It's extraordinary that this wonderful restaurant is so poorly rated - surely due to lack of tourist visits. We ate here twice, and on Sunday lunchtime it was packed with locals, despite there being 290 places available. It only opens at lunchtime, albeit that lunchtime is a flexible concept, with dining going on through the afternoon.
It's a 10 minute walk from Plaza de Armas, tourist central, but it is a downhill walk all the way, and with so many taxis available in Arequipa returning to the centre only costs between 5-10 soles, a small price to pay when you've eaten so well. It's situated in a posh part of town, and hence totally safe. For those staying at the excellent Casa Arequipa this is a 2 minute walk, worth repeating again and again.
The restaurant is set in a large walled garden with seating under parasols or in a couple of large glazed garden rooms. The menu really is the best of Arequipena cuisine yet startlingly inexpensive. If you check this place out, allow a couple of hours to enjoy the ambience. The service really is very good, but the pleasure of dining here will make you reluctant to leave.
I'd especially commend the Helado Queso with lucuma (cheese ice-cream with a local fruit) - a wonderful dessert, but we didn't have a dud dish on either visit here. The portions are more than generous.
Arequipa is a pleasant enough city in which to spend a few days anyway, but this place is almost worth the airfare on its own. In a country blessed with more than its fair share of great dining experiences, this one is right up there, almost at the Gaston Acurio level but more affordable.
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