Cafés, Bakeries, and Ice Cream
Try Café Amaretto (Gamarra 368, tel. 044/22-1451, US$2–6) for delicious salads, sandwiches, and fruit drinks. The tuna salad is superb with grilled potatoes, tuna, olives, and fresh tomatoes. Stop back in the evening for a cappuccino and homemade lúcuma cake.
Owned by Trujillo-born artist and painter Gerardo Chávez, Café Bar del Museo del Juguete (Independencia 701 on the corner with Junín, tel. 044/29-7200, 9 a.m.–11 p.m. daily) is Trujillo’s classiest café. The ambience has a touch of old-world Paris with an antique cash register, wood bar, and a piano in the back room. The walls are covered with photographs of Peruvian intellectuals and artists. Some specialties include mistela, the house drink, a sánguche de pavo (turkey sandwich), and delicious tamales. Part of the proceeds go to the Museo del Juguete, right above the café.
To try traditional breakfasts with tamales or humitas de queso stop by Salon de Té Santo Domingo (Pizarro 268, tel. 044/31-8766, 7:30 a.m.–1 p.m. and 4:30–9:30 p.m. daily, US$2–4).
The seventh block of Pizarro Street has three café-restaurants with great local food and better coffee: Asturias (Pizarro 739, tel. 044/25-8100, 8 a.m.–midnight daily, US$3–9) is a Trujillo classic. There are US$3 lunch menus and an à la carte menu with meat and fish dishes, pastas (including vegetarian options), and salads, as well as sandwiches, fruit juices, and desserts.
El Oviedo (Pizarro 737, tel. 044/23-3305, 8 a.m.–midnight daily, US$3–9) has deliciously spiced lomo saltado and café foods.
El Romano (Pizarro 747, tel. 044/25-2251, 8 a.m.–midnight daily, US$3–8), established more than 50 years ago, has a well-earned reputation of having the best espresso and cappuccino in town. Sandwiches, salads, Peruvian dishes, and desserts are all good here.
Open only during lunch hours, Restaurant Romano Rincón Criollo (Estados Unidos 162, Urbanización El Recreo, tel. 044/24-4207, 11:30 a.m.–5 p.m., US$5–12) is a great place to enjoy regional food, whether it is cebiche, fried fish, stewed duck, or other delicious plates.
A good spot for fish and seafood is Squalo’s (Calle Cienfuegos 250, Urbanización La Merced, tel. 044/29-5134, 11:30 a.m.–5 p.m. daily, US$3–12), a mid-priced restaurant with pretty good food. There are chicken, beef, and duck dishes too.
El Mochica (Bolívar 462, tel. 044/29-3441, www.elmochica.com.pe, 9 a.m.–11 p.m. daily, US$4–12) is, according to iconic Peruvian chef Gastón Acurio, “an ideal place to find the aromas and tastes of grandmother’s cooking.” It’s open for breakfast, lunch, and even dinner; some highlights are sopa shambar, a tasty, thick soup of wheat, vegetables, and pork, served only on Mondays, or tallarines con pichón, spicy spaghetti served with stewed baby pigeons—a delicacy hardly found elsewhere. Situated two blocks away from the Plaza de Armas, this is the eatery to explore the spicy and intense flavors of Trujillo’s regional food, whether it is fish or seafood, stewed goat or duck. After a meal in this place, it can finally be understood why Peruvians insist on the saying barriga llena, corazón contento, “a full stomach makes a happy heart.”
A very good pizza place in Trujillo is Pizzería Pizza Roma (Estete 443, tel. 044/58-1017, 6–11 p.m. daily, US$5–10). The chef is Italian and the pizzas are excellent.
Pizzanino (Juan Pablo II 183, tel. 044/26-3105, 6 p.m.–midnight daily, US$5–12) is also a good option for pizzas with a more local flavor.
Chifa Ah Chau (Gamarra 769, tel. 044/24-3351, noon–4 p.m. and 6–11 p.m. daily, US$3–10) might not be the fanciest restaurant in Trujillo, but it definitely has the best Chinese food in the city. A plain doorway will lead you to a long corridor with curtained eating booths. The portions are generous and the food is tasty.
On the western side of town, Chifa Brillante (Junín 269, tel. 044/20-2041, noon–4 p.m. and 6–11 p.m. daily, US$4–6) serves up wonton soup and chicken stir-fry in a spacious dining room decorated with fish tanks.
Restaurant Vegetariano El Sol (Pizarro 660, tel. 044/58-3521, 8 a.m.–11 p.m. daily) doesn’t offer much in the way of atmosphere, but the vegetarian plates here are yummy and reasonably priced.
Fiesta (Av. Larco 954, Vista Alegre, tel. 044/42-1572, www.restaurantfiestagourmet.com, noon–11 p.m. Mon.–Fri., 8 a.m.–6 p.m. Sun. and holidays, US$10–25, without wine) is one of the best restaurants in northern Peru. Héctor Solís, chef and founder of this gourmet temple, inaugurated his first restaurant in Chiclayo. In 2008, he opened in Trujillo to immediate success. Specialties include tiradito de mero en salsa de ají mochero (grouper carpaccio garnished with mochero chili sauce), pechuga de pato al grill con cama de puré de loche (grilled duck breast served over a purée of loche pumpkin), or canilla de cabrito asada con pasta fresco (roasted goat shank with fresh pasta), among 50 other dishes. If you want to indulge yourself, this is the place to go.
Las BóVedas (Independencia 485, Plaza de Armas, tel. 044/23-2741, www.libertador.com.pe, 6–10:30 a.m., noon–3 p.m., and 7–11 p.m. Mon.–Sat., US$10–30, without wine) is the refined gourmet restaurant of the Libertador Trujillo Hotel. You can order anything from a mushroom and shrimp risotto with grilled loin to a delicious grouper ceviche. There is a good selection of Chilean, Argentine, and Spanish wines to accompany your lunch or dinner.
There’s a good but small fruit market at España 584, El Mercado Central is at Ayacucho and San Augustín, and the modern Merpisa supermarket is at Pizarro and Junín.
© Ross Wehner and Renée del Gaudio from Moon Peru, 3rd Edition