Arequipa Food & Cuisine: The 5 Best Dishes to Try

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Alongside its spectacular and charming places such as the Colca Canyon, the White City of Arequipa will captivate you with its varied and delicious gastronomy. Dishes that combine ingredients from the Andes and the coast, perfectly blended and seasoned, will delight your palate. Its famous shrimp chowder, exquisite stuffed rocoto, and tasty adobo are among the 5 best typical dishes of Arequipa. You will discover that one of the highlights of this city is the incomparable flavor of its dishes, and that you will not only remember your visit for those breathtaking views but also for the delights you will taste. Here’s our tray with those delicious Arequipa dishes.

Shrimp Chowder

If you’re a food lover, you can’t miss the Shrimp Chowder of Arequipa. This dish is one of the most popular in Arequipa’s gastronomy and represents a unique experience you shouldn’t miss.

The Shrimp Chowder is a creamy broth prepared with fresh shrimp, potatoes, corn, cheese, milk, and spices. The result is an explosion of flavors that combines Andean and coastal ingredients from the region.

Each restaurant has its own secret recipe for shrimp chowder, but all are delicious. It’s best to try several to find your favorite. Pair this dish with a cold beer or a pisco sour and enjoy an authentic culinary experience in Arequipa.

Stuffed Rocoto

For those who enjoy spicy food, this dish will seem like a delight not to be missed. One of its main ingredients is rocoto (a type of chili pepper), which is filled with minced meat, raisins, onions, peanuts, eggs, among other ingredients. The stuffed rocoto is baked. If you’re going to try it, it can be served with either potato pie, mashed potatoes, or baked potatoes. And if you’re going to taste this culinary symbol of Arequipa, don’t forget to inquire about its origin legend, which involves a city cook, Manuel Masías, who rescued his daughter from hell.

Stuffed Rocoto of Arequipa Food & Cuisine

Just by seeing its colorful and appealing appearance accompanied by a unique aroma, you can already imagine savoring this Peruvian stew.

Arequipean Adobo

One of the excellent typical dishes of Arequipa to be enjoyed in the morning. A replenishing dish to gain the energy that will help you continue discovering the charms of Arequipa. Among its ingredients are pork, chicha de jora vinegar, garlic, onion, oregano, among others. This dish, usually accompanied by bread, is an exquisite combination and originated in the Arequipa district of Cayma, according to the historian Enrique Ramírez Angulo. It is said that this dish was offered to Spanish muleteers in chicherías (places where chicha was made) and that many of them were conquered by the chicheras of Arequipa, whom they married.

Try this delight that fuses Spanish cuisine with the special touch of Arequipa.


The texture of this sauce will awaken the most incredible sensations on your palate. Among the ingredients of this typical dish of the White City are garlic, huacatay (a herb with a unique aroma), aji mirasol (yellow chili pepper), peanuts, fresh cheese, milk, among others. This sauce is placed on top of boiled potatoes and is generally accompanied by eggs, lettuce, and olives. This mixture undoubtedly captivates the most demanding palates. It is usually served as an appetizer and is a simple dish, but one with a flavor to remember, described by writer Alonso Ruiz Rosas as “the major sauce of local cuisine” in his book La Gran Cocina Mestiza de Arequipa. It will be one more reason to try it.

Previously, the batán was used to make this sauce, but now it can be easily prepared using a blender. Either way, this sauce is delicious.

Bachelor’s Cheese Salad (Solterito de Queso)

Another great representative of Arequipa’s gastronomy. It is also served as an appetizer. Its ingredients include vegetables such as onions, tomatoes, and cooked beans, as well as pepper, parsley, cheese, corn, among others. The varied color of this pleasant and nutritious dish will catch your attention. There is a story behind it; it is said that bachelors consumed this dish to look good and not gain weight, thus increasing their chances of finding a partner.

If you’re looking for a dish with great nutritional value on one of those days you’re in Arequipa, the Solterito Arequipeño is a good choice.

From your trip, you will surely not forget the perfect combination of aromas and flavors of the typical dishes of Arequipa. There’s a reason why this city is one of the best culinary destinations in our country.

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