This Is the Top Culinary Destination of 2017 (And 2016, 2015, 2014...)

December 12, 2017

For the sixth year in a row, the World Travel Awards selected Peru as their Leading Culinary Destination of 2017. The South American country has received the designation since 2012. With its fresh take on seafood and a cooking style that remains regionally and seasonally conscious, Peru’s reign comes as no surprise.

The country was in the running for this year’s award alongside Argentina, Australia, China, France, India, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Spain, Thailand, and the U.S. This award, it seems, is part of a larger global trend of people paying attention to Peruvian food: Earlier this year, Bloomberg called Lima the “World’s Best Food City” and chef Virgilio Martínez Véliz’s Lima restaurant, Central, was featured on Netflix’s most recent season of Chef’s Table.

It’s nice to see attention being paid to countries, regions, and flavors outside the traditional culinary vanguard of France and Italy, since places like Malaysia, Argentina, and Peru have food cultures and restaurant scenes that beg recognition, too. While we’re at it, we pulled two Peruvian (and two Argentinian and two Malaysian)–inspired dishes from our site to try, for a healthy dose of armchair kitchen travel.

Have you visited Peru? Tell us about your trip in the comments below.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • catherine
  • Toni
  • AlainB
  • Hannah Fletcher
    Hannah Fletcher
  • Ellie Betzen
    Ellie Betzen
Valerio is a freelance food writer, editor, researcher and cook. He grew up in his parent's Italian restaurants covered in pizza flour and drinking a Shirley Temple a day. Since, he's worked as a cheesemonger in New York City and a paella instructor in Barcelona. He now lives in Berlin, Germany where he's most likely to be found eating shawarma.


catherine December 27, 2017
Aji sauce, olive oil, aji and garlic put in blender and listo!
Toni December 27, 2017
I remember the potatoes and the special dipping sauces they all call aji. No potatoes anywhere taste quite as rich and wonderful as those from Peru! I went to Trujillo in 2006 (or '07?) and the food at the little Beach-side restaurants was very memorable!!! I miss the food and the coffee most of all (if I could teleport there and back, I would eat dinner there almost every night).
AlainB December 18, 2017
Interesting timing... traveling there tonight!
Hannah F. December 17, 2017
I love this! We visited Peru in 2012 and we went to the coast, the mountains, and the jungle. When visiting some of the rural villages we had some of the best hot chocolate I have ever tasted! We also visited a local seafood eatery that the locals raves about and the ceviche was amazing!
Ellie B. December 17, 2017
Yesssssss! I'm sooo happy my homeland of Argentina is getting more recognition! I always brag about the food and no ones believes me -_- haha. Peruvian food is bomb too though, most definitely
catherine December 17, 2017
My son in law is from Peru and he is a marvelous chef! He now lives down here in Costa Rica. We got our potatoes and tomatoes from Peru! There are 2,000 different potatoes in Peru too. Imagine the Irish and Italians if they didn't get their famous vegetable? NO spaghetti!
Craig W. December 17, 2017
Peru? Hmm! Must have changed somewhat since I was there ~20 years ago. I was at a major high end US chain Hotel and on the evening menu was "Meat" and it was grey. Very nice people but there was a sign on the back on the door of this high end hotel warning guests to not go out at night.

Guess things have turned around for them which is great. Beautiful geography.
Anne December 17, 2017
Well, maybe instead of eating in a US chain hotel, try the local eateries or even the markets. I travelled all over Peru 35years ago and still rember great food, expecially on the coast: ceviche, sea bass, all kinds of other seafood, roast pork, soups with avocado and potatoes (sounds weird, but good) empanadas, fabulous fresh juices. Chain hotels are often bad outside their "homeland" and US owned ones particularly so.
Anne December 17, 2017
And chain hotel type places are always over cautious about recommending "going out". how else do you sample the country's delights? Just be streetwise.
Lourdes December 19, 2017
Craig, "major high end US chain Hotel" That is why... Peruvian food has always been out of this world and has won many international awards. Even in the US, there are now many Peruvian restaurants throughout the country and they are well recognized.