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From upscale fusion cuisine to grittier down-home cooking, there are plenty of delicacies and snacks well worth sampling while in Cuzco. Here are our picks for the five best food experiences to be found in Cuzco.
1. El Masón de Espaderos. This is an adventure for the carnivores out there who don't mind eating grilled guinea pig. Located above the Plaza de Armas, this restaurant's best bet is the Parilla Inca, which combines a variety of meats from the Andes for a tasting tour of local meat.
2. Pacha Papa's alpaca stew. Sure, you could go to the market and opt for a food stall serving up this very local, very savory dish, but it might be more enjoyable to enjoy it in the comfort of this reimagined version of a quinta, which takes traditional open-air dining and elevates it to a new level. Deservedly packed and highly recommended, this is a must-experience spot.
3. San Medro Market. For the chance to gather one's own vast array of local fruits, colorful peppers, and locally harvested spices, there's no better place to go. Add some of the bread and cheese to your basket, and it's the perfect picnic for when you explore the areas outside of the city.
4. Panadería. Conveniently (or inconveniently, depending on the crowds) located next to the market, this is where you'll want to go for fresh vegetables or homemade bread—or homemade bread stuffed with vegetables. For vegetarians visiting Cuzco, this is your best bet.
5. Samana Wasi. This low-key restaurant forgoes frills for flavor, which is why you should visit if you want to try freshly-caught trout from the Urubamba River.