Cusco is nestled in the Andean highlands and can tap into a wide array of natural produce. The city was the heart of the Inca empire and has always used foods like potatoes, quinoa and corn.

Now that many travelers are coming to Cusco, they are getting people like celebrity Chef Gaston Acurio to open an outpost here. His restaurant Chicha is located on a beautiful square, the Plaza de Regocijos, on the second floor of a centuries-old whitewashed house with blue balconies.

The atmosphere is relaxed, and casual, with eggplant colored walls, polished wooden floors, and a beam vaulted ceiling. The walls are decorated with “food” art, like corn, potatoes and peppers.

The name Chicha comes from a Peruvian traditional drink made with a variety of corns.

The menu is divided according to the location of the food, from the water, land, and mountains.

Things like potato dishes, ceviches, tiradito, adobo, guinea pig, alpaca, giant corn.

Many of the dishes are large here and are meant for sharing. For instance, our rotisserie chicken could have easily fed 3-4 people. Our corn soup is a meal in itself. The ceviche is quite good considering this is a mountain town. The prices are also quite reasonable compared to what we are used to back home.

The showstopper is a chocolate dessert, where they poured a hot caramel and chocolate sauce on top of a chocolate ball, and it melts the ball to reveal some ice cream and fruits inside.

Chicha is a good, not great, restaurant where you can taste all the regional dishes, with a modern twist, as well as international ones, presented beautifully. They also have a long list of original cocktails, many involving pisco.

Happy dining,
Shanea

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