Whether you’re a foodie, a traveler, or simply looking for a new culinary adventure, Arequipa won’t disappoint you. This charming city is home to a vibrant food scene that showcases the best of Peruvian cuisine, blending ancient traditions with modern twists. From juicy alpaca steaks to spicy rocoto relleno, from creamy queso helado to refreshing chicha morada, Arequipa has something to offer for every taste and mood.
To help you navigate through this culinary paradise, we’ve handpicked the best restaurants in Arequipa, where you can savor the authentic flavors of the region and beyond. Whether you’re craving for classic Peruvian dishes or international cuisine, these restaurants will make your taste buds dance with joy. So, without further ado, let’s dive in!
Traditional food in Arequipa
When it comes to exploring the culinary heritage of Arequipa, there’s no better place to start than a picanteria. These traditional eateries have been around for centuries, serving homemade dishes that reflect the local culture, history, and flavors. From the rustic decor to the lively music, from the communal tables to the generous portions, picanterias offer an immersive experience that goes beyond food.
In Arequipa, you’ll find a plethora of picanterias that specialize in different dishes and styles. Some are famous for their soups, others for their stews, and others for their grilled meats. Some are rustic and casual, others are elegant and refined. But they all share a common passion for preserving the culinary traditions of Arequipa and offering a warm hospitality to their guests.
To help you discover the best picanterias in town, we’ve compiled a list of our favorites. Each one of them has its own charm and specialties, but they all represent the authentic soul of Arequipa. So, put on your appetite and get ready to embark on a delicious journey!
1. Tío Darío
Tío Darío Restaurant is located in the very center of Arequipa’s traditional suburb of Yanahuara, just a few meters from the magnificent square. Here, you can enjoy a tasty lunch in their beautiful terrace where it seems to be always springtime, while admiring a beautiful panorama of the city’s volcanos.
Tío Darío cuisine is characterized by culinary experience and expertise in the preparation of specialities from Arequipa and other regions of Peru. In preparing dishes, they give priority to the careful selection of ingredients from local suppliers as well as exclusive products from the coast, highlands and jungle.
2. La Nueva Palomino
For over 70 years, La Nueva Palomino has been a beloved institution in Arequipa’s culinary scene, serving up some of the city’s most authentic and delicious traditional dishes. Located in the bustling Yanahuara district, this picanteria has a lively and casual ambiance, with communal tables and a bustling kitchen. Here, you can savor the rich and hearty flavors of stews, soups, and grilled meats, prepared with time-honored techniques and fresh ingredients. Don’t miss their signature dish, the adobo, a slow-cooked pork marinated in a blend of spices and chicha (a fermented corn drink), which has been hailed as one of the best in Arequipa. With generous portions, friendly staff, and affordable prices, La Nueva Palomino is a must-visit for anyone seeking an authentic taste of Arequipa’s traditional cuisine.
3. La Benita de los Claustros
Located in a stunning colonial mansion in the heart of Arequipa’s historic center, La Benita de los Claustros offers a fine dining experience that combines elegance, sophistication, and tradition. This award-winning restaurant is renowned for its impeccable service, refined ambiance, and exquisite cuisine, which showcases the best of Peruvian and international flavors. Using the freshest and highest-quality ingredients, Chef Benigno Roman creates culinary masterpieces that pay homage to Arequipa’s rich gastronomic heritage, while adding his own modern and creative twist. From the delicate ceviches to the succulent grilled meats, every dish at La Benita de los Claustros is a feast for the senses.
4. La Capitana
Located in the charming Yanahuara district of Arequipa, La Capitana is a hidden gem that offers a cozy and authentic dining experience. This picanteria has a rustic and welcoming ambiance, with brick walls, wooden tables, and traditional decor. Here, you can sample some of the most delicious and hearty dishes of Arequipa’s traditional cuisine, prepared with time-honored techniques and fresh ingredients. From the tender rocoto relleno (stuffed peppers) to the savory cuy chactado (fried guinea pig), La Capitana’s menu offers a variety of local specialties that will delight your taste buds. The friendly and attentive staff, along with the affordable prices, make this restaurant a favorite among locals and tourists alike.
