Five Places to Visit in Lima


In the coastal city of Lima, street art is plastered on many of the weathered colonial buildings in the bohemian barrio of Barranco, the neighborhood where the celebrated chef Virgilio Martínez reopened his world-famous Central restaurant last June.

“It has this artistic sensibility,” Mr. Martínez said of the district once known as a seaside retreat for the Limeño aristocracy. “It looks like a small town where things are happening, but you also see old houses very well preserved.”

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The chef Virgilio Martínez relocated his Central restaurant to the Barranco neighborhood.CreditMaik Dobiey for The New York Times

In relocating Central from the Miraflores neighborhood, he opened a multilevel complex that also houses the cocktail bar Mayo and the modern Peruvian restaurant Kjolle, run by his wife, Pia León. They live with their 3-year-old son, Cristobal, above their establishments on Pedro de Osma, the area’s ficus-lined main thoroughfare. “There are no big businesses here,” Mr. Martínez said. “You see independent owners doing everything from designing to cooking. People who really belong to a neighborhood.” Here, he dishes on five favorite spots in Barranco.

“Just walking by is a special activity because you reconnect with the social dynamic of the Barranco community. Couples come here to see the sunset and there’s an organic market on Sundays. I’m not the kind of guy who sits to read the newspaper, but if I were, I’d go here.”

Intersection of Pedro de Osma and Parque Municipal

When Mr. Martínez finishes his own lunch service at Central, he’ll head around the corner to catch the last daytime seating at this small restaurant run by two of his former chefs. “I enjoy what Jose Luis and Juan Luis are doing with progressive Peruvian and Venezuelan cuisine. Peruvians don’t normally queue but they respect it here. If you go, don’t miss the “cream volteada” dessert. It’s like a flan, or crème caramel.”

Av. 28 De Julio 206; meritorestaurante.com




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