Hunting for the Best Ceviche in Lima

Lima, the capital of Peru, is often titled as “the culinary capital of South America”. In layman’s terms: it’s a great place to eat. And that is pretty much the only thing I did in the city. Everyone I met in Peru had praised ceviche, a fresh fish that is cooked in acid lime or lemon juice. I still hadn’t had the raw fish dish, so on a gloomy and dark night in Lima, the quest to find the best ceviche in Lima had begun.

Journey to the Restaurant

I was accompanied by Ernest, famous Dutch ichthyologist and marine scientist (traveller and chemistry student), who had spent a lifetime doing extensive research (10 minutes on Tripadvisor) on best seafood restaurants in the city. We set out from Barranco, a posh district in Southern Lima, and traversed all the way (4 km) to Miraflores, an upscale shopping district in the downtown of Lima.

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I really meant it when I said “dark and gloomy night”.

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The Pacific Ocean and beach side locales.

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Lovers on grass in Barranco.

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Larcomar shopping centre in Miraflores. Everything from Hilfiger to KFC.

Costazul Seafood – Passion for Fish

After an hour of walking and dodging the eager salesmen trying to sell us cocaine, we were finally there. Alone in the corner of Calle Berlin and Alfredo Leon lays Costazul Seafood, like an oasis in the desert. Ernest’s expertise in fish science and aquatic life had led us to one of the best seafood restaurants in the city (or maybe it was the 355 excellent reviews on Tripadvisor).

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A mecca for fish eaters. Start bowing towards northwest!

We got seated right away by our waiter Renso. His team, Real Madrid, had just won the Champions League a couple of hours earlier. The man was smiling like a he just won in the lottery!

The restaurant was small, rustic but extremely welcoming. It was just one of those places with a chill atmosphere, it is hard to describe it better. Costazul can seat around 20 people and when we arrived at around 8:00 P.M, the place was almost full. It is better to go early or even reserve a table beforehand.

Recommended by Renso, we started of with slow-cooked octopus (Octopus mushame) tender in olive oil loaded with garlic, surrounded by a ring of sliced tomato and avocado, and some bread as companion. I had my doubts about the cold octopus appetizer but it was tentaclicious, easily one of the best seafood dishes I’ve had!

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Slow-cooked octopus (Octopus mushame).

Next stop, ceviche. We went with the combo of seabass, shrimp, corn and sweet potato. I was sold, it tasted delicious! The fish was so fresh that it literally tastes like the Pacific! The combination of fresh seabass marinated in lime juice, spicy red onion and sweet potato just does it. A strong recommendation!

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Original Costazul ceviche with seabass, shrimp, corn and sweet potato.

The total cost of the meal was 20 US$ per person, including two beers to wash down the delicious dinner. We tipped Renso and walked back to the cold and misty night of Lima. Too bad, it was so cozy inside.

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Our waiter Renso with high spirits after the Champions League final.

On our way back to Barranco, for the third time that day, we were offered cocaine for dessert, which we happily declined. Instead, we decided to grab coffee from Larcomar, the shopping centre that we had passed by earlier.

My mission in Lima was completed. But this was just the beginning. The next day I would be flying to Colombia. While sipping on my cold flat white, it got me thinking. The hunt for the perfect cup of coffee had begun!

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