The 7 Best Peruvian Restaurants in Boston

By Eric Twardzik
03/15/2022
The 7 Best Peruvian Restaurants in Boston
Peruvian Taste Restaurant

Peruvian cuisine is drawn from a diverse constellation of international influences, from indigenous Andean to European, Asian, and African. The Boston area boasts standouts, which range from unfussy mom-and-pops to acclaimed restaurants on the cutting edge of what Peruvian food is. You’ll find seven select spots in this curated guide.

The 7 Best Peruvian Restaurants in Boston - CELESTE

The Somerville neighborhood of Union Square is small but mighty when it comes to a taste of Peru in Boston. At Celeste, a merengue-soundtracked, neon-lit space that’s hardly bigger than the open kitchen, you can enjoy Ceviche Mixed Seafood made with blue cod, shrimp, and squid; Lomo Saltado with stir-fried sirloin; and the Peruvian-Chinese style Sudado de Pescado (steamed blue cod). The right vibes extend to drinks: Celeste also serves what may be the best Pisco Sour in town. Don’t overlook the other cocktails made with the Peruvian spirit, though: We like Maracuya Sour made with pisco, passion fruit puree, egg white, lime, and amaretto. Co-founders Maria Rondeau and JuanMa Caldéron are keeping the party going: The duo just opened La Royal in Cambridge. 

Tambo 22

The 7 Best Peruvian Restaurants in Boston - Tambo 22

Tambo 22 is the latest project from chef Jose Duarte, who for years operated the Peruvian-Italian mashup Taranta in the North End, which shuttered in 2020. At Tambo in Chelsea, the city where Duarte has lived for decades, the focus is back on his native Peru. Try Wantan Frito (fried pork wontons) in tamarind sweet and sour sauce; banana leaf-wrapped paiche, an Amazonian whitefish; or Northern Peruvian-style lamb shank braised with corn beer. The beverage side of the menu gets just as much attention with an organic and biodynamically focused wine program, plus three iterations of the Pisco Sour (classic, passionfruit, or chicha morada).

RUKA

The 7 Best Peruvian Restaurants in Boston - RUKA
Credit: Josh Jamison

Situated in Downtown Crossing at The Godfrey Hotel, glitzy Ruka comes to us from the restaurant group behind Yvonne’s and Mariel. The focus here is on a Peruvian-Japanese sub-cuisine called Nikkei, influences which come together in dishes like Lima-Style Fried Calamari with leche de tigre butter, Hamachi Ceviche with charred jalapeño and coconut, and sushi selections such as Crispy Rock Shrimp with pickled pineapple and avocado. You can expect top-notch cocktails from a COJE Group property, and Ruka does not diverge: Consider sipping Inka’s Chicha made with pisco and housemade chicha, an indigenous corn beer; or “Tea Service” cocktails serving two, such as the Lost City with pisco, matcha, coconut, and lime. 

Rincon Limeño

Rincon Limeño
Credit: Sara De Alba

Rincon Limeño in East Boston does Peruvian the traditional way with staples like Ceviche Mixto, Seco de Cabrito (lamb stew), and a version of the stir-fry favorite Lomo Saltado Mixto which includes chicken and steak. However, the homey standby’s expansive menu touches on many lesser-known dishes that illustrate the cuisine’s rich diversity: look out for Tacu-Tacu de Mariscos (beans and seafood in creamy aji Amarillo pepper sauce) or a whole-fried snapper served with rice and yucca. 

Pollos a la Brasa Beto’s

Pollos a la Brasa Beto’s

Another Eastie entry, Pollos a la Brasa Beto’s specializes in Peruvian-style chicken and does a brisk business in takeout. It’s easy to see why it’s a neighborhood favorite once you sink your teeth into the ultra-juicy chicken, which is available by the quarter, half, or whole. The smoky grilled bird comes with hand-cut fries and a spicy green hot sauce; we suggest you add on a side of crispy-on-the-outside, creamy-on-the-inside fried plantains, too.

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu

Situated just across Union Square, Machu Picchu and Machu Chicken are twin pillars of the neighborhood’s vibrant Peruvian dining scene. The sibling restaurants come from the same owner, who first opened Machu Picchu over 20 years ago to serve traditional specialties of Peru, including Lomo Saltado and Ceviche Mixto. The homestyle menu uses homestyle, family recipes and native ingredients when possible. Machu Chicken is a takeout-friendly spinoff, focused on spice-rubbed, charcoal-grilled chicken that can be ordered by the quarter, half, or whole bird.

Peruvian Taste Restaurant

Peruvian Taste Restaurant

Recently opened on an unassuming corner of Charlestown, Peruvian Taste is an 18-seat mom-and-pop that specializes in Peruvian at its most comforting. While the menu offers Chifa, or Chinese-influenced fare, and even Belgian waffles (it opens daily at 10 a.m. with Peruvian breakfast), we are impressed with the hearty classics like a Ceviche Mixto that adds crunch courtesy of sliced onions and toasted corn, and the Lomo Saltado in a slightly sweet but savory sauce with stewed tomatoes.

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