There is a wide variety of restaurants in Chiclayo nowadays: from top-end gourmet place to bustling little eateries. Pleasant waiters shuffle between hungry diners, carrying plates of flavorful seco de cabrito (tender goat marinated in chicha de jora and vinegar) and arroz con pato a la chiclayana (rich duck meat cooked in dark beer, mint, and cilantro).
Cafés, Bakeries, and Ice Cream
Don Benny (Av. Balta 465, tel. 074/20-6452, 6 a.m.–midnight daily, US$1–5) scoops up manjar ice cream cones and towering lúcuma sundaes. But should you need something more filling, there is also a large selection of breads, cheeses, cold cuts, and empanadas.
Romana (Av. Balta 512, tel. 074/22-3598, 7 a.m.–1 a.m. daily, US$2–8) is the best midrange restaurant in town. Palta rellena (stuffed avocado), spicy plates of ají de gallina, arroz con pato, lomo saltado, and flaky apple pie are served up on white-and-blue tables. The chicha morada here is excellent. Midday menus are US$2–3.
Around the corner is Roma (Manuel María Ízaga 710, tel. 074/20-4556, 7 a.m.–11 p.m. daily, US$2–3), which has a less expensive and varied menu but is a locals’ favorite with 60 years in business. Apart from their restaurant menus, both Romana and Roma have a good selection of hot drinks, breakfasts, sandwiches, desserts, and milk shakes.
El Rancho (Av. Balta 1115, tel. 074/27-3687, 7:30 a.m.–12:30 a.m. daily, delivery available, US$2–5) serves pollo a la brasa (spit-roasted chicken) and has an extensive menu.
Meat lovers should head to Restaurant La Parra (Manuel María Ízaga 752, tel. 076/22-7471, 5 p.m.–1 a.m. daily, US$3–7, menú US$2), one of Chiclayo’s best restaurants. The restaurant serves huge portions of grilled meats, roasted chicken, and cebiche. Have brochetas de lomo (beef skewers) washed down with a pitcher of sangria.
The front door of Restaurant Fiesta Gourmet (Salaverry 1820, tel. 074/20-1970, 9:30 a.m.–11 p.m. daily, US$8–20 without wine) is always closed. But if you ring the bell, a suited gentleman will lead you through the converted house, past white tablecloths and stately wine glasses, to a quiet patio.
Peruvian couple Bertha and Alberto Solís opened this restaurant in 1983 and, with the help of their son and chef Héctor Solís, have since expanded with locations in Trujillo, Lima, and Tacnais—but here is where it all started. Try the classic seco de cabrito (roast goat), which falls off the bone, along with delicacies such as tiradito de lenguado (flounder carpaccio) or cebiche de mero a la brasa (grilled grouper cebiche).
Casa Blanca Restaurante (Av. Grau 823, Urb. Santa Victoria, tel. 074/22-9395, casablanca.rest [at] hotmail [dot] com, 11:30 a.m.–5 p.m. Mon.–Sun., US$5–15) has a modern decor and great garden views. The food includes cebiches, shrimp rolls, grilled fish and seafood, stewed duck and goat. The mousse de maracuyá (passion fruit mousse) is amazing.
Páprika (Av. Balta 399, tel. 074/22-7272, 6 a.m.–midnight Mon.–Sun., US$15) is inside Costa de Sol Hotel. There is a classic peppersteak with baked potato filled with sour cream, ostrich paupiette with champagne sauce fettuccini, and the more Peruvian loche pumpkin mousse with tuna sauce. Highly recommended.
Restaurant El Huaralino (La Libertad 155, Urb. Santa Victoria, tel. 074/27-0330, noon–4 p.m. and 7–10:30 p.m. daily, US$10) used to be a four-fork restaurant. Now, while the food is still up to par, the restaurant’s lacy tablecloths and chair covers give it a dated feel. The restaurant’s famed dish is pato en ají a lo huaralino (slow-cooked duck in a three pepper sauce).
At Chez Maggy (Av. Balta 413, tel. 074/20-9453, 6:30 p.m.–midnight daily, US$4–8), you’ll have to first slip past the warm wood-fired oven before you can slide into your table and order up a large pizza and sangria. Delivery is also available.
Pizzeria Venecia (Av. Balta 365, tel. 074/23-3384, pizzavenecia [at] yahoo [dot] com, 6 p.m.–midnight daily, US$4–7) has a friendly staff and excellent variety of pizzas.
Next door to the Chinese-English language school is the best chifa in town: Chifa China (Bolognesi 773, tel. 074/20-4201, 12:30–3 p.m. and 6:30–11:30 p.m. daily, US$3–6). The menu covers the basics—wonton soup to chicken stir fry—and on Saturday nights and Sunday midday, it offers an extensive chifa, criollo, and parrilla buffet. The menu is eclectic and good.
The Mercado Modelo (Av. Balta 961) is a huge and friendly produce market. Modern supermarkets are increasingly common.
El Centro (Gonzáles 711, tel. 074/23-7710, 9 a.m.–11 p.m. daily), with its original location at Elías Aguirre and Gonzales, has a number of markets throughout town, and El Super is just down the street (Gonzáles 881, tel. 074/23-7710, 9 a.m.–10:30 p.m. daily).
El Cantaro (Dos de Mayo 180, tel. 074/28-2196, 8 a.m.–5 p.m. daily, US$6) in Lambayeque is your best bet for great and delicious regional cuisine with regional favorites such as pepián de pavo (turkey breast garnished with a ground peanut and corn sauce), pato arvejado (stewed duck with peas), or the unusual but tasty tortilla de raya (ray omelet). At lunch the restaurant often fills up with national and international tour groups.
A second option in Lambeyeque, just as good, is El Rincón del Pato (Av. Augusto B. Leguia 270, tel. 074/28-2751, 11 a.m.–5:30 p.m. daily, US$4–7). The restaurant serves duck in every imaginable way, as well as fish and other seafood.
© Ross Wehner and Renée del Gaudio from Moon Peru, 3rd Edition