Cuzco Restaurante — One of the most popular restaurants in Cartagena
You wouldn’t expect to find a chic Peruvian restaurant tucked in the heart of Cartagena’s Old Walled City but that’s exactly what Cuzco Restaurante is. This rather recent addition to the ever-changing gastronomic scene in Cartagena has quickly become one of the top finer dining spots around offering fresh takes on Peruvian favorites created with local ingredients. The streamlined design adds an elegant feel to the place while the perfectly paired foods light up your palette.
The Décor is to Die For
Cuzco’s art direction was designed by Medellin-based Pipa Alzate the fashion-forward creator behind Restaurante Ferro, La Cubanita/Salsa & Son Cubano Bar, and Afterland Themepark (all in Medellin, Colombia). Clean lines and open spaces make Cuzco chic and somehow laid back at the same time. While the patrons and the wait staff dress to impress, and the service is on point, the blonde woods and enclosed open air pool at table side lend a sense of Caribbean leisure.
For a more intimate setting, the rooftop seating offers a gorgeous view of the city and the night sky for romantic dinners with someone special or a special dinner with close friends.
Most nights there’s a Cuban band playing to add just the right amount of Caribbean ambiance while you sample some of the Peruvian delights on the menu.
Unique New Twists on Old Peruvian Favorites
The dishes are a bit pricier than you’d find at most ceviche joints in the city but are still more reasonable than most of the upscale dining options in Cartagena. And the chef really knows how to make the most out of locally sourced ingredients.
Some of the standout dishes include:
• Fried calamari
• Ceviche (of all sorts)
• Chaufo (a low-rent rice dish Cuzco reinvents into something exceptional)
• Mariscos a la Chalaca
• Piqueo Cuzco
And to drink Cuzco has an excellent (and extensive) wine list as well as a host of signature cocktails that already have patrons raving.
A Trendy Spot That’s Catching On Maybe Too Quickly
Cuzco is rather intimate–which is to say there is limited tablespace (which fills up at nearly every seating). One on hand this ensures personal service. On the other getting in can be a little tricky sometimes as Cuzco is popular not only with travelers but with local Colombians alike. While you may be able to sneak in the door if you time your arrival right, reservations are highly recommended.
Part of the reason Cuzco is so popular is because the location, Calle Santo Domingo # 33 – 48, makes it a wonderful place to meet up with friends (old or new) after a day of exploring Cartagena’s Old City. If you’re visiting Cartagena eat where the locals eat when they’re craving Peruvian cuisine and try Cuzco Restaurante.