On October 30, 2018 “The World’s 50 Best” sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna revealed the “Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants 2018” in front of leading chefs, media and influencers at a live awards ceremony in Bogota, Colombia.
And not only the best restaurant in the region is located in Lima, but another 8 gourmet temples in the Peruvian capital are among the 50 best restaurants in Latin America.
Maido – Best Latin American Restaurant 2018
For the second year Maido (Calle San Martin 399, Miraflores, Lima) was crowned The Best Restaurant in Latin America. The flagship restaurant of Lima-born Peruvian Nikkei chef Mitsuharu ‘Micha’ Tsumura offers a seafood-centric menu and is placed as well on 7th position of “The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2018”.
“The World’s 50 Best” says about Maido and Peru’s finest Nikkei chef: “When Peru meets Japan on the plate, Nikkei is born – and chef Mitsuharu ‘Micha’ Tsumura is the Nikkei king. This translates to a welcoming spot where fresh fish and citrus-packed sauces reign supreme. No wonder it was voted The Best Restaurant in Latin America again in 2018, after knocking nearby Central from its three-year stint at No.1 in 2017.
On the menu: Chef Micha’s Nikkei Experience menu is a journey through Peruvian-Japanese fusion cuisine, with an emphasis on seafood. There is succulent cod marinated in miso with crispy nuts, nigiri sushi, sea urchin rice, 50-hour beef short rib and even tofu cheesecake ice cream. Everything sings with flavour and the natural bright colours that come from Peru’s produce. There’s also a separate sushi counter and menu for everyday or business diners.”
Central – Latin America’s Best Restaurants 2018 runner-up
Central (Av. Pedro de Osma 301, Barranco, Lima) owned by Peru's most celebrated chef Virgilio Martínez offers an exploration of Peruvian flavors by taking Peruvian food to new heights. Ranking 6th on the list of “The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2018”, Central is as already 2017 the runner-up in the Latin America listing.
“The World’s 50 Best” says about Central: “Chefs Virgilio Martínez and Pía León’s flagship restaurant is a shrine to all things Peruvian, including many ingredients that are seldom served elsewhere. The husband-and-wife team have been travelling the length and breadth of the country for several years to source interesting and unique produce from land, sea and mountains.
On the menu: Martínez and León like to play with the many varieties of corn, potato and more obscure products offered by Peru’s vastly biodiverse landscape. Classics include Land of Corn and Extreme Stems, with newer dishes such as Waters of Nanay featuring piranha fish served in an entire, sharp-tooth-filled piranha head. The menu explores every altitude, from 20 metres below sea level to 4,100 metres above it, in 17+ courses.”
Astrid y Gastón – 8th on the list of Latin America’s Best Restaurants 2018
Gastón Acurio was the first Peruvian chef that actively promoted Peruvian cuisine, ingredients, history and heritage around the globe. Awarded countless times, Astrid y Gastón (Av. Paz Soldan 290, San Isidro, Lima) was the first ever No.1 in the inaugural Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants list in 2013.
Gastón Acurio is famous for his contemporary Peruvian cuisine that honors ancestry and tradition. Astrid y Gastón, housed in a beautifully 17th century mansion decorated in modern, minimalist style, offers an unparalleled dining experience.
Astrid y Gastón is placed 8th on the list of Latin America’s Best Restaurants 2018 and ranks on position 39 on the list of “The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2018”
According to “the World’s 50 Best”, “This is where the magic began, the first establishment helmed by chef and patron saint of modern Peruvian cuisine Gastón Acurio – who fortunately jacked in his law degree for hospitality – and pastry chef wife Astrid Gutsche. Opened in 1994, over the years the restaurant and its owners have grown exponentially, changing concept to focus exclusively on Peruvian culture, dishes and ingredients, as well as moving house: the eponymous restaurant relocated to Casa Moreyra in Lima’s San Isidro district in 2014. All areas are finely tuned at Astrid y Gastón, starting with the most recent menu, a tribute to Lima. Star dishes served à la carte or as part of the tasting menu include Peking-style guinea pig bao, grilled octopus with a pseudo-cereal salad and lucuma gnocchi.”
Isolina – 13th on the list of Latin America’s Best Restaurants 2018
With Isolina (Av. San Martin 101, Barranco, Lima) chef José del Castillo pays homage to Lima’s traditional home cooking, creole taverns and his mother. After being placed last year on position 21, in 2018 Isolina is the number13 on the list of Latin America’s Best Restaurants 2018.
“The World’s 50 Best” says about Isolina: “Chef José del Castillo is giving back to Lima the ultimate comfort food experience, recreating the feeling of a mother’s love at the table with delicious and nostalgic food in generous sharing portions. Set in a historic house in Barranco – the favourite area in Lima for bohemians, artists and intellectuals – it has the authentic ambience of an old family home.
