Mapplr's favorite restaurants and cafes in Cusco

I have just returned from a trip to Peru, where I hiked with a group for several days to Macchu Picchu along the Salkantay trail (the longer, higher-altitude alternative to the traditional Inca Trail) and visited Lake Titicaca. Before going up the trail, I spent several days in Cusco, a beautiful town high in the mountains, to get acclimatized to the high altitude.

Cusco used to be a backpacker’s paradise, but it’s gone upscale in the last few years. Nevertheless, it remains a very special place with excellent restaurants, funky cafes and bars. During my two-week stay in Peru, I never had a bad meal. But especially in Cusco, the food was absolutely delicious and the service was outstanding. Not only that, restaurants pay a lot of attention to detail such as interior decor and atmosphere. At the height of the tourist season (July and August) which is the dry season when many people hike the Inca Trail, one should make reservations for dinner.

Among the dishes you should try are the spicy pico de gallo condiment (chopped onions with lemon juice and aji, a very hot Peruvian pepper) which you can put in soups, quinoa soup, aji de gallina, and lomo salteado. Since Cusco is inland, the restaurants don’t serve as much ceviche as those in Lima, so stick to the local specialities (e.g. guinea pig, known locally as cuy, if you can bear the thought of a eating a pet).


Map Cafe
Museo de Arte Pre-Colombino
Plaza Nazarenas 231
Cusco, Peru
+51 (0)84 242 476
Creative Andean cuisine in a stunning minimalist glass box in a museum courtyard; my favorite in Cusco

Ruinas 465
Cusco, Peru
+51 (0)84 242 808
Wine bar and restaurant serving grilled meats, pizzas

Palacio and Triunfo Corner 393
Cusco, Peru
+51 (0)84 239 510
Tapas bar and restaurant

Fallen Angel
Plazoleta Nazarenas 221
Cusco, Peru
+51 (0)84 258 184
Modern Andean cuisine

Tika Bistro Gourmet
Tocuyeros 566
Cusco, Peru
+51 (0)84 237 900
Set in the Casa San Blas, a boutique hotel; risotto, pasta, innovative dishes

Cuesta San Blas 571
Cusco, Peru
+51 (0)84 229 415
Artsy restaurant with funky interiors; Andean cuisine

Santa Catalina Angosta 135
Cusco, Peru
+51 (0)84 254 753
Pasta, pizza, grilled meats, good wine list

Inka Grill
Portal de Panes 115
Cusco, Peru
+51 (0)84 262 992
Modern Andean cuisine, grilled meats, pastas

Heladeros 149
Cusco, Peru
+51 (0)84 226 181
Informal Japanese place, excellent noodle soups and cold vegetable salads; vegetarian dishes too


Panaderia El Buen Pastor
Cuesta San Blas 579
Cusco, Peru
Fabulous pastries: empanadas, apple turnovers, croissants; excellent for breakfast, too

Portal de Carnes 208
Cusco, Peru
Best place for breakfast; attracts mostly local crowd because the menu is in Spanish only, superb fruit salads and juices

Portal Comercio 177, 2nd Floor
Cusco, Peru
Best Internet cafe (because most Internet places are in a dark basement, this one is actually within the cafe; very good breakfasts; balcony overlooks the main square (Plaza de Armas) with view of the cathedral

Dolce Vita
Santa Catalina Ancha 366
Cusco, Peru
Ice cream / gelato

About Esme Vos

Esme Vos is the founder of Mapplr, a travel site featuring boutique hotels, luxury resorts, travel guides and restaurant reviews. You can find her on and Twitter.


  1. Chiemi Karasawa says

    Fantastic list! Where does one stay in Cusco? Any tips would be graciously appreciated!


  2. I recommend Casa San Blas, which houses the Tika Bistro Gourmet restaurant. Monasterio is luxurious, but pricey.

  3. I lived in Cusco for 6 months last years and my favourite restaurant in Cusco is Granja Heidi. The food there is divine and not ridiculously priced.