Given the dry, hot climate of Piura, many budget restaurants close during siesta (1–4 p.m.), and others open only in the afternoons.
Cafés, Bakeries, and Ice Cream
For a quiet dessert stop, slip into the cozy, green-walled D’Pauli (Lima 541, 9 a.m.–2 p.m. and 4–10 p.m. Mon.–Sat., 4–10 p.m. Sun., US$4). This tiny café in a colonial building serves good coffee and tempting treats such as crocante de lúcuma and apple or pecan pie.
El Cappuccino (1014 Libertad, tel. 073/30-1111, 10 a.m.–2 p.m. and 5–11:30 p.m. Mon.–Sat., US$4–10), with its enclosed patio, has a simultaneously classic and modern feel. Start with a pisco sour, but follow it up with a Thai chicken salad or spinach ravioli.
The local favorite for burgers and shakes is El Chalán (Tacna 520, on Plaza de Armas, tel. 073/30-6483, 7 a.m.–11 p.m. daily). The restaurant’s generous sundaes and megaburgers have garnered enough acclaim to merit several branch restaurants in the surrounding blocks.
Picantería La Santitos (Libertad 1001, tel. 073/30-9475, 10:30 a.m.–6 p.m. daily, US$3–7) is extraordinary. Start with an algarrobina (a creamy cocktail made from pisco and algarrobo syrup or carob tree) and a powerful cebiche de conchas negras (black scallop cebiche).
Río Grande (Malecón Eguiguren 680, tel. 073/30-3886, 10 a.m.–11 p.m. daily, US$7–18) is a good option for fish and seafood. Recommended cebiches include de lenguado (flounder) and the popular mixto (fish, octopus, squid, and scallops).
Don Parce (Tacna 642, tel. 073/30-0842, 8 a.m.–10 p.m. daily) is one block away from the Plaza de Armas and offers breakfasts and lunch in a relaxed atmosphere with WiFi.
Casa de Tejas (Av. Circunvalación Mz. G–2, Lote 4, Urb. Los Ficus, tel. 073/35-2654, noon–11 p.m. Sun.–Thurs., noon–midnight Fri.–Sat., US$7–15) is one of Piura’s most reputable restaurants. The menu has an incredible variety of food—ceviches, deep-fried dishes, fish, soups, rices, regional dishes, and more—in abundant portions and good prices. They also set up a station in the food court of the Plaza del Sol.
The best chifa is Chifa Kin Tou (Callao 828, tel. 073/30-5988, Mon.–Sat.) with cheap combinados (combined portions of fried rice, noodles, soup or chicken) for US$4.
There are a couple of health food options near the intersection of Lima and Sánchez Cerro. Grab granola and all-natural yogurt takeout from Santa Natura (Lima 399, tel. 073/30-8103, 9:30 a.m.–2 p.m. and 4:30–9 p.m. daily), which also stocks vitamins and all-natural beauty products.
Ganimedes (Lima 440, 7 a.m.–10 p.m. Mon.–Sat., 11 a.m.–10 p.m. Sun., US$3) offers a daily US$3 menu, a handful of soy-based starters, fresh juices, yogurt-and-fruit shakes (try lúcuma-strawberry), fruit salads, and vegetarian sandwiches. In the afternoons, baskets of fresh-baked, organic breads fill the café’s countertops.
Shop for specialties such as chocolate, nuts, wines, and liquors at Cabo Blanco (Sánchez 293). The big supermarkets in town are Multiplaza (Óvalo Grau, 10 a.m.–10 p.m. daily), Don Vitto (Arequipa 640, 8 a.m.–11 p.m. daily), and Cossto (Sánchez 525, 8:30 a.m.–10:30 p.m. daily).
© Ross Wehner and Renée del Gaudio from Moon Peru, 3rd Edition