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Assorted menu items at La Limeña.
Plantains, shrimp and a minty mojito at La Limeña in Rockville.
La Limeña/official photo

Where to Find Prime Peruvian Cuisine Across the DMV

Ceviche, Asian influences, and lomo saltado await

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Plantains, shrimp and a minty mojito at La Limeña in Rockville.
| La Limeña/official photo

The National Restaurant Association identified Peruvian food as one of the top global flavors in 2019, and the bar for ceviches and lomo saltados continues to rise across the greater Washington area.

Recent arrivals like the turquoise-tinged Pisco y Nazca in Dupont Circle and whimsically appointed Inca Social next to the Dunn-Loring Metro have enhanced the area’s Peruvian footprint, which runs from casual takeout spots to fancier mainstays like China Chilcano. More options are en route. The popular Peruvian Brothers food truck will open a standalone stall soon inside Northeast Latin food hall La Cosecha. The owners of Shaw’s Service Bar are bringing an upscale place called Causa to Blagden Alley next year.

The Peruvian eateries on this list go beyond rotisserie chicken, which has its own map, serving items that showcase Peru’s diversity. Stir fries with soy sauce or sashimi highlight Chinese and Japanese influences. The varied climate and topography — mountains, sea, jungle, and desert — produces everything from seafood to thousands of types of potatoes to various seasoned meats. Naturally, all of these spots produce a good pisco sour, and many serve Inca Cola.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

La Canela

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Diners on the end of the red line have several Peruvian dining options, including local favorite La Canela. Decorated with wrought-iron and ornately carved wooden chairs, this restaurant is operated by Peruvian natives who serve old family recipes. Full-sized ceviche is only served for dinner and can be accompanied by entrées such as Peruvian-style fettuccini with breaded sirloin steak. Open daily for lunch and dinner.

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Dinner with family

A post shared by neoprodigy (@neoprodigy) on

La Limeña

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Another favorite found in Rockville, La Limeña’s simple façade gives way to dishes acclaimed by locals and native Peruvians alike. The sizable menu includes everything from rotisserie chicken to the Chinese-Peruvian chicken fried rice. No item is more than $20, so head here for an affordable meal every day for lunch and dinner. 

Raw fish at La Limeña
Ceviche at La Limeña.
La Limeña/official photo

Huacatay Restaurant

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While charbroiled chicken is its mainstay, this Edgewood restaurant features several other noteworthy menu items like palta rellena (avocado stuffed with chicken salad) and papa rellena, mashed potato croquettes stuffed with beef, onions, and pepper.

A popular starter at Huacatay Restaurant
Palta rellena at Huacatay Restaurant.
Huacatay Restaurant/official photo

Wasi Peruvian Cuisine

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This restaurant opened last year in an Adams Morgan row house that previously housed Las Canteras Peruvian Restaurant. Decorated with photos depicting people and places in Peru, the cozy eatery’s specialties include slow-cooked short ribs, assorted ceviche, and whole charcoal chicken. 

An appetizer at Wasi.
Wasi’s papa a la huancaína app of olives and boiled yellow potatoes slathered in a peppery huancaína sauce.
Wasi Peruvian Cuisine/official photo

Chicken + Whiskey

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The 2-year-old bustling chicken and whiskey joint serves Peruvian favorites like pollo a la brasa and more than a dozen sides (sold separately) that can be a meal on their own. Choose from the cilantro mojo chicken or yuca fries. Wash down the menu with pours of whiskey, rye, and bourbon, available in a windowless back bar tucked behind a refrigerator door.

Chicken + Whiskey’s back bar
The lively bar scene at Chicken + Whiskey.
R. Lopez/Eater DC

Nazca Mochica

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This Dupont Circle restaurant is a “dual concept” for modern Peruvian eats. The lower level, Mochica, is a Pisco and ceviche bar. Here eaters will find ceviches, such as Japanese-Peruvian Nikkei with tuna and wonton chips, and small plates. The second level, Nazca, is an upscale restaurant offering Thursday and Friday lunch, dinner Tuesday through Sunday, and Sunday brunch. 

A dish at Nazca Mochica
A unique spin on ceviche at Nazca Mochica.
Nazca Mochica/official photo

Pisco y Nazca Ceviche Gastrobar

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Named for the Peruvian grape brandy (pisco) and a desert town in southern Peru (Nazca), the colorful and contemporary Miami export debuted a year ago in Hotel RL. With 10 ceviches, 14 appetizers, and 18 larger plates, the restaurant’s selections go beyond your basic Peruvian staples. 

