Iquitos Restaurants and Dining

(Iquitos, Loreto, Peru)

Photo of the stylish Iron HouseThe jungle cuisine of Iquitos is legendary in Peru and tourists will be able to sample many local dishes at the city's Amazon restaurants. Those lucky enough to be dining out in Iquitos will be able to sample a multitude of freshly hunted deer, peccary and fish dishes, such as 'paiche' - an enormous freshwater fish from the river. However, these days, turtle-based dishes are no longer commonplace and very expensive when available, since hunting turtles in the Amazon is no longer permitted.

The rainforest affords numerous exotic fruits and leaves, such as the cherry-like 'camu camu', which regularly makes an appearance at many a dining venue. Restaurants in Iquitos regularly also make use of the abundant bananas, mangoes and pineapples, creating dishes such as baked 'tacacho' (mashed banana, cecina and yuca). In hot weather, the local ice cream shops 'heladerias' are very welcomed.

Central city view

Where to Eat

Plenty of restaurants are scattered around the Plaza de Armas and Iquitos city centre, along streets such as the Morona, the Napo, the Prospero and the Putumayo. In particular, the cafe on the first floor of the Iron House (Casa de Fierro) is always popular, with diners regularly enjoying a bite to eat on the balcony.

Fine dining can also be enjoyed right next to the Amazon River (Rio Amazonas), on the Malecon Maldonado, with notable riverside restaurants and eateries including the Nuevo Meson and the Fitzcarraldo, the latter of which offers a mixture of both local and international dishes - even pasta and pizza!

Towards end of June, look out for the San Juan Festival in Iquitos, which has turned into nothing short of an extravaganza of jungle food. At this time, restaurants always serve 'juanes', which are leaves from the bijao palm, filled with chicken, onion, tomato and spices.