Typical Dishes in Puno
- Pesque – A dish made up of quinoa, cheese, and eggs.
- Chairo – Stew made from lamb meat.
- Salteña – Small, empanada like pastry with meat, potatoes, and spices. Delicious. Native to Bolivia.
- Quesillos y Miel – A dessert made of curd cheese and honey.
Restaurants in Puno
CECOVASA: An organic, fair trade coffeeshop in La Casa del Corregidor. Operated by a union of eight cooperatives and coffee producers who grow and sell organic fair-trade coffee from Puno’s eastern frontier, whihc is considered ot be among the world’s best. Deustua 576.
Coco K’intu – Novo Andina cuisine is not nearly as prevalent in Puno as in flashier Cuzco, though a few dishes here may satisfy your fancy palate for a night. Lima 401.
La Plaza – Classic regional dishes like chairo puneño (soup with dehydrated potatoes and beef) and grilled trout are served in oversized portions in this colonial dining room.
El Buho Pizzeria –Lima 347. Cozy little restaurant serving a long list of pizzas that are reasonably priced. The menu has a decent pasta list too. The wood burning stove keeps bakes the pizzas and keeps the clientele warm. Recommended over the many other pizzerias in Puno. $$
IncABar – Lima 356, 368-865. You can tell by the creativity in the sauces that the chef at this stylish place did his training. Dishes with lake fish are the highlight. Also, soups, pastas, and curries are worth a try. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The café/couch bar is good for some of the pricier cocktails that are hard to find in Puno. $$$
Apu Salkantay – Lima 357, 363-955. Perhaps my favorite restaurant in Puno. It has character, stylish furniture and décor, creative dishes, and isn’t overly priced. Try tartar de trucha, an alpaca sandwich, carpaccio of alpaca, or the Andean cheese selection. $$$
Colonial Door -Lima 345. Simple breakfasts, pizzas, and pancakes. Walls and ceilings are made of reeds. An interesting dining experience. $$
La Caywa – Jr. Arequipa 410. Stylish restaurant with creative dishes. One of the best options in town for trendy, international food. $$
Ukuku‘s- Libertad 216. Classic gringo restaurant/café with book exchange. Andean dishes and traveler favs. $
Govinda– Deusta 312. National vegetarian chain run by Hare Krishna’s. $
Ricos Pan – Lima 424 & Moquegua 330. The interior of this classy café is surprisingly large and relaxed for its location on Lima. Excellent coffee, cakes, and pastries. $
Museo La Casona– Lima 517. Lace tablecloths with religious artifacts and antique mishmash are the setting for this freshwater fish-centric restaurant. $$
Le Bistrot – Arbulu 311. This bar/restaurant/creperie is in a funky little setting with tapestries on the walls and reggae beat. Dozens of sweet and savory crepes, breakfasts, and snacks. $
La Choza de Oscar – Libertad 340. Touristy place with live music on most nights. An array of trout and alpaca dishes. Cheap set menu with a free glass of wine or a pisco sour. $$
Casa Grill La Estancia – Libertad 137. This is the place in Puno to go for grilled meats. One of the city’s more modern restaurants. Lomo, biffe, brochetas, alpaca, and even cuy. They also have many local and regional dishes. $$
Lago de Flores – Lima 357. One of the many modern tourist haunts with pizza on Lima. Alpaca in red wine, peppers, and apple garlic sauce. Pumpkin and tomato soups. Decent wine selection. Well, for Puno. $$
Chifa Shanghai – Arbulu 167-171. Locally popular chifa with wanton soup and a main course for 8 soles. $
Restaurant Vegitereana and Medicina Naturales – Libertad 352. Trendy, new age café with art on the walls and serves medicinal drinks and organic foods. $
Writer and photographer Nicholas Gill is the editor/publisher of New World Review. He lives in Lima, Peru and Brooklyn, New York. His work has appeared in publications such as the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, CondeNast Traveler, National Geographic Traveler, Afar, and Penthouse. Visit his personal website (nicholas-gill.com) for more information.