Arequipa's Cuisine and Gastronomy

Gastronomy of Arequipa

The wealth of its lands and cultural diversity endow Peru with an exquisite and tremendously varied gastronomy.

Each city boasts its own regional dish with unique flavours. Thousands of countryside products and tens of living cultures, which have shared a single territory for centuries, create an offer that is practically infinite.

All that is left is for your taste buds to choose.

Arequipa's cuisine is one of the best of Peruvian Gastronomy

You will love the restaurants of Arequipa, also known as "picanterias", where the delicious regional food spreads its aromas thanks to the wood fires. The "rocoto", an iconic regional delicacy, "solterito de queso" salad, "caldo blanco" (white broth), pork "chicharrón", stews , and the renowned "adobo dominical" (Sunday marinated meat) are delights for visitors.

And the desserts? Nectar of the Gods!!

Visitors cannot fail to taste the traditional "chicha de maíz" and complement it with the delicious "Najar" anise liqueur as a digestive.

What more can we ask for?

Arequipa is a gourmet city

Gastronomy in Arequipa

The "picanterias" or traditional restaurants of the "Ciudad Blanca" (White City) are a regional ancestral tradition, linking the rural with the gastronomic. These are traditional restaurants which still cook over a wood fire, a source of natural heat that intensifies the aroma of the food's spices.

A iconic Arequipa dish is the "rocoto" stuffed with mince, cheese, eggs and olives, coated in melted cheese.

Other starters with an Arequipa flavor are the solterito de queso, which combines beans, sweet corn or corn, olives, rocoto and chopped cheese with a lemon and herb marinade; and the ocopa, which is four or five slices of steamed potato covered with a cream made from milk, cheese, peanuts, hot peppers, biscuits and shrimp tails.

Like other mountain cities, Arequipa offers outstanding soups. The best known are the white broth, which is filling and healthy, made with lamb loins, potato, sweet corn or corn, chickpeas, chuño and spices; the puchero soup, is made with boiled beef, pork and chicken with greens and herbs; and the chupe de camarones (shrimp soup), is a broth made with shrimp, milk and cheese.

On Sunday mornings in Arequipa, visitors will find adobo, a dish made with pork loin, hot peppers, onion and chicha de jora.

Arequipa residents prefer pork chicharrón and guisado or stew, which is where their interest in spicy dishes comes from. Examples of this can be seen in the pork, been, lamb or duck picante dishes; there is also locro, a squash stew with beef or lamb; and fried malaya, which uses boiled beef brisket served with fried yucca and onion sauce.

Arequipa offers many desserts including: buñuelos de bolillas (type of doughnut) made from flour, eggs and milk served with honey molasses; and frozen cheese prepared with coconut, cinnamon, milk and spices served alone or with honey. It is also famous for its chocolates and candy.

The traditional drink is chicha de maiz or chicha de jora and the Nájar anise, a local liqueur drunk as a digestive usually after pork.


Traditional restaurants of typical food of Arequipa, where ancestral recipes and the custom of offering certain dishes on the menu for each day is preserved.

Recognized as Cultural Heritage of the Nation.

Were small businesses that often transcended Stays-family housing sometimes cooking, sometimes the patio, some more ... dining - a dining room open to the public. Always in the family business, always decorated with the succession of printed religious images and calendars that used to cover the walls.

Recommended Picanterias in Arequipa:

  • Tradición Arequipeña

  • El Montonero

  • La Nueva Palomino

  • Guisos Arequipeños

  • Sol de Mayo

  • La Capitana

  • La Lucila

  • Piqueos Arequipeños

    Piqueos Arequipeños

    © J. Mazzotti

  • Picante de Camarones

    Picante de Camarones

    © J. Mazzotti

  • Ocopa Arequipeña

    Ocopa Arequipeña

    © J. Mazzotti

  • Solterito de queso

    Solterito de queso

    © J. Mazzotti

  • Rocoto relleno y pastel de queso

    Rocoto relleno and pastel de queso

    © J. Mazzotti