With a family experienced in Arequipa’s vibrant picantería restaurant scene, Milagros and her sister, Sandra, wanted to offer a dining experience that embraces sustainable and healthy eating. From these goals, Qura was born and first took root in one of Arequipa’s premier districts of Yanahuara. After being open for some time and after piloting a menu of dishes with fresh and local ingredients, Milagros and Sandra relocated to the heart of Arequipa’s historic and tourist district in partnership with the city’s new business incubator initiative.
While much of the spirit of the restaurant remained, Qura underwent subtle rebranding to include Ñañas, meaning “sisters” in Quechua. We asked Milagros how important it was for her and her sister to take on a new vision of restaurant experiences in Arequipa and she explained the significance of taking a leadership role as women in business in Arequipa. With influences from their mother and other strong women in their family, Milagros and Sandra are forging the path for sustainable and healthy eating in Arequipa and the country at-large.
Ñañas by Qura is located on Calle San Francisco just a half block from Plaza de Armas in a gorgeous, historic building made of Arequipa’s signature white volcanic rock in busy downtown Arequipa. When you walk into the restaurant, the eye automatically draws to a large mural of a beautiful tree in different seasons, from flowering blooms to fruit, which represents the cycles of life, and on the tree, there are three little hummingbirds that represent Milagros, her sister, Sandra, and their mother. With a rounded ceiling and multiple skylights, this restaurant feels open and light.
The décor has a fresh look and feel with an eclectic mix of different dining chairs upholstered in bright colored fabrics and bench seating upholstered with cheerful patterns. When I told Milagros that I loved all the colors, she mentioned that they wanted all different colors and patterns to represent all the fruits and vegetables they use in their dishes. Every table has fresh flowers, and the walls have charming succulents in planters that look like windows adding to the fresh, homey feeling.
The menu at Ñañas is based on fresh, seasonal, and healthy foods. Many things change depending on the season and what foods they can find locally, but there seems to be something for everyone with many options for vegetarians, vegans, or people with gluten intolerance.
The first dish we were served was the Fruity Salad (S/19) that had tender chicken, tart green apples, cranberries, and almonds on a bed of fresh greens served with a lively Greek yogurt vinaigrette.
The Wak’a Trout (S/37) is a lovely appetizer with thinly sliced trout served atop fresh baby spinach and a small pancake made with Andean grains and topped with a dressing of brown sugar, pisco, and Andean herbs. While not seeming to be well paired, the fish and pancake combo boasts complimentary textures and tastes to prep the pallet for your main plate.
One example of a seasonal dish is Ñañas Plátano Lasagna (S/17.50). This unique take on a vegetarian lasagna was absolutely delicious and filling, with layered plantains, vibrant, diced vegetables, and topped with cheese. The small side salad was a mixture of shredded carrots, celery, and cabbage with a light tangy dressing, which paired well with the lasagna.
The desserts at Ñañas by Qura all looked heavenly, but the Chocolate & Cocoa Brownie (S/9), which is vegan and gluten-free, was a show stopper. This chocolate brownie had bits of nuts and coconut and was topped with a delectable blueberry sauce and sprinkled with more coconut. It is definitely a dessert that is to be savored with each bite.
We also tried the Lime & Chocolate Mousse (S/9), an interesting combination of fresh lime mousse atop bitter chocolate. The combination of fresh lime and dark chocolate was a unique and fresh treat.
There is a wide range of drinks at Ñañas, and all of them are freshly made, though one of our favorite touches was that all drinks are served with reusable stainless-steel straws. The Verde Extract (S/9.50) was my favorite. Made with green apples, celery, orange, spinach, ginger, lemon, and cucumber, this tart and zingy drink was refreshing.
Again, Ñañas by Qura also features various Seasonal Juices (S/12) depending on seasonal availability and freshness of the fruits and vegetables. We were fortunate enough to try a watermelon and passion fruit juice and a tuna fruit, grapes, and blueberry juice that were both delightful.
Ñañas by Qura
Calle San Francisco 125, Cercado de Arequipa
Phone: 54 206 620
Monday – Thursday: 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Friday – Saturday: 8:00 a.m. – 10:30 p.m.
Breakfast: S/12 – S/18
Canapés: S/8.50 – S/13.50
Sandwiches: S/12 – S/15
Wraps: S/15 – S/18.50
Salads: S/15 – S/19.50
Soups: S/16.50 – S/17.50
Seafood: S/16 – S/37
Pizzas: S/15 – S/16
Lunch Combo: S/22
Desserts: S/8.50 – S/14
Drinks: S/6 – S/16.50