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Laatste update: 20 November 2020

Lima is known for its fantastic food, but Arequipa is definitely not far behind. This city in Peru is packed with great restaurants and cafes. From Peruvian cuisine to vegan sushi. You will not go hungry in Arequipa – I promise you. Check out these restaurant tips.

La Petite Francaise: crepes

Arequipa actually has an impressive number of creperies. For me, La Petite Francaise stands out. It is a tiny place that is cheerfully and lightly decorated. There’s a choice of sweet and savory crepes. I tried the strawberry cheesecake crepe and can absolutely recommend it. The cappuccinos are kind of okay, but I wouldn’t go here if you’re just having a cup of coffee.

La Petite Francaise on Google Maps
Website La Petite Francaise

Petite Francaise Arequipa

El Buda Profano: vegan sushi

Vegan sushi. Maybe you are immediately enthusiastic; maybe you raise an eyebrow. My mind directly goes to the sushi rolls with cucumber and the one with that sweet egg. Yikes. I don’t like the latter, and it’s not even vegan either. I’m not quite sure how I am going to like vegan sushi. Well, it’s fantastic! The food is deliciously fresh at El Buda Profano. In the afternoon you can choose a complete menu for a bargain – 15 sol (about 4 euros). You’ll get a small miso soup, a main dish AND a drink—all vegan of course. I choose a sushi bowl for a main and am extremely happy with my choice. This has nothing to do with Peruvian food, but please don’t skip this restaurant if you are in Arequipa – I actually went multiple times during my stay.

El Buda Profano on Google Maps
Website El Buda Profano

Pasta Canteen: fresh pasta

At Pasta Canteen, the pasta is freshly prepared for you. In this small restaurant, the kitchen staff does its best to make you feel you are in Italy. Well, they try. It’s not quite there, but it is still rather nice. Just don’t expect pasta pesto to taste exactly as it does in Italy, or back home for that matter. You can put together a pasta dish yourself, or you pay about 25 soles for a salad with some bread, the pasta of the day, and a drink. And you get cheerful service for free – or better yet, tip them!

Pasta Canteen on Google Maps
Website Pasta Canteen

La Despensa: quiche, pizza and more

La Despensa is also located in the pretty and pleasant neighborhood around the Santa Catalina monastery. It really is full of nice places to eat here! I settle down at La Despensa for lunch and have to stop myself from ordering a pizza. I am not that hungry, but they look deliciously fresh. In need of something smaller, I try the Caprese quiche, and it is fantastic – size wise not even remotely sufficient if you’re dying for some food. The staff is a bit slow, but the wi-fi fast. You can also just have a cup of coffee and a cake here.

La Despensa on Google Maps
Website Pasta Canteen

Marengo Pizzeria: pizza

Pizza? Nice and local – NOT! Well, apparently, in the mid-19th century, many Italians found their way to Peru. And, Peruvians immediately embraced the pasta and the pizzas – can you blame them? The guide on the walking tour in Arequipa will even tell you that pizza is an authentic Peruvian dish. At Marengo Pizzeria, you can choose from three sizes and many different styles of pizza. Generously topped with cheese and served with a garlic sauce and a spicy sauce – that’s the Peruvian influence, I’m guessing. Order a pisco sour – they do those very well at Marengo.

Marengo Pizzeria on Google Maps
Website Marengo Pizzeria

Marengo Pizzeria Arequipa

Tip! Are you looking for traditional Peruvian cuisine? Then opt for the small-scale local restaurants or a traditional picanteria. Are you up for a guinea pig or alpaca tonight?

La Valeriana: cakes, cupcakes and more

La Valeriana has two branches, one in Cusco and one in Arequipa. The most beautiful cakes lure me in. They look like small works of art, and it’s just way too difficult to choose. The interior reminds me a bit of the Riviera Maison style (shabby chic), if you know what I mean. FYI: the coffee is just ok – the sweets are the main reason to come here.

La Valeriana on Google Maps
Website La Valeriana

Kao: Thai x Peruvian

Kao is a slightly more expensive restaurant in Arequipa. Count on about 30 sol for the main course. You do get something special at that price – at Kao they have found a delicious mix between Peruvian and Thai food. I’m in love with the shrimp and pork spring rolls with fried beans and potatoes. So good! The plating just adds to the experience.

