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As is known, Peruvian food has reached international acclaim. Our three regions have indeed delicious, unique dishes! And Cusco is of course no exception. Accompanied by typical beverages, these next 4 examples are delights you certainly shouldn’t miss!

1.- Cuy (Guinea pig)

This is one of the millenary, traditional dishes visitors will find in Cusco. The cuy is actually a very usual meal throughout the Peruvian Andes chain, dating back to Inca times and before. Many people even feed and raise them at home. It is prepared in several ways:

  • Chiriuchu:  is a very popular presentation of the cuy. This dish is served cold, the cuy and all the side elements are cold. This side is a quite varied mix with chopped carrots, green leaves, potato, white cheese, omelette and corn. It’s pretty abundant indeed, but enjoyable and healthy, guinea pig meat is low in fat. Actually, I would say that it tastes like chicken meat but kind of drier, slightly harder to chew.
  • Cuy chactado: the other main preparation of the guinea pig. It is cut in half, spread and fried like a steak. On the side it comes with a very fresh salad of onions, tomato, lettuce, potatoes, sometimes corn or beans. Also served with typical Andean dips like ocopa or rocoto (really strong Andean chili). For being fried, the guinea pig’s flavor is enhanced and it can get even tastier with the dips.


Enjoy this unique dish on your next trip.

In all Cusco region, there are many restaurants specialized on guinea pigs, called cuyerias, where you will find the dishes mentioned above and less-popular variations. To drink, visitors can try one of excellent Peruvian beers, our national cocktail called pisco sour or typical non-alcoholic beverages like frutillada (based on fruits), chicha morada (purple corn, sweet brew), etc. If you really want to have an Andean experience, you definitely should not miss eating some cuy!

2.- Soltero

One of the most traditional dishes in Cusco. It is also a cold one, a mix of many vegetal ingredients, most of them chopped: tomato, onion, lettuce, white cheese, corn, beans, black olives, carrots. People can add lemon for flavor and also the rocoto (strong Andean chili). The soltero is very fresh and light, low in fat and very tasty. Indeed, travelers can find many vegetarian options and restaurants in town and across the region. It can be accompanied by Peruvian or imported beer, or any beverage you want. The soltero can be found in most restaurants, ideal for lunch and warmer days.


A dish to share with friends or family on your trip.

3.- Lawa de maiz (local corn soup)

A very nutritious, natural, thick soup ideal for cold days or nights. It contains powdered corn, chili, green leaves, onion, potato, beans, white cheese, eggs. The result is a hot, delicious soup which is quite typical of Cusco. We don’t think it can be found abroad and if so, in very few places. For drinking you can have a hot herbal tea like camomile or coca leaves, the latter being of great efficacy for overcoming altitude-related symptoms. Can be found all around this region. Another option, not to miss for winter days.


An ideal dish to generate energy on these cold days.

4.- Chicharron (Fried pork chunks)

One of the real stars of our regional cuisine visitors should not miss either, one of its main dishes. It consists of fried chunks of pork meat, very tasty and soft, accompanied by potato, sweet potato, a salad of onions, chopped tomatoes, corn, a little of chili slices, green leaves. To increase flavor people use dips like the ocopa or even mayonnaise. For drinking you may have beer, sodas or a delicious pisco sour.


Have you already tasted this dish? Do not wait, come to Cusco.

The restaurants specialized on this dish are called chicharronerias, and there are many in Cusco City. However, in a village called Saylla, a 45-minute ride away, you’ll find the very typical ones, which are a traditional activity for all Cusco citizens. This trip could be a quite exciting and rewarding gastronomical adventure if you happen to have a day off in our town!

Trying typical food and drinks is a traveling experience everyone must have! Keep in mind these delicious dishes you should not miss on a Cusco vacation! And talk to our travel operators if you want Peruvian gastronomy to be a major part of the trip, we’ll do all the arrangements!

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