A waitress passed with a plate full of vegetables and little pieces of meat. “That looks good,” I thought and I ordered the same. We were sitting in a small restaurant with only 5 tables in a village near Lake Titicaca in Peru. It was only at home I discovered that what I ate was actually cow lung. Peru was full of culinary surprises and I’d like to take you on a Peru food tour along 12 must try dishes! 

Must try food in Peru

Cuy de Horno 

Cuy de Horno Guinea pig has been a popular staple meat in Peruvian households for ages. It tastes a little bit like rabbit. Guinea pig definitely belongs to this list of must try food in Peru!

Pisco sour 

This popular South America cocktail is a mix of Pisco sour, egg white, lime, syrup and ice.

Pisco sourQueso frito 

Queso de frito A heavy dish with fried cheese, potatoes and salad.

Trucha frito 

This dish is common around Lake Titicaca and consists of fried trout, potatoes and a fresh salad.

Trucha fritoLomo Saltado 

Lomo Saltado is a simple, but delicious stir-fry dish with beef, tomatoes, onions and soy sauce served with fries or white rice.

Lomo SaltadoCeviche 

Ceviche is a fresh seafood dish with citrus juice and red onion. It is usually served with sweet potato.

CevicheMate de Coca 

Mate de Coca is a tea made by the leaves of a coca plant. Coca plants contain alkaloids which are the source for cocaine base and therefore it serves as a (very mild) stimulant.

Mate de CocaAlpaca 

Alpaca Peru Food

Alpaca is the cuter version of a lama and tastes a bit like beef. In Peru the alpaca’s are mainly kept for their wool.

Inka cola 

This golden-colored drink is incredibly sweet and popular with the Peruvians.


Chanfainita Organ meat is common in the Peruvian kitchen and the main ingredient of chanfainita is cow lung.

Pollo a la brasa 

Polla a la brasa Pollo a la Brasa is a popular Peruvian version of the roast chicken with soy sauce and garlic. This crunchy chicken is typically served with french fries.


A popular Peruvian lager.

CusquenaAlso worth mentioning: the dishes of Sonccollay

Soncollay Arequipa
The Sonccollay restaurant in Arequipa was recommended by a friend. In the Sonccollay restaurant you can try unique pre-inca cuisine: dishes prepared according the ancient recipes with respect for Pachamama. The chef is very friendly and it’s most likely that he will greet you in personal.

Also worth mentioning are Rocoto Relleno (spicy rocoto pepper stuffed with minced beef etc.) and causa (avocado and potato).

Would you try cow lung or guinea pig? Did you like this list of must try food in Peru? 

Are you visiting Peru soon? And would you like to learn some Spanish vocabulary? Bunch of Backpackers has its own language test on Vocabulix.com Check it out here!

Book your Peru hotel through Hostelworld.com or Booking.com 

Recommended further reading Peru

Review of the Pariwana hostel in Cusco
How much does it cost to backpack Peru and Bolivia? 
How much money do you need to backpack in Peru? 
Polaroid portraits in Peru
Travel story: Sleep Less, Dream More – A stranger in the Sechura 
What are the experiences with airlines in Peru? 


  1. Ik heb toch wel een beetje moeite met cavia, normaal wil ik wel lokale specialiteiten uitproberen maar sommige dingen spreken we écht niet aan! In schotland is haggis een het nationale gerecht, maar ingewanden met kruiden en havermout gegaard in de maag trok me niet! Scheen wel heel lekker te zijn!

    • Als het je niet aanspreekt niet doen! Zelf vind ik cavia of alpaca ook niet echt aantrekkelijk klinken, maar dan denk ik toch altijd “Even proberen” :)!

  2. Dat je dar durft. Vooral cavia ik moet daar niet aan denken.
    Maar ok ik ben heel eerlijk ik ben ook geen grote vleeseter.

    • Ik ben ook geen grote vleeseter Aletha, maar als ik eenmaal in een land ben vind ik het natuurlijk toch interessant om de lokale specialiteiten te eten! Niet altijd een succes geef ik toe ;)!


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