Known best as the jumping off point for Machu Picchu, the colonial-era city of Cusco stands alone in terms of beauty, stellar monuments and bygone charm. And let it be known: Cusco is full of superlative dining experiences and culinary wizards. The city’s famous cobblestoned streets, steep inclines and covert entrances hide some of the country’s best eateries, all for shockingly low prices. Forget that fabled lost city and the Inca Trail, one could literally spend 14 days eating their way through the city.
While many of Cusco’s hidden gems are indeed that-hidden, some of the best spots to go for a cheap, delicious lunch are right smack dab in the middle of the city, overlooking the Plaza de Armas. My personal favorite and a popular hangout for expats writing bi-lingual letters home is the Cappuccino Café on the upper floor of the Portal Comercio. The cozy dining room oozes Americana with red and white gingham tablecloths and random kitsch decorating the walls. The best tables are those butted up against the balconies, overlooking the plaza and La Cathedral.
And while the café boasts 22 varieties of coffee and puts together a mean breakfast spread, the real reason to keep coming back is the world’s best $2 egg, avocado, cheese and tomato sandwich. The double-decker, vegetarian-friendly sandwich is served on toast, with ample chunks of ripe avocado and melted Swiss. It can easily be shared between two people but trust me when I say, you will immediately be ordering round two if you go that route. Order a pisco sour to wash it all down and you’ve got yourself the most satisfying $5 lunch in Peru.
The Cappuccino Café also has a computer room with internet access available for about .50 cents per hour.
Location: Portal Comercio 141, Cusco, Peru