barranco lima

Tuck into the menu at Isolina Taberna Peruana, where the bar is a local favorite. (Photo: Eric Mohl)


Where to Eat and Drink in Lima’s Artsy Barranco Neighborhood

The Barranco neighborhood of Lima, Peru has a lot to offer, including dramatic clifftop views of the Pacific, an artsy atmosphere, a wide range of street art, and a growing number of great places to eat and drink.

Here’s where to fuel your exploration of the hippest area of Lima.

Isolina Taberna Peruana

For years, Isolina Taberna Peruana drew crowds in Barranco with finessed versions of beloved traditional dishes like Grandma used to make.

This is the place to try adventurous dishes like cau cau con sangrecita (a Peruvian tripe stew), sweetbread stew, and pigs’ feet. Or stick with more mainstream favorites like lomo saltado (Peruvian beef stir fry) and sancocho (a meat-veggie-tuber stew). All dishes are meant to be shared around the table family style in the homey converted two-story house with wood furniture and country chic plates and cutlery.

In 2017, Isolina debuted on the list of Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants, and lines have just gotten longer since then. Make a reservation, especially on weekends.


barranco lima
Arrive early for a seat at Mérito. (Photo: Eric Mohl)

The most exciting recent entry to Barranco’s restaurant scene is Mérito, which is helmed by two young chefs from Venezuela who both honed their skills in the kitchen of nearby Central, a perennially popular restaurant of worldwide acclaim.

Reservations are not accepted at Mérito, which occupies a small two-story space that used to be a bar, but try to get one of the stools at the counter in front of the tiny kitchen on the first floor so you can watch the action. Additional table seating is available upstairs.

Wherever you sit, you’re in for a treat with dishes like ceviche made with tomato de árbol instead of citrus, tender grilled octopus on a bed of mashed oca (a Peruvian tuber) with a dash of ginger, and boiled choclo (corn) cut off the cob (so sections can be eaten easily with your hands) before being reassembled inside the husk, grilled, and served with a sauce of ají amarillo (a local yellow pepper) and queso llanero (farmer’s cheese).

BarBarian Bar

Craft beer is booming in Peru and Barbarian Beer is at the forefront, producing a wide-range of acclaimed beers and operating two brew pubs in Lima. Walk into the BarBarian Bar in Barranco and you’re transported into a classic brewpub: booths and tables, fantastic music, bar food favorites (burgers, wings, salads), and great beer.

In addition to about a dozen Barbarian beers on tap, the pub also offers craft beers from a few other Peruvian microbreweries, so this is the right place to get your bearings in Peru’s beer scene.

Central, Mayo Bar, and Kjolle

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Hard to believe that Central could have upped its game, but with the addition of Mayo Bar and Kjolle, it definitely has. (Photo: Eric Mohl)

Peruvian chefs Virgilio Martínez and Pia León made a name for themselves with their Central restaurant, which opened in a small space in the Miraflores area of the city.

In 2018 they moved Central into a new, airy, and spacious custom-built space in Barranco, and added the chic and loungey Mayo Bar and Kjolle, Pia’s first restaurant of her own. The space quickly became a magnet for those looking for some of the most inventive Peruvian food and drink.


The best value set menu lunch in Barranco is found at Arlotia, where Basque-influenced food is made with love and served in a sun-filled dining room with mismatched chairs and a homey vibe.

The lunch menu changes daily and includes your choice from two entrée options (vegetable soup or potato salad with asparagus, for example) and two main course choices (pork leg or fish fillet, for example). An a la carte menu and tapas plates are also available. It’s consistently great food at a great price.