By Melissa Reichwage

Renowned for its world class food, Lima has been dubbed the culinary capital of South America. The title is well deserved. Fresh seafood, especially ceviche, is the star of Limeño cuisine and there is a wide array of potatoes, fruits, vegetables, and grains that Peru has enjoyed since ancient times. Lima’s food is awash with creative fusions of Chinese, Japanese, Creole, Andean, and other styles.

Tight budget? Don’t worry, Lima plenty of restaurant options for foodies without much cash. Here are some of the city’s best budget offerings:

Café Tostado (Calle Nicolás de Piérola 232, Barranco)

This Peruvian institution does not need a menu because they serve everybody a set of courses which changes each day of the week. You may not have a choice in what you order in this renovated auto shop but it’s guaranteed to be good.

Pasquale Hermanos Sangucheria (multiple locations)

A Peruvian sandwich joint. Nothing more, nothing less. Don’t think fast food or sit-down but somewhere in between. My personal favorites are the chicharrón sandwich and the lomo saltado clásico.

Las Conchas de sus Mares (Av. Salaverry 1298, Jesus Maria)

This local joint may not have views of the Pacific like the ritzy restaurants along the coast in Miraflores, but you can’t beat the food or the authenticity. Blindfolded you’d never know the incredible seafood and creole cooking came from this charming hole-in-the-wall.

Design Your Salad (Av. 28 de Julio 547, Miraflores)

Looking for an affordable and healthy meal? Despite the name, Design Your Salad is not only limited to leafy greens, but also has a number of wraps, soups, drinks, and even breakfast. Vegetarian options on the menu are clearly labeled.

Manolo (Av. Larco 608, Miraflores)

There’s nothing better than a churro with a hot drink, and the churros at Manolo far exceed what you will find on the street. If dessert is not what you desire, the café offers sandwiches, pizza, pasta, fish, and other entrees.

Alaturca Kebabs & Café (Av. Dos de Mayo 441, San Isidro)

For something a bit different, try Alaturca an excellent Turkish restaurant located in the business district of San Isidro. The best budget option is the set menu during lunchtime.

Mercado de Surquillo

Located on the edge of Miraflores, Mercado de Surquillo is one of the best economical markets in Lima. There are some small restaurants, as well as shops selling produce, meat, spices, flowers, DVDs, and housewares. The market is large enough to get what you need but small enough to manage quickly.

Bioferia (Parque Reducto, Miraflores)

Only open on Saturdays from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Visitors can purchase fresh, organic fruits and vegetables, as well as a wide array of other natural products. For the highest quality cheese, chocolate, honey, yogurt, artisanal bread, this is the spot. Not always the cheapest prices in the city but sure worth the premium.

Still not satisfied? There’s always street food – yuquito, bombito, churros, anticuchos, choripan, papa rellena, arroz con leche, and plenty more indulgences.

Melissa Reichwage is currently living in Colombia and has traveled extensively in North and South America, Europe, Southeast Asia, Africa, and Australia. With a Master’s in Public Health, focusing on Global Health and Development, she will continue exploring and learning about solutions available to overcome the pressing issues of our time. She wrote this article on behalf of Tucan Travel, specialists in tours all over Peru.

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