I have already written a detailed report about our trip to Ecuador.
This series of posts will detail our trip to Peru and ultimately one of the new seven wonders of the world – Machu Picchu.
This post (part 5) will cover eating in Ollantaytambo.
Part 1: Traveling to Machu Picchu: The Basics
Part 2: Planning travel and lodging
Part 3: Travel from Cusco to Ollantaytambo
Part 4: Things to do in Ollantaytambo, Peru
Part 5: Eating in Ollantaytambo, Peru
Part 6: Cycling down a mountain
Part 7: Hiking on an Inca trail
Part 8: Zip lining and hiking to Aguas Calientes
Part 9: The climb to Machu Picchu
Part 10: How much did our trip to Peru cost?
Eating in Ollantaytambo, Peru
In our travels through Peru, we learned that food in Peru can be both delicious and cheap. Here are some things to keep in mind in Ollantaymbo.
Most of Plaza Mayor is surrounded with restaurants all offering similar fair. Most have signs enticing you to eat there so that helps with the decision making. Many will offer a Menu Turistico, which includes a soup, an entree and a beverage.
We ate at this place (I don’t remember the name), in the as you exit the West side of Plaza Mayor toward Ollantaytambo Sanctuary, on the left of the Hostal Chaupy Wasi building.
The menu turistico was 14 soles. We had the alpaca and it was delicious. My brother said it was one of the best meals he has ever had.
Menu del Dia
If you walk around a little you will see signs for Menu del Dia. It comes with soup, an entree and a beverage. So I still haven’t figured out the difference between the Menu Turistico and Menu del Dia, other than Menu Turistico appears targeted at tourists and is therefore more expensive.
We ate at Restaurant Inca Travel a couple times.
The menu del dia was 8 soles (about $2.60 USD). After the soup I had the lomo saltado, a very common Peruvian dish consisting of beef, rice and potatoes.
Make sure you get muña tea as your beverage. It is unique to the area, and has a delicious minty taste.
Mercado San Pedro
If you are looking for cheap and local, Mercado San Pedro is the place to go. It is located a block east of Plaza Mayor. The bottom floor has many booths selling things like fresh meats, fruits and vegetables. My first time there I didn’t even realize there were upper floors. Look for stairs and head up. There you will find small stalls selling food.
I found a number of places serving menu del dia for only 5 soles (about $1.70 USD). Locals were eating here, so I assume they know the good places. The food tasted just as good as when I ate at other restaurants.
A common breakfast offering was rice and potatoes with an egg on top. One can find breakfast for about 5 soles. Inside Mercado San Pedro, you can find this breakfast for 3 soles (about $1 USD).
In addition to alpaca, you will see a lot of signs advertising cuy. Be aware that cuy is guinea pig. Feel free to try it. I can’t give any feedback because I think guinea pigs are too cute to eat.
And you can’t go to Peru without trying Inca Cola.
Remember that the water is non-potable. Either buy bottled water or use something like a life-straw to filter your water.
Food in Peru is good and cheap. Look for the menu del dia for a cheap option which includes both soup and an entree.
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