Ayacucho Restaurants and Dining
The cuisine of Ayacucho is often described as fusion, with restaurants combining the best elements of Peruvian dishes with distinctive Spanish elements. Those dining out in Ayacucho tend to favour the central restaurants close to the Plaza de Armas.
Whilst these dining establishments may be a little more expensive than the eateries further out, they are very convenient and easy to find, and offer the perfect place to meet other tourists visiting Ayacucho. Many restaurants are usually within easy reach of hotels and line streets such as the Bellido, the Callao, the Portal Constitucion, and the San Martin.
What to Eat
What to eat in Ayacucho depends not only on your likes and dislikes in terms of food, but also on your budget. Fine dining at upmarket restaurants with city views may be a little too much for backpackers, who prefer to sample the hamburgers and hot dogs from the street vendors based around the Plaza de Armas.
Also very popular are the refreshments at the Centro Turistico Cultural San Cristobal on the 28 de Julio, where tourists are well catered for.
Those dining out in Ayacucho and wishing to savour the local specialities may well find the following dishes on menus.
- Chaplas - simple local bread, always very fresh
- Chicharron - crispy, deep-fried, salted pork
- Crema de Tarwi - soup made with the 'tarwi' vegetable, native to Peru, as well as Bolivia and Ecuador
- Cuy Chactado - fried guinea pig, usually served complete with head, legs and feet
- Mondongo - corn soup, with red peppers, mint and either beef or lamb
- Patache - mixture of bacon and wheat
- Patachi - soup made with beans, potatoes and either beef or lamb
- Puca Picante (Puka Picante) - beef and potato stew, with spicy sauce made from peppers and peanuts, served at restaurants all over Ayacucho
- Qapchi - cheese, rocoto peppers, onions and the 'huacatay' herb, mashed together
- Uman Caldo - broth with sheep's heads, sometimes served during late-night dining or even as a morning hangover cure
Restaurants in Ayacucho will often suggest your meal be accompanied with the fermented corn drink known as 'Chicha de Jora', or if you are still acclimatising to the altitude, a hot cup of 'Mate de Coca', which is made with coca leaves.