A fish starter at Pisco y Nazca.
Pisco y Nazca’s tiradito panca (cobia, aji panca leche de tigre, sliced cucumber, crushed cancha).
Pisco y Nazca/official photo

El Chalan

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What started as an Arlington carry-out eatery in 1975 is now a full-service Peruvian experience downtown. Not only does El Chalán claim to be the first Peruvian restaurant in D.C., but it’s also extremely affordable. Only four of the hearty dinner entrée options cost more than $20. Comforting Peruvian classics include boiled potatoes in creamy cheese sauce, served atop white-clothed tables. The drink menu includes chicha morada, a sweet fruit juice made from purple corn. Open Monday through Saturday for lunch and dinner.

China Chilcano

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José Andrés’s Penn Quarter restaurant serves Chinese Chifa, a blend of Peruvian and Chinese cuisine; classics like hangar steak and soy sauce; sushi rolls that channel the Japanese-Peruvian Nekkei cuisine; and Peruvian Criollo, which infuses Spanish and West African flavors. It’s open every day for lunch and dinner, with brunch served on weekends.

The interior at China Chilcano.
China Chilcano
R. Lopez/Eater DC

Inca Social

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Merrifield’s colorful new getaway pairs Peruvian comfort foods with a long lineup of Virginia craft beers. There are Japanese-influenced dishes like fried shrimp baskets and Asian-glazed chicken wings alongside traditional South American orders like fried empanadas, chicharron sandwiches, lomo saltado with fries, and cilantro-packed arroz con pollo. Some of Inca’s partners are part of Pio Pio, a Peruvian spot in Great Falls. —Tierney Plumb

The mascot at Inca Social
Inca Social’s official mascot makes several appearances inside. 
Erich Kottke/Inca Social

La Granja De Oro

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Flavorful seafood dishes are the specialty at this festive, family friendly restaurant, which hosts live bands Friday and Saturday nights. Choose from seafood fried rice, sautéed shrimp or grilled plank salmon. Incidentally, there’s an Adams Morgan restaurant of the same name (which translates as golden farm) that’s not affiliated with the NoVa venue.

A star dish at La Granja De Oro
Lomo saltado at La Granja De Oro.
La Granja De Oro/official photo

La Canela

Diners on the end of the red line have several Peruvian dining options, including local favorite La Canela. Decorated with wrought-iron and ornately carved wooden chairs, this restaurant is operated by Peruvian natives who serve old family recipes. Full-sized ceviche is only served for dinner and can be accompanied by entrées such as Peruvian-style fettuccini with breaded sirloin steak. Open daily for lunch and dinner.

View this post on Instagram

Dinner with family

A post shared by neoprodigy (@neoprodigy) on

La Limeña

Raw fish at La Limeña
Ceviche at La Limeña.
La Limeña/official photo

Another favorite found in Rockville, La Limeña’s simple façade gives way to dishes acclaimed by locals and native Peruvians alike. The sizable menu includes everything from rotisserie chicken to the Chinese-Peruvian chicken fried rice. No item is more than $20, so head here for an affordable meal every day for lunch and dinner. 

Raw fish at La Limeña
Ceviche at La Limeña.
La Limeña/official photo

Huacatay Restaurant

A popular starter at Huacatay Restaurant
Palta rellena at Huacatay Restaurant.
Huacatay Restaurant/official photo

While charbroiled chicken is its mainstay, this Edgewood restaurant features several other noteworthy menu items like palta rellena (avocado stuffed with chicken salad) and papa rellena, mashed potato croquettes stuffed with beef, onions, and pepper.

A popular starter at Huacatay Restaurant
Palta rellena at Huacatay Restaurant.
Huacatay Restaurant/official photo

Wasi Peruvian Cuisine

An appetizer at Wasi.
Wasi’s papa a la huancaína app of olives and boiled yellow potatoes slathered in a peppery huancaína sauce.
Wasi Peruvian Cuisine/official photo

This restaurant opened last year in an Adams Morgan row house that previously housed Las Canteras Peruvian Restaurant. Decorated with photos depicting people and places in Peru, the cozy eatery’s specialties include slow-cooked short ribs, assorted ceviche, and whole charcoal chicken. 

