Barranco is said to be the beating heart of Lima. If you love food and want to experience authentic Peruvian cuisine and nightlife, head to Barranco. I booked myself on a walking food tour, and spent the best part of my first day in Lima discovering the local eateries and bars of the district.
Our guide Ignacio was generous with his knowledge and funny stories of growing up in this bohemian neighbourhood, and living in Lima. He even invited us for a beer after the tour finished. How often do you get to hang out with a Peruvian surfer/ photographer? It was such a great experience!
Here, I’d like to share my highlights of Barranco with you.
Where to Eat
Established over 70 years ago, Juanito Bar is a local institution. After the death of its founder, Don Juanito, the bar was re-launched by his son, César. The walls are plastered with show posters. Jazz and funk resonate through the bright space. There is an unpretentious buzz in the atmosphere. This is a must-see, whether you’re looking for a quick bite to eat or a cold beer. It is no wonder that Juanito Bar is a favourite with locals.
If you’re looking for good ceviche on a budget, Cevicheria Union is your place. Here, you will find all kinds of fresh and affordable seafood. The portions are generous and you can get a set menu which includes a drink for 20 soles.
Head to Puro Peru for a mind-blowing selection of traditional Peruvian delicacies. They have three large buffets (starters, mains and deserts) as well as a grill where you can order on demand. Try the different kinds of causa to see which one you like best, eat a skewer of grilled beef hearts, and treat yourself to a decadent cherimoya desert.
Where to Drink and Play
If you have a chance to spend the night in Lima, head to La Noche for an evening of live music and dancing. Hugely popular with locals, it often hosts famous artists. Check out their performance schedule and book tickets here.
Located in a courtyard of a white colonial mansion, Victoria Bar lures you in with a promise of cold Pisco Sours and smouldering salsa tunes. Check it out when you’re up for some late-night dancing.
Just across the road from Victoria Bar, is Piselli – a low-key bodega, beloved by locals. This is the place to go if you want to unwind after a long day, in a no-nonsense setting. They have a big selection of beers and cocktails, as well as delicious snacks and sandwiches.
Emoliente is a concoction of herbs, aloe vera, and a sprinkle of magic that locals drink to assist digestion. Nacho took us to Obulia’s street cart to try this drink. Obulia is known as a medicine woman all over Barranco. What a success for such a young lady!
She mixed the drink with the skill of a certified bartender and served it to us with a big, warm smile. The aloe vera makes the drink thick and silky, which takes some getting used to. However, I felt great afterwards and would gladly have it again! If you’re interested in trying it at home, here is a recipe that you can follow.
I hope I convinced you that Barranco is worth exploring! Leave a comment if you know of any other great places to visit!