Out in Huaraz and don’t know where to go for the best local food? No worries! we got your back on this, discover the best places and the must have tips befofe going out.
They say an army marches on its stomach. I say that no trip would be complete without getting to know the local cuisine. And you know that a days climbing, trekking, horse riding or mountain biking is fun, but only really complete when reminiscing with friends over some drinks and a lovely plate of tasty food. let’s discover 5 Interesting tips for eating out in Huaraz!
1. It all starts with a drink
A trip to Peru wouldn’t be complete without at least a couple of bottles of Inca Kola. This mouth wateringly sweet Peruvian classic was actually created by a British immigrant and launched in 1935 to mark the 100th anniversary of Peruvian independence. The nation has been enamoured since then. Based on the local herb Lemon Verbena, it’s hard to imagine any plant tasting quite like this.
If you fancy something a little stronger then why not sample some of the locally brewed beer. Join the debate about whether Lucho’s range of coca based beers or faithful Sierra Andina’s range is the best in Huaraz. A debate that is of course never ending and best had with a cool beer in hand. My personal favourite is Sierra Andina’s classic pale ale, suitably entitled “Alpamayo”.
Looking for something stronger still? The Pisco Sour cocktail is a zingy number made with Peruvian Pisco spirits and a bunch of other tasty stuff. It is also the namesake of Pisco, one of the most accessible and enjoyable mountaineering goals in the Cordillera Blanca.
Some adventurous souls take part in a blind taste test, seeing if they can tell the difference between pollo (chicken) and cuy (guinea pig).
2. Eat local
Huaraz is jam-packed full of local restaurants and eateries and if you know where to head you will get some fantastic, filling, authentic cuisine, all at extremely good value for money.
The Anticucheria near the corner of calle Jiron Lucar y Torre and calle Julian De Morales is a great local spot. The meals aren’t huge but they’re extremely good value for money. Anticuchos are popular meat dishes; the word is from the Quechua for Cut Stew Meat. If you’re feeling adventurous I recommend you try the delicious skewered beef heart.
Not exactly local food, but La Brasa Roja is understandably popular with Peruvian families and trekkers alike. This Huaraz classic has been serving up grilled chicken (and other dishes) for over a decade. The menu is pretty comprehensive and reasonably priced but my advice is to stick with what they do best – grilled chicken (go for the breast – ‘pecho’) chips and salad for only 10.50 soles (about £2.50). Wash it down with a bottle of Inca Cola for a perfect pre- or post-adventure refuelling.
Head to El Rinconcito Minero to try the ceviche – Peru’s national dish. They have lots more on offer at a reasonable price and makes for a great lunch date. If you’re concerned about eating raw fish in the mountains remember that the ocean is only three or four hours drive away.
You can’t go far in Huaraz without being assaulted by a neon sign yelling ‘Chifa’ at you. Step inside and you’ll be assaulted by a gut-busting portion of Chinese food. Asian Peruvians make up almost 5% of the population due to a long history of migration. If you’re missing your MSG fix, this is the place to head.
If you want to eat well for not too much look out for the ‘Menu del Dia’ signs in the local restaurants around town. Toro is a hit and will fill you up with soup, something chicken and rice based, and desert for only eight solos. Dinner is slightly more expensive but just as tasty. Many ‘menus’ have a set price of 5 Soles (about £1) making for quite an inexpensive lunch!
The traditional Andean earth-based oven, known as a pachamanca or ‘earth-pot’, has being filling bellies for centuries and is well worth a taste if the opportunity presents itself .
3. Know where to treat yourself
1.50 soles (about 31p) for an ice cream cone! If you fancy a little something during a sunny afternoon relaxing, head to Samuel’s for a huge range of flavours – some you’ll know and others you’ll have to just guess.
Popular with climbers, the excellent food at Trivio is worth the price. They have a healthy range of cuisine seemingly designed to pull energy-starved mountaineers through the door. Our recommendation is the steak – worth every sol. If you’ve just made it back from the mountains then the 400g beast will make you remember that everything is ok again.
Bruno’s is a small place that is all too easy to overlook. They do a range of European dishes. Once inside, if you squint hard enough you could almost be in Paris. Almost. The place is cosy, the staff are friendly and the food is good. What more could you want?
A contender (among many) for the best Pizza in town. At Pizza BB, rather than telling you what pizza you should have, these guys let you build your own. What better way to spend half an hour than arguing over whether your near perfect creation should, or should not, include olives. At least whatever you decide it will come out damn tasty.
Set up by a Brit who was clearly missing his Vindaloo, Chilli Heaven have gone for all things spicy. Well, they went for Indian and Mexican, which in actual fact is a winning combination. If you don’t like spice don’t be put off by the name as the dishes are actually on the mild side. Just steer clear of the Phall challenge. It’s the devilishly spicy sauce you have to watch out for.
The upstairs library at Cafe Andino is one of many great features that makes this one of the best hangouts in town.
4. Know where to hangout
Sometimes it’s not about refuelling after a hike, or grabbing a bite before you head to the hills. Sometimes it’s about sitting back, relaxing, meeting your fellow travellers and dreaming about your next adventure.
Pizzeria La Rotonda is at the very heart of Huaraz’s chilled scene. A relaxed place, with seating outside in the Parque de Periodistas, this is a great spot to kick back with a beer and watch the world go buy. My tip is the homemade ‘hamburguesas’ for only six soles. Also, don’t miss out on the charity quiz they have on the first Friday of every month.
Want to chat about the conditions on Alpamayo? Need to peruse some trekking maps over a coffee? Then head to Café Andino. This place has been waking Gringos up with organic coffee and all day breakfast for almost twenty years. Comfy sofas, maps, books and panoramic views of mountains make this the perfect place to get planning.
You’ll find good music, a relaxed vibe and lots of travellers swapping stories at Café California. Freshly made bread, excellent smoothies and a wide range of breakfasts have made this little café a real hit. When things get going around lunch it can be hard to find a free seat.
5. Service included?
In Huaraz things are closer to the English tipping culture, rather than the American. A service charge is never included. A 10% tip seems reasonable if the service was.
Service can sometimes be a little bit closer to the Spanish way of doing things than the American. Be prepared to sit back and relax with a beer.
A Peruvian classic, Inca Kola was in fact created in 1935 by a British immigrant, in order to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Peruvian Independence.
And now, ready for a unique gastronomical experience in Huaraz?