Cusco is considered the second gastronomy capital in Peru after Lima. It has one of the richest cuisines in the Peruvian Andes. Here Perubybus brings you a guide with the best typical dishes of Cusco for you to try out!

The best typical dishes of Cusco

The Peruvian cuisine, recognized for its variety, continues conquering many international awards and Cusco food is no exception. Cusqueñan cuisine stands out for its diet of local protein-rich ingredients such as corn, quinoa, and potatoes. Cusco typical dishes are also famous for the huge variety of chilies and different types of meat (alpaca, guinea pig, pork, among others). We can’t forget the seasoning: responsible for putting that special flavor to every Cusco’s dish. We delve deeper into Cusco food specialties and the dishes that are not to be missed on your trip to the area.

Feeling hungry? Let’s go!

Chiriuchu

chiriuchu
Photo: @https://rpp.pe

This is the medley of Cusco food specialties. Chiriuchu is a cold meal, literally meaning cold chili in Quechua. Be ready to taste a recipe that consists of small pieces of roasted cuy (guinea pig), boiled chicken, jerky or chalona (a salted, dried meat).The fish eggs, cheese, roasted white corn, qochayuyo (dried seaweed), and rocoto pepper also make part of this dish. It is a delicious stew, consumed at the Corpus Christi festivities in June. This food is a mix between the coast, highland, and jungle gastronomy, having its origins in the time of the Incas.

If you are a fan of combo meals and want to try several ingredients at the same time, Chiriuchu might be for you!

Chairo

Chairo Cusco Peru
Photo: @ https://delperu.info

A delicious comfy soup, traditional from Cusco. Chairo is a name of Quechua and Aymara origins meaning a type of food. It is a hearty soup which origins have deep roots in the history of Peruvian farmers who walked long hours to get to their workplaces. They needed a meal that would not spoil. For that reason, they used ingredients that would make it easy to prepare and would endure. The list of ingredients? Potatoes (the main ingredient) lamb or dried beef, sweet potato, peas, carrots, broad beans, spearmint, oregano, parsley, cumin, and salt.

These local ingredients form a delicious and very thick soup, perfect for the coldest days.

Roasted Cuy (Guinea Pig)

Roasted cuy is one of the most emblematic and symbolic dishes of the Cusco region, being prepared for special occasions. The cuy meat marinated in a mixture of black mint, garlic, cumin, and salt, for 24 to 48 hours. The meat is then baked on a low heat oven in the end.

Cuy Asado Typical dishes of Cusco
Photo: @ https://www.mediomilon.com

Roasted cuy is a meal that can be served with potatoes, salad, rice and fried cassava.

Corn and Cheese

Choclo con Queso Typical Dishes of Cusco
Photo: @ http://www.restaurantcasahuerta.com

The easiest and fastest dish to prepare in Cusco. The best corn is located in the Sacred Valley. Corn and Cheese is served as a starter and it has a significant historical value in the Peruvian cuisine. The dish consists of boiled sweet corn served with pieces of fresh local cheese. Delicious! Vendors serve the hot corn up in its husks, (pancas).

Kapchi de Habas o Zetas

Kapchi de Habas
Photo: @ https://www.elpopular.pe

Habas mean beans, zetas mushrooms. The kaptchi of beans is a dish that combines the beans flavor with the huacatay soft aroma and the texture and creaminess of cheese and milk. Another variation is the kapchi of mushrooms. These stew ingredients are mushrooms, green broad beans, potatoes, and milk. All served with rice. The mushroom is an Inca ingredient which continues to conquer the most exquisite palates in the world.

Kapchi is consumed in the winter time to replenish the body in the cold of the mountains. It is a nutritious meal and considered a good option for vegetarians.

Adobo Cusqueño

Adobo Cusqueño Typical Dishes of Cusco
Photo: @ Peru.com

The favorite wake up breakfast of Cusco locals.  Adobo recipe consists of a red and spicy stew decorated by a colorful rocoto. The preparation includes pork, rocoto, chicha de jora, a lot of onion, ají panca (spicy), and bread from Oropesa. Adobo is a purely Cusco colonial origin meal, an unmissable delicacy.

Olluquito

Olluquito Typical dishes of Cusco
Photo: @ https://recetasdecomidaperuana.org/

One of the fundamental dishes of the Peruvian cuisine. It has two exclusively Peruvian ingredients: olluco, a type of potato that grows in the Andes and charqui, dry llama or alpaca meat. The ingredients are sauteed obtaining a delicious plate served with rice and freshly chopped parsley. The charqui can be replaced by chicken or meat. Some modern versions also include potato chips.


As you may notice, the taste of Cusco’s cuisine has typical Andean ingredients and flavor. Quinoa, corn, olluco and potatoes are the most used ones. Most of these dishes are popular during some particular seasons or  agricultural events which play an important role in Peruvian highlands life.