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Pisac was special for me. It is the first place I visited not just in Peru but in all of South America! After flying in directly to Cusco via Lima (see my recommended Lima itinerary), I spent the first four days of my trip acclimatizing in laid-back Pisac, which is 427 m (1401 ft) meters lower than Cusco.
One of the things I was most excited about was to start eating Peruvian food! With loads of research and review-reading under my belt, I set out to try as many restaurants in Pisac that I could fit into my schedule. Below I’ll introduce my five best finds, plus some more notable mentions at the bottom. I hope this will help you find the best food in Pisac!
Table of Contents
Restaurante Doña Clorinda
At the top of my Pisac dining list is Restaurante Doña Clorinda. This is a family-friendly restaurant housed in a gorgeous local home. It is in a quaint rural area just outside of town. The restaurant has ample seating inside (fancier) or outside in the huge back yard (relaxed vibes), including covered patios.
This restaurant is very popular among Peruvian visitors to Pisac, especially families. Doña Clorinda, a Pisac native who lived in Lima for 40 years but then returned and eventually opened this restaurant, is a figure in the Pisac dining scene.
The thing I liked best about the restaurant was watching local families kick back in the yard. Family members tossed balls around while their children made use of the small playground and lawn toys.
As for the food itself, the menu is expansive, covering multiple takes on river trout, traditional Andean dishes like ajiacos (thick soups), causas (Andean potato patties with filling), lomo saltado (stir-fried beef with veggies and fries), and much more.
They’ve also got 7 Vidas beers, which ended up being my favorite craft beers in Peru (and I tried many). Some interesting ones include Cat IPA, quinoa wheat beer, and purple corn beer.
The restaurant is located in a relaxed, rural area east of town. The 15-minute walk from Puente Pisac (Pisac Bridge, the main bridge across the river into town) along the Urumbamba river is a pleasant stroll with gorgeous scenery. You’ll pass the area’s staple corn farms along the way.
Wolf Totem, the guesthouse I stayed at in Pisac (see on Booking / Agoda / TripAdvisor / HostelWorld), was only a 10-minute walk north of this restaurant along a small road called Tambo de Gozo. This small road ended up being my favorite in the Pisac area. It passes through a scenic rural area with several enticing wasis (local homes and guesthouses), some offering new age services, others on the classier side.
One important thing to note about Restaurante Doña Clorinda is that it’s only open for lunch and in the afternoon. You’ll have to get there before they close at 5 PM, though I showed up after 4, and they didn’t seem to be rushing people out when I left.
Sacred Sushi and Curry Sunday
If you spend any amount of time in Pisac, you’ll soon notice that the town has a distinctly hippie vibe. One great way to tap into the scene is to go for a meal at Sacred Sushi and Curry Sunday.
As the name suggests, the event takes place on Sundays only from 12 to 6 PM. But chances are you’ll be in Pisac on Sunday anyways to check out the famous Sunday market (learn more about that in my Pisac guide).
The main purpose of Sacred Sushi and Curry Sunday is to provide international vegan food and a gathering place for local expats, travelers, or anyone really. It has been running every Sunday since 2014, with only a few missed ones during COVID.
The restaurant/gathering space is set up in a beautiful garden, including a large covered patio with cushion seating. You don’t necessarily have to socialize – you can also just pop in for a meal like a regular restaurant, and that’s actually what most people were doing when I visited at a quieter time. But at busier times, you can expect to make friends, hear music, and so on.
As for the food, it’s 100% vegan. I went for the signature sushi, which came with surprisingly delicious cashew cheese. it had the option of white or brown rice. I recommend getting the sesame sauce and house-made pickled ginger to go with it. Their curries looked huge, so consider sharing with a friend. The coconut milk chai I had was also huge and extremely delicious.
Overall, the setting was super chill and the staff were smiling and welcoming. I highly recommend Sacred Sushi and Curry for anyone in Pisac on a Sunday!
La Ruta Restaurant
There are several restaurants lining Plaza Constitución, the main plaza in Pisac. This plaza is also where the famous Sunday Pisac market takes place. One of the quintessential things to do in Pisac is the grab a drink and/or meal from one of the second-floor patios of these restaurants and watch life take place in the plaza below.
I tried several of these restaurants during my stay, and La Ruta was my favorite. This restaurant won for overall quality of food. Honestly this little restaurant sets the bar high, with food presentation on par with what you’d expect in a restaurant that costs much more.
Although I would have many more meals during my Peru trip that were cheap yet surprisingly fancy and delicious, this was the first one like this for me, so it was especially memorable.
