8 Perfect Cafes In Cusco

The Historic Capital of Peru—Cusco—peeks out from behind the mountains as you fly in from Lima. The indigenous Quechuan name means Rock of the Owl. According to legend, an Incan brother turned into rock after marking possession of the land. Indeed, rocks mark the city. The breathtaking ancient Incan ruins, with impeccably aligned stones, seem to guard over the entire city. The stone-laid streets whispering to visitors, slow down, and soak in the ancient vibe still carried by the artisans and musicians. Food carts with their distinctly Peruvian flavour tease the senses. If that’s irresistible, then it’s impossible to ignore the aroma of the Cusconian coffee beans roasted to perfection. As you surrender to your senses, here are 8 quaint little cafes you won’t want to miss:

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Panam Pasteleria Y Cafe | Portal Nuervo 232, Cusco, Peru

Tucked away just on the other side of Plaza de Armas, the smell of fresh bread is anything but hidden. Beautiful artwork lines the walls on one side, while baskets of flaky croissants and crisp ciabatta line the other. Their breakfast options and roast beef sandwiches are popular options.

Recommendations:

To Sip: Cafe Capuccinodoble (double cappacino) – S/.10.00PEN/$3.50US

Something Sweet: Warm Chocolate Croissant – S/. 2.50PEN/$0.90US

Something Savoury: Toasted Triple Tricolor Ciabatta w/ avacado, egg, sliced tomato. S/.8.00PEN/$2.80US   Screen Shot 2014-08-01 at 3.23.25 PM

La Valeriana | Avenida del Sol 576, Cusco, Peru

The charming white bicycle out front is just as charming as the interior decor and atmosphere. Located on Avenida el Sol and facing Qoricancha park, it’s the perfect place to pause, take in the scenery, and perhaps even people-watch. Their fruit smoothies and range of pastries will make for difficult decision making. For something substantial, try their vegetarian lasagne or quiche.

Recommendations:

To Sip: Mango, Pineapple, Coconut, & Melon Smoothie – S/.10.00PEN/$3.50US

Something Sweet: Cream-Filled Rolampagos w/ Chocolate Glaze – S/.4.00PEN/$1.40US

Something Savoury: Crunchy Pork Sandwich w/ Creole Zanza Sauce – S/.13.00PEN/$4.60US   Screen Shot 2014-08-01 at 3.23.52 PM

Cuscoffee | Calle Heladeros 167, Centro Historico, Cusco, Peru

Such a hidden little gem. But don’t let the humble appearance fool you. Passing by the counter and entering the spacious back room, you’ll wish you brought your favourite book. The comfy sofas and impressive modern decor create an incredibly relaxing atmosphere. You can even strum out your favourite melody on the guitar they’ve got. The Peruvian hot chocolate is highly recommended.

Recommendations:

To Sip: Cafe Irlandės con Whisky (Irish Coffee) – S/.10.00 PEN/$3.50US

Something Sweet: Panqueques Miel De Abejas (Pancakes w/ Organic Honey) – S/.10.00PEN/$3.50US

Something Savoury: Panqueques con jamon, queso, pollo (Pancakes w/ ham, cheese, chicken) – S/.15PEN/$5.30US

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San Pedro Panaderia Y Pasteleria | Calle Hospital, Cusco, Peru

Located just a short walk from bustling San Pedro Market, past Avenida Baja, this little cafe will make you feel like you’re at your grandmother’s house. They bake their breads in-house, so it’ll be difficult to leave if they’re just about to bring out a fresh batch. Be sure to try their selection of home-made cakes also.

Recommendations:

To Sip: Cafe con Leche – S/.3.50PEN/$1.25US

Something Sweet: Chocolate Cups filled with Coffee Cream – S/.2.50PEN/$0.90US

Something Savoury: Chicken, Beef, or Cheese Empanadas – S/.2.50PEN/$0.90US   Screen Shot 2014-08-01 at 3.25.19 PM

La Bondiet Pasteleria | Calle Heladeros 118, Cusco, Peru

The attentive staff deserve a mention at this modern French-style cafe. Their large glass cabinets are filled with tantalising cakes and desserts. The Lacuma ice-cream, made from the distinctly scented South American fruit never leaves people on the fence—you’ll either find it absolutely delightful, or unbearable.

Recommendations:

To Sip: Cappuccino S/.6.00PEN/$2.15US

Something Sweet: Royal Cup Ice-Cream – S/.14.00PEN/$5.00US

Something Savoury: Swiss Chard Pie – S/.6.00PEN/$2.15US

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Cafe Y Chocolate | Calle Espaderos 120, Cusco, Peru

Literally a hole in the wall, they’ve been able to nicely fit out this little cafe. Big comfy and colourful arm-chairs make for a vibrant setting. As the name suggests, there is a wide variety of chocolates and desserts. The place is almost always full—a good sign.

Recommendations:

To Sip: Hot Nutella – S/.12.00PEN/$4.30US

Something Sweet: Waffles con Miel y Fudge o Dulce (Waffles w/ honey & fudge) – S/.9.00PEN/$3.20US

Something Savoury: Toasted Mozzarella Sandwich S/.16.00PEN/$5.70US

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Cafe Perla | En La Plazoleta Santa Catalina 304 | Cusco, Peru

Situated nicely on the corner of a small plaza, you can’t miss the impressive coffee roaster perched behind the window. The aroma of their beans compliments the cooking that takes place in the open kitchen situated in the back. Their menu includes the traditional Peruvian ceviche, Rocoto Relleno (stuffed hot peppers), and Papa Rellena (stuffed potatoes).

Recommendations:

To Sip: Mate de Coca (Coca Tea) – S/.3.00PEN/$1.05US

Something Sweet: Elderberry & Aguayment Cheesecake – S/.10.00PEN/$3.50US

Something Savoury: Alpaca a la Parilla (Grilled Alpaca) – S/.32.00PEN/$11.40US

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Costumbres Cafe | Cnr. Portla del Carnes & Portal Belen | Cusco, Peru

Facing the famous Plaza de Armas, you’ll have to keep an eye out for this cafe as there isn’t much signage. Known for their ice-cream desserts and eclectic flair, the chefs have come up with dishes like Ribcage of pork served with sweet coffee sauce.

Recommendations:

To Sip: Hot Chocolate Punch w/ Oats & Quinoa – S/.8.00PEN/$2.80US

Something Sweet: Banana Split w/ fresh fruits & Chantilly cream – S/.14.00PEN/$5.00US

Something Savoury: Fried Trout & Quinoa Aguaymanto – S/.30.00PEN/$10.75US

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2016-12-09T19:57:20+00:00 By |

About the Author:

A quixotic soul with a creative curiosity—Thai loves playing with words more than his albino hedgehog. A former professional chef and international athlete (yes, an oxymoron), he’s now somewhere in the world with his beloved Macbook and a story to share.