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How to Eat Local in Peru

It is very easy on the budget to eat local in Peru.

  • Most towns have restaurants where there is a fixed menu for lunch, usually soup (sopa), a main course (segundo) and a drink. Prices range from less than a dollar to two or three in Lima or for a more sophisticated menu.

  • You can usually ask for just sopa or segundo but don’t expect much off the price!

  • The sopas are usually delicious and the segundos are very varied… meat or chicken, beans or lentils in tasty sauce, usually served with rice and often potatoes too, or yucca or plantain in the jungle, sometimes with a bit of salad.

  • Many restaurants also offer a similar desayuno, breakfast, and cena, dinner, often just one course (especially breakfast, which also usually comes with bread and a hot drink) and slightly more expensive.
  • You can often buy beer (cerveza) or fizzy drinks (gaseosa) cheaply in local restaurants

  • You can also order extras in many establishments, which are a la carte dishes like trout (trucha), breaded chicken (milaneza de pollo), etc.

  • Weight-watchers please note than a la plancha is not grilled but lightly fried (a bit less oil) and frita is properly fried. Most places don’t have grills in Peru.

  • Many towns also have a market where the Señoras will sell you similar fare, usually either soup or a main course.

  • Some recommendations of local restaurants include Dona Eva - keep adding more recommendations!

 

The big worry about eating local is the hygiene standards in the kitchen. There are no guarantees here, but

  • You can get ill not just in restaurants with a largely local clientele but also those geared specifically to tourists, which may keep food for longer because they have more varied menus and often less clients each day. Most travellers in Peru come down with a mild bout of diarrhoea at some point in their trip, whether they eat with the locals or not.

  • Its best to go to places with lots of clients, which means the food spends less time sitting around,

  • Also you might want to avoid fried segundos like fried fish, because the oil may be reused several times.

  • You may also prefer to avoid salad and drinks.

  • And of course mention in your Leap Local reviews what after-effects your meal had so that others know whether to follow you!