After shopping, why not treat yourself and satisfy your cravings with a new meal prepared by the flavor specialists? If you are in the Magdalena district, Tierras Vivas recommends these key food spots that can be explored on foot.
Whether summer or winter, Magdalena del Mar does not lose its small-town charm close to the sea. Here “you watch the sunset, you contemplate the full Moon, with the illusion of love, you try your luck,” as Raúl Pereira from El Polen wrote in that unforgettable ‘Andean tango’ dedicated to this magical district. (Listen to it here while reading this Provecho chronicle).
As it is one of the oldest districts of Lima, its streets still keep the old shadows of the hamlets and you can breathe the same sea air that the Ichmas, the first Magdalenians, breathed from the top of the Huaca Huantille. And the marine culture of the residents of Magdalena is quite rich, an example is the large number of cevicherías such as Los Esteros de Tumbes or La Choza Náutica that, despite the pandemic, are still standing, like many other hard-hit locations. for this crisis.
Another proof is the variety of species and seafood offered by its traditional market, which even residents from nearby districts come to. An infinite number of species, including corvinas, cojinovas, bonito, cashews, soles and thousands of crustaceans, occupy a privileged space in the market, entering from the entrance of Jr. José Gálvez. But if walking among fish, onions, lemons and sweet potatoes provokes a good ceviche, you should not leave without visiting Don Roberto’s place at position 790 inside the market.
Mr. Roberto has the ability to serve the sea on your plate for 20 soles. Instantly, he prepares an unforgettable cojinova ceviche, his specialty, and the best: his black shell ceviche, all on the spot. Roberto’s bar is closed due to the demanding market protocols, but he has a position in front to sit and eat with due distance. You have to go with time and patience because he does not offer take-out or delivery service, so if it fills up, all you have to do is wait. You won’t regret it! In addition, the prices are affordable: fish ceviche at S/20, black shells at S/15 soles, the classic at S/32 soles and the inevitable frozen soda at S/2.50.
On the way out, towards Plaza Túpac Amaru, looking at the corner of Jr. Bolognesi and Jr. Castilla, impossible to miss a good juice prepared at the speed of light at La frescura de mi juguito (stand 850).
That little corner of the market was always dominated by the genealogy of the Velásquez, a family that has been a juicer by tradition since 1970. It has another stand next door where you can sit and drink a juice or eat a sandwich with due distance. An orange juice, extracts, assortment or their famous and strong special juice, are not to be missed.
Very close, in position 858, are the imposing causes of El Caserito that have been visible to diners for 25 years. To take away or by delivery, at this stand you will find a cause with plenty of chicken, stuffed potatoes and the tremendous stuffed avocados that can satisfy you like a lunch would.
As it cannot be missing on any gastronomic tour, the food of our jungle stands out in the Magdalena Market and is one of the most coveted. At El Antojito de la Selva (869) you will easily find tacacho, juanes, inchicapi, palometa, boquichico, skewers, humitas, juane de yuca, as well as products such as cecina, chorizo and more varieties from Iquitos, Pucallpa and Tarapoto.
Of course, without cocona or camu-camu soda the experience will be incomplete. If you find it difficult to go to the store, but you can’t take it anymore with the craving for a river fish or jerky, you can place your order via Rappi.
If you have finished shopping in the market and you have time (and space in your stomach) to try more and more delicacies, then pay attention that the tour is not over. Stop for a few minutes at booth 255-256 of El Maximo Pleasure, one of the best coffee places you will find in the market. There are more than 45 types of grains ground and prepared instantly. Now you will leave happy, with a warm heart to continue your journey under the Lima garúa.
In block 4 of Jr. José Gálvez you will find the best chicken and meat empanadas, as well as an unbeatable dreamy chard pie at Las delicias de Don Ambrosio, a place that is more than 50 years old.
Although the bar is no longer there to sit and eat an empanada wrapped in paper with lemon drops and passion fruit or chicha juice, you can choose to order it to go. A few steps away are the benches to sit outdoors and continue the ritual of eating the good empanadas from Don Ambrosio on Boulevard José Gálvez 407.
