In keeping with Lima traditions, Rafael Osterling’s laid-back ceviche restaurant only opens for lunch – and serves plentiful pisco sours at the bar. El Mercado plates playful iterations of traditional Peruvian coastal classics, using seafood sourced from Pacific fishermen. Signature dishes – alongside the ample ceviche mercado offerings – include the roast shrimp burger doused in tongue-tingling sriracha mayo and the unique ceviche pejerrey: delicate fillets of silverside fish in a vibrant yellow lime and aji amarilio marinade.
Housed in an airy indoor courtyard on the city’s waterfront, the restaurant opened in 2010 and is one of four from Osterling – other establishments include the notable Rafael, a Latin America’s 50 Best regular. A trained lawyer, who once considered a career in diplomacy, the Peruvian chef worked in London and Paris before returning to home.