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Cusco Restaurants – 7 Best Dining Options In Peru’s Cultural Capital

Alison Macallister

Cusco city is the launch pad for thousands of travellers each year on their way to Machu Picchu. The city is a blend of locals, expats, and foreign visitors. It's no surprise that Cusco restaurants represent this diversity and international flavour.

After living in Cusco for over a month, I had the privilege of trying out some of the best food the city has to offer. I also spent a lot of time talking to locals and travellers about the top places to eat.

Based on some extensive research and my own personal experience, these are the Best Cusco restaurants.

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Best Restaurants in Cusco, Peru

Morena Peruvian Kitchen - Overall Best Restaurant in Cusco

morena-peruvian-kitchen

Star Rating: 4.7 / 5

Morena Peruvian Kitchen is the best place for fusion Peruvian food. Many people rate this as one of the top restaurants in all of Peru. Morena consistently delivers on high standards of fine dining. On top of this, their prices are very reasonable for generous-sized portions.

You can’t miss Morena Peruvian Kitchen in Cusco's tourist center. The dining area is spacious and thoughtfully decorated (the basket light fittings are a nice touch). The staff goes out of their way to give you the best dining experience.  Be sure to get a window table for views out over the Plaza.

Morena Peruvian Kitchen is highly acclaimed and regularly praised as one of many excellent Cusco restaurants. You should book well in advance for dinner though, as it’s a very popular hotspot in the city. Lunch is a little easier to find a table, even without reservations.

Price Range: 20-50 soles ($6-$13)

Best Features

What To Try

Some of the best food in Cusco

Papa Rellena

Beautiful presentation

Bruschettas with homemade bread

Professional and friendly staff

Aeropuerto

Elegant interior decor

Alpaca Risotto

Spectacular views over the Plaza de Armas

Peruvian chocolate ice cream (made with cacao)

Greenpoint - Best Vegan / Vegetarian Restaurant in Cusco

greenpoint-cusco

Star Rating: 4.7 / 5

Even non-vegans will appreciate the delicious food at Greenpoint. You will find this restaurant in San Blas, the historic area just above the main square. There are a lot of options to choose from. I particularly like that they offer vegetarian versions of traditional Peruvian meals.

What makes this restaurant really special is the setting. Fairy lights and trees feel like you have entered a secret garden. The courtyard setup is spacious enough for groups but also great for a romantic night out.

If you need your fix of Kombucha, Greenpoint has the best! It must be said that the portions are not as large as in other places. The daily lunch menu is a bargain at 25 soles. It includes a starter, main, salad, drink, and dessert!

I wouldn’t risk going for dinner without a reservation though, especially over peak tourist season (June-September). Greenpoint is extremely popular amongst locals and tourists. 

Price Range: 20-40 soles ($5-$10) 

Best Features

What To Try

Attentive staff

Special lunch menu

Lots of variety

Chocolate croissant

Garden setting

Pad thai

Reasonable prices

Vegetarian saltado


Vegan meatballs

Jack's Cafe - Best Breakfasts in Cusco

inside-jack-s-cafe

Star Rating: 4.5 / 5

In my opinion, traditional Peruvian breakfast leaves a lot to be desired. When you get tired of coffee and sandwiches, or kiwichi cereal, head over to Jack's Cafe

This cafe is the best place to find American-style breakfasts and western comfort food. The most popular menu item is the cinnamon French Toast. Jack's also serves lunch and dinner. The portions are massive, so you will probably take home leftovers.

There are gluten-free and vegan options too. And, very importantly, the coffee is very good. 

Price Range: 20-40 soles ($5-$10)

Best Features

What To Try

Warm and cozy atmosphere

French Toast (my absolute favourite dish here)

Quick service

Pancakes

All-day breakfasts

Traditional American breakfast 

Huge portion sizes

Steak Sandwich


Lemon and mint smoothie


Hot chocolate with marshmallows

Republica del Pisco - Best Pisco Sours

republico-del-pisco

Star Rating: 4.6 / 5

If you are looking for a great atmosphere, this is the place to be. Republica del Pisco (or the Pisco Museum) is the first choice for a vibey place to have a drink. There is often live music featuring everything from 80s rock covers to classical. 

Pisco sours are the star of the show here. There is an impressive variety to choose from. You can also do a pisco tasting or learn how to make Peru’s most famous drink.

The food here is also good with a nice selection of tapas and mains. Sure, you can find better prices at other restaurants in Cusco. However, the food quality and atmosphere are what you pay for at Republica del Pisco. The portions are large enough to share if you are not starving. Take advantage of happy hour from Sunday - Thursday between 5 and 9 pm.

