My Favorite Restaurants in Iquitos Peru
I updated all prices, information, and recommendation on Where Will You Eat in Iquitos Peru, on April 26, 2009.
I updated all prices, information, and recommendations on Where Will You Eat in Iquitos Peru, again on August 20 2009.
I updated all prices, information, and recommendations on Where Will You Eat in Iquitos Peru again on January 25, 2010
If you are only going to be in Iquitos Peru for a day or two, the short list of restaurants is The Dawn on the Amazon Café, or Ari’s Burger for breakfast; The Huasai, The Dawn on the Amazon Café, or Bucanero for lunch; and Antica, El Meson or The Dawn on the Amazon Café, for Dinner.
If you are on a tight budget try Las Jugueras for breakfast, Huasai for lunch, Kikiriki for dinner.
Ari’s Burger, Prospero # 127. Opens early. Ask for the English menu. On the Plaza de Armas, one block from the boulevard and the river. Good place to start till you learn your way around. The food is not the greatest, but it is easy to find, open air, good service, brewed coffee, a place to see and be seen. I think the pork sandwich with onion and pepper salsa may be the best item on the menu. For something healthy and different, try an Acai Juice (you probably do want sugar in it), or one of my favorites, the Super Erectus, or any of its derivatives.
The Dawn on the Amazon Café, Between Maldonado #185 and Nauta #101. Opens at 7:30am Monday-Saturday till 9:00pm. Menu and prices in English and Spanish. Great view over looking the boulevard and the river. I meet Mike Collis, editor of the Iquitos Times, and an interesting group of friendly ex-pats and travelers, nearly every morning at 8:00am for the best breakfast in Iquitos, brewed coffee, and good conversation. Try a frosty tropical fruit juice or smoothie. If you are interested, ask to see the Ayahuasca Diet portion of the menu, cooked without salt, pepper, oil, dairy, or pork.
Amazon Bistro, on the Boulevard or Malecon, Tarapaca #268, Tel: (065) 600-785, Open 7 days during the week at 6:00am with the best espresso in Iquitos and the only crepes I know of. No english menu. Beautiful decor and nice ambiance.
Las Jugueras, 9 Diciembre con Próspero. Opens at first light. No English. Walk 10 blocks south on Prospero from the Plaza de Armas, or take a motocar for 2 soles to the entrance of the Belen Mercado. This is for the adventurous or the traveler on the tightest budget. You will recognize the place when you see 50 blenders in two rows, blending five fruits into juice, (I prefer the jugo surtido, not the jugo especial). For $1 or less, you can buy a couple of egg with avocado sandwiches and all of the juice you can drink. While you are there, explore one of the most interesting third world markets.
Ivalú Juguería, Sargento Lorres # 215. Opens at 8:00 a.m. No English. Small, quaint and typical. Perfect to immerse yourself in the local culture. The second street south of the Plaza de Armas, second block from the boulevard and the river. Our favorite for tamales, and humitas, with delicious home made sauces. The pies and cakes taste as good as they look.
Huasai, Fitzcarrald # 131. No English on the hand written specials menu. Across the street and a few doors from the Plaza de Armas, northwest, away from the river. Fast service, several choices of specials. Enjoy a beautifully prepared and presented meal, with great sauces, plus a pitcher of juice for only $3.00. Very popular with local business people.
Amazon Bistro, on the boulevard or Malecon, Tarapaca #268, Tel: (065) 600-785, Open 7 days a week, 6:00am until late. Featuring french cuisine, the plate of the day with or without soup and/or desert, and espresso. French bread baked on the premise. Beautiful decor.
Bucanero, Avenida Marina # 124. Lunch only. No English on the menu. Sit on the second floor for a great view of the river and port. We usually eat fried fish nuggets (chicharrones), or fried farm raised shrimp (camarones). A good place to try a pisco sour. Take a motocar for one and a half soles.
La Vecina, Tavara West # 352. Lunch only. No English menu. This is our favorite little cebicheria, in fact the only choices are a large plate of cebiche, and a small plate of cebiche. We each get a small plate and an extra serving of sweet potatoes (camotes). Only 6 tables, usually full, but worth the wait. Take a motocar for one and a half soles.
Long Fung, San Martin # 458. No English menu. The food at Long Fung would be considered delicious in any city. Take a look in the kitchen at the flame rolling up the side of the woks. We eat at Long Fung once a week. We always get the fried rice with pork and alternate between Marmelita’s favorite, tamarindo, a sweet and sour sauce, with twice fried chicken and vegetables, or my favorite the parrilla huevos, chicken and pork, with quail eggs, vegetables and lots of ginger. We usually take half of it home to eat for supper. The chicken soup with vegetables and big chunks of ginger seems very healthy. Take a motocar to Plaza de 28 Julio for one and a half soles.
The Dawn on the Amazon Café, #185 Maldonado to #101 Nauta St. Call 600057 or 223730 for take out. English and Spanish spoken. English and Spanish menu, showing the price in dollars and soles. Relax in comfortable chairs on the boulevard with a great view of the river. Some of best sandwiches, french fries, soups, and smoothies in Iquitos. One of the few restaurants in Iquitos making a decision not to serve “bush meat.” A good ethical organization worthy of your support, with 5% of profits given back to the community through local charities. If you are interested, ask to see the Ayahuasca Diet portion of the menu, cooked without salt, pepper, oil, dairy, or pork.
El Mijano, Amazonas 829-A, Punchana. Try the Sudado de Tucunaré and the Patarashca de Pescado for $5-7. Take a motocar for S/ 2 soles.
