Peruvians love eating and drinking not only because it’s delicious, but because it offers a chance to get together with loved ones in a country that prizes social interactions.
And since Lima is a destination for both national migrants and dishes, the capital’s diverse offerings allow people to reconnect with the flavors and traditions of their ancestral lands, whether it may be somewhere along the Pacific desert coast, deep in the Andes, or nestled in the Amazon Rainforest and along its rivers.
If you’re a foodie and visiting Lima, try to plan your travel around these annual Peruvian food festivals and events and discover how Lima truly "fills you!". Many are held during the sunny months of December to March.
January: Chilcano Week
When someone invites you to Happy Hour after work but you don’t want to go too crazy, chilcanos allow you to enjoy both worlds. These popular cocktails are a refreshing blend of pisco and ginger ale, and often fresh fruits for a special touch. Peru’s favorite grape-based liquor, pisco is reminiscent of brandy. Chilcano Week is officially organized between some top restaurants in Lima, who use this time to promote and launch new flavors and styles of this classic drink. Other bars and restaurants have also claimed the yearly event as their own and offer their own specials, which means Chilcano Week is the perfect excuse to go bar hopping.
February: Pisco Sour Day
The first Saturday of every February is dedicated to what is generally considered the national cocktail: the pisco sour. This simple cocktail is made using only fresh Peruvian lime juice, sugar, egg whites, a dash of bitters, and of course pisco, and definitely packs a rich punch. You’ll find bars and restaurants offering can’t-miss deals all day, and the different districts of Lima will often host individual outdoor fairs with stands selling both classic and creative pisco sour flavor variations, accompanied by concerts, dances, and typical drinking food. The traditional mix is always a hit, but you might also want to try new favorites such as a pisco sour with coca leaf, maracuya passionfruit, strawberry, or guanabana fruits mixed in!
Grapes are an important product in Peru because it is used to make pisco as well as wines. That’s right, Peru has a burgeoning wine country. The Vendemia is held at the end of every summer in this country south of the equator, during which wineries (called bodegas locally) celebrate the harvest. One unique activity is when visitors are invited to take part in a special grape-stomping tradition in order to help prepare the grapes for fermentation. Although many of the major activities are arranged in the city of Ica about 4 hours south of Lima, within the city in the old district of Surco, there are still a few bodegas from the good ol’ days where there is music, wine tasting, and shows during Vendemia days.
May: Lima Restaurant Week
This relatively new annual event has reached Lima (currently in international cities such as New York, London, Amsterdam, Madrid, and Rio de Janeiro) was created to better allow people of all backgrounds to access 20 of the top restaurants in the capital. Each gourmet restaurant offers a set 3-course meal at a fixed price, in which they can show off their skills and diners can indulge in a deal as well. The best part is that proceeds of your meal will go to the international non-profit organization, Action against Hunger, which aids vulnerable populations in Peru. Contact us to find out how to reserve your own table!
Mistura is THE foodie event of the year, without a question about it. And the event lives up to both its hype and reputation. Hundreds of restaurants and producers from the farthest reaching corners of Peru come together for more than a week to showcase and debut their star dishes or products. From indigenous potatoes to homemade desserts, enriched breads to sweet purple corn juice, fresh seafood ceviche to fusion ramen, and Amazonian cured meats to Andean stewed beef on rice, if you can find it in Peru, you can find it at Mistura. There are also lectures hosted by top local chefs and competitions to find the newest talents. Started by Peru’s most famous chef and national ambassador, Gaston Acurio, the event will host its 8th iteration in 2015 along the beach coast of the Magdalena District of Lima, where it has been held for the last 2 years as well.