Three Outstanding Peruvian Restaurants to Try This Weekend

Head to Cambridge for arroz con pato, Chelsea for grilled Amazonian fish, and Charlestown for Chinese-Peruvian fusion.

Slices of raw scallop are garnished with big toasted corn kernels and sliced green chili peppers, all sitting in a bright yellow broth.

La Royal’s scallop and blue cod ceviche. / Photo by Rachel Leah Blumenthal

Welcome to Three to Try. On Thursdays, we share three restaurant or dish recommendations for the weekend—sometimes new, sometimes old, always delicious.

Greater Boston is home to a fairly large selection of excellent Peruvian restaurants, offering everything from brightly acidic ceviche to pollo a la brasa (roast chicken) to lomo saltado (a stir-fried beef dish).

I’ve been eating a lot of Peruvian food lately—I’d eat ceviche for every meal if I could—so I wanted to share a trio of recent hits for this week’s Three to Try. Each of these opened during or just before the pandemic, so if they’ve slipped your notice, now’s a great time to get to know them.

La Royal

In February 2022, the team behind tiny Somerville stunner Celeste opened a bigger restaurant in Cambridge’s Huron Village, La Royal. About three times larger than its intimate older sibling, La Royal is a beautiful space, making use of many of the original features of the early-1900s building, which was once inhabited by a printing press.

More space means a broader menu: While Celeste dials into the Lima homestyle cooking of chef and co-owner JuanMa Calderón’s family, he’s exploring different regional cuisines at La Royal, like arroz con pato—rice with duck—from Chiclayo in the north or patarashca, a whole grilled fish dish from the Amazon. There’s ceviche at both restaurants, but La Royal’s take is a northern style, a little simpler in presentation and packed with plenty of lime juice.

My favorites so far: the ceviche (of course) with scallops and blue cod, dotted with toasted choclo, the giant kernels of corn prevalent in Peruvian cooking. The hearty yet sweet pastel de choclo, a browned round of corn polenta stuffed with cheese, aji, and ground sirloin. And the aforementioned arroz con pato, featuring seared duck breast on cilantro rice, garnished with salsa criolla (onion tomato salad). I love La Royal’s cocktail selection, too: Try the maracuya sour—essentially a passionfruit pisco sour—optionally spicy (get it spicy) as well as the Matacuy tonic, the best way to get a taste of the complex and herbal Andean digestif Matacuy.

221 Concord Ave., Cambridge, (617) 823-1595,

Overhead view of plates of Peruvian food, including a beef and tomato stir-fry, rice, fries, patacones, and a banana leaf wrapped fish filet.

Tambo 22’s lomo saltado (top) and paiche amazonico. / Photo by Rachel Leah Blumenthal

Tambo 22

Unluckily for Tambo 22, opening day was in March 2020. It was actually the final restaurant where I had a dine-in meal before everything shut down. (I overrode that bittersweet memory—great meal overshadowed by a sense of impending doom—with another visit a couple weeks ago, a beautiful late summer evening on the colorful patio.) Tambo 22 comes from chef Jose Duarte, who was behind North End favorite Taranta, which closed in 2020 after two decades of serving “Italian food with a Peruvian twist.”

Despite the difficult timing of its opening, Tambo 22 really feels like it’s thriving now. Duarte and his team shine particularly when it comes to seafood dishes, whether it’s the tender and mild banana leaf-wrapped Amazonian paiche or the saffron butter grilled trout, an old Taranta favorite. Beyond seafood, the wantan frito—crispy fried wontons stuffed with pork belly and served with tamarind sweet and sour sauce—were a big hit at my table on my recent visit.

Also of note: The beer list includes some Peruvian treats, such as Barbarian Magic Quinoa, a quinoa pils from Lima.

22 Adams St., Chelsea, (617) 466-9422,

A bowl of ceviche is displayed in front of a wall decorated with a big red dog saying "chicha."

Peruvian Taste Restaurant’s ceviche. / Photo by Rachel Leah Blumenthal

Peruvian Taste Restaurant

Lately, it seems like whenever I post a photo of Peruvian food, someone tells me I need to try this cozy little nook of a place hidden on a side street near Sullivan Station. Well, you were all correct; thank you for the recommendation. (And please, keep them coming! You can always reach me at if there’s something that should be on my radar.)

Open since late 2020, Peruvian Taste Restaurant operates all day, every day, serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The menu has a particularly large chifa section—Peruvian-Chinese fusion cuisine—so I ordered from there, choosing the chancho con piña, a delicious char siu pork stir-fry with pineapples and snow peas in a sweet tamarind sauce. On my list for next time: the sopa wantan especial, wonton soup with chicken, quail eggs, noodles, char siu pork, and shrimp—doesn’t that sound perfect