When you think of Peru, what comes to mind? The high Andean mountains and the mystic ruins of Macchu Pichu? Fresh seafood ceviche and the tart flavors of pisco sour to wash it down? If you’d vote Option C, “all of the above,” you’re in good company: Tony Bourdain visited, discovered, and shared these same through his episodes about Peru and its capital city, Lima.
Anthony Bourdain visited Lima to film season 2 (episode 3) of No Reservations and again to film season 1 (episode 7) of Parts Unknown; these are his only two visits to the Peruvian capital, though he does explore other parts of the country.
If you’re planning a trip to Peru and want to eat well, you could certainly follow this guide to dine at the same places visited by Anthony Bourdain in Lima. There aren’t many spots, but they are all still open – and still delicious! Ready to dig in? ¡Buen provecho!
Want to watch the episodes where Anthony Bourdain visits Lima?
The No Reservations episode is available on Amazon, Hulu, and Apple TV, and the Parts Unknown episode is available on Amazon and Apple TV.
In this post, I promote travel to a destination that is the traditional lands of the Quechua and Wari peoples, among others. With respect, I make a formal land acknowledgment, extending my appreciation and respect to the past and present peoples of these lands. To learn more about the peoples who call these lands home, I invite you to explore Native Land.
No Reservations (2006)
Perú has one of the most exciting culinary scenes in Latin America. On his first visit to the Andean country, he experiences the famous altitude sickness, stuffs his cheeks with coca leaves, discovers the true flavors of Perú, explores the local culture, and visits Machu Picchu. Within Lima, he visits just one spot.
Tony starts off his culinary visit to Peru in the only way he can: eating ceviche. He meets with Gastón Aquino, a famous Peruvian chef. Aquino brings Bourdain to Sonia. The chef argues this is the best cevichería in town since the owner is a fisherman and his wife is a cook who captures the real flavors Peruvians love.
What does Tony enjoy in his visit? First, he gets a ceviche with rocoto, onion, lime, and raw seafood. Then, he gets a ceviche de Vieiras (with scallops) followed by leche de Tigre – a spicy liquid runoff produced when making ceviche that Peruvians consider the best cure for hangovers. Finally, he indulges in a delicious ceviche de concha – black clam ceviche.
Parts Unknown (2013)
Since his first visit to Perú, the Andean country’s culinary scene has exploded in popularity, gaining worldwide recognition. As such, Bourdain dedicates more time in the capital city and visits a few more spots.
Chez Wong (Lima)
Bourdain meets with his beloved friend and colleague, Eric Ripert. First stop: Chez Wong. The restaurant is run by the famous cevichero, Javier Wong. The two friends indulge in an octopus and flounder ceviche and a tiradito of flounder dressed with pecan, lime, ají limo chili peppers, and sesame oil.
Note: As of publishing, Google says this restaurant is temporarily closed. If you’ve been to Lima recently (or call it home) and can verify, please let me know in the comments.
The word feast has never been so accurate for a meal that Tony had like the one in Ámaz. This used to be a restaurant of Amazon cuisine, whose diversity of flavors and textures is simply stunning.
Tony and Eric start with a special cocktail that the restaurant prepares with Amazonian lime and culantro (much more powerful in flavor) followed by breadfruit with tuna and cashew sauce; scallops with wild almond and freshwater shrimp dashi.
They also sample emblematic dishes like the Inchicapi soup made of ham, peanuts, and corn; patarashca (seasoned catfish wrapped in leaves and cooked on hot coals); and paiche (a type of fish from the Amazon River) served atop a purée of aguaje with a reduction of fermented wild yucca. Finally, they also try a chili pepper sauce made with nuts and (huge) ants.
Doña Pochita (Lima)
Doña Ponchita is a Lima street food legend said to make the best anticuchos in town.
Anticuchos is quechua for skewered meat. This dish goes back to the Incas and was incredibly popular among the Spanish conquistadores. Traditionally it’s made of beef heart and other animal parts. At Doña Pochita, they marinate the beef heart with garlic, cumin, onion, and a little vinegar, and then grill it.
Lima Food Tours to Try
When Bourdain only visits a few spots in a city, I always like to recommend a few food tours too. This gives you a chance to go beyond those spots mentioned above and discover your own favorite flavors or restaurants. Here are some tasty-looking ones to consider booking in Lima:
Have any questions about these places visited by Anthony Bourdain in Lima? Let me know in the comments below.