There’s no shortage of the flavor fusion that is Peruvian and Chinese food in Lima. Restaurants offering up this unique mix are better known as chifas—and here are some of our favorites (and their drool-worthy photos).
If lomo saltado is on the menu, is it really a Chinese restaurant? It’s a question one may ask themselves while searching for Chinese food in Lima.
All across Peru, especially Lima, restaurants with facades full of Chinese letters, dragon decals, and sun-starched lanterns are a common sight that often piques the interest of travelers. Serving up a fusion of Chinese and Peruvian flavors, chifas offer a palate-pleasing experience born from the great Chinese migration of the 19th century. And while most come to Peru, the best culinary destination in the world, to try out classic criollo dishes, many Peruvians will tell you chifa has become a classic in its own right.
A few chifa recommendations if you find yourself craving Chinese food in Lima:
1. Chifa Hou Wha
In an open and airy atmosphere, this chifa is great for families and large groups looking to celebrate or simply spend a special night out in Miraflores. Return customers often comment they feel at home in this family-run restaurant implements traditional recipes and ingredients. Order La Parilla Mixta China: beef and chicken served with a side of the classic arroz chaufa (fried rice) and wantan soup. Servings are large so order a few dishes and plan on sharing.
Address: Carlos Tenaud 484, Urb Barboncito, Miraflores
2. Chifa Chung Yion
We’ve told you once and we’ll tell you again: this place is a staple of the Barranco district and one of the must-visit spots while in the artsy neighborhood. In fact, as would happen over the course of some 90-plus years, this restaurant has changed hands but (as would happen in Peru) not the sign out front that reads Chifa Chun Yion. Just be sure to do it right: Order the Tallarines Saltados and Arroz Chaufa combo and pull closed that curtain around your private dining area.
Address: Jr. Unión 126, Barranco
This high-end restaurant offers gourmet Chinese cuisine and is located in the heart of the business sector of San Isidro. If we haven’t scared you off yet, then this is definitely your kind of chifa. The menu includes foie gras, lobster, fish roe, piglet, Waygú beef and other top products that wowed us when we visited in 2019. It’s hard to go wrong here, but we recommend ordering the Pork Chá Siu Bao Sliders, Truffled Duck Fried Rice and, a house special, the Jasmine Braised Short Ribs.
Address: Av. Victor Andrés Belaúnde 147, San Isidro
4. Madam Tusan
Gaston Acuria opened his first Madam Tusan in 2011 with the slogan “una chifa peruano para el mundo,” though the famed Peruvian chef now counts with eight of these chifa locations spread across Lima. No matter which location, the setting is casual and the service cheery. Order the Aeropuerto de Pollo Chi Jau Kay, served over an egg ‘tortilla,’ for a filling lunch and possibly dinner (if leftovers are your thing). Of course, in true chifa fashion, you can always opt for the unexpected and order a ceviche.
Address: For the full list visit the website.
5. Chifa Titi
Discreet yet can’t be beat. Though often overlooked by travel guides, Chifa Titi dishes out innovative and experimental house specialties such as steamed frog fish with soy sauce that would tickle any foodies fancy. Tucked to the side of the busy Javier Prado avenue, the location may be a bit off putting but not enough so to keep the local crowds away (make a reservation beforehand!). Try the boneless and juicy roast duck stuffed with sticky rice for a show and meal in one, crispy pork belly cooked in a caja china (a type of roasting oven), and a few scoops of Lychee and Coconut ice cream.
Address: Avenida Javier Prado Este, 1212 San Isidro
Cover photo: James / Flickr