My name is Nicole Muniz and I am a striving entrepreneur living in the city of London. I am a Peruvian and United States citizen, thus, I’ve had the opportunity to live in both countries and experience two different cultures. At the moment, I am completing a master’s program in UCL and I am developing my own food brand that will be part of the health and wellness industry in the UK.
However, whenever holidays come up, I get to visit my family and friends in the exciting city of Lima. The reasons why I love this city are endless, but if I had to narrow it down to one topic it would definitely be the food. Although the Peruvian cuisine is outstanding, Lima has more to offer. Considering my love for healthy food, I’ll share my insight on the best places to visit when you’re craving good yet nourishing food.
What is a typical breakfast and where would you go?
Being relatively new to the city, Caleta Dolsa serves brunch all day and features the best smoothie bowls in the city…and don’t get me started on the avocado toasts. Located in Barranco, this cafe sets a surfer vibe and takes you to Hawaii for a few hours with their hanging chairs and decor. Also, you know a brunch spot is solid if there’s a waiting queue involved so go well prepared and ready to walk around the block a few times.
Where is your favourite place to grab lunch?
My favorite place to grab lunch is definitely Armonica Cafe. Their objective is to build harmony between the body, mind, and soul. Their menu features a wholesome diet whilst including both vegetarian and vegan friendly options. The founder, Solagne, is an expert in experimenting with new recipes and transforming any popular recipe into an alternative that will nourish your body. Also located near the seaside, the best day plans consist of having a delicious meal and finishing with a walk around La Costa Verde.
What is the ideal afternoon activity in a city like Lima
My ideal afternoon consists on long walks with friends around the neighborhood of Barranco. This bohemian district is filled with small vintage shops, vibrant street art, and more. In fact, Mario Testino’s love for this cultural quarter led to the opening of his museum, MATE. This gallery features his best work, including Princess Diana’s last photoshoot for Vogue.
If you’re in the mood to compliment your walk with some traditional Italian gelato, be sure to visit BLU: il gelato del barrio. Made fresh daily, you’ll be fascinated by their unique selection of flavors.
On that note, if you have a sweet-tooth, you have to visit Sienna Bakery. Their specialty is their cookies, and trust me when I say that they are the chunkiest and most delicious cookies you’ll find in the city. They have one store in La Molina but they are currently working on their new store that will open in San Isidro.
Where are the best places for dinner?
My favorite restaurant in the world is, without a doubt, Osaka. Featuring the Nikkei cuisine, their food is the perfect balance between Peru and Japan. The atmosphere is ideal for dinner with friends and family. They serve Lunch and Dinner, but I would strongly recommend booking at night because of their transition to a ‘restobar’.
Another one of my favorites is Jeronimo. Located near the sea, they serve Peruvian seafood unlike any other. The dish presentation is as exciting as the flavors you’ll taste. Although it is a bit smaller than Osaka, Jeronimo also offers a wide variety of cocktails and is ideal for late night drinks.
In the evening, what is the city like and where do you find yourself?
Lima is a vibrant city. People look forward to gathering with friends in exciting bars that offer more than a space to socialize. I always find myself going to Carnaval, a bar that seeks to create an experience through their cocktails. Each drink is different and the waiter shares the inspiration and explanation when served.
In a busy city like Lima, is there anywhere to chill?
My favorite place to chill would definitely be La Costa Verde. Filled with scenic views, there’s a path that you can follow all the way from Miraflores to Barranco. My friends and I always enjoy packing up some snacks from Flora & Fauna (organic food shop in Miraflores) and searching for a sitting spot with a view. We always carry a music box with us and spend the afternoon watching the sunset.
What is there to do for something fun and different?
If you visit Lima in the summer, be sure to go for a surfing lesson. Generally speaking, Peru is known amongst surfers for its waves. This is a random suggestion but according to professional surfers, Lima is ideal for any beginners and it is easy to walk down to the shore and find instructors with equipment. Also, after a refreshing outdoor activity, you can visit Larcomar (outdoor shopping center) and choose from a wide variety of restaurants.
Where is the best area to stay/sleep for young travellers?
The best area would definitely be Barranco. This district is very tourist-friendly and is close to Miraflores and San Isidro, the two other districts where you’ll find all the restaurants you need. Night life is also ideal in Barranco and there is a wide selection of bars to choose from.
What season would you recommend visiting?
The best season is Summer (December to March) since winter in Lima can be a bit gloomy for those who aren’t used to grey skies. Summers in the city are always the ideal temperature and rarely get overly warm. Also, the summer heat can be complimented by a fresh Ceviche near the coast. Every Peruvian has a preference for the best Ceviche in town, and in my opinion, El Mercado is where you’ll find it.
Is Lima best for a family holiday/friends holiday or couple holiday?
Lima is a city for any type of holiday, but I think that it’s the ideal destination for a fun friend vacation. You’ll be able to explore during the day but also experience the night life. Also, Lima is just a starting point to your holiday. Before booking, you should consider traveling to Cusco and/or the jungle region to explore Peru’s diversity.