The Sacred Valley day tours use Urubamba as a lunch spot, so there are a half dozen restaurants that offer good lunch buffets. The best, and newest, of these is Alhambra (Km 74 Urubamba–Ollantaytambo Highway, tel. 084/20-1200, www.alhambrarestaurant.com, noon–3:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.–close daily, US$12–14). The buffet table, full of colors and flavors, is a work of art!
If you’re looking for a more informal atmosphere, try 3 Keros (Sr. de Torrechayoc, tel. 084/20-1701, noon–3:45 p.m. and 6–9:30 p.m. Wed.–Mon., US$12–15). Ricardo, the owner of this laid-back restaurant, dishes up cuy specials and Quillabamba mangos while his patrons catch the Michigan game.
Los Geranios (Cabo Conchatupa s/n, tel. 084/20-1093, noon–5 p.m. daily, US$9 buffet) is the least pretentious and most authentic of a group of restaurants on Urubamba’s main drag.
Finestra (Mariscal Castilla 107, tel. 084/20-1005, 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. and 6–10 p.m. Mon.–Sat., US$2–5) is the place to go for a filling midday lunch menu. The service is fast and the decor pleasant.
After years of working abroad, first in Spain, then Germany, chef Pio Vasquez has finally returned to his home country, Peru. With the help of his German wife, Iris, they have created an elegant restaurant and garden. Have your passion fruit pisco sour on the patio of El Huacatay (Arica 620, tel. 084/20-1790, www.elhuacatay.com, 1–10 p.m. Mon.–Sat., US$10–15) before moving into the intimate dining room for a main course based on local produce from arugula to fresh trout. Dessert is Pio’s passion, so leave room for the chocolate mousse. Child-friendly.
Another new option is Don Antonio (corner of Jr Yupanqui and Arica, tel. 084/20-1501, noon–7 p.m. daily), offering a small menu with pasta, fish, and meat, set in a beautiful garden with fountain.
For the basics—fruit, cheese, cold cuts, and wine—there’s Frank’s Market (Mariscal Castilla 1032, 7:30 a.m.–2 p.m. and 3–10:30 p.m. daily).
© Ross Wehner and Renée del Gaudio from Moon Peru, 3rd Edition