With a stunning abundance of restaurants and cafes, Cusco is a fantastic place for foodie travelers. Prices are so reasonable, even at higher-end establishments, and there’s a vast variety of cuisines to enjoy in addition to Peruvian classics. Even though South America is known for heavy meat consumption, there are plenty of DELICIOUS vegan and vegetarian restaurants in Cusco to enjoy too.
San Blas Market
First things first, start local. This market is open every day until 5pm and is the perfect spot to visit for lunch. For 5 Peruvian soles (about $1.80 USD) you can get a soup, main entree, and a drink from one of the vendor stalls in the market. They all have a “menu del día” or menu of the day scribbled on little whiteboards showing the options. There are also some vegan and specialized stalls in the market too. I absolutely love Peruvian dishes “Seco de Pollo” a chicken stew with a cilantro sauce, and Aji de Gallina, a creamy chicken sauce with rice. Try a bunch of different things – at such cheap prices, it’s a fantastic dining option.
With hearty plates and great cappuccinos, Jack’s Cafe is excellent for a big breakfast in Cusco. Pancakes, eggs, different toasts – anything you eat here will be super filling and delicious. It’s great for watching sports games or fueling up for a big day of hiking around Cusco.
La Bom Crepes
Owned by a lovely French woman, this cafe is a fantastic hangout. With delicious crepes and coffee, fast wi-fi and a culture that’s great for freelancers or folks working online, I spent a lot of time here during my weeks in Cusco. La Bom is also a hostel – in case you’re looking for lodging. I always ordered the Nutella crepe with strawberries and bananas – and was never disappointed.
Qura Coffee + Bowls
For a healthy meal, great salads, and coffee stop at Qura. Tucked away on a side street close to the San Blas plaza, it has a variety of different grain bowls, salads, and smoothies. There is great coffee too and you can use the wi-fi, making it a great place to work.
Greenpoint Vegan Restaurant
Whether you’re a vegan or a carnivore, you’ll be impressed by Greenpoint. This is one of the highest-rated restaurants in Cusco and is popular both with hardcore vegans and folks like me who eat meat. It’s great for healthy salads and all sorts of different dishes, just in vegan format. I loved the grilled salad, the dumplings, and the pad thai. Greenpoint is definitely one of my favorite restaurants in Cusco.
A great place for cocktails or a full meal, this establishment specializes in Pisco beverages of all sorts. I loved their traditional Pisco sour as well as some other drinks. It’s a great atmosphere and they have both appetizers and full plates to enjoy.
While not the BEST Mexican food I’ve ever had, their burritos were good and the lunch special is super cheap. It’s also located in a beautiful building and can help you get that “fix” if you’re craving tacos or other Mexican dishes.
For an upscale experience or if you’re really craving Chinese, stop at Kion. The cocktails were phenomenal, as were the dumplings and noodles. While it’s expensive for Cusco, the prices won’t leave you shocked at the bill. Two people can comfortably dine with drinks and an appetizer for about $40 USD.
Beers & Burgers
If you’re craving a juicy burger and some craft beer, look no further. It’s super affordable and helps to fill that desire for a westernized burger meal. You can customize your burger with a variety of toppings, choose veggie or alpaca meat in addition to beef. I had lunch here a few times during my stay in Cusco.
La Bodega 138
The pizza and beer at La Bodega 138 are phenomenal. It’s great for pizza classics as well as more experimental types, like this one with elderberry. I loved the ambiance and the menu is extensive – everyone can find something they like here.
For my final meal, we went here for a luxurious fusion experience at LIMO Restaurant. Located right in the main square of Cusco, this establishment serves up amazing cocktails and dishes of Japanese-fusion. With sushi, ramen, and other delicious things to try, it’s a wonderful spot for a more upscale experience.
If you go to Cusco – try lots of different restaurants and sample local dishes at the market. There are so many delicious places to try, and all are affordable, even for travelers on a budget. With tons of options, you definitely won’t go hungry while exploring this city.