Wooden utensils used at Mil Restaurant in Peru

Eating My Way through Peru

I recently returned from a vacation in Peru with my parents. We traveled through the Sacred Valley, on the Inca Trial, up to Machu Picchu and in Cusco. It had been a dream of theirs to visit Machu Picchu and I was honored to accompany them on a memorable adventure.

A view of Machu Picchu in Peru.

As a country, Peru naturally expresses a lot of history and culture – and their food is no different. There are countless ancient traditions passed down in the Andean culture and we had so much fun taking in the sites and eating our way through Peru! Here are three of my favorites:

Guinea Pig

Yep, I said Guinea Pig! While driving through the Peru countryside, it will be hard to miss the guinea pig stands on the side of the road. While some may find it odd to eat these little creatures, it is a staple for Peruvians. In Andean culture, guinea pigs, or cuy, have been a main source of food for centuries. It is traditional to eat this dish as a kebab on a stick, though chefs are getting more creative in serving unique dishes in restaurants. You won’t believe it…but it really does taste like chicken!


A Pachamanca meal in the Sacred Valley of Peru

Known as an “earth oven,” Pachamanca is an ancient method of preparing meals in Andean culture. Food is cooked in a deep, brick-lined hole in the ground. Layered volcanic stones at the bottom of the hole act as a stovetop and slowly cook the food to perfection. This tradition is all about comfort, community and celebration.

A Pachamanca meal in the Sacred Valley of Peru

Cooking in this manner shows respect to Mother Earth and is a way of offering thanks for the nourishing food she provides to humans.

The Mil Immersion Experience

A glass of wine being poured at Mil Restaurant in Peru

Perched high on a hill overlooking the ancient Moray terraces in the Sacred Valley, rests Mil restaurant. This tranquil eatery offers a delicious eight-step tasting menu, using a variety of local and seasonal ingredients. Mil sits at  an altitude of 11,500 feet and the dishes tend to be light, as most travelers experience a slight lack of appetite at higher altitudes.

Food at Mil Restaurant in PeruEach dish tells a story that grounds you and brings you back in time. Mil has appeared on many “Top Restaurant” lists, including Conde Nast’s top 50 best restaurants in Latin America.

Food being served at Mil Restaurant in Peru


You can tell that our journey was not just a feast for the eyes – but for our stomachs, too! As we reflect on our trip, it’s clear that Peru’s history, culture, and cuisine captured a piece of our hearts and our experiences here have only heightened our desire for more exploration and discovery!