Tel: 511 444 1496
Behind an improbably nondescript exterior on a quiet street in Miraflores lies the seat of an ever-expanding culinary empire. A husband-and-wife team that met while training at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, Gastón Acurio is Peru's best-known chef, whose spin-off restaurant brands now reach as far as San Francisco, and Astrid Gutsche is a German-born dessert demigoddess. The pair specialize in decadent, internationally inflected Peruvian dishes, from tuna with tamarind and coco to La Huerta (translation: The Garden, an apt choice for this everything-under-the-Peruvian-sun vegetarian feast). Served up in a rich colonial setting with gorgeous modern touches (not least the bottom-lit bar), the food draws locals and foreigners in equal measure.—Updated by Abbie Kozolchyk
393 Calle Triunfo
Tel: 51 84 239 510
This lively spot, located on the second floor of a colonial building that's just uphill from Cuzco's Plaza de Armas, offers excellent Mediterranean-inspired food as well as a judiciously chosen wine list. Warm touches range from the deep yellow and red walls to the garlic and dried chiles that dangle from the ceiling. Perch at the bar for a drink and tapas, or sit in the dining room at one of the long tables. The menu includes an excellent and vast selection of pastas, most of them flavored with fresh herbs from the Sacred Valley of the Incas.—Updated by Abbie Kozolchyk
Open daily 8 am to 4 pm and 6:30 to 11 pm.
135 Santa Catalina Angosta
Tel: 51 84 243 379
Though just off Cuzco's Plaza de Armas, this second-story retreat feels decidedly removed from the neighborhood whirl. In a setting that's equal parts candlelight, mellow music, stone, and wood, Greens serves mostly organic interpretations of local and international crowd-pleasers, from Andean lake trout with potatoes and fava beans to Moroccan vegetables with chickpea curry and couscous. This is also one of the few places in Cuzco with many vegetarian offerings (such as quinoa-breaded tofu with seven-herb tomato sauce). Whatever your main course leanings, however, leave room for dessert. The selection is small but stellar, especially if the almond and sesame turrón with strawberries and native yacón honey is available.—Abbie Kozolchyk
Open daily 11 am to 11 pm.
Pucllana Museo de Sitio
8 General Borgoño Cuadra
Tel: 51 1 445 4042
Even if Huaca Pucllana were located in the world's most nondescript setting, the food alone—from the crunchy yuca spirals with huancaína sauce to the classic house ceviche—would warrant a visit. Actually, the drinks would, too. The resident variations on the pisco sour theme (the aguaymanto sours, in particular) are some of the best in Lima. However, the backdrop happens to be a spectacular pre-Incan pyramid, best enjoyed from the restaurant's ample terrace. Though lunch here is lovely, dinner is even more so: The ruins are lit up, and you can walk through them after your meal.—Updated by Abbie Kozolchyk
Tel: 51 84 806 960
No matter how good the local food, sometimes you want a taste of home. And Jack's offers just that, from brownies to burgers to pancake breakfasts of Grand Slam proportions. Though the restaurant is located in the lower portion of San Blas, well off Cuzco's main square, there's a microclimate of bustle around the place. Everybody goes. Or every gringo does, anyway. But the plentiful reading material (it can range, on any given day, from British Vogue to People to Corriere della Sera) makes the almost inevitable line seem shorter. And the meal is always well worth the wait.—Abbie Kozolchyk
Open daily 7 am to 10 pm.
101 Calle Camino Real
Tel: 511 440 5200
Having studied at the Culinary Institute of America and trained at a succession of Michelin-starred restaurants in Italy, Lima native Pedro Miguel Schiaffino eventually returned to his hometown and opened Malabar, Peru's first outlet for haute Amazonian cuisine. Though many of the jungle's creatures, fruits, and vegetables take the form of street food in their native habitat, here—amid brightly colored furniture and a riot of artwork—they become soufflés (heart of palm), purées (yuca), and vinaigrettes (the applelike cocona). There are international offerings as well, but if you try nothing else from the Amazon, sample the seeds that serve as an amuse-bouche.—Abbie Kozolchyk
Open Mondays through Saturdays 12:30 to 4 pm and 7:30 to 11 pm.
Museo de Arte Precolombino
231 Plaza Nazarenas
Tel: 51 84 242 476
Though located in the Pre-Columbian Art Museum, MAP Café is ultramodern, enclosed in a giant glass-and-steel cube. Equally cutting-edge is the menu's blend of international and local flavors. Huacatay, arguably the most distinctive and delicious of the regional herbs, is used to particularly great effect in the salmon with green humita. And the homemade ice creams (which include corn, among other, more expected flavors) are exceptional. This is one of Cuzco's poshest eateries; reservations are advised.—Updated by Abbie Kozolchyk
Open daily 11 am to 10 pm.
285 Los Laureles
Tel: 51 1 421 5395
One of the most beloved restaurants in the quiet, tree-lined neighborhood of San Isidro, Sacha combines creatively reimagined Peruvian staples with attentive service in a spare but warm colonial setting. Though the cocktail menu is extensive, you can't go wrong with a pisco sour. As for the food, excellent options include the brochetitas de papas andinas (local potato and cheese kabobs, essentially), the house ceviche, and, for dessert, the Peruanísimos tres leches (cake submerged in cream). If the weather permits you to experience the above on the small, lovely patio, so much the better.—Abbie Kozolchyk
Open Tuesdays through Saturdays 12:45 to 3:30 pm and 7:30 to 11 pm, Sundays 12:30 to 4:30 pm.