Arequipa is the second biggest city in Peru, but in my opinion the most beautiful so far. It’s located on about 550 km South of Lima. Its colonial style buildings and landmarks are so beautiful that you won’t like to leave. If you have the opportunity, visit the colonial center with the big cathedral, the monastery and Plaza de Armas.
Exquisite lunch in Chicha, Arequipa
There is no doubt that restaurant Chicha is one of the best in the country. I was impressed with the interior, service and the quality of the food. All positive comments you can find about it are true and it easily deserves a Michelin star. Chef Gaston takes traditional Peruvian dishes and gives them a modern and elegant spin.
The prices are slightly higher than other places, but the quality is also higher. For the three course meal for two with dessert and drinks you will spend around 300 soles (85 euro).
The menu includes many interesting dishes as Alpaca steak or Alpaca curry. What really caught my attention though was the Pekin Guinea Pig dish, so I had to try it. It is served with slightly spicy honey sauce, purple corn crepe and pickled turnip and carrot. It’s a whole ritual to serve this dish. When everything is mixed together, you end with a sort corn crepe taco, which is incredibly delicious. The meat melts in your mouth.
Another amazing dish was Celadores, which is made of river shrimp, lime, red onion and purple potatoes. Peru is proud of its 4000 sorts of potato and you can see them back in a lot of dishes.
As a main course we shared a trio of empanadas. Each of them was filled in with different flavor (river shrimp, chicken or vegetarian) and all of them were super yummy.
To finish our delicious lunch, we ordered Queso helado. The waiter recommended it as a typical Arequipan dessert that they are proud of. It has light cheesy taste and was covered with chantilly cream with cinnamon. It was really interesting to try it and for sure that can keep their pride.
Eating like a true Peruvian
If you want to eat what the locals do, order a portion Salchipapa with Inca cola. In the area of the Plaza de Armas there are many small cafeterias, where the locals eat.
Salchipapa is a sort sausage mixed with French fries. It’s served with a lot of ketchup, mayonnaise and mustard. Arequipa is proud of its salchipapa. To accompany your meal, order a bottle of Inca cola that tastes a lot like old-fashioned lemonade. This is a typical dinner for Peruvians.