Touching on Cusco’s culinary scene

Cusco has SO many delicious food options, catering for every kind of cuisine and budget. We’ve been eating quite a bit of vegetarian recently so that influenced where we ate a bit, although we still made sure we didn’t leave without trying the infamous alpaca.

Green Point Vegan Cafe was so good we went there twice. The menu was huge and had options from curries to tacos to burgers and ramen – all of it vegan. We didn’t actually touch the menu either time we went (beyond browsing its mouth watering options) as we just opted for the 18 soles ($9) menu of the day. That gave us access to the salad bar, a soup, a main (two options), a dessert and the juice of the day. It was such good value – both times we left super full.

The other vegan restaurant we ate at was Vida Vegan Bistoro, conveniently located across the road from our hostel – ideal for the thunder and lightning storm occurring outside. We got given a cute little quinoa appetiser. For our  mains Andy ordered the lomo saltado (a Peruvian specialty – similar to a beef stir fry) which was made with soy meat, and I ordered a mushroom curry. The presentation of both dishes was absolutely stunning. Dessert was chocolate torta: so beautiful we didn’t want to eat it. The service was great – the waiter even moved the heater to be right next to our table.

I veered away from vegetarian dining when we ate at Taste of India – I’m sorry, but I just had to order the butter chicken. Andy had a vegetable kadai though, and overall we were two very happy customers. Each meal came inclusive of rice and naan and we ordered a mango lassi for a treat. It cost about $17 each and was the perfect portion. We were using up the last of our cash – fortunate, because we noticed there was a steep surcharge on card transactions. 

Probably my favourite overall meal experience in Cusco was at Hankay. It’s located super close to Plaza de Armas, it is teeny tiny and super cute. We were the only ones there when we arrived. We were give a complimentary tasting tray of each of the craft beers on tap, as well as a free bite sized dessert. We ordered the nachos to start – homemade and divine, and the Katsu chicken and alpaca burger to follow. The flavours of the mains was probably only a 7.5 out of 10, but we wanted to like it extra because the owner was so caring and sweet. For those interested, the alpaca lattice tasted very much like a lamb patty – yum! 

It’s hard to believe that that’s all the meals we had out. There were so many other places I would loved to have gone (for example Chicha – it has a tasting menu celebrating Peruvian food) but we just fell short of time and sadly, money. The food scene excites me thigh as I’m sure it will only continue to improve!

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