Lima has become well-known for its food after being voted “World’s Leading Culinary Destination” for the past 8 years in a row by The World Travel Awards gala, and “Culinary Epicenter of South America” by The New York Times. With this much hype, it’s no wonder people from all over the world are flocking to try a taste of the culinary city. Ceviche is one of Lima’s most sought-after traditional dishes, by both locals and travelers. Being from Lima and a ceviche aficionado myself, I made it my mission to eat my way through the city to compile this guide to the best ceviche in Lima.
The Best Ceviche In Lima
This place is like a huge hole-in-the-wall spot. It’s located in the bohemian neighborhood of Barranco and its decor fits right in. Canta Rana is always packed during lunch time, where you can spot tons of locals eating ceviche de pescado, arroz con mariscos, and chicharron de calamar, accompanied by an ice-cold Cuzqueña. Canta Rana is my go-to cevicheria whenever I visit Lima. The service is always friendly, and you will leave with a huge smile on your face, perfect to match your huge belly. My ceviche partner, Kristy, and I usually get apaltado de pescado (ceviche with avocado 🤤) or regular ceviche de pescado, yucas fritas con salsa a la huancaina, arroz con mariscos, and chicharrón mixto (fish and calamar). You won’t regret trying this place, and be prepared to either nap or walk loads after!
Canta Ranita, as you can probably tell by the name, is Canta Rana’s little sister. This cevicheria is a bit more humble than its older sibling, and is located inside a mercado (market). Its location makes for a laid-back ambiance, and the space is packed with locals, expats, and tourists. I love coming to Canta Ranita when I want a more laid-back experience, and it’s usually a go-to spot for Hangover Sundays. There’s nothing like a leche de tigre to cure a debilitating resaca! The menu at Canta Ranita is a bit more limited than Canta Rana, but its price is also friendlier. The ceviche here is more flavorful (this has been the consensus with several of my friends), although it may also be because it’s a resaca spot. Regardless, Canta Ranita never disappoints.
Punto Azul has been my family’s go-to ceviche spot ever since I can remember. Up until I tried the Canta Rana family, Punto Azul was THE ceviche spot for me. The ceviche here is pretty damn amazing, and it’s popular with more locals than just my family. Their menu is quite varied, really inexpensive, and serves big portions. Trust me, when a Peruvian says they serve big portions, we mean BIG portions. Like, 3 people can eat out of one plate, big. I love getting the conchitas a la parmesana, the traditional ceviche de pescado, and arroz con mariscos. Come hungry!
PRO TIP: Mix the juice from the ceviche (called leche de tigre) with the arroz con mariscos for a mind-blowing culinary experience. I NEVER eat arroz con mariscos without leche de tigre – it just doesn’t feel right to me.
Neighborhood: Punta Hermosa
Oh El Gringo, the times we’ve shared. This cevicheria is not exactly in Lima, but 30 minutes south in the beach area of Punta Hermosa. Punta Hermosa is THE place to be when summertime hits, and you will find all of Lima flocking here on the weekends. If you’re lucky enough to rent a beach house (highly recommend) for the summer season, please stop by El Gringo (located in Playa Caballeros), and just get the ceviche de pescado. It is the best ceviche de pescado I have tried anywhere! Just be warned that the portions are ridiculously big. The first time I went, I ordered one ceviche for myself, and the thing was easily the size for 3-4 people (depending on country of origin). I was in a ceviche coma after that, and slept for about 4 hours on the sand, getting a sexy sunburn as my reward. Please try the ceviche, but handle with care.
I haven’t tried this place directly, but it’s actually owned by a family friend and my dad was raving about it, so I thought it would be worth adding to the list. Afterall, he is the OG Peruvian foodie. Apparently, this restaurant is a bit newer than, say, Punto Azul, yet has shaken up Lima’s ceviche culture. The menu here offers a good variety of traditional dishes, at reasonable prices, and has high reviews. If you try it, please message me as I would love to know what you thought of it!!