number of tourists that visiting the capital of Peru looking for a wonderful culinary experience. For this reason, tourism packages specialized in Peruvian cuisine have been emerging such as Lima Food Tour.
The street food around Lima will connect you directly with its people and history. Eating from a street cart will give you the authentic flavors of their dishes, you can see how they are made and even give you a little story of what you are eating.
As we pointed out at the beginning of the post, there is a kind of popular cuisine more unknown for the tourists. Street food, which is considered as the fast food of Peru, will connect you directly with its people and history. The experience of eating with a Sanguchero cart will make you feel the authentic flavors of typical Peruvian food, you will be able to see how they are made and even sometimes you will be able to learn the history of how the recipe originated.
We invite you to join us in this guide about the street food that we can find in Lima, where you will find the best dishes and the best places of street food in Peru to eat with the 3B, good (Bueno), beautiful (Bonito) and cheap (Barato).
Street food to try out in Lima
Probably one of the most famous street food dishes in South America is the tasty Anticuchos of Peru. Small pieces of marinated meat (beef heart) grilled and served on a stick. These are smoked cuts of meat that’ll make you drool in the middle of the street. If you can resist, we’ll admire your self-control.
Peru is known by its great variety of potatoes, has up to 3,000 different varieties, which is why most of the dishes are made with this rich tuber. Papa rellena is synonymous with good and cheap food. This dish is a mashed potato stuffed with seasoned ground beef, boiled egg pieces and olives, fried until crispy. Completely closed, it’s perfect for eating while walking down the street.
As dessert or snack a good choice are the Picarones, with an appearance of squid roman style or sweet onion rings, we find a sweet made of potato and pumpkin which is what gives them that orange tone. It is one of the most typical dishes of Peruvian food, which we can also find in many restaurants. They are served fried and bathed in the delicious honey of chancaca.
The Peruvian Sanguche or Sanguchón is surely the emblem of Peruvian street food. It has a relationship with the Sandwich, on one hand at an etymological level, Sanguche is a foreignism, an incorporation into the receiving language of the morphology and meaning of a word belonging to another language. An example of very popular foreignerism in Peru (which has nothing to do with gastronomy) is the word Guachimán, a term used to designate a Watchman.
Another parallelism with the sandwich is its structure. The difference is related to quantity and forcefulness. Sometimes we will find Sanguches with a complete menu inside the bread.
There are many varieties of Sanguches, made with different types of meats and sauces. The most popular are the Butifarra and Chicharron; bacon candied and fried until crisp. There are also chicken, sausages, roast turkey, piglet.
In the Miraflores district you can find Sanguches less forceful with burrata, feta cheese, oil and vegetables. Any of its versions make it an indispensable part of Peruvian street food.
Arroz con leche (Rice with milk) and Mazamorra
Arroz con leche y mazamorra is always a classic. You might know the first as a rice pudding, but trust us, the Peruvian version is much better. The second one is similar to a purple corn and native fruits pudding. If you want to try something a bit different ask for arroz zambito, is the same as rice pudding but sweetened with a Peruvian unrefined sugar syrup.
When we talk about to a hearty street food beverages, whether is summer or winter, you can always rely on a good glass of hot or cold Emoliente. It is prepared by boiling a mix of herbs (toasted barley, flax seeds, dried horsetail, dried grass and llanten). A restorative drink that takes several hours to make.
Finally, to drink you can order a glass of Chicha Morada, which probably together with the Inka Kola, is the most beloved and traditional Peruvian drink. It is made by boiling the purple corn in water, pineapple and quince peel, a pinch of cinnamon and cloves, strained and allowed to cool to add sugar and lemon. Some versions also include apple. Serve hot or cold. In my opinion, it is more enjoyable when it’s cold, as its taste is very similar to that of a soft drink.
Ceviche, the typical Peruvian food, can also be found in most street food carts. We recommend that you preferably consume it in a restaurant. Ceviche is raw fish and under the wrong cooking conditions, it could ruin your trip.
Where are the street food stalls located?
Lima’s street food carts are scattered throughout the city. You can find them anywhere; near the airport, downtown, in parks, main avenues or in Miraflores, Lima’s most international district.
If you stay in Miraflores right in Kennedy Park after 4 or 5 pm you will see food cars located in the center of the park to offer all kinds of food dishes.
Outside the Miraflores district, downtown Lima is a great place to find food stalls on the street. Along Wilson Avenue and near Polvos Azules you can find the best places. After eating and drinking all this, you can consider yourself a real expert in Lima street food.