Chief reason to visit: To mix with Lima’s buzzing foodie crowd and sample chef Juan López’s creative repertoire of ceviches that include octopus, sea urchin, shrimp and grouper – along with a pisco sour or two – at this popular concept conceived by the legendary Gastón Acurio.
What’s the vibe? This is a no-reservations joint – and hugely popular – so expect to queue. Known for its pisco-led cocktails as well as its seafood, La Mar is relaxed limeño dining at its best.
On the menu: La Mar aims to bring diners closer to the sea, or, in Spanish, la mar. Paying homage to some of the key dishes in Peruvian cuisine – including the classic ceviche, a must-eat here – it also incorporates the chef’s own heritage and expertise in delicious new creations. El Festival de La Mar is a feast dish featuring fresh lobster, juicy prawns, sea urchin, crab and many other shellfish served with a selection of homemade sauces. The restaurant’s artisanal empanadas – pastry pockets filled with seafood and fried until crunchy – are among the best recent additions to the menu, along with the canchanga, a wheat bread topped with prawns and generous servings of cheese and cooked in a wood-fired oven.
What else: La Mar takes its social responsibility seriously by promoting sustainable seafood sourcing. It only uses fresh fish of the day in order to alleviate over-exploited species.