In this post I will tell you which local and Peruvian food you can try in Cusco, where, when, and how much you would expect to spend.
As a matter of fact, there are dozens of restaurants around the main square and elsewhere. Most of them state they serve typical dishes, and that may be true. But it is also true that most of them are influenced by european or asian cuisine as well as styles such as the decoration.
Well, I am not saying this is not appropriate, but your travel experience would be much more rewarding if you try it as local people usually enjoy it. Thus, the right place to be are local fairs.
1. Food Fair at the Plaza San Francisco
This is a small fair compared to the next one yet very popular because the Plaza San Francisco is located in the very downtown just two blocks from the main square. You can go on Sundays from 10am to 4pm.
2. Food Fair at the Plaza Tupac Amaru
It features a much more varied array of dishes than the previous fair, and thus it is also crowded on Saturdays and Sundays from 10am to 5pm. It is in the district of Wanchaq just a 10-minute ride from downtown. While eating you can listen to a local band on a small loft above the entrance.
How To Get There
– By taxi: the fee is S/3.00.
– By public transportation: at one corner of the Plaza San Francisco you can take a mini van with the label Liebre (hare) on top or a kind of van that we name combi with the logo Rapido´s, and the fare is just S/0.70 per person. Get down at the bus stop called Garcilaso, walk to the corner towards the square and then turn to the left.
How Much To Pay
Most dishes cost from 5 to 10 Nuevos Soles, but the cheapest is only S/2.50 and the most expensive costs S/30 (the ones with guinea pig), and the prices are similar in both fairs. The prices are written down on blackboards so there is no risk that you would be charged more than locals. Everybody pays the same here.
What to Try in These Fairs
The list of plates featured in these two local fairs is really huge so I just decided to write down the names and there will be another chance to explain each one, but I sorted them out according to whether they are Cusco, Andean or national dishes.
Cusco or Andean Dishes
Cuy al horno con tallarin, rocoto relleno y papa
Trucha, moraya y choclo
Zarza de patitas, cabeza de chancho o criadilla
Olluquito con charqui
Lahua de choclo
Abodo de chancho
Nabo con revuelto de sangrecita o con mote
Revuelto de patitas
Tarwi lahua con cordero
Locro de pecho
Aji de gallina
Papa a la huancaina
Salpicon de pollo
Pollo al horno con papa al horno y tallarin al horno
Arroz con pollo y ocopa
Tallarin al horno con ocopa
Frejol con cordero
Lengua atomatada con pure de papa
Escabeche de pollo o pescado
This would be a great chance to try Peruvian food as well as to mingle with local people. And, by the way, no problem if you eat with your hands. It is possible and acceptable in these fairs. At least, the guinea pig dish does not require fork nor knife.
Do you know any other fair like these in Cusco?
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