Cusco’s Street Food! How do you feel about giving it a try? So many people warned you not to, but living in Cusco as a Spanish student, we think you should go for it! Streetfood a very cheap and quick way to sample local fare, with no commitment to a full plate! Lots of people are wary of eating food prepared by a street vendor in Peru. But believe me, it’s the norm here in Cusco, and in most cases perfectly safe. Trust your gut…if it looks bad…don’t try it! And trust the crowd…if the people are gathered around waiting to eat it, it’s probably got a good reputation and there´s a reason for that! If it’s deserted, there’s likely a reason for that too, and I’m not interested in finding out what it is!
Following is a list of some popular street bites in Cusco…by no means is this list complete…explore the local fare and let us know what you enjoyed most! Buen provecho!
PERUVIAN STREETFOOD IN CUSCO: TOP # 7
“Meat on a stick” grilled to perfection on the streets of Cusco after 6pm, that’s what anticucho is. The traditional anticucho is Corazon (cow heart) but if you aren’t feeling that adventurous, you can try the chicken or regular old beef. The meat itself is impaled onto what appears to be a weapon of mass destruction (an obscenely sharp skewer made of bamboo) blunted at the end with an exceptionally dry potato, (which most locals eat but I generally am not disappointed when mine tumbles to the ground.) Be sure to top your meat with the green sauce! It’s a staple at every anticucho stand.
At first glance this looks like something that only a child would dare to try, and it’s true that kids love it! But, to my surprise I’ve seen many adults order this popular dish with a straight face… (I still can’t say ¨salchipapa¨ without laughing) The Salchi of this plate is a fried and sliced Peruvian hotdog, and the Papa is French fries, served smothered in ketchup, mustard, mayo, and aji sauce. Try it! You’ll like it! Our Spanish students in Cusco love it!
Yummy! And you can find them all over Cusco! The sandwich is a crusty bun, filled to the brim with pork, carved on the spot, and a fresh local salsa. Add ketchup, mustard and mayo, and you can walk away with this filling meal within moments!
These very simple sandwiches are available in the mornings, pick one up on your way to Spanish class! They are nothing more than bread with local salty cheese or (even better!) creamy Avocado (palta)! The locals aren’t used to putting both cheese and avocado on the same bread, so if you want to try that combo, be prepared to be convincing! FYI right on Calle San Agustin, down the street from Amauta, you’ll find the best pan con palta! The cheerful woman makes each one to order so they are never mushy or stale, adds the secret ingredient of love, and will even add cebolla if you wish!
The above is usually accompanied by a yummy, warm morning beverage, made from quinoa (the protein-rich Andean grain-like seed) with apple juice and cinnamon. For one sol, you can warm yourself from the inside out on Cusco’s brisk mornings!
As Peru is home to over 3000 types of potatoes, it is not surprising that you can find many traditional dishes made from papas! Papas rellenas, or suffed potatoes, are no more than a dough made from potato, stuffed with beef, onions, olives, eggs, spices, etc, then fried until golden and served!
On first glance it looks terribly bland, but surprisingly this large piece of jumbo boiled corn, accompanied by a chunk of local cheese is simple, filling, and rather tasty!
We hope you enjoyed our A Quick Guide to Cusco’s Street Food! Let us know what unique bites you have tried yourself while traveling in Peru or learning Spanish in Cusco.
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Did you know you can prepare for a trip to Peru by taking Online Spanish Lessons?
Meet your Peruvian teacher before arrival and learning some Spanish is a great way to make sure you get the most out of your