Cusquenian gastronomy strikes the perfect balance of traditional and modern. The Inca inheritance combined with colonial influences and the effects of international tourism make Cusco’s cuisine one of the most exquisite and varied in the world. Here are some dishes and experiences not to be missed when in Cusco.
When most people think of Peruvian food, they immediately think of ceviche. The raw fish dish is said to help with altitude sickness—perfect for travelers en route to the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu. Another dish famous throughout Peru and the Andes is cuy, baked or fried guinea pig and a popular source of protein among indigenous groups. If you’re looking for a crunchy snack, sample chicharróns, Cusco’s version of pork cracklings often served with salsa and hominy. Even your biggest hunger will be satisfied by chiriuchu, a traditional dish made with roasted white corn, guinea pig, chicken, cheese, seaweed, jerky, fish eggs, and a Spanish omelette. A pisco sour, Peru’s national drink, is perfect for washing down your traditional Peruvian meal.
- Hit the pavement to sample some of the city’s best street eats and local dishes on a culinary walking tour.
- Polish up your Peruvian cuisine cooking skills with a local market visit and hands-on cooking class in a modern cooking studio or restaurant kitchen.
- Become an expert of pisco, Peru’s most popular spirit, during an immersive pisco-tasting tour.
- Sample some pisco drinks from a local bar before learning to mix your own pisco sour.