The waiters are friendly, and the manager is usually walking around checking that all is good with the customers. You will find the place packed by 9 pm, so please cut the staff a little slack when it's really bustling.

Price Range: Food is 30-50 soles ($8-$15), Drinks are 20-40 soles ($5-$10) 

Best Features

What To Try

Fun atmosphere

Classic Pisco sour 

Extensive drinks menu with some of the best cocktails in town

Maracuya sour (my personal favorite)

Friendly waiters

Chicanos (2 for 1 special during happy hour)

Live music

Alpaca slider burgers


Croquettes


Pachamanca chicken wings

Pachapapa - Best Authentic Andean Restaurant In Cusco

pachapapa-cusco

Star Rating: 4.5 / 5

Pachapapa prepares authentic, Peruvian dishes at a high quality, making it one of the best Cusco restaurants. This is a good option if you want to try local dishes but are not quite ready for the small, street restaurants. You will find guinea pig (cuy) and alpaca on the menu. 

Not feeling that adventurous? The wood-fired pizzas are surprisingly good.

Pachapapa is one of Cusco’s most touristy joints and is usually busy. Despite this, there is a nice atmosphere complemented by Latin background music.

Price Range: 50-80 soles ($13-$20)

Best Features

What To Try

Authentic Andean dishes

Oven baked Cuy (Be prepared to wait as preparation takes 1 hour)

Warm atmosphere

Empanadas

Friendly English-speaking waiters

Trucha (trout) Ceviche


Cusco-style Chicharron (fried pork)

Organika - Best Farm-to-Table Experience

organika-cusco

Star Rating: 4.8 / 5

Organika uses fresh ingredients straight from their own farm garden (located in the Sacred Valley). The restaurant has a warm and cozy atmosphere with some of the best service in town.

Their food is beautifully plated. Almost everything is topped with edible flowers. 

The menu has something for everyone including some great pizzas and homemade pasta. In addition, Organika has a decent wine list to accompany your meal.

Fair warning, this is one of the more expensive places to eat in Cusco. A lot of effort goes into producing the meals and creating an enjoyable dining experience. It’s worth treating yourself to a meal here, at least once, during your stay.

Price Range: 35-95 soles ($9-$25)

Best Features

What To Try

Friendly and attentive staff

Fresh garden salads

Meals taste as good as they look

Ceviche de trucha

The varied menu includes vegan and vegetarian options

Sweet potato ravioli

Quality fresh ingredients

Blue cheese pizza

Where to stay? Here are 5 of my favourite accommodation options in Cusco: 

See more Cusco accommodation options.

Markets and Menu del Dias - Eat Like a Local in Cusco

As far as atypical Cusco restaurants go, no list of ‘where to eat in Cusco’ is complete without mentioning local markets and Menu del Día (Menu of the day). 

Produce markets are a fixed feature in every Latin American town. Here, you can stock up on fresh fruit and vegetables. You will also find meat, grains, and just about everything else. 

menu-del-dias

Food section of San Blas Market, Cusco.

Even if you are not shopping, browsing a local market is somewhat of a cultural experience. If you have a weak stomach, I advise that you avoid the meat section.

Almost all markets have a food court. Here, you can pick up a meal for an absolute bargain. Expect to pay around 7-12 soles ($2-$3). This includes soup, a main course, and a drink. Some places will also give you a small dessert.

If you are traveling on a budget, you will quickly learn to love the Menu del Dia. Every place has a slightly different offering, so look out for whiteboards listing daily specials.

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san-blas-market

Calamari and ceviche served with soup at the San Blas Market. It costs 10 soles.

If it is your first time venturing into a market, I’d highly recommend you start with San Blas. Mercado San Blas is tame in comparison to other, larger markets in Peru. It is situated in a historical area and has a peaceful atmosphere.

San Blas is different from other markets in that it boasts not 1, but two vegan stands. Green Falafel (see pic below) is more widely known for its delicious vegan dishes.

green-falafel

Green Falafel is undoubtedly one of Cusco's best kept secrets when it comes to delicious vegan dishes. 

Perhaps Cusco’s best-kept secret is the ‘other’ vegan restaurant on the corner. This one-woman show could compete internationally. The vegetable lasagna is, without exaggeration, the best I’ve ever eaten. Regardless of your dietary preferences, don’t leave Cusco without trying a falafel wrap!

Even with this excellent quality, soup, a main course, and herbal tea, a meal here only costs 10 soles.

If you do eat here, tell the owner I miss her. 

Alison Macallister

With a degree in Nature Conservation and experience working with wildlife including the Big 5, Alison works as a guide for a 5-star reserve. She enjoys sharing her passion for all things nature-related. She enjoys hiking, horseriding, 4x4 driving and kayaking.

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