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For our last night in Cusco, I really wanted to have a local experience, and the place to visit was a traditional “picanteria,” which serves hefty portions of food and drinks to locals. We visited one called La Chomba, located not too far outside the...tourist drags—but on the inside, it was like a different world. We were the only tourists in sight, and the menu and communication with the waiters was in Spanish only! Everything about this picanteria, from its salty, hearty “meat and potatoes” plates to its alcoholic drinks and casual atmosphere lined with wooden benches was hauntingly similar to a German or Eastern European beer hall.
To drink, we ordered the fruitillada, a fermented drink made of purple corn (chicha de jora), flavored with strawberry. We had heard so much about this light, slightly alcoholic drink on all of our tours, and it was great to finally have the chance to try it out! To eat, we started with the choclo con queso, or Peruvian corn (with its distinctive giant kernels) served with a block of local cheese. And for our main, I couldn’t help but order the cuy al horno, or roasted whole guinea pig! The Incas ate guinea pigs centuries ago because they were one of the only domesticated animals back then, and this heritage and tradition are still alive today! The texture and the salty flavor of the meat as well as the crunchy skin reminded me a lot of pork, and the guinea pig was served with sides of pasta (unremarkable), whole deep-fried potatoes (undercooked), and rocoto relleno (my favorite!), a spicy pepper stuffed with a mixture of ground beef and vegetables and then deep-fried in a puffy cornmeal crust! What an unforgettable local experience!More
I went here for a late lunch with my cusqueño friend when I asked for authentic Peruvian food. It is a meat and potato kind of restaurant that serves various types of meat (beef, pork, cuy) served with carbs (potatoes, noodles, moraya-dried white potatoes) and...hearty soups (caldos). It is a rustic restaurant where the families come to share big meals together. Portions served are huge - one plate would be sufficient for two people. Everybody in the restaurant asked for bags to take the leftovers home. I did not try it myself but I saw many people drinking chicha de frutilla sprinkled with cinnamon powder, which also comes in glasses that are about the size of a face. I tried lechon(baked pork belly) with tamal. The food was simple yet good, but I could not finish the whole plate and left about half of the food. My friend, who has been a regular in the place said that the restaurant has not raised the prices in a while. The prices are very very reasonable. The restaurant is not in the touristy part of the historical center but close to the Plaza de Armas. If you are tired of the touristy restaurants and want to try a hefty hearty local meal, you should check it out.More
Two independent local people recommended this restaurant. Full of locals in a traditional picantería setting with shared tables. Very nice and helpful waiters. And the food! We only had room for a single dish (servings are enormous) and had cuy. Absolutely delicious. Nice local music...and not too loud when we were there. The rest of the menu also looked great. Not to be missedMore
This restaurant is away from the centre and hidden away. If you want to try local cuisine this is the place to go. It was full of locals. The plates are huge, we were there for lunch and ordered 2 dishes between 4 - Beef...cutlet served with thick noodles and potatoes and Pork ribs served with corn pinion salad and potatoes. The food was tasty and wholesome. Only downside is that menu is in Spanish and the staff doesn’t speak much English. We pointed to the dishes on the trip advisor reviews. Speciality is the guinea pig and cheapest we seen on all menus in the restaurant. We didn’t try it though it looked like it is roasted well.More
The food was good and plates were around 20soles. Portions were large. Picnic style tables busy with locals drinking and having a good time. If you are like me and enjoy avoiding the touristy spots this is a must.
If you want a place that's not touristy, this is the spot. Lovely local place with excellent, very large dishes. Best to share your meal with one other person. Had the cuy and it was excellent. The chicha fruta is also very popular.
Our tour guide, a local guy who grew up in Cusco, told us about this place. He says he takes his family here for celebrations etc. We did not see more than a couple of tourists here. It was mostly the local clientele. Probably because...this place seems to be known for the local favorites. Lots of exotic stuff like tongue and other pork parts.... If you don't know Spanish well, the menu is hard to figure out. So be forewarned. But if you are into experiencing the local and native cuisine and are brave enough, this will be good experience. We tried the chichharones - fried pork, like the locals like it. The portions are very generous and the prices are very reasonable.More