Location, location, location. Perched right at the base of the steep hill leading up to Plaza San Blas, Jack’s Café is a hip oasis of creative comfort food, English-language magazines and ambient music. It’s also a prime spot to mingle, relax and re-fuel before ascending any more of Cusco’s famous cobblestoned hills.
The main draw here is simple: fresh, innovative food, easy-going service and a welcoming atmosphere. On weekend mornings and most evenings the line of people waiting to be seated is often wrapped outside the door. Jack’s has a well-earned reputation for generous portions, fluffy pancakes with caramelized bananas and perfect coffee drinks. If you want to skip the crowd, lunchtime is much tamer and offers a good opportunity to try the ginger-lime tea in peace.
Don’t be surprised if you find yourself wanting to order five or six different things the first time you visit Jack’s. The sheer variety of delicious-sounding items on the menu provokes many a return visit and seldom disappoints. Mains run from $3-7.50 and arrive looking too pretty to eat. On my first visit, it was a toss-up between the bean and cheese tortillas or the veggie burger. I decided to go with the tortilla dish and immediately patted myself on the back when it arrived- pinto beans and gooey cheese pressed between a crisp tortilla and served with a spicy pico de gallo salsa and creamy guacamole, yum! The second time around, I contemplated the grilled chicken and avocado sandwich before ultimately going with the pumpkin soup and hummus with ciabatta bread. Another score and full stomach all for around $5.
On a side note, the ridiculously generous English breakfast is served all day and the fresh fruit smoothies are dangerously good. Be sure to arrive with a healthy appetite, you’re going to need it.
Location: Choquechaka 509, Cusco, Peru