Published on July 13th, 2011 | by Mark Chesnut
Top 5 Bars and Restaurants with Atmosphere in Lima, Peru
BY MATT KLINCH
Peru’s capital city of Lima has a lot to offer during the day and night. But after moving here from Toronto, Canada, almost a year ago, it’s taken some adjustments.
One of my favorite pastimes is going out for drinks in the evening after work. But I quickly noticed that in Lima, Peru, people usually wait until the weekend to unwind. The options are limited for those who happen to be in town on a Monday or Tuesday and are looking for a place with some atmosphere. There are lots of bars and lounges open during the week that offer great food and drinks, but I assume if you are anything like me, you prefer a place where you and your friends are not the only people in the room.
Good atmosphere is hard to find, but not impossible. I’m here to hook you up! Here are my top 5 recommendations for places you can visit any evening of the week and find great food, great drinks, great atmosphere and great value.
1. El Bolivariano: This is one of the places I frequent most often. I live in the neighborhood called Pueblo Libre and, as a result, I take advantage of its proximity. If you’ve spent most of your time in the tourist district of Miraflores, I recommend you visit Pueblo Libre to get a feel for local life. This bar and restaurant use to be a convent and was built in 1780. It has since become very popular with the locals and a few tourists as well. The atmosphere here is always great; they offer a variety of beers, wines, liquors and different Peruvian dishes. Any day of the week you will find people here; on weekends, it will be difficult to find a table.
Santa Rosa 291, Pueblo Libre
2. El Parquetito: This is a fantastic, simple, little restaurant that offers up Peruvian cuisine as well as Peru’s famous Pisco Sour. Located in Parque Kennedy, El Parquetito is a popular place to enjoy a nice dinner or to wind down after a long day. You will find a mix of tourists and locals here and very friendly staff. Its location makes it busy all week long and the food is fantastic. Try the Alpaca Quinua Risotto! Its location in the park makes this a fantastic place to sit in the afternoon or evening and do some people watching.
Lima 373 (Parque Kennedy), Miraflores
3. Huaringas: This is another fantastic spot in Lima to enjoy a nice Pisco sour in a beautiful venue. Located above the restaurant of Brujas de Cachiche, Huaringas offers fantastic Piqueos (Peruvian-style tapas) which go great with a Cusqueña (a popular Peruvian beer). Set in a three-story house, Huaringas has lots of room for you and a group of friends. There is live music, even during the week, which is rare. This is a popular hangout among Peruvians. If you are visiting, you should go early; the bar opens at 7pm.
Calle Bolognesi 472 (top floor), Miraflores
4. Laeñe: This Spanish-style tapas bar and restaurant has become one of my new favorites. If you can, try to get a seat in the outdoor terrace — the atmosphere is fantastic. This is a perfect place to sit and have a glass of wine accompanied by some snacks and good conversation. The food here is great; whether you go for the tapas, tortillas or the paella.
Avenida 2 de Mayo 220, Miraflores
5. Ayahuasca Bar: Whenever I have friends visiting Peru for the first time, I make my best effort to bring them here. I love this place simply because of the atmosphere — it’s set in a reconstructed mansion, and each room has a different Peruvian theme. For some reason, they decorate using a lot of undergarments, but it seems to work. Ayahuasca offers a wide variety of Pisco Sours, which is their specialty; try the Ayahuasca Sour! The bar doesn’t open until 8pm, so it’s best to have dinner first and then come here later. The staff is friendly and there always seem to be a mix of Peruvians and foreigners here. I highly recommend visiting Ayahuasca at least once if you come to Lima.
Avenida San Martin 130, Barranco
These are five of my favorite places to visit on any given day here in Lima. If you’re looking for the whole package — good food, good drinks and good atmosphere — I think these are some of the best places in Lima to find it, especially if you are visiting during the week and can’t seem to find the right atmosphere. Next time you find yourself in Peru’s capital city, I hope you give one of these places a try. ¡Salud!
Originally from Ontario, Canada, Matt Kinch has been working in the travel industry for the past six years and has spent the majority of the past couple years living, working and traveling throughout South America. His passion is adventure travel and he loves Latin culture. He currently lives and works in Lima, running an adventure travel blog called adventuredesk, a travel resource that provides information and advice for adventure travelers interested in South America.
Twitter: @kinchmatt or @adventuredesk