The afternoon arrives and a salchipapa at the Epicenter is mandatory. Due to its success, the Epicentro now has two locations, on José Gálvez Boulevard and Leoncio Prado. The salchipapas with generous potatoes and Frankfurter hotdog, with its olive creams, peanuts, and that unique sweet salad are its main attractions, but you can also taste bread with pork rinds, sweetbreads and mixes, wings, turkey sandwich, stuffing and much more.
The beautiful house adapted for Mezzanine also has no loss when it comes to salty, sweet and a good atmosphere. This establishment located in Jr. San Martín for 6 years now serves mainly for take-out or delivery, but the spaces are also equipped for the public according to the protocol.
As you go up the stairs you will be greeted by a beautiful photo of Marilyn Monroe and the bar for a few drinks. The most requested dishes are beef osso buco with creamed fettuccine and lomo saltado, as well as green noodles, appetizers, BBQ wings, cheese tequeños, cabanossi and huachana sausage, but the pizza is not far behind. You shouldn’t miss the four-cheese tequeños or the waffles with maple syrup, if it comes to desserts. Their menu of main dishes, snacks, desserts and drinks is quite extensive so mentioning their red fruit cheesecake, chocolate cake or tartlets will be just to make them crave. Find all this at Jr. San Martín 484.
If something characterizes Magdalena in summer it is her warm sunshine and in winter, her very fine garúa accompanied by relentless cravings for desserts. Now that we are in the sweet zone, there are three places that cannot be missed on a tour of this district and they are located in streets around the market. In the direction of Av. Sucre, at Jr. Libertad 1231, is the most special ice cream parlor in these lands: Speciale.
Even though it’s cold and it sounds like a contradiction, feeling warmed by a good artisanal ice cream from Speciale will never be out of place for three reasons: its high quality of ingredients, its warmth and tradition since 1942. Unmissable? Our lucuma is a favorite, as is Magdalena ice cream, created especially as a tribute to the district, or any of its 17 flavors. You can order your ice creams for delivery or visit the traditional establishment (stopped in time) with tables and chairs on the sidewalk to enjoy in peace.
But if your path takes you towards the sea and you are craving a strawberry millefeuille or a traditional nougat, head to Jr. Salaverry 501, there you will find the Ítalo pastry shop, which next year will celebrate its 50th anniversary.
Like other businesses in Magdalena and other districts, Ítalo has a large terrace to taste its delicious desserts such as the famous ducklings (also known as gansitos) filled with pastry cream, lightning bolts or various types of soufflé. This may be the beginning. With the company of a coffee, you will enjoy its savory pastries, empanadas, pizzas and countless other bites.
As we have seen, the history of Magdalena is kept in many of the places we visit, so we cannot finish this gastronomic route without stopping at Dulcería Santa Rosa at Jr. Leoncio Prado 471. There are now 3 generations in the usual place of women who have been preparing these historical recipes, while adapting them to the most contemporary desserts.
The old and colonial ranfañote has been part of their menu since 1968, as well as other surprising names rescued from oblivion such as the brightened ones or pan del cielo. In Santa Rosa you will find, no matter where you are, mazamorra morada and chancaca, quince and sweet potato sweets, sigh of limeña and the inevitable shampoos. Yes, with the ‘s’ at the end.
We regret not having on this tour the exquisite breading at Akemi, the historic breads at Bon Ami or the cozy Pizzeria La Nonna, since they had to close. We also do not forget the places that are crossing Avenida Brasil such as El fogón del asador, Elia Ristorante, Chifa Fu Sen, Mariaté pastry shop or the unmistakable San Antonio cafeteria, but that long journey deserves its own chronicle.
Many are the routes that take you to Machu Picchu, but none is like the Inca Trail tours, the most famous pedestrian path in the Americas. After flying from the capital of Peru, Lima, you will arrive in Cusco to walk for four days along a path through forests and dense fog, millenary stone steps and discovering the ruins of ancient fortifications and Inca cities, and all the time enjoying majestic views.