15 Best Restaurants in The Central Highlands, Peru

Casa Grill

$$ Fodor's choice
Dining in this charmingly refitted family home is like dining at Grandpa's house—if Grandpa were an internationally trained grill expert who served only the most exquisite cuts of meat. That's because the steaks, fire-cooked pork, and whole salmon at the sumptuous parrilla (grill) are the best in Ayacucho, with delicious sauces to boot. Sit on the red-tile porch at night and look up at the chirimoya trees.


$$ Fodor's choice
A festival-hall atmosphere and mind-blowing updates of Peruvian classic dishes make this Huancayo institution one of the sierra's best restaurants. The versions of papa a la huancaína and alpaca saltado (stir-fried alpaca with onions and tomatoes) are like nothing you've had before, and the brightly costumed waiters take joy in introducing the region's cuisine to visitors. The Lima (Avenida Javier Prado Este 1405) branch of this eatery is equally scrumptious.

La Cabaña

$ Fodor's choice

Over-the-top decorations and labyrinthine rooms give this restaurant charm, but the food has made it a favorite. Wash down wood-fired pizzas and grilled meats with a pitcher of calientitos (hot spiced rum punch). The service can be slow, but sitting in the garden on balmy days or by the fire on cooler ones makes it worth it.

The owner can arrange cooking classes, Spanish lessons, music instruction, and long-term local homestays.

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$ Fodor's choice
This lovely hillside restaurant is a perfect lunchtime pit stop after seeing the battlefield and before heading back to Ayacucho. The owners work with a Dutch nonprofit to provide training for disadvantaged local kids, and the food—including a heavenly asado negro con puré (beef roast over mashed potatoes)—rivals that of any (okay, almost any) top Lima chef.
Rasuhuilca s/n, Quinua, Ayacucho, Peru
Known For
  • stunning mountain views
  • programs for disadvantaged youth
  • best food in Ayacucho
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Tues. No dinner



Grilled meats, wood-smoked pizzas, and hearty sandwiches draw a diverse crowd of travelers and locals alike to this dimly lit, wood-paneled restaurant. The daily lunch special is filling and varied, and the locale is an excellent venue for lazy midday people-watching. At night, try the anticuchos (charcoal-grilled skewers of beef heart) and a glass of Peruvian wine while enjoying the live band, and stay for the nightclub atmosphere that prevails after midnight.

Jr. Puno 599, Huancayo, Junín, Peru
Known For
  • wood-fired pizzas
  • live music
  • bargain-priced lunches
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Credit cards accepted

Carbon y Vino

Grilled meats and local fare like puca picante are the stars at this popular lunchtime spot, housed in a pretty old mansion with both front and back patios. During the week, the three-course fixed-price lunch is a steal at S/10.

Detrás de la Catedral


Rustic wood tables and soft candlelight set the mood for a meal of roasted lamb, grilled trout, pasta, and other platos típicos in this cozy restaurant, just steps from the cathedral. Service can be slow, so be prepared to linger or take advantage of the free Wi-Fi.

El Encanto de la Selvaina

Located just off the main plaza, this bustling local favorite will have you feeling the jungle vibe in no time. Try the mojadito amazónico—jungle fried rice with a sweet-and-sour sauce—with a pitcher of one of the exotic fruit juices to wash it down.

La Casona


Dining in this Spanish-style home is like attending an intimate party in a fine hacienda. The sun bathes the leafy courtyard during lunch, while the clientele tucks into the best of ayacuchano cooking, including heaping plates of puca picante and fried trout.

The daily lunch special is a bargain and includes an appetizer, entrée, dessert, and drink.

Nesul Coffee

With its simple platos típicos and selection of warm beverages, this café-restaurant is one of the most consistent options in Huancavelica. Don't expect gourmet cooking: just solid versions of old standbys like pastas and lomo saltado, plus good dessert coffees.
Jr. Virrey Toledo 210, Huancavelica, Huancavelica, Peru
Known For
  • belly-warming drinks
  • good, simple food
  • tasty desserts and quick bites

Pizzería Italiana

On cold Andean nights, this wood-oven pizzeria will have you hugging yourself in the glow of its crackling fires. There's no décor to speak of, just delicious, belly-warming pizzas and pastas in a cheerful communal setting of wooden benches and stone walls.
Jr. Bellido 492, Ayacucho, Ayacucho, Peru
Known For
  • friendly owners
  • best pizzas in town
  • surprisingly good pastas

Recreo El Falcón


Perched on the banks of the Huallaga River, this family-style restaurant offers the best of Huánuco cooking, including specialties like gallina con locro (chicken soup), pachamanca, and fresh river trout. Come at lunch, and lounge on the open-air terrace while you enjoy the view and live music. Make sure you check out their batánes, stone mortars used to grind herbs and peppers.

Dishes are huge, so be prepared to share.

2 de Mayo 190, Huánuco, Huanuco, Peru
Known For
  • regional home cooking
  • generous portions
  • pleasant riverside setting
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: No dinner, Reservations not accepted

Restaurant Chavín de Grima


This popular, country-style restaurant has simple local décor and lively lunchtime crowds. It serves tamales and sweet coffee for breakfast and comida típica, including hearty stews, rice dishes, grilled meat, and fish for lunch and dinner.

Restaurant Olímpico


This throwback restaurant, open for more than 60 years, still serves cheap, hearty Andean specials to a downtown crowd. It's the kind of place you come to with your grandparents for a leisurely Sunday lunch; tables are consistently packed, but the food is worth the wait. Try the lomo saltado (stir-fried beef) or papa a la huancaína for a taste of the Andes.

ViaVia Café


Perched above the Plaza de Armas, this wood-paneled restaurant offers an ample menu that includes both highlands specialties and backpacker favorites. Enjoy a relaxed breakfast in the morning or an artisanal ice cream in the afternoon while taking in the view of the cathedral from the expansive terrace. At night, the bar serves up classic cocktails as well as pricier Belgian trappist brews.