While travelling in a foreign country we usually want to try something local, good and cheap. Peru is a country unique in many aspects. This uniqueness can be discerned among others in the food. Yes, yes, the food in Peru is delicious and definitely different.
As a rule, there are a lot of bars and restaurants in Cusco, sometimes on one street you will find some or even several of them. Every kind under the sun.
In the cheapest, small local restaurants where the menu (soup and main course + salad + drink and sometimes also a small desert) costs between 4-8 soles, are served usually the same or very similar dishes with rice, French fries and chicken. Currently I cannot look at the rice, and also for a chicken. Eating it every day it’s too much for me. But with this, for sure will not agree Peruvians for whom the dish without rice is not a dish. In summary, rice, French fries and chicken, for Peruvians as a rule is simply a set of mandatory. And of course, some of these small restaurants leave a lot to be desired in terms of cleanliness, hygiene and freshness of the ingredients of particular dishes. A large part of tourists rather bypasses these from afar, I sometimes eat in these places because I like to be closer to the local society, but not always the dishes I try satisfy me.
In contrast to these cheap local bars, in the restaurants where prices for each dish or menu begin from minimum 17 – 20 soles, well you will see the difference. Much cleaner, more dishes to choose, but also more tourists, fewer locals. But the question is: are these dishes more delicious? Depends, not always the higher price gives guarantee that the dish will taste better. Part of the restaurants are doing a really good food, and some do not, but the prices are high.
During my stay in Cusco, I checked quite a lot of restaurants, some cheaper, some more expensive, some in the center, and other outside the center. And after some months of looking for the best place to eat lunch, finally I chose the restaurant called Govinda, situated in San Blas market (Mercado San Blas). This restaurant meets all my expectations, in 100%.
Govinda Lila’s restaurant in Cusco, San Blas market
Imagine you are walking in San Blas area in Cusco and finaly visit San Blas market (mercado San Blas).
It looks as an inconspicuous place, some stalls with fruit, some with vegetables, some with fresh juices, and some where they is served lunch.
And among all this stalls there is one which differ a lot from others. It is Govinda Lila restaurant which exists on the market from around 7 years.
What differ this place from other around?
First of all the owner: Lovely, warm Peruvian womam – Mrs. Lila, who for me is an example of a true businesswoman. She was the only one who noticed an increasing demand and interest among tourists for typical vegetarian restaurants, which were not popular in Cusco some years ago and what more important has managed to fill these luke. She created someting, for what a lot of tourists were waiting, and is keeping the service on the high level from several years. Mrs Lila has all the time a lot of clients, hungry clients, who with pleasure visit her place and enjoy a lot while having a lunch there.
Her restaurant is very small, simple but in the same time very clean and cosy. She takes care about the details: about the dishes, the table, about the hygienic (everything is clean).
But not only this differ Govinda restaurant from other this kind of places in Cusco. Namely, people who come here have possibility to make interesting conversation with her or with other clients. So it is not just a place where you can eat well but also a great place to conclude acquaintances, to acquire new knowledge, to learn about Peruvian culture, customs and to chat. To sum up Mrs. Lila takes care not only about the taste of her meals, but also about atmosphere.
What kind of meals you will find in Govinda restaurant?
- Completely Vegetarian
- Currently not only vegetarian, but rather typically vegan without gluten, soy, without milk
- Healthy and fresh, because cooked with what gives us the nature, in addition every day from new ingredients. There is no space here to use the meals from the previous day.
How much does cost the menu in Govinda restaurant?
The price for the so-called “menu” – soup and main course costs only 6 soles (a little bit more then 2 $), only soup costs 2,5 soles and only main course costs 5 soles. Once you taste the “menu” of Govinda, sooner or later you will return to this place. There is no better deal in the food market, than in this restaurant.
The restaurant is opened from 12 – midday till 4 pm.
Do you want to eat cheap, healthy and in typical Peruvian environment, visit Govinda Lila’s restaurant in San Blas Cusco and check by yourself.
I hope now you will know how to find the best restaurant in Cusco on a budget.