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Miraflores is a lovely area of Lima south of San Isidro along the Pacific Ocean. Here you will find hotels, high rise apartments and condos, some of the best restaurants in Lima, upscale boutiques, art galleries and trendy cafes.

Larcomar: At the end of Avenida Larco is an upscale, open-air shopping center with many boutiques and restaurants. Stores feature men’s and women’s clothing, jewelry, outdoor and sports stores, gifts items and home accessories. There are a number of restaurants and outdoor cafes like Juan Valdez for coffee, Vivaldino and Bonbonniere for French food and pastries. There is also an office of PeruRail if you need to book your trip to Machu Picchu!

Walk Avenida Larco and explore the many shops and restaurants. Stop in at the church on the south side of Parque Central.

Astrid y Gaston: Currently at Calle Canturias 175, the same location for 19 years, this was just listed as the top restaurant in South America by Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants 2013. I had one of the best meals ever. They book up at least two months in advance so I was able to get a reservation for lunch. I opted to order a la carte, two appetizers, one entree and a dessert, instead of one the the larger tasting menus. The larger has 23 small courses which can last several hours. Wine pairings for each course are also available. The restaurant was not huge but attractive, the service outstanding and the food really outstanding. They will be moving to a larger space in San Isidro, in 2014, that will include a cooking school according to local friends.

My lunch included beautiful breads, octopus on top of potatoes covered in squid ink sauce, a quail egg in a sauce, causas or potatoes topped with fish, a fennel salad and tuna and white fish with a rum glaze, with coconut foam and a corn tamale with coriander, plus a decadent chocolate dessert. Each course was beautifully presented!!

Central Restaurant: The 4th best restaurant by Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants 2013, this is a must to visit in Lima. There is seating on two levels, but I recommend sitting along the window on the first floor and looking into the open kitchen in order to watch the chefs meticulously preparing each dish. Hopefully you will see or meet Chef Virgilio Martinez who is delightful.

I had crispy sweet potato and root vegetables in dipping sauces, a tasty eucalyptus and coca leaf bread, a light entree of sea bass dusted with an ash of vegetables in a coconut sauce with lemongrass and scallops, a small side of rice with scallops, several small pieces of lemongrass jelly on the plate, a refreshing lemonade, ice cream with mango and coconut and a small presentation of chocolates and other sweets.

Amaz: At Av. la Paz 1079 in the first floor of the Hilton in Miraflores along with several other restaurants. Recently featured in the New York Times, this is a restaurant with a creative menu by Chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino that is one of the first to use ingredients from the Peruvian Amazon. My meal included a seafood and mango salad ceviche, a refreshing fruit drink made with camu camu, paiche (the huge Amazon fish) with a cocona fruit and lemongrass sauce plus a light sponge cake with pineapple, Myer’s rum and coconut ice cream. So many new tastes for the first time! His other restaurant, Malabar in San Isidro, is listed as the 7th best restaurant by Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants 2013 and is highly recommended

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