It’s no surprise that Peru has been awarded the world’s Leading Culinary Destination the past six years in a row by the World Travel Awards. Though Peruvian guidebooks usually boast shots of the nation's mysterious Machu Picchu or its elusive Nazca Lines, Peru's culinary culture has taken off in recent years, giving tourists more reason than one to visit the beautiful Andean nation.

Peru's plates range from seafood-inspired to Chinese-infused to Incan-oriented. There's no shortage of incredible dishes, but here are nine Peruvian dishes you absolutely need to try, and how you can make them at home. 

1. Ceviche

Nike Garcia

You might have had ceviche before, but Peruvian ceviche is something special. It consists of cubed, beautifully soft chunks of raw fish, shrimp, octopus, and squid. “Cooked” in the acid of the lime it’s marinated in, Peruvian ceviche is served as lunch, dinner, or an afternoon seaside snack.

Learn how to make Peruvian Ceviche.

2. Causa


Image from WikiCommons

Two words: potato lasagna. As odd as it may sound, eating causa is like biting into a cloud of perfectly layered avocado, tuna, and exotic citrus-mayo-yellow pepper flavor.

Don’t knock it till you try it! Learn how to make Causa

3. Aji de Gallina


astuviaje on Flickr

Meaning “yellow pepper chicken,” aji de gallina is a yellow, creamy stew made of shredded chicken that’s served over rice and potatoes. To give the dish its authentic flavor, you’ll need to buy the somewhat elusive aji pepper. It’s hard to find, but not impossible — check your local international food store!

Learn how to make Aji de Gallina.

4. Pisco Sour

Pisco Sour - La Mar, Lima

Lindblom on Flickr

Before I say anything else about this drink, let’s make one thing clear—it’s the Peruvians’ thing, not the Chileans' (despite what some might say otherwise). The surprising ingredient in this cocktail is egg whites, mixed with lime and Pisco to create a perfectly tart and exciting beverage.

Learn how to make a Pisco Sour.

5. Arroz Chaufa

File:Arroz chaufa simple.JPG

Image from WikiCommons

Peru is known for more than just its Incan-rooted cuisine; a whole new field of cooking, called chifa, has originated from Cantonese-Peruvian fusion. Arroz chaufa is a popular dish that combines Chinese fried rice and Peruvian seafood or chicken.

Learn how to make your own Arroz Chaufa.

6. Canchita

File:Cancha serrana 2.JPG

Image from WikiCommons

Not so much a dish as an appetizer, canchita typically awaits restaurant-goers at every seafood restaurant in Peru. It’s a toasted type of corn to munch on while awaiting food - much more fun than the usual restaurant roll!

Learn how to entertain your dinner guests with Canchita. 

7. Papas a la Huancaina

File:Cuisine Peru Papa a la Huancaina.jpg

Image from WikiCommons

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that another potato dish makes the list — Peru has over 4,000 kinds! This entree involves soft, thick-cut potato slices being covered in a cheesy, creamy sauce made with fresh Peruvian ingredients.

Give Papas a la Huancaina a shot.

8. Pollo a la Brasa

Pollo a la Brasa

arnold | inuyaki on Flickr

Ah yes, the Peruvian food we all recognize. Easily the most well-known type of Peruvian food internationally, pollo a la brasa is a tenderly cooked, perfectly seasoned type of Peruvian rotisserie chicken.

If you’re not getting it delivered from the many restaurants that offer it, try making it your own Polla a la Brasa at home.

9. Lomo Saltado


Image from WikiCommons

Last but not least, the amazing, carb-loaded dish that is lomo saltado. Not only does it consist of flavor-packed strips of flank steak, but it consists of these juicy pieces of steak tossed with sautéed onions and tomatoes, served over a bed of rice and French fries. Could you imagine a better combo?

Curb your hunger with Lomo Saltado. 

Admiring the view

epicxero on Flickr

Thinking about planning a trip? If this list doesn’t make you want to go to Peru, I don’t know what will.