You know that one of the best ways to explore a new culture is through its cuisine. And here in Winnipeg, we are fortunate to have a rich tapestry of culinary options from around the world.
Today, I want to take you on a flavorful journey to the heart of South America — Peru!
Peruvian cuisine is a captivating fusion of flavors and traditions that have been influenced by indigenous ingredients as well as Spanish, African, and Asian culinary traditions.
The result? A mouthwatering blend of textures, spices, and colors makes every meal an unforgettable experience.
While it might not be as famous as some other international cuisines, Peruvian food has been steadily making its mark on the global food scene, and lucky for us, we have a selection of Peruvian restaurants right here in our city.
Address: 570 Sargent Ave, Winnipeg, MB R3E 0A2, Canada
Contact number: 204 415 2870
Operating hours: Tuesday to Saturday: 11:30 am – 8 pm
Must-order menu items: Lomo Saltado, Ceviche, Aji de Gallina, Pollo a la Brasa
Price range: $$ average
Mercadito Latino, which translates to “Latin market” in English, was founded by a group of Peruvian immigrants who longed to share their cultural heritage and culinary traditions with the local community.
Over the years, it has become a beloved fixture in the city’s dining scene, with both Peruvian expatriates and locals flocking to its tables.
When you step into Mercadito Latino, you’ll find yourself immersed in a warm and inviting atmosphere filled with vibrant Peruvian decor and the tantalizing aroma of authentic Peruvian cuisine wafting through the air.
As you settle into your seat, it’s time to explore the menu, which is a gateway to the diverse and mouthwatering world of Peruvian dishes.
One of the standout menu items that you absolutely cannot miss is the Ceviche. This refreshing dish consists of raw fish, typically sea bass or tilapia, that’s been marinated in a zesty blend of citrus juices and Peruvian spices.
The result is a burst of flavors that dance on your palate, offering a perfect balance of tangy, spicy, and fresh. The dish is often garnished with slices of red onion, sweet potato, and a sprig of cilantro, adding an extra layer of complexity to the taste.
For those looking for a hearty and satisfying meal, Lomo Saltado is another must-try option. It’s a stir-fry of beef, onions, tomatoes, and French fries.
This unique combination of ingredients is served with a side of rice, creating a harmonious blend of textures and flavors that’s both comforting and exciting.
The savory meat, the slightly crispy fries, and the juicy tomatoes all come together in a delightful medley that is sure to leave you craving more.
Aji de Gallina is a dish that embodies the rich culinary heritage of Peru. It’s a creamy chicken stew made with aji amarillo peppers and walnuts, which gives it a distinctive and slightly spicy flavor profile.
The tender chicken is bathed in a velvety sauce, creating a dish that’s both indulgent and comforting. It’s often served with rice and garnished with hard-boiled eggs and black olives, adding an extra layer of richness and contrast.
Finally, for a taste of one of Peru’s most popular comfort foods, order Pollo a la Brasa. This is Peruvian-style rotisserie chicken at its finest.
The chicken is marinated in a blend of herbs and spices, then slowly roasted until the skin is crispy and the meat is succulent. It’s typically served with a side of crispy French fries and a fresh salad.
Address: 100-270 Waterfront Dr, Winnipeg, MB R3B 0L4, Canada
Contact number: 204 505 0945
Operating hours: Sunday, Monday, and Thursday: 4:30 pm – 9 pm; Friday: 11:30 am – 10 pm; Saturday: 4:30 pm – 10 pm
Must-order menu items: Lomo Saltado, Aji de Gallina, Arroz Con Pollo, Ceviche, Causa Rellena
Price range: $$ average
Established by the Hernandez family, originally from Lima, Peru, the restaurant was born out of their passion for sharing their rich culinary heritage with Winnipeggers.
Inspired by the vibrant street food culture of Peru, they opened Carnaval Brazilian BBQ in 2015, making it their mission to offer an authentic taste of Peru to local food enthusiasts.
When it comes to must-order menu items, Carnaval Brazilian BBQ offers a tempting array of Peruvian delights that will tantalize your taste buds.
One top pick is the Lomo Saltado, a sizzling stir-fry of sirloin beef, expertly cooked with a medley of onions, tomatoes, crispy french fries, and a generous sprinkle of fresh cilantro.
This dish perfectly encapsulates the fusion of Asian and Peruvian flavors that are so characteristic of the country’s cuisine. Served with a side of fluffy rice, it’s a true crowd-pleaser.
For those looking to explore the depths of Peruvian flavors, Aji de Gallina is a must-try. This dish features tender chicken stewed in a creamy aji amarillo sauce, garnished with potatoes and olives, and served with rice.
The aji amarillo pepper gives this dish its distinctive, mildly spicy flavor, making it a delightful and comforting choice.
Arroz Con Pollo is another Peruvian classic on Carnaval’s menu. This one-pot wonder is a delicious amalgamation of chicken, rice, and a medley of vegetables and spices.
It’s a comforting, soul-warming dish that’s both satisfying and deeply flavorful.
For those who appreciate the refreshing, zesty flavors of the sea, a visit to Carnaval would be incomplete without trying its Ceviche. This dish boasts fresh, raw fish marinated in a tangy citrus juice, harmoniously combined with onions and cilantro.
The result is a light and refreshing delicacy that exemplifies the exquisite simplicity of Peruvian seafood cuisine.
Finally, don’t leave without savoring a slice of Causa Rellena. This unique Peruvian dish is essentially a layered potato cake filled with your choice of delectable ingredients, such as chicken, tuna, or shrimp.
