As I mentioned in the dispatch on chicha morada, there was a restaurant in Cusco I’d eat at after every hike in the Andes. And I ate there a bunch of other times, too. That restaurant is LOCAL. The atmosphere, the service, and the food were all so consistently enjoyable to connect with, especially after hiking 75km uphill. Later in the post, I’ll share some tips on what to eat and drink there, but first, here is (most of) the menu at LOCAL, one of my favorite restaurants in Cusco, Peru. This is from June, 2022. I do seem to be missing some of the pages, but you should really just go if you’re in Cusco. It’s phenomenal.
Just so you know when you’re ordering, even if you order an appetizer, you’ll also be brought a courtesy plate of roast potato wedges, of several different types of potato, along with a huancaina (spicy cheese) dip and a green mountain herb dip. Don’t let that discourage you from ordering an appetizer, but if you’re planning on getting a potato appetizer, just know that, while you wait for your potatoes, you’ll be served potatoes. Let’s have more potatoes! So you can get an idea of the size, see the photo of the complimentary roast potatoes below:
LOCAL Restaurante has a substantial breakfast menu as well! I didn’t capture the breakfast menu, but all of the breakfasts I had were delicious and filling.
The croissant pudding is one of the best things you can eat in Cusco if you like sweet things. There’s another one of the desserts though, that is a significant adventure: the Banana Pan. It’s the same price as the Croissant Pudding, but it might be three times the size. It’s a full frying pan of flambéed bananas with three scoops of homemade ice cream and a bunch of caramel and nuts and quinoa. How many bananas do you usually eat at one time? One? This dessert has three. And that’s just the base! I had it for dessert after my Choquequirao hike. I was immediately refueled and ready to hike it all over again. Here’s what it looks like:
I didn’t capture the cocktail menu. I was very focused on eating at LOCAL. I tried a few of their cocktails. And they have a beautiful bar. A cocktail I returned to several times is the Chicha Punk. If you want to try a very uniquely Cusco cocktail, I’d recommend that.
There’s an upstairs seating area as well as a downstairs near the wood pizza oven. The pizza menu is one of the pages I skipped. I didn’t try the pizza at LOCAL but pizza is very popular in Cusco and I never ate anything bad at LOCAL, so I bet their pizza is good, too. The altitude in Cusco really lends itself to flat breads like pizza dough.
The first image there or image on the left is the upstairs bar and part of the dining area. There are several other tables behind the camera. And the other photo is the downstairs seating area, with the wood stacked up for the pizza oven.
SOMETHING TO NOTE: The street outside of LOCAL, through May and June of 2022, was under construction. Hopefully it’ll be fixed it up soon. Don’t be deterred. It’s worth navigating the construction if you can.