Nestled in the trendy San Lazaro neighborhood of Arequipa, Victoria is a chic and contemporary restaurant that offers a unique culinary experience. With a modern and stylish decor, this restaurant exudes an atmosphere of sophistication and refinement. The menu features a fusion of Peruvian and international flavors, with an emphasis on fresh and seasonal ingredients. One of the standout dishes at Victoria is the sea urchin salad, a delicate and flavorful dish that highlights the restaurant’s commitment to using the freshest and most innovative ingredients. From the creative cocktails to the exquisite desserts, every aspect of the dining experience at Victoria is carefully curated and executed with precision.
6. Sol de Mayo
Located in the historic district of Arequipa, Sol de Mayo is a charming restaurant that offers a warm and inviting dining experience. With a rustic decor and a cozy ambiance, this picanteria exudes a sense of traditional charm and authenticity. The menu features a variety of local specialties, including the popular rocoto relleno, the hearty adobo, and the tender chicharrones. All dishes are prepared with fresh and locally sourced ingredients, using time-honored techniques and recipes. The friendly and attentive staff, along with the affordable prices, make Sol de Mayo a favorite among locals and tourists alike.
International & modern food in Arequipa
While Arequipa is renowned for its traditional cuisine, it’s also home to a vibrant food scene that celebrates innovation, creativity, and diversity. In recent years, a new generation of chefs and restaurateurs has emerged, bringing a fresh perspective to the local culinary landscape. From fusion cuisine to modern techniques, from exotic spices to global inspirations, Arequipa’s modern and international restaurants offer a world of flavors to explore.
Whether you’re in the mood for a Mediterranean feast, a Japanese sushi platter, or a Mexican taco extravaganza, you’ll find plenty of options in Arequipa. Many of these restaurants source their ingredients from local farmers and markets, adding a unique twist to their dishes. From farm-to-table to sea-to-plate, Arequipa’s modern and international restaurants offer a delicious and sustainable culinary experience.
To help you navigate through this diverse food scene, we’ve curated a list of the best restaurants for international and modern food in Arequipa. Each one of them offers a different ambiance, cuisine, and vibe, but they all share a commitment to quality, creativity, and hospitality.
1. Zig Zag
Zig Zag Restaurant, with its Alpandina gastronomy, offers a creative culinary fusion deeply rooted in the mountains, where the sunshine fills the foodstuffs with balance nutrients. This harmony between nature and signature cuisine is reflected in our great specialties: meats and fish cooked on volcanic stone, exotic salads, Alpine roestis, pastas made from wheat and quinoa, and other original gastronomic options.
Tanta is a chic and contemporary restaurant located in the heart of Arequipa’s bustling commercial district. Known for its eclectic and diverse menu, Tanta offers a unique and unforgettable dining experience that combines traditional Peruvian cuisine with international flavors and techniques. The menu features a wide range of dishes, from classic ceviches and lomo saltados to fusion creations such as the duck risotto and the seafood curry.
Chicha is a trendy and stylish restaurant located in the heart of Arequipa’s historic center. Owned by renowned Peruvian chef Gaston Acurio, the restaurant offers a unique and modern take on traditional Peruvian cuisine. With a focus on fresh and locally sourced ingredients, the menu features a variety of dishes that showcase the rich and diverse culinary heritage of Peru. From the classic causa rellena to the innovative tiradito de cebiche, every dish at Chicha is a culinary masterpiece that is sure to delight the taste buds.
4. Restaurant on the top
Restaurant on the top is a hidden gem located on the top floor of a building in the heart of Arequipa, right in front of the main square. With its unparalleled location and breathtaking views of the city and surrounding volcanoes, this restaurant is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to experience the best of Arequipa’s gastronomy and culture. From classic Peruvian dishes like lomo saltado and ceviche to international favorites like pasta and steak, the menu at Restaurant on the top offers something for everyone. But what truly sets this restaurant apart is its spectacular sunset view. At 6:30 pm, diners can enjoy a truly magical experience as they watch the sun slowly set over the city, casting a warm and golden glow over everything below.
5. El Charrua Arequipa
El Charrua Arequipa is a fantastic Argentinean restaurant located next to the main square of the Yanahuara district, one of the most picturesque and charming neighborhoods in Arequipa. With its warm and inviting atmosphere, friendly service, and delicious food, this restaurant is a popular choice among locals and visitors alike. The menu features a mouthwatering selection of Argentinean specialties, including succulent steaks, delicious empanadas, and traditional chimichurri sauce. But what truly sets El Charrua apart is its stunning view of the volcanoes. From the restaurant’s vantage point, diners can gaze out at the majestic mountains that surround Arequipa, basking in their natural beauty as they savor the flavors of Argentina.