Isolina serves many dishes using offal and seafood, including cau cau con sangrecita (tripe and potato stew with fried blood), brain tortilla, liver and onions, and octopus chicharrón (a take on pork scratchings, made with octopus).”
Rafael – 16th on the list of Latin America’s Best Restaurants 2018
Rafael (Calle San Martin 300, Miraflores, Lima), housed in a beautiful Art Deco townhouse in Miraflores, celebrates Peru's eclectic food culture. Chef Rafael Osterling, former lawyer and now one of Peru’s culinary stars, explores the diverse culinary heritage of the country, fusing traditional native ingredients with Italian, Asian and Nikkei influences.
“The World’s 50 Best” says about Rafael: “Rafael Osterling's eponymous restaurant, housed in a beautiful Art Deco townhouse in the chic Miraflores area, celebrates Peru's eclectic food culture. The menu draws on Peru's diverse culinary heritage, fusing traditional native ingredients with Italian, Asian and Nikkei influences. Think everything from ceviche and tiraditos to pizza and sashimi. Stand-outs include grilled octopus with pimento chimichurri, Kalamata olives and garlic confit.”
La Mar - 17th on the list of Latin America’s Best Restaurants 2018
Chef Gastón’s second flagship restaurant La Mar (Av Mariscal La Mar 770, Miraflores, Lima) surely is one of the best places in town to enjoy Peru’s national dish ceviche and a wide variety of other Peruvian fish and seafood dishes. In 2017 Gustavo Montestruque, a Cordon Bleu Peru graduate who worked in several renowned Lima restaurants, took over the kitchen at La Mar.
“The World’s 50 Best” says about La Mar: “Lima institution continues to wow diners with a vast array of ceviche. Reason to visit: To mix with Lima’s buzzing foodie crowd and sample chef Gustavo Montestruque’s creative repertoire of ceviches that include octopus, sea urchin, shrimp and grouper – along with a pisco sour or two. Typical dishes: Chalaca de causas, featuring crab, sand smelt crackling, avocado and tartare sauce. The classic ceviche is also a must-eat.”
Osso Carnicería y Salumería – 25th on the list of Latin America’s Best Restaurants 2018
Osso (Calle Tahiti 175, La Molina and Av. Sto. Toribio 173, San Isidro, Lima) is probably the least authentic Peruvian restaurant, but surely the best place in South America for steak and this year can be found on position 12 of “Latin America’s Best 50 Restaurants.
“The World’s 50 Best” says about Osso: A butcher’s shop and restaurant all rolled into one, Osso is the place to go in Lima for all the best cuts, from perfectly cooked ribeye to flavoured sausages (cheddar, rocoto pepper marmalade and limo chilli). Almost everything is grilled over the barbecue and there’s a casual a la carte as well as a tasting menu to be eaten with the hands only. Typical dishes: Osso carpaccio, deconstructed cutlets, artisanal hamburgers.”
Malabar – 39th on the list of Latin America’s Best Restaurants 2018
At Malabar (Av. Camino Real 101, San Isidro, Lima) Pedro Miguel Schiaffino brings the Amazon to life in urban Lima.
And even though the highly rated chef repeatedly stated to just offer "casual cuisine, with a simple spirit and the warmth of home", his creations are spectacular using mostly exotic ingredients, flavors, textures and ancient Andean cooking techniques. Have an aperitif before your meal at Malabar’s bar which ranks among the top 10 in the world.
“The World’s 50 Best” says about Malabar: Visiting is “a unique Peruvian experience that cannot be recreated in any other part of the world. What makes it stand out: Plated masterpieces featuring exotic ingredients, flavors, textures and ancient Andean cooking techniques. Typical dishes: Chia, guanábana and Andean cereals; rice concoclon with seafood; jungle merengón. The kitchen works with more than 100 rare products, spanning the Amazon to the Andes, including algae, roots, freshwater fish and wild fruits.”
Amaz – 48th on the list of Latin America’s Best Restaurants 2018
Amaz (Av. la Paz 1079, Miraflores, Lima) is after Malabar Chef Schiaffino's second restaurant. It as well is explicitly dedicated to recipes and ingredients from the Amazon basin bringing staple foods of the Peruvian rainforest to new heights.
“The World’s 50 Best” says about Amaz: “Ámaz is the first and only restaurant of its kind presenting Amazonian cuisine with urban vibes. Pedro Miguel Schiaffino has managed to bring much research and passion into a concept that brings enjoyment to every kind of customer. Typical dishes: Amazonian cuisine in three different perspectives: fish broth with pehuelpa and macambo showcasing ancestral cuisine, chicken juane to give a feel for traditional Amazonian cuisine and churros pishpirones, an example of contemporary cuisine.”
Source: The World's 50 Best