With Atlanta’s diverse Latin American food scene, restaurants here often serve a number of Peruvian dishes, alongside foods from other nearby countries like Brazil, Colombia, and Venezuela. However, few Atlanta restaurants center on offering just Peruvian cuisine.
Located on the western coast of South America on the Pacific Ocean, Peru is home to resort towns and historic cities nestled within rocky coastlines and sandy dunes to areas stretching into the Amazon rainforest and mountainous regions of the Andes containing ancient Incan ruins. The country’s vast and varied topography and its rich history are reflected in both Peruvian culture and in its cuisine. Peruvian fare is a melting pot of foods, blending the country’s deep Inca roots with dishes, spices, and ingredients from populations who long ago immigrated to Peru from the African continent, France, Spain, and even Japan. Corn, potatoes, beans, rice, and quinoa form the foundations of Peruvian cooking, with fish, beef, pork, and chicken helping to create a medley of chilled and hot dishes.
From spicy, lime-marinated ceviches and potato terrines (causa) layered with avocado, chilis, and shrimp to chaufa (Peruvian fried rice), lomo saltado (sirloin stir-fried with fries, tomatoes, and onions,) and rotisserie chicken cooked over hardwoods, consider trying these five Peruvian restaurants around Atlanta.
Tio Lucho’s — Poncey-Highland
After running Peruvian pop-up La Chingana for over a year, chef Arnaldo Castillo opened his first restaurant in Poncey-Highland with Atlanta restaurateur Howard Hsu of neighboring Sweet Auburn BBQ in 2022. Tio Lucho’s is an ode to Castillo’s father, who was known for his ceviches. The restaurant even bears his father’s nickname (Tio Lucho or “Uncle Luis”), given to him while working in Peruvian restaurants throughout Atlanta over the years. Dishes at Tio Lucho’s blend Peruvian techniques and recipes with Southern ingredients, like tiradito (similar to sashimi), lomo saltado, and a few favorites from the La Chingana pop-up menu. But ceviches and whole fish preparations take center stage at this restaurant, as do other coastal Peruvian seafood dishes and cocktails.
Las Brasas — Decatur
People will find a number of traditional dishes on the menu at this Decatur staple, but it’s the Peruvian-style rotisserie chicken at Las Brasas for which the restaurant is best known. Chickens are cooked over hardwood and seasoned with huacatay, a minty herb reminiscent of tarragon and basil with hints of citrus. Birds come served in half and whole portions with piles of the restaurant’s pisco fries. Las Brasas also offers Peruvian ceviches, shrimp causa, Peruvian stir-fry dishes, like lomo saltado tossed with pisco fries, and chaufas, including fried rice mixed with Spanish octopus, calamari, shrimp and flounder. Make sure to try the lamb empanadas filled with spiced ground lamb meat, herbs, and chimichurri.
Machu Picchu Restaurant — Brookhaven
One of Atlanta’s original Peruvian restaurants, Machu Picchu on Buford Highway gave folks a scare a few years back when it closed at Northeast Plaza. Now located one mile south at the Sun Tan Plaza in Brookhaven, the restaurant is once again serving Peruvian ceviches, hearty plates of lomo saltado, and other traditional dishes, including tallarines a la huancaina con bistec (linguine and grilled steak tossed in huancaina sauce), arroz con pollo, and carapulcra (Peruvian pork and potato stew). Order mazamorra morada for dessert, a pudding made from Peruvian purple corn and a combination of pureed fruits, like apples, pineapples, and cherries. It’s served warm.
Pisco Latin Kitchen — Sandy Springs
Owned by Joseph Rosales (Mambo’s Cafe), Pisco Latin Kitchen offers Peruvian, Cuban, and a few Nikkei dishes on its menu, the latter blending Peruvian ingredients and dishes like ceviche with Japanese cooking and sushi preparation techniques. “Nikkei” refers to the descendants of Japanese immigrants throughout the world, some of whom arrived in Peru in the early 20th century. The two culinary cultures eventually merged together to create this distinct offshoot of Peruvian food. Expect a variety of ceviches, hearty seafood paellas, and Chinese-Peruvian wok dishes like chaufa and lo mein tossed with vegetables, along with tender churrasco steak, jalea mixta (fried seafood), and fettuccine verde with Peruvian pesto sauce. Pair with a traditional pisco sour or the restaurant’s take on the Hemingway daiquiri.
Sabor Inka — Lawrenceville
Located in the Safeway Plaza on Pleasant Hill Road, Sabor Inka has become a gathering spot for metro Atlanta’s Peruvian community who come here to eat family-style meals, drink, and take in a soccer match or two throughout the week. A family-owned and operated restaurant, Sabor Inka specializes in dishes found in the northern Peruvian port city of Chimbote and the surrounding region, coupled with generations-old family recipes. The menu includes plenty of traditional Peruvian dishes, but it’s the seafood dishes that play a starring role at this restaurant. Try the ceviche de pescado (white fish marinated in lime juice with red onions and cilantro,) the sudado de pescado (sea bass fillet cooked in tomato sauce,) or the hearty seafood soup parihuela, similar in style, but not in flavor, to French bouillabaisse. Order leche asada for dessert (baked milk custard).