This January 18th we will celebrate the Lima anniversary with music and revelry, but also with a well served table. In its streets we find centuries-old taverns, gathering places for writers and artists; immovable wineries that remain attached to their tradition and bars where icons of music and cinema have celebrated with pisco sour. This is a guide to those spaces to which we like to return again and again. Without them, the Center of Lima would not be the same.
Founded in 1905 by Vigilio Botano and the brothers Luis and Antonio Cordano (Italian immigrants), this hundred-year-old space has become a symbol of downtown Lima. Visited by important artists, intellectuals and politicians -from Martín Adán to Mario Vargas Llosa- it was declared Cultural Patrimony of the Nation in 2005. If you visit, ask for a ham sandwich from the north and a chilcano. Unmissable.
Address: Jiron Ancash 202, Cercado de Lima.
THE FC STADIUM
Football fans have their meeting point in this old two-story house, decorated with dozens of objects related to the beautiful game: sculptures, shirts, balls and statues of footballers like Messi or Zidane. Liven up the soccer talk between craft beers, appetizers and Creole dishes such as lomo saltado or a tacu tacu with a sheet.
Address: Jr. De la Unión 1049, Downtown Lima.
It had to celebrate its centenary during the pandemic and stands ready to welcome new diners and longtime faithful parishioners. Walking through its doors, one feels like traveling back in time when the poetic group Hora Zero visited it in the 70’s. Bohemian place where we enjoy the famous beef (pisco and ginger ale, ice and lemon on the table, to make chilcano); but also dishes such as cau cau, escabeche de pescado or fried egg.
Address: Jirón Camaná 900, corner with Quilca, Cercado de Lima.
MUNICH PIANO BAR
The classic German-style restobar -founded in 1940- has managed to rise after the blows suffered in the pandemic. Many things may have changed, it opened a new location in Quilca, but its essence remains with the wooden tables, beer barrels, ceramic chopps and the piano. The most requested dish continues to be the Munich appetizer (based on four sausages: white, cervelat, giant sausage and smoked chorizo) to be enjoyed in company.
Address: Jr. Quilca 156, Cercado de Lima.
The winery has become a kind of island in the middle of the sea of opticians in the Huancavelica jirón. Founded in 1923, two years after the centenary of Peru, by the Carbone family; started selling imported products. Over time it was transformed into a tavern and, to this day, they serve their popular country ham sausages that are made following the traditional recipe. A delight either for breakfast or lunch.
Address: Jr. Huancavelica 300 (corner with Jr. Caylloma), Cercado de Lima.
A classic for a traditional pisco sour. This bar, located inside the Gran Hotel Bolivar, was visited by icons of music, literature and cinema such as Mick Jagger, Ernest Hemingway and Orson Wells. A proposal for breakfasts and lunches has been included in the bar proposal.
Address: Jirón Contumaza 844, Downtown Lima.
Meeting point for journalists, politicians and stock market people; in Manhattan there is a kind of familiarity that makes you come back. Specialized in fish and shellfish (with a whole section dedicated to dishes based on sea bass and salmon), and international cuisine. It also has a good assortment of salads for the day to day.
Address: Jr. Santa Rosa 253, Cercado de Lima.
It is the ideal place to drink beers and have fun with friends in the Center of Lima. Here the drink is served in a glass, chopp, horn, kero, boot, beer tower… There are national, international and craft beers. Accompany the beers with Peruvian appetizers (such as the tablón anticuchero) or main dishes.
Address: Jirón de la Unión 1045-A, Cercado de Lima.
SANTA ISABEL WINERY
There is no better way to start the day than with a good coffee. And this is the place to do it if you are in the Center of Lima. Office workers arrive here, starting at 8 am, to have a tasty Chanchamayo coffee (to take away or sit at one of the tables) and accompany it with huaracino cheese and northern ham sandwiches. A little gem to always return to.
Address, Jr. Carabaya 504 and 520, Cercado de Lima.
THE EAU LIVES
In 1982, during the feast of the Sacred Heart, the doors of the Agua Viva restaurant were opened by the sisters of the Trabajadoras Misioneras de la Inmaculada community. There are 12 sisters, of different nationalities, who are in charge of the restaurant and 9 who divide the work of the kitchen and living room. Its specialty is French and international cuisine with delicacies such as prawn croustillant in Thai sauce and rabbit with French cherries. But they have also incorporated more Peruvian dishes such as ají de gallina and arroz con pollo.
Address: Jr. Ucayali 370, Downtown Lima.
I, Ronald Payne, am a journalist and author who dedicated his life to telling the stories that need to be said. I have over 7 years of experience as a reporter and editor, covering everything from politics to business to crime.