Seeing Lima (Through 5 Plates of Ceviche)

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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.

In two days in Lima, I managed to eat five meals of ceviche. Here's what I learned about Lima through (and between) ceviche experiences. #Lima #Peru #Ceviche #TheProfessionalHobo
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This post was originally published in 2014. It has since been updated for accuracy of links and content.

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:

people dancing in Parque Central in Lima Peru

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 โ€œcats parkโ€, 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 in Miraflores Lima Peru
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 โ€“ as are the sunsets. If I had somebody to kiss I surely would have engaged in a full-on liplock there.

cliffside view over the ocean in Lima with paraglider taking off at sunset

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 for me, 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.

Ceviche in Peru, served at a local joint
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.
upscale ceviche platter in Lima
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?

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I lived in the Sacred Valley of Peru for over 2 years. Here are my adventures.

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12 thoughts on “Seeing Lima (Through 5 Plates of Ceviche)”

  1. 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!

    Reply
    • 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).

      Reply
  2. 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

    Reply
    • 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. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Reply
  3. 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

    Reply
    • 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).

      Reply
  4. 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!

    Reply
    • 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. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Reply
  5. 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.

    Reply

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