La Tullpa, La Tullpa is located far from the tourist center, just past the 5 kilometer marker on the Nauta Road across from the PetroPeru gas station, just before the Zungarococha Road, the right turn to the Amazon Golf Course. Take a moto-carro for S/ 8 soles. My favorite restaurant on the Nauta Road, or near the Amazon Golf Course. The special is only S/5 soles. My favorite meal at La Tullpa is the fried fish, Palometa, Gamitana, or Pacu. In any restaurant far from the tourist center it is “safer” to get the soup instead of the salad, and to drink soda pop, bottled water, or beer instead of the juice or refresco. That is my policy, and it works for me.
The Dawn on the Amazon Café, #195 Malecon Maldonado to #101 Nauta St. Call 600057 or 223730 for take out. My offices are on both sides of the Café. Maybe we will meet there with an interesting group of my ex-pat friends and travelers for good conversation and delicious food. My favorites are the Sweet Iquitos Fire Baked Chicken Sandwich, the Mexican Beef and Chicken Fajitas, or the Steamed Fresh Fish Fillet with the Best Rice Ever. Try the delicious Twice Baked Stuffed Potato and a Peanut Butter Conspiracy Smoothie. Some of the best vegetarian dishes in Iquitos. I particularly recommend the Steamed Vegetables on Quinua, super grain of the Incas, for only $3.39. If you are interested, ask to see the Ayahuasca Diet portion of the menu, cooked without salt, pepper, oil, dairy, or pork.
Antica, Napo # 159. Ph # 24-1988 for delivery. No English menu. Homemade pastas, pizzas cooked in a wood fired oven, wonderful cheeses and sauces. The most interesting menu in Iquitos. After experimenting with nearly all of the many choices I usually get the fettuccini with a delicious tomato sauce for 18 soles, including a bowl of grated parmesan cheese, a basket of fresh baked bread and butter or virgin olive oil. A large glass of red wine is a bargin at 5 soles. Try the Antica sauce on a perfect pasta. Marmelita usually orders the scachiatina “Mosaico”, a thin pizza pie with a top crust, which I also enjoy. The Mista salad balances a special meal. Sharing half a pitcher of sangria goes down good. Located less than half a block toward the river from Ari’s Burger.
Amazon Bistro, on the boulevard or Malecon, Tarapaca #268, Tel: (065) 600-785, Open 7 days a week from 6:00am until late at night. No English Menu. Featuring authentic french cuisine, and the best selection of french wines in Iquitos. French bread baked on the premise.
La Querencia Parrillada, Napo # 138. Ph# 225785. No English menu. The best steaks in town, with great homemade table sauces. I usually get the small lomo fino (tenderloin) with papa dorados or french fries. Located across the street from Antica, half a block toward the river from the Plaza de Armas.
El Meson, Maldonado #153. Ph# 231857, English menu. Well located near the center of the boulevard with a scenic view of the river. Specializing in exotic regional dishes. The first meal I ate in Iquitos 11 years ago was at El Meson. It was paiche loretana, and that dish is as good today as it was then. Right now I am stuck on the majas stew with mashed potatoes, but the fresh fish dishes are excellent also. A good place to sample a pisco sour while enjoying the view.
Fitzcarraldo, Napo #100 Ph# 23-6536. Well located on the busiest corner of the boulevard facing the river, much improved. One of my new favorites. A little more expensive than most of my favorites, but $10-$12 buys one of the best meals in Iquitos. I like the fish stuffed with palm hearts covered with red pepper sauce, fish with maracuya sauce, or the pepper steak and mashed potatoes with gravy and seared mixed vegetables.
Kikiriki, Napo # 159. Ph # 23-2020 for delivery. Open at 6 p.m. No English menu. The chicken is cooked over a bed of coals on a large rotisserie. $2.75 for a quarter of chicken, fried bananas, and slaw,…with potatoes a few cents more. Try the hot spicy green table sauce. Easy walk one block from the Plaza de Armas corner of Napo and Condamine. Kikiriki, Cock a doodle doo…get it, in Spanish, ha ha.
El Carbon, Condamine # 115. Ph # 22-3292 for delivery. Open at 6 p.m. English menu. We eat here once a week for tenderloin kabobs, tenderloin steak with golden potatoes, and perfect vegetables, or pork chops. They tend to undercook their meat. I like my steaks medium rare so I order medium, and they bring medium rare. If you want well done you must emphasize well done, because they do not over cook. Located next door to Kikiriki.
Long Fung. Same as in the LUNCH section except reopens at 7 p.m.
My Favorite Restaurants in Iquitos Peru
This is not a top 10 best restaurants list or the greatest restaurants of Iquitos Peru list. It is simply a guide to where Marmelita and I eat. Our choices provide a wide variety of food that we love at prices we can afford. We have sorted through hundreds of restaurants and narrowed our favorites to these 15.
We receive no discounts, commissions, special portions, or favors. A disclaimer; I recently opened The Dawn on the Amazon Café. I am not impartial but I sincerely believe it serves the best food of it’s kind in Iquitos and I am putting my reputation on the line, so it had better be the best. Being second best does not interest me at all.
For four annual physicals in a row my cholesterol has been 160, triglycerides 138, blood pressure perfect, and I have had no parasites. It’s safe to say that eating where I eat could be good for your health.
If a restaurant makes me sick, or gives me diarrhea, that restaurant is removed from this list. Two restaurants suffered this fate, for causing me to suffer that fate, so you won’t have to…
What am I missing out on? What are your favorite restaurants in Iquitos Peru? Please share them with us in the comment section below.
Bill Grimes is the self appointed restaurant critic for Dawn on the Amazon
For a more in-depth review of 10 of my favorite restaurants, follow these links;