Street Food in Lima Peru: What’s it like on a Lima Food Tour

tamale Lima Tasty Tours Barranco Lima Peru - laugh travel eat
  1. Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu: picking which company + full break down
  2. Lima Itinerary: 3 days in Peru capital
  3. Street Food in Lima Peru: What’s it like on a Lima Food Tour

Lima, often hailed as the “City of Kings,” is not just Peru’s capital but also its gastronomic heart. Over the past decade, this sprawling metropolis has redefined itself as Latin America’s premier culinary destination. With a population of over 11 million, Lima is a vibrant urban hub where the food scene is as diverse as its people, blending indigenous, Spanish, African, and Asian influences

Peruvian Food History

The city’s culinary prowess is not a recent phenomenon; it stretches back to the pre-Columbian days of the Incas, some of history’s finest farmers. Peru boasts around 3,500 varieties of potatoes and over 50 types of corn, thanks to centuries of agricultural ingenuity. These ingredients form the backbone of many traditional dishes that you can explore in Lima’s bustling markets and restaurants.

When it comes to beverages, the national drink, pisco, is a source of pride and a subject of a friendly rivalry with Chile. Both countries claim the origins of this unaged brandy, but in Lima, you’ll find it served in a myriad of ways, most famously as the pisco sour, a sweet-sour cocktail topped with foam.

Lima’s street food is a reflection of its rich cultural tapestry, with dishes like ceviche, a raw fish delicacy marinated in citrus and spices, and anticuchos, skewered grilled meats that are a staple in the city’s food stalls. 

The city’s high-end restaurants, such as Central, Maido, and Mayta, have earned Michelin stars and prestigious awards, putting Lima on the global culinary map.

In addition to its diverse cuisine, Lima is home to a thriving coffee and craft beer scene, with local brews and beans adding to the city’s gastronomic diversity. Whether you’re indulging in a multi-course meal at a renowned restaurant or grabbing a quick bite from a street vendor, Lima’s food scene offers a unique fusion of flavors and ingredients that is sure to inspire any culinary enthusiast.

So, if you’re a food lover looking for an adventure, Lima’s food tour is a journey through taste, history, and culture, all served up on a single plate. ️✨

Cantonese Influence on Peruvian food

Lima’s culinary scene and language are a delicious stir-fry of influences, with a generous dash of Cantonese flavor! The Cantonese community, part of the broader Chinese Peruvian population, has left an indelible mark on the city’s culture. 

The term ‘Chifa’ itself, used to describe Chinese-Peruvian cuisine, is believed to have originated from the Cantonese words “chi fan,” meaning “to eat rice” or “meal”. This fusion cuisine tantalizes taste buds with dishes like Lomo Saltado, a sizzling stir-fry that marries Peruvian ingredients with Cantonese wok-cooking.

Lima Food Tour

There are many food tours in Lima and it can be hard to pick one! There are a few factors to consider:

  • Which neighbourhood do you want to explore?
  • What is your budget?
  • What time of the day do you want your tour?

We went with Lima Tasty Tours who offers a delightful array of culinary adventures that immerse travelers in Peru’s vibrant food scene. More than just a food tour, it’s a cultural journey filled with delicious tastings and captivating stories. The tours are designed to explore the diversity of Peruvian flavors and discover hidden local gems where food takes center stage. With small group experiences and friendly guides, you’re guaranteed to leave with a full stomach and a new appreciation for Peruvian cuisine.

Here’s a list of some of their tours, along with start times and neighborhoods:

  • Peruvian Cooking Class & Market Tour: Starts at 9:30 AM for 4 hours, offering a hands-on experience in Lima’s oceanside markets.
  • Tuk Tuk & Peruvian Food Experience: Begins at 11:00 AM for 4 hours, featuring a tuk tuk tour of Barranco’s historic borough with local lunch and coffee & chocolate tastings.
  • Lima Just for Foodies: Kicks off at 9:00 AM for 3 hours, perfect for those who love unique local tastes in off-the-beaten-path neighborhoods
  • Lima Market Food Tour: Commences at 9:00 AM for 6 hours, providing an introduction to Lima’s culinary scene and local favorites.
  • The Ultimate Lima’s Food & Art Tour: Starts at 3:00 PM for 5 hours, combining cultural experiences like the Larco Museum and the Magic Water Circuit with street food tastings.
  • These tours offer a mix of culinary delights and cultural insights, ensuring a memorable experience in Lima.

Lima Just for Foodies review

As a food enthusiast, I’m always on the lookout for authentic culinary experiences, and the “Lima Just for Foodies” tour did not disappoint. This gastronomic journey through the heart of Peru’s capital is a must for anyone who wants to dive deep into the local food scene.

Drinks:

The tour started with a refreshing Maca + Quinoa drink, a healthful concoction that set the tone for the day. The earthy flavors of maca blended seamlessly with the nuttiness of quinoa, creating a beverage that was both energizing and delicious. And let’s not forget the Chicha morada – a purple corn drink that’s a signature in Peru.

Food:

Pan con Chicharron Lima Tasty Tours Barranco Lima Peru - laugh travel eat

The highlight of the tour was undoubtedly the food. We indulged in Pan con Chicharron, a sandwich that’s a staple in any Peruvian breakfast table.

The Chilcano Soup was a treat, with its rich seafood broth and a kick of lime. The Causa, a layered potato dish, was a testament to the simplicity and elegance of Peruvian cuisine.

The Tamale was a delightful surprise, different from its Mexican cousin, but just as tasty especially by a sweet old lady who comes to sell her own food.

spicy dip Amazonian plantain Lima Tasty Tours Barranco Lima Peru - laugh travel eat

The Chocolate tasting was a sweet interlude, showcasing Peru’s rich cacao heritage. And the Amazon Plantain Dip? It was the perfect blend of sweet, savory, and exotic.

Fruits + Veg:

The tour was also an education in Peru’s biodiversity. We tasted 10 different fruits and vegetables, some of which I had never heard of before. It is a long list which is in my YouTube review!

Additional Experience:

We took a ride on a Motorbike Taxi was an adventure in itself, weaving through Lima’s bustling streets with the wind in our hair. We also had two longer talks on the geography and history of Peruvian food, which provided context to the food we were eating, connecting the dishes to Peru’s rich cultural tapestry.

In conclusion, “Lima Just for Foodies” is more than just a food tour; it’s an immersive experience that tantalizes the taste buds and enriches the mind. Whether you’re a seasoned foodie or a curious traveler, this tour is a delightful way to explore Lima’s culinary delights.

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