Seeing Lima (Through 5 Plates of Ceviche)

by Nora on June 23, 2014

I joked with friends in Pisac that when passing through Lima enroute to Canada, my single-sighted goal for Lima was to eat as much ceviche as was humanly possible.

They laughed politely at my joke.

But I wasn’t joking.

 

I arrived in Lima on a Saturday afternoon, and in the following 50 or so hours I managed five ceviche meals. I’d have eaten it for breakfast as well if it wasn’t provided for free in my hotel.

 

C’mon, Nora. There’s More to Lima Than Ceviche.

Yes, yes, I’m sure there is. I just didn’t discover much of it, this time around.

However staying in the Miraflores area was a lovely way to experience some of Lima’s lively culture (enroute to and from ceviche-inspired meals).

 

Here are some of the cool Lima sights I stumbled on:

In Parque Central, I came upon a throng of people dancing to a repertoire of latin music in a wee amphitheatre that seemed perfectly suited for the purpose. After watching bemusedly for a while at the (mostly local) crowd of dancers, I was asked to dance by a lovely elderly Peruvian gentleman who really knew how to shake his money-maker.

Next to Parque Central is Parque Kennedy, which is also known as β€œcats park”, for its abundance of cats roaming around. They’re far from feral looking though; these kitties are well-fed and get lots of love from locals and foreigners alike.

 

Parque del Amor, where the statue of two people making out inspires couples to do the same, especially at sunset

A few blocks away on the coast is Parque del Amor, rife with young lovers following the shining example of the prominent statute. The view is incredible – as are the sunsets. If I had somebody to kiss I surely would have engaged in a full-on liplock there.

 

While standing at Parque del Amor, you can see para-gliders regularly swoop by having launched from the nearby cliffs, and surfers float in the waters below awaiting the perfect wave.

 

But Really, it’s About the Ceviche.

I make no bones about my fierce love of ceviche, and since I was told that Lima has some of the world’s best, I would have been downright irresponsible not to get a good cross-section of this raw fish delicacy. I frequented high(ish)-end restaurants and local dives alike.

The basic ingredients include raw fish/seafood, lemon, Peruvian peppers, onions, and it’s garnished with some boiled corn (choclo) and a piece of camote (sweet potato). But there are many variations on this theme, and I tried as many of these variations as I could.

 

Go local: for 11 soles (about $4), I got this two course meal with ceviche, a plate of spicy seafood with rice, and a drink. Other (touristy) restaurants in the area charged $7-$20 just for a plate of ceviche.

 

This is one of the higher-end ceviche meals I enjoyed….which, all things considered, was well worth the $18 I spent.

 

 

Have you tried ceviche? Where (in the world) was the best you’ve had?

 

 

 

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Emily June 23, 2014 at 7:23 pm

I love ceviche and so was in heaven when we were in Peru! The best we had in Peru was in a small town on our way to Huacachina. It’s so simple but delicious.

Also – I loved the cat park in Lima!

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2 Nora Dunn June 23, 2014 at 9:17 pm

Emily,
How did you like Huacachina? Funny how sometimes the best meals we eat on the road come from non-descript places….(I enjoyed a pretty epic fresh trout ceviche in Pisac myself).

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3 Zoe @ Tales from over the Horizon June 25, 2014 at 12:33 am

I will have to make sure to try it – I never have before.

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4 Nora Dunn June 25, 2014 at 3:01 pm

@Zoe – It’s delicious! But generally a good thing to like raw fish (like sushi) for starters… πŸ˜‰

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5 Ann Bedard June 25, 2014 at 9:01 am

Ta-da….a dream finally come true for you. With all your build up to it , I was wondering what could make this dish better than anywhere else?” A picture is worth a thousands words.
Your photo’s & descript….answered my question. Now all I want to do is return to LIma

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6 Nora Dunn June 25, 2014 at 3:03 pm

Annie – YES! The only ceviche I didn’t explore in this post is one I explored (at great length) in Pisac: fresh trout ceviche. Yum! I’ll be back for more. πŸ™‚

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7 michael williamson June 25, 2014 at 11:36 am

Hi Nora, on the west coast of Costa Rica–there is a foodie enclave south of Domincale and the ceviche was pretty great, best, Michael

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8 Nora Dunn June 25, 2014 at 3:05 pm

Michael – I had some pretty good ceviche in Panama (the langoustine ceviche was the best by far), but ultimately it had nothing on Peru…worth a trip if for nothing else than the ceviche! (Good thing there’s lots more to enjoy in Peru as well).

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9 Suz June 30, 2014 at 2:12 pm

I’ve wanted to travel to Peru to see the ruins, but now I want to go for the ceviche! Those photos are truly mouthwatering!
Not that it could compare, but you might want to check out Turtle Kraals while in Key West for their ceviche sampler. Yummy!

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10 Nora Dunn June 30, 2014 at 6:33 pm

Suz – Thanks for the Key West recommendation! I’ve already had ceviche a couple of times here, and it’s yummy. I’ve also sampled the smoked fish dip in a few places….and now my mouth is watering just thinking about dinner. πŸ˜‰

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11 Anna July 7, 2014 at 4:25 am

I have never had ceviche but I love sushi and I love the flavor palette you described. I can totally see myself having 5 ceviche-only meals in one day. It looks dreamy, too.

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12 Nora Dunn July 7, 2014 at 9:30 am

Anna – You’ll love it! πŸ™‚

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