A good place for breakfast, hamburgers, or a light lunch is La Casa Nostra (León Velarde 515, tel. 082/57-3833, 7 a.m.–1 p.m. and 5–11 p.m. Mon.–Sat., US$4), a small café with good service and good coffee.
The best food in town is at Burgos’s Restaurant (corner of Billinghurst and Puno, tel. 082/57-3653, 7 a.m.–10 p.m. daily, US$4), which offers large portions of local cuisine made in its open kitchen. The dining room at Brombu’s Lodge (Carretera Maldonado Km 4.5, tel. 082/57-3230, 7 a.m.–10 p.m. daily, US$4) looks over the river in a forest that is a surprisingly good place for bird-watching. The wide-ranging menu includes local dishes like patarashka de pollo, and the chicken brochettes with Brazil nut sauce are scrumptious. Other hotels like Wasaí, Don Carlos, and Cabaña Quinta also have good restaurants.
Another good option, and a local favorite, is El Califa (Piura 266, tel. 082/57-1119, 10 a.m.–10 p.m. daily), which serves local jungle cuisine and good Peruvian menus.
Also for typical jungle food, try the no-frills El Majas (Tambopata with Dos de Mayo, 6–11 p.m. daily, US$2), where meats are barbecued in front of you. El Paladar (Gonzáles Prada, block 6) caters mostly to tourists, but its food is clean, reliable, and varied.
The best bet for pizza is Hornito (Daniel Carrión 271, Plaza de Armas, tel. 082/57-2082, 6 p.m.–midnight), with good music and a cozy, publike interior.
The best spit-roasted chicken is at La Estrella (León Velarde 474, tel. 082/57-3107, 5–10 p.m. daily, US$3 for half a chicken and fries).
© Ross Wehner and Renée del Gaudio from Moon Peru, 3rd Edition