The most popular items on the menu here are grilled fish and meats. These include grilled trout with purple olive sauce and Andean potato, slow cooked cuy (guinea pig), rosemary or honey chicken, and alpaca steak. For vegetarians, there are also rice, quinoa, soup, and salad options.
Besides the exquisite food, La Ruta has what is in my opinion the best view of the plaza, as it is almost directly opposite Pisac’s main church (Iglesia de San Pedro Apostal).
One thing to note is that smoking is allowed on the small patio facing the plaza – something I didn’t often see while traveling in the region. This may be a plus or a minus for you, but no one was actually smoking while I was there. Also, you need to walk through a small souvenir shop on the first floor to access the stairs to this restaurant.
La Paila Restaurant
La Paila is right next door to La Ruta at the corner of the plaza (see the taller building in the photo above, with a brighter orange roof). It was my second favorite restaurant facing Plaza Constitución.
La Paila is a little newer so it didn’t have as many reviews. To be completely honest here, I was actually planning to go back to La Ruta a second time (because it was so good) to try their ceviche. But they were out of it that day, so I decided to satisfy my ceviche craving next door at La Paila instead.
Here came my surprise. La Paila’s version of ceviche is “Asian” (sesame) flavored and ended up being one of the most delicious ones I’ve had in Peru. Not only was the flavor itself something I won’t forget, but the dish also came beautifully presented (super common in Peru, as I was beginning to learn!) with Andean potato balls atop slices of cheese and avocado. Yum!
The menu at La Paila also includes items such as tequeños, falafel, alpaca burgers, and papa a la huancaína (potatoes with cheese sauce). Compared to La Ruta next door, you can expect more comfort food here – not so fancy, but still delicious.
The view of the plaza is also excellent, and no one will be smoking here.
Sacred Valley Brewery
Beer is food, right? When visiting the Sacred Valley, you can’t miss trying a beer or several by Sacred Valley Brewery (Cervecería del Valle Sagrado). You’ll see these beers everywhere, but their taprooms are especially worth of a visit. You can find ones in Cusco, Lima, Pisac, and the main brewing site in Pachar near Ollantaytambo.
I visited all of them, and I must say that their Pisac taproom was my favorite one. There are several seating options offering either privacy or socializing opportunities. A large, covered, second-floor patio overlooks a grassy courtyard with hanging lights, with lawn furniture and games.
Although I visited at a very quiet time, I could see this place being perfect for families, large groups, meeting people, or any kind of social gathering.
As for the beers, the Inti Punku IPA and Apu Veronika Double IPA stood out for me. Inti Punku is named after one of the most iconic ruins in the Cusco region, while Apu Veronika refers to a local mountain that was sacred to the Incas.
Although I didn’t try the food at this location, they serve items like veggie burgers, butifarra sandwiches, quiches, salads, and more.
A Few More Places to Eat in Pisac
Here are a few more notable mentions when you’re considering where to eat in Pisac!
- Cerveceria Wayllar: I really loved this small wood-fired oven pizza joint about 15 minutes walk east of town, on the road heading toward the Pisac ruins. The thin crust pizza was made with love, and the beer crafted on site was surprisingly delicious. It had cool artwork and a hippie vibe, which makes sense given that there are several hippie-oriented hostels and guesthouses in this area. However, it’s only really convenient if you’re staying in that area like I was – at this guesthouse.
- Cuchara de Palo Restaurant: This is another restaurant on the main plaza. You may be surprised that I didn’t include it in the main section above. They serve fancier dishes in a lovely internal courtyard. However, the prices are higher and this restaurant just didn’t jump out for me as much as the others.
- La Waylaca: For the best empanadas in town, head to this courtyard restaurant in Mercado de Artesanías, a souvenir street stretching out from the northeast corner of the main plaza. The empanadas are made in a huge colonial oven. They’ve also got beer on tap. Another empanada shop nearby, Pumachayoc Horno, has vastly inferior and overpriced empanadas, so I don’t recommend them. But it’s worth stepping inside their beautiful courtyard to see the Casa de Cuy (Guinea Pig House) at the back.
- El Encanto: If you’re looking for a good cafe in Pisac, I enjoyed the coffee and especially view inside this cafe and brunch restaurant. It sits at the northwest corner of Felipe Marín Moreno Botanical Garden in Pisac, with large glass windows facing the garden. Find more info about it in my Pisac guide!
Well, folks, that brings us to the end of this Pisac food guide! I hope you’ve found more than enough tasty ideas for your Pisac visit. Let me know in the comments below if you had a great dining in Pisac experience that I didn’t cover here!