Kao on Google Maps
Website Kao

La Lucha: the tastiest of sandwiches

A few years ago, I discovered the chain La Lucha in Lima. Before opening hours, I was already in line for its sandwiches. La Lucha is now also in Arequipa – muchas gracias! What a party. My favorite sandwich is – without a doubt – the one with jamon del pais. It has a tasty ham and topped with sweet onions for less than 4 euros. Beat that.

La Lucha on Google Maps
Website La Lucha

Masamama: local bakery

Masamama is a small bakery in the San Lázaro district. They make artisanal bread. You can buy it to go or have a drink at one of the two tables. Yep, it’s that small. If you are in Peru, you will be served a lot of mediocre bread for breakfast. So the tasty bread from Masamama is a very welcome treat.

Masamama on Google Maps
Website Masamama

Masamama Arequipa

Kaffeehaus: coffee, specialty beers, and gin tonic

With the name Kaffeehaus, I expect coffee. Kaffeehaus does serve good cappuccino, but its craft beers and cheap gin-tonics may just convince you to set up camp for an afternoon. Back home, In The Netherlands, I easily pay 15 euros for a gin tonic; you pay 15 sol here – that’s like 4 euros people! Settle down in the nicely furnished garden, and you won’t want to leave any time soon. This cafe has a German slant, so besides the beer garden, you can also expect good bread – are you loving Arequipa yet?

Kaffeehaus on Google Maps
Website Kaffeehaus

Espacio Lagom: ramen

Espacio Lagom is a small hole in the wall restaurant behind the monastery in Arequipa. The kitchen is Asian, so you’ll definitely want to order sushi and ramen. There are a few types of ramen on the menu. It’s up to you to decide on the level of spiciness. Peruvian spicy is incredibly spicy for me, so I’m being smart and choose the mild one – it is delicious. Nice touch: a raised tray is placed on the low tables so that you can eat more easily. I was already wondering how on earth I would slurp away my ramen without making a mess.

Espacio Lagom on Google Maps

Espacio Lagom restaurant

Chaqchao: chocolate milk, brownies, and more chocolate

Fancy some chocolate? Then Chaqchao is the right place for you. A very rich hot chocolate with a brownie, perhaps? If you can’t get enough of chocolate, you can join one of the workshops at Chaqchao. You can also order craft beers, and in the evening, the terrace turns into a chill bar with live music on some evenings.

Chaqcaho on Google Maps
Website Chaqchao

Prana: extremely cheap vegan food

Lunch at Prana is ridiculously cheap. For 10 sol, you get a vegan lunch with a starter, main course, salad bar, drink, AND dessert. Wow!. Don’t expect very exciting dishes, though—just simple and healthy food. Of course, there’s also the option to order from the menu. But you would basically be stealing from yourself if you do – just have the lunch deal!

Prana on Google Maps
Website Prana

La Queseria: cheese and cheese and cheese and cheese and cheese

This is the place to be for cheese lovers – ME! An extensive cheese board (including Dutch Gouda cheese) and some red wine? La Queseria is waiting for you. There is also pizza from the wood oven and pasta on the menu. It is a modern, cozy restaurant where the service is nice and fast. La Queseria is open only in the evening and is located in the San Lázaro district.

La Queseria on Google Maps
Website La Queseria

13 Monjas: food to share

13 Monjas is a fairly new restaurant in Arequipa – it opened up at the end of 2019. A monja is a nun. An appropriate name, since the restaurant is directly opposite the monastery – I told you this is a great neighborhood! The menu features modern dishes and an extensive wine list. Nice are the different options to share food – bar bites or tapas-style. The interior is contemporary: light, lots of wood, simple murals. You can also just go there for a drink or a coffee.

13 Monjas on Google Maps
Website 13 Monjas

13 Monjas Arequipa

Cooking Peruvian at home?

Would you like to get started with Peruvian cuisine at home? These are easy Peruvian cookbooks:

More Peru travel inspiration

Do you like to travel with a guide book? I understand! I love Lonely Planet for travelling because of it’s practical information. Get Peru’s Lonely Planet at Amazon or Book Depository.

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