An appetizer at Wasi.
Wasi’s papa a la huancaína app of olives and boiled yellow potatoes slathered in a peppery huancaína sauce.
Wasi Peruvian Cuisine/official photo

Chicken + Whiskey

Chicken + Whiskey’s back bar
The lively bar scene at Chicken + Whiskey.
R. Lopez/Eater DC

The 2-year-old bustling chicken and whiskey joint serves Peruvian favorites like pollo a la brasa and more than a dozen sides (sold separately) that can be a meal on their own. Choose from the cilantro mojo chicken or yuca fries. Wash down the menu with pours of whiskey, rye, and bourbon, available in a windowless back bar tucked behind a refrigerator door.

Chicken + Whiskey’s back bar
The lively bar scene at Chicken + Whiskey.
R. Lopez/Eater DC

Nazca Mochica

A dish at Nazca Mochica
A unique spin on ceviche at Nazca Mochica.
Nazca Mochica/official photo

This Dupont Circle restaurant is a “dual concept” for modern Peruvian eats. The lower level, Mochica, is a Pisco and ceviche bar. Here eaters will find ceviches, such as Japanese-Peruvian Nikkei with tuna and wonton chips, and small plates. The second level, Nazca, is an upscale restaurant offering Thursday and Friday lunch, dinner Tuesday through Sunday, and Sunday brunch. 

A dish at Nazca Mochica
A unique spin on ceviche at Nazca Mochica.
Nazca Mochica/official photo

Pisco y Nazca Ceviche Gastrobar

A fish starter at Pisco y Nazca.
Pisco y Nazca’s tiradito panca (cobia, aji panca leche de tigre, sliced cucumber, crushed cancha).
Pisco y Nazca/official photo

Named for the Peruvian grape brandy (pisco) and a desert town in southern Peru (Nazca), the colorful and contemporary Miami export debuted a year ago in Hotel RL. With 10 ceviches, 14 appetizers, and 18 larger plates, the restaurant’s selections go beyond your basic Peruvian staples. 

A fish starter at Pisco y Nazca.
Pisco y Nazca’s tiradito panca (cobia, aji panca leche de tigre, sliced cucumber, crushed cancha).
Pisco y Nazca/official photo

El Chalan

What started as an Arlington carry-out eatery in 1975 is now a full-service Peruvian experience downtown. Not only does El Chalán claim to be the first Peruvian restaurant in D.C., but it’s also extremely affordable. Only four of the hearty dinner entrée options cost more than $20. Comforting Peruvian classics include boiled potatoes in creamy cheese sauce, served atop white-clothed tables. The drink menu includes chicha morada, a sweet fruit juice made from purple corn. Open Monday through Saturday for lunch and dinner.

China Chilcano

The interior at China Chilcano.
China Chilcano
R. Lopez/Eater DC

José Andrés’s Penn Quarter restaurant serves Chinese Chifa, a blend of Peruvian and Chinese cuisine; classics like hangar steak and soy sauce; sushi rolls that channel the Japanese-Peruvian Nekkei cuisine; and Peruvian Criollo, which infuses Spanish and West African flavors. It’s open every day for lunch and dinner, with brunch served on weekends.

The interior at China Chilcano.
China Chilcano
R. Lopez/Eater DC

Inca Social

The mascot at Inca Social
Inca Social’s official mascot makes several appearances inside. 
Erich Kottke/Inca Social

Merrifield’s colorful new getaway pairs Peruvian comfort foods with a long lineup of Virginia craft beers. There are Japanese-influenced dishes like fried shrimp baskets and Asian-glazed chicken wings alongside traditional South American orders like fried empanadas, chicharron sandwiches, lomo saltado with fries, and cilantro-packed arroz con pollo. Some of Inca’s partners are part of Pio Pio, a Peruvian spot in Great Falls. —Tierney Plumb

The mascot at Inca Social
Inca Social’s official mascot makes several appearances inside. 
Erich Kottke/Inca Social

La Granja De Oro

A star dish at La Granja De Oro
Lomo saltado at La Granja De Oro.
La Granja De Oro/official photo

Flavorful seafood dishes are the specialty at this festive, family friendly restaurant, which hosts live bands Friday and Saturday nights. Choose from seafood fried rice, sautéed shrimp or grilled plank salmon. Incidentally, there’s an Adams Morgan restaurant of the same name (which translates as golden farm) that’s not affiliated with the NoVa venue.

A star dish at La Granja De Oro
Lomo saltado at La Granja De Oro.
La Granja De Oro/official photo

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