Your Favourite RestaurantsJenny Powles - Product & Marketing
Our Real Latin America Expert
Jenny Powles - Product & Marketing
Jenny first visited Latin America as a student, setting off a longstanding love of Latin culture, vibrancy and musicality that would soon see her return to backpack across South America.
We receive hundreds of restaurant recommendations from clients who have just returned from Latin America, which we in turn pass on to new clients wanting to know the very best places to eat in their chosen destinations. Now, for the first time, we’re sharing that knowledge right here. All the restaurants in our list have been the subject of dozens of recommendations and rave reviews – not from us, but from you!
1. Cabañas Las Lilas, Buenos Aires
As expected, there was a strong showing from Argentina, spearheaded by Cabaña Las Lilas in at second place. The Buenos Aires restaurant specialises in beef, and the company’s absolute dedication to rearing cattle under the very best conditions tangibly comes through in the taste of Las Lilas’s melt-in-the-mouth steak. According to DH of Berkshire, it was “excellent in every way.”
2. Inka Grill, Cusco
Located right at the heart of the city’s main square, Cusco’s Inka Grill offers a taste of Peru’s colourful culture as well as its cuisine. Live Andean music and rustic decorations, from weavings to displays of ingredients, surround you as you tuck into a delicious fusion of traditional Peruvian and European gastronomy.
3. La Guarida, Havana
Homely La Guarida is a paladar, a uniquely Cuban type of eatery. Paladares are small restaurants, almost always set in family homes, and bound by tight restrictions (including, technically, a limitation to only 12 seats) and extremely high taxes. They are typically rather hard to find since they are unadvertised and often don’t even have a sign.
Given the challenges, then, it’s remarkable that there should be a Cuban entry in your top five, but La Guarida’s food is so good and its atmosphere so charming that it comes in at a very respectable number four. The restaurant was also the setting for scenes in the Cuban film Fresa y chocolate, and according to one client, EB of Teddington, is the perfect place to get a “real flavour of Havana”.
4. Theatrum, Quito
Theatrum is in at number five but beats the rest hands down for location, occupying the second floor of Ecuadorian capital Quito’s grand National Theatre. Its first-class Mediterranean menu propels it to the vanguard of Ecuadorian gastronomy, while it puts its success down to head chef Julio Avedaño. One client who recommended the restaurant was JC of Essex, who said “Theatrum was superb with excellent service. Steaks were the best and so cheap!”
5. ZIG ZAG, Arequipa, Peru
Arequipa’s Zig Zag tops your restaurant list, with an astonishing 24 separate recommendations from recent clients. Specialising in meats and fish cooked and served on volcanic stone, the restaurant has won enormous praise for the succulent flavours of its dishes and the warm manner of its staff. The dramatic setting, offset by an authentic Gustave Eiffel staircase, adds to the ambience of an evening spent sampling the unique cuisine that makes Zig Zag your number one.