Virtuoso Life November 2018 City Guide: Lima, Peru

City Guide: Lima, Peru

Lima’s Larcomar shopping center and the Miraflores waterfont. 
Lima’s Larcomar shopping center and the Miraflores waterfont. 
Photo by Luis García
In Peru’s capital, acclaimed restaurants help the Miraflores district shine.
GO FOR: Travelers have long viewed Lima as a gateway to other popular Peruvian destinations, but those who settle in for a bit will find that the coastal capital – which has enjoyed steady economic growth over the last decade – is one of South America’s most sophisticated outposts. It’s also one of the world’s most exciting dining destinations: In 2018, it’s the only city with two top-ten outlets on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. No. 7, Maido, is in affluent Miraflores, a seaside neighborhood five miles south of the city center that’s home to contemporary architecture, vibrant public parks, and many of the city’s most sought-after restaurants and retailers.
<em>Cabrito</em> (baby goat) dim sum at Maido.
Cabrito (baby goat) dim sum at Maido.
Photo by Luis García
EAT: Latin America’s Japanese diaspora gave rise to Nikkei cuisine (the word refers to Japanese immigrants and their descendants). The best place in Lima – if not all of Peru and South America – to experience the fusion of Peruvian and Japanese flavors is at chef Mitsuharu “Micha” Tsumura’s restaurant, Maido (Calle San Martin 399). Make reservations well in advance to indulge in an exquisite multicourse tasting menu, order à la carte, or sit at the sushi counter to watch chefs assemble dishes with artful precision. 
 
Opened in July 2017, superstar Peruvian chef Gastón Acurio’s newest restaurant, El Bodegón (Avenida Tarapacá 197), offers rustic, eat-straight-from-the-skillet dishes in a traditional taberna-style interior. The constantly evolving menu features some 50 dishes inspired by Acurio’s family recipes, which often include Peruvian staples such as beans, rice, and yucca. A recent highlight: a rocoto relleno (Peruvian stuffed peppers) stew.
 
A five-minute drive west, Acurio’s other Miraflores restaurant, La Mar (Avenida La Mar 770), showcases the dishes that have made him the ultimate authority on ceviche. The menu at this casual, bamboo-bedecked cebichería includes several takes on the country’s national dish, but for true Peruvian flavor, order one made with pisco or leche de tigre (a spicy citrus marinade).
Cocktails at Ámaz.
Cocktails at Ámaz.
Photo by Luis García
DRINK: If a pick-me-up is in order, make it a coffee or cappuccino from Pastelería San Antonio (Avenida Vasco Núñez de Balboa 770). The traditional café has earned a loyal following for its baked goods, which range from creamy éclairs to dense squares of chocolate cake.
 
Peru’s national cocktail, the pisco sour, is a ubiquitous pour around town. At the bar inside Ámaz (Avenida La Paz 1079), pair one with Amazon-inspired bites such as plantains with chalaquita (a traditional Peruvian salsa made with peppers, onions, and cilantro). Order round two and soak in the restaurant’s sultry vibe: turquoise walls, lush plants, and botanical-inspired pendant lights.
Sustainably produced goods at Ayni Design Lab.
Sustainably produced goods at Ayni Design Lab.
Photo by Luis García
SHOP: Soft yet structured silhouettes, baby-alpaca knits, and monochromatic handwoven macramé define the dresses, separates, and accessories at Ayni Design Lab (Jirón Gonzales Prada 355, Oficina 204), an upscale boutique devoted to sustainable style and production by certified Peruvian knitters and weavers.
 
Built into a cliff along the Miraflores seawalk, Larcomar (Malecón de la Reserva 610) is a shopping center beloved by Limeños for its sweeping ocean views and variety of restaurants and shops. Browse Qala for authentic Peruvian art and handicrafts, and Ilaria for men’s and women’s jewelry made from silver and semiprecious stones.
 
SEE: Standing in stark contrast to Miraflores’ modern high-rises is Huaca Pucllana (Calle General Borgoño, Block 8), an adobe-and-clay pyramid built around 700 to 400 BC by members of an indigenous pre-Inca coastal civilization known as the Lima. Cap off your visit with a meal at the highly regarded on-site restaurant – snag a table on the patio for striking pyramid views.
STAY: The 89-suite oceanfront Belmond Miraflores Park cossets its guests in colonial-inspired rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows, though some of the best views are upstairs at the rooftop pool. Treatments at its Zest Spa employ the skin-softening, energizing benefits of organic, plant-based ingredients such as chocolate, coffee, and rose petals. Virtuoso travelers receive breakfast daily and a $100 spa credit.
 
Built in 1927 in Lima’s residential San Isidro neighborhood, the 83-room Country Club Lima Hotel is home to 300 historic Peruvian objetos de arte from the Museo Pedro de Osma. The hotel’s Bar Inglés is the place to go for a pisco sour, while upstairs, a newly unveiled Dom Pérignon Suite caters to high rollers with spacious, gilded accommodations; caviar on arrival; and nightly bottle deliveries of the Champagne. Virtuoso travelers breakfast daily and one complimentary lunch or dinner for two. 

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