I am planning to travel to Peru, and one of the things that I do like to do every place I visit is to try out the local dishes like: Cozido das Furnas on Azores. I would like to know what are some of the local dishes in Peru and where are the best places to try them?
I too am like you and hunted out the local foods while I was there. Here are some of my highlights:
cuy, or guinea-pig in English, tends to be found in the mountainous areas. I was told to have it in Cusco, and did, but am a bit sceptical as it was rather expensive there, and really didn't taste great. Most backpackers agreed it was an acquired taste, so perhaps try it elsewhere where it's cheaper and if you like it, you can have it again ;)
llama and alpaca - I actually wanted to try all four of the family - llama, alpaca, guanaco and vicuña. Sadly it appears you can't get the wild variants, and had to settle for llama and alpaca. Both are meant to be a high protein, lean meat, and both tasted pretty good. I tried them in Puno, Peru and La Paz, Bolivia.
ceviche. Oh how I enjoyed this. It's a seafood and you'll want a strong stomach, but it's seriously delicious. Available in Lima, but get it from the Point hostel in Mancora if you're going there. Unbelievable!
Rocotto Relleno - stuffed red peppers. These were HOT! Looks like red pepper, but is a chilli. But I enjoy hot foods, and these were really great.
Actually, come to think of it, if you're going to Lima, there's a good chance you're staying in the Miraflores area. Lots of hostels there. Ask where the mall is on the cliff overlooking the ocean. It has a cinema, bowling alley etc. However, there's a local Peruvian buffet restaurant there, which lets you try all sorts of different Peruvian foods. A local friend took me there and it was fantastic!
Also have a read of what Wikitravel has to say about Peruvian food - some good ideas there!
It is a near-guarantee that you will eat several doses of lomo saltado while traveling in Peru. The dish features sauteed sirloin, some stir-fried vegetables, white rice, and lightly fried potatoes. The dish is ubiquitous in Peru, usually well-prepared, and quite cheap. You should be able to feast on some lomo saltado wherever your travels take you in beautiful Peru.
Let me detail you some of the food you can find here.
- Cuy Chactado (Guinea Pig): You can find this dish mostly in the Mountainous Area (Sierra) or in restaurants in Lima City but is not the same. The taste is really singular because the guinea pig meat is tough.
- Ceviche: It's raw fish mixed with lemon juice, pepper salt; it is delicious. Be careful some restaurants prepare this dish with a lot of "Aji" (Something like a Chili pepper)
- Pachamanca: I think this is what you meant when you said Cozido das Furnas, it is an ancient dish made to honor the Pachamama (Mother Earth). People dig a hole in the earth and then put rocks in it and get heated with wood, on it they put the seasoned meat (Chicken, Pig, Beef), then is served with potatoes and Favah Beans. I totally recommend this it is one of our best dishes.
- Juanes: Is a dish from the jungle, it is made of rice, chicken meat, egg and then it is boiled inside a leaf called bijao that it gives the rice a green color. It is delicious.
And i could go on with many dishes like carapulcra, rocoto relleno, caldo de cabeza, papa a la huancaina, seco de cabrito, etc.
if you want to try most of these dishes at once you should ask in the hotel reception for where you can find a "Buffet Criollo". If i can suggest you a site there is a restaurant in Larcomar in front of the Marriot Hotel.
Restaurants: (I will add more later...)
- La Bonnbonniere
Note: As for drinks i strongly suggest Pisco Sour. Don't get too many this drink is really tricky you can get drunk really fast ;)