It’s a beautiful representation of Peruvian creativity in the kitchen, combining flavors and textures into a harmonious and visually appealing dish.
La Pampa Empanadas Gourmet
Address: 1549 Grant Ave, Winnipeg, MB R3N 0M4, Canada
Contact number: 204 306 8161
Operating hours: Monday to Saturday: 11 am – 7 pm; Sunday: 12 pm – 5 pm
Must-order menu items: Lomo Saltado, Ceviche, Aji de Gallina, Llapingachos, Anticuchos
Price range: $$ average
For those seeking a taste of the best this restaurant has to offer, there are a few must-order menu items that will transport your taste buds straight to the heart of Peru.
For something unique and worth savoring, don’t miss out on Llapingachos. While technically Ecuadorian in origin, this dish has found a welcoming home in the Peruvian culinary repertoire at La Pampa Empanadas Gourmet.
These potato pancakes served with chorizo, avocado, and salsa, are a mouthwatering combination of textures and flavors that will leave you craving more.
The restaurant also has Anticuchos, a dish that showcases Peruvian ingenuity by using beef or chicken hearts.
Marinated in vinegar and spices, these skewered and grilled morsels offer a distinct and unforgettable taste that is a true testament to the adventurous spirit of Peruvian cooking.
Address: 155 Smith St, Winnipeg, MB R3C 1J7, Canada
Contact number: 204 615 9605
Operating hours: Thursday and Wednesday: 4 pm – 10:30 pm; Thursday: 4 pm – 11 pm; Friday and Saturday: 4 pm – 2 am
Must-order menu items: Ceviche, Lomo Saltado, Aji de Gallina, Anticuchos, Arroz Con Pollo
Price range: $$ average
At La Roca, the menu reads like a love letter to Peruvian gastronomy, and there are a few must-try dishes that will transport your taste buds straight to the streets of Lima.
First up is the Ceviche, a refreshing masterpiece of raw fish marinated in tangy citrus juices and harmonized with the subtle kick of spices. It’s a perfect appetizer that will awaken your palate.
Another showstopper is the Lomo Saltado, a savory stir-fry that beautifully blends tender beef, onions, ripe tomatoes, and crispy French fries.
This hearty dish is served alongside a mound of perfectly cooked rice, creating a delightful fusion of flavors and textures that captures the essence of Peru’s multicultural culinary landscape.
For those seeking a rich and comforting experience, Aji de Gallina is a must. This creamy chicken stew is expertly crafted with aji amarillo peppers, walnuts, and bread, yielding a sauce that’s both creamy and subtly spicy.
It’s a true embodiment of Peru’s flavors, with its unique blend of indigenous and European influences.
If you’re feeling adventurous, Anticuchos is an absolute must-try. These skewers are crafted from grilled beef hearts, marinated in aji panca, and an array of other spices.
The result is a succulent and smoky dish that showcases the bold and rustic side of Peruvian cuisine, a favorite among locals.
Finally, no Peruvian feast is complete without Arroz con Pollo. This dish features tender chicken cooked with rice, vegetables, and an array of aromatic spices.
The result is a harmonious symphony of flavors that will leave you craving for more.
Address: 709 Corydon Ave, Winnipeg, MB R3M 0W4, Canada
Contact number: 204 416 3996
Operating hours: Tuesday to Thursday: 4 pm – 9 pm; Friday and Saturday: 4 pm – 10 pm; Sunday: 4 pm – 8:30 pm
Must-order menu items: Ceviche, Lomo Saltado, Aji de Gallina, Rocoto Relleno, Anticuchos
Price range: $$ average
With a history steeped in the traditional culinary heritage of Peru, the roots of Saperavi trace back to the passionate vision of its founder, Maria Alvarez.
Born and raised in Lima, Maria’s journey to Winnipeg was a tale of ambition and a love for sharing her culture through the medium of food.
Saperavi, named after the robust Georgian wine, embodies Maria’s fusion of Peruvian and international influences.
When stepping into Saperavi’s inviting space, one is greeted by the tantalizing aromas wafting from the kitchen, a prelude to the culinary delights that await.
Among the must-try menu items is the Ceviche, a zesty symphony of fresh raw fish marinated in a tangy citrus infusion, perfectly balanced with a delicate hint of spices that dance on the palate.
This dish embodies the essence of Peru’s coastal culinary tradition, with its invigorating flavors reminiscent of the seaside.
For those seeking a hearty yet refined dish, the Lomo Saltado is an undisputed star.
This stir-fry of succulent marinated beef, crisp vegetables, and golden french fries, served alongside fragrant rice, offers a comforting harmony of textures and tastes that showcase the culinary dexterity of Saperavi’s chefs.
Another must-try is the Aji de Gallina, a velvety chicken stew immersed in a luscious yellow aji pepper sauce, skillfully complemented by a serving of fluffy rice and tender potatoes.
The interplay of creamy textures and a subtle kick of spice makes this dish a harmonious blend of comfort and boldness.
For those craving a bolder culinary adventure, the Rocoto Relleno beckons with its fiery charisma.
This spicy aji rocoto pepper, generously filled with a tantalizing mixture of ground beef, cheese, and a symphony of spices, creates an explosion of flavors that is both daring and delightful, leaving a memorable impression long after the last bite.
Last but not least, the Anticuchos offer a savory journey into Peruvian street food culture.
These grilled skewers, whether laden with marinated beef or the distinctive flavor of chicken heart, served with aji sauce and a side of perfectly cooked potatoes, embody the rustic charm and unapologetic flavors of Peruvian street fare.