The best places to eat ceviche in Lima

As we all know, Peru has many wonders. From the world-famous tourist sites up to enjoying one of the best meals in the world.  For quite a few years now, and due to the mixes of culture in our country, as well as the very rich land that allows all types of crops, Peruvian food has been developed that wherever you go, you can enjoy. Even before the chefs made it known, the food was already wonderful in this country.

Eating in Peru is a privilege that Peruvians offer with pride. There are so many dishes to try that it would take you a long time to try them all. Among the entire range of delicacies, there is Ceviche

But what is the Ceviche?

Ceviche is a seafood dish where diced cubes of raw fish, marinated in a lemon or lime juice mixture, react with the citrus juices to cure the fish protein and cause it to become opaque and firm while absorbing flavor. Called denaturing—a process you’re probably more familiar with using heat (cooking)—this reaction achieves a similar effect. Fish is served, after curing, with colorful seasoning elements such as onions, cilantro, and peppers. It’s a simple and bracing dish where fresh fish and bright flavors are on display.

Best places to eat Ceviche

As we did comment, all the great Peruvian food can be found anywhere; but, about El Ceviche, let’s see:

  • El Mercado de Rafael

Rafael Osterling’s lunchtime-only cebicheria is all about honoring Peruvian cuisine with quality ingredients in a festive, energetic atmosphere. The namesake cebiche el Mercado might be the most popular choice on offer; the kitchen combines the catch of the day with ají amarillo (Peruvian yellow pepper), leche de tigre, and crunchy fried calamari, creating an outstanding contrast of textures and temperatures.

  • La Mar Cevichería Peruana

Since Gastón Acurio opened his cebicheria in Lima 17 years ago, it has expanded to locations in Buenos Aires, Bogotá, San Francisco, Santiago de Chile, and Miami, but the original continues to set the bar for great seafood. The menu features various styles of cebiche, from the popular cebiche de conchas negras (mangrove cockles), to the fusion cebiche Lima-Seoul with Korean chilies, to cebiche de erizos de Marcona (Marcona sea urchin). But if you’re after a cebiche to remember, go for cebiche fogoso, which includes crab, sea urchin, market fish, and mangrove cockles dressed up with a leche de tigre of rocotos (red hot Peruvian peppers).

La-Mar-Cevicheria-Peruana
  • La Picantería

This restaurant in the Surquillo neighborhood is known for its magnificent display of fresh fish on the counter and the generous portions served at shared tables. Diners usually have their choice of fish and its preparation. Among the cebiches, choose the one made with cabrilla, a fish with dark meat and full flavor from southern Peru that doesn’t show up often in menus. The cebiche is otherwise classic, with refreshing acidity, though chef Héctor Solís does add a few spins by frying the fish skin to a supreme crunch and glazing sweet potato to give it more power.

  • Isolina

This old tavern in the bohemian neighborhood of Barranco, owned by chef José del Castillo, offers traditional and homey recipes from Lima. Isolina’s cebiche, tasty and honest, is considered a classic. It’s made with the freshest catch, boiled sweet potato, red onion, canchita (corn nuts), choclo (large kernel corn), and a perfectly battered fried octopus that adds a touch of elegance to this dish.

  • Mayta Restaurante

In the last few years, as Mayta has landed spots on numerous Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants lists, chef Jaime Pesaque has edged from a casual vibe toward fine dining.

Mayta-Restaurante-1

That refined instinct is obvious in sophisticated dishes like the cebiche amazónico, which showcases a unique combination of flavors: seasonal white fish, Amazonian ginger, charapita (a small, powerful chile from the Amazon) in place of the usual limo chile, caramelized sweet plantains instead of sweet potato, and thin plantain chips for crunch factor.

  • Chez Wong

Chef legend Javier Wong has been perfecting the art of cebiche preparation for more than 50 years — which justifies the hoops you have to jump through to dine on his food. His humble restaurant of six to eight tables in the La Victoria neighborhood (which is also his home) has no sign, no walk-ins are allowed, and reservations must be made for lunch from Tuesday to Saturday. His cebiche is worth it, with clean, vibrant flavors from a few excellent ingredients. He only uses Dover sole, which he delicately douses with lime juice, salt, and pepper, before topping it with thinly sliced red onion and chunks of perfectly cooked octopus.

And, many much more…Come to Peru

Leave a Reply