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Peruvian

If you’ve never tried Peruvian food, don’t wait, go try it now. Fresh seafood, grilled meats, Chinese-influenced rice dishes, complex sauces and seemingly endless potato varieties, Peruvian is one of the world’s most distinctive, and delicious cuisines.

Map of PeruThe food press points to Peruvian cuisine as the next “big thing,” but New Jerseyans who know where find it, have been enjoying authentic Peruvian dishes for years close to home. New Jersey is fortunate to have both first-generation Peruvian neighborhoods (Paterson, Passaic, West Orange, Kearny) with no-frills restaurants serving cheap and delicious Peruvian food, and more upscale Peruvian spots spreading out into adjacent areas (Montclair, Rutherford), introducing Peruvian cuisine to new demographics.

For typical Peruvian dishes, try cebiche or tiradito (citrus-marinated fish) served with sweet potato chunks and large kernel Peruvian corn; papas a la huancaina (potatoes in a creamy cheese sauce spiced with aji amarillo, a yellow Peruvian pepper); and anticuchos (tasty marinated organ meats like beef hearts and chicken livers, grilled on skewers). Tacu tacu is the Peruvian version of rice and beans. Marinated rotisserie chicken is common. Take it to the next level with a causa (cold mashed potatoes with aji amarillo, avocado and tuna) or a plate of Aji de Gallina (chicken in yellow pepper sauce). Some of our favorite Peruvian menu items are Peruvian-Chinese Chifa dishes, specialties like arroz chaufa (Peruvian fried rice) and Lomo Saltado (stir fried beef).

Wash it down with some chicha morada (a non-alcoholic drink of purple corn and spices), Inka Cola (sort of the Peruvian Mountain Dew), or something stronger like a Peruvian national beer – Cuzqueña is my favorite – or Pisco Sour, the national cocktail made with grape brandy (pisco), frothy egg whites and a spot of bitters.

Don’t see your favorite Peruvian? Share yours. I’ll add the most popular to the list, and to the map.

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13 Responses to “Peruvian”

  1. Mónica says:

    Great tips . I’ve been to a few of these places , such as Costañera and I agrees they nail the Peruvian cuisine , my favorite is their ceviche . Also if you’re close to the Passaic/ Paterson area one of my favorites for years because it’s been around for a while is El Gordo . They have 2 locations in Passaic , my family and I have been loyal to their rotisserie chicken for many years , always juicy and their food , especially Seco Combindado is delicious ! They’re a very small mom and pop , nothing fancy but def worth the visit .

  2. David says:

    I stop to eat in “El Costeno restaurant” located at Monclair, the restaurants is very nice, the food is so good (just the portions are small) the price of the menu is fair, a nice place to surprice your girlfriend or your family, I wonder if any peruvian restaurant will open a new location in South Street at Morristown this street is very nice with tons of restaurants, but I believe that a Peruvian restaurant will be a hard competition for those restaurants there, don’t be afraid owners, invest in other locations, don’t follow the experience of old peruvian restaurants in paterson that some of them has more that 20 years in the same location like tia delia, or estrellita del sur, etc. open your view to other towns like Madison, Morristown, etc. etc. is time that Peruvian food welcomes other American communities. “Lena y Carbon” has also very good Peruvian food in Paterson, Thanks.

  3. Sandra F. says:

    Oh Calamares! In Kearny has great ceviche & awesome loom saltado!
    The presentation is beautiful, and the taste is delicious & authentic.
    Try their Pisco Sour too
    Costanera in Montclair is the best upscale Peruvian in NJ.
    The sirloin they use in their lomo saltado is a top grade juicy steak.
    I never eat dessert, but I had to try their version of “suspiro limeño”.
    This is dulce de leche, chocolate mousse, and fruit cup all-in-one!
    Peruvian cuisine is all over Food Network.
    It is truly the “next big thing”!

    • Anthony says:

      I agree. And New Jersey has got some of the best Peruvian spots around. I believe the chef/owner of Costanera is the son of the owners of Oh Calamares!

  4. Huguitos 19 white st, west orange,nj says:

    Excellent Seafood dishes, Jalea, Parihuelas,etc….

  5. You were right! Sabor Peru in Rutherford is the best Peruvian restaurant I’ve tried so far in New Jersey, I have been there twice, by myself and with the family and both were great experiences. I’ll be there again this weekend to celebrate my birthday, they already promised me the “Tres Leches Cake” on them for my bday. Saludos!!!

  6. Pedro says:

    @ griseldas the best dishes to try are: Jalea de mariscos, Arroz con Pollo, Papas a la Huancaina y Arroz con Mariscos.

  7. James says:

    Don’t forget to check out Larcomar Restaurant in Elizabeth.. best kept secret in this town!

    • Anthony says:

      We usually don’t put a restaurant on the map just because the owner posts a comment, but this place looks interesting, and I’ve been to the namesake mall in Lima overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Any independent reviews?

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