One of the best parts of visiting a new city is getting in touch with the local culture and sampling the local foods. As a backpacker, you’re probably looking to pinch a pretty penny, so that means you won’t be eating at five-star restaurants every night. However, a great way to experience the local flavors while sticking to a budget is by trying street food.
Barranco is one of the best neighborhoods in Lima for street food. All around the Plaza Municipal and central Barranco there are vendors selling everything from choripan to caramel apples. In Lima, food is an art, and in Barranco, the most artistic district of Lima, sampling street food can provide an experience just as unique and delicious as eating at a fancy restaurant. The following are some of the not-to-miss street foods you should try when staying in Barranco:
Lima in the summertime is hot. Whether you’re going to the beach or walking around town, you’re going to need something to help you cool down. In the summertime, one of the most popular Barranco street foods is the Marciano. Marcianos are delicious popsicles made from fresh, frozen fruit juice. They come in every flavor imaginable, including mango, passion fruit, chirimoya, strawberry, and chicha. For only 1 sol each, marcianos are an economical way to beat the Lima heat.
If you’re looking to try a typical Peruvian dessert during your stay in Lima, look no further than picarones. Picarones are small Peruvian donuts that are made from zapallo (a type of pumpkin) and sweet potato. They are fried much like any other donuts, then drizzled in a tasty syrup called miel de chancaca. A plate of four picarones can be purchased for 5 soles in Barranco.
- Mazamorra and Arroz con Leche.
Eaten separately or combinado, mazamorra and arroz con leche is a perfect snack for chilly winter nights in Lima, and a dish of this dessert only costs 5 soles in Barranco. Peruvian mazamorra is made from the same purple corn that is used to make chicha morada. It is cooked with cinnamon and pineapple, and tastes excellent when served atop arroz con leche (rice pudding).
If you are looking for something savory and a little more substantial, many street vendors in Barranco sell choripan, a flavorful chorizo sausage that has been grilled and served on bread. It is also common to add sauces, such as mayonnaise or chimichurri sauce. Choripan can be purchased from street vendors in Barranco for approximately 5 soles
A glass of emoliente can be purchased from a street vendor in Barranco for as little as 1 sol. Emoliente is a traditional drink that is made by brewing a mixture of herbs, and sweetening with sugar. Many people enjoy a splash of lime juice for added flavor. Emoliente is known in Peru for its medicinal properties and is believed to be useful against the common cold and promoting digestion and good liver health. Emoliente is usually served warm, but is also delicious when it has been chilled for a few hours.
More than just fried dough that has been sprinkled with cinnamon sugar; Peruvians take churros to a whole new level by filling them with oozy manjar blanco, also known as dulce de leche. This caramel-like creation is tooth-achingly sweet and is a must-try for any traveler to South America. Churros can be bought in Barranco for 1 – 2 soles each.
Besides the delicious foods listed above, Barranco pulls out all the stops at night and the town converts itself into a mini carnival. You can buy everything from ice creams, cotton candy, popcorn, and candied apples while exploring and enjoying the bohemian vibes of Lima’s most energetic district. With that in mind, The Point hostel in Lima is located in the heart of Barranco, just a stone’s throw away from the main plaza and the majority of street vendors. For the foodies who come to Peru to experience the country’s diverse and highly-praised cuisine, Barranco is the place to be, and our helpful and friendly staff is more than willing to recommend a fancy local restaurant or a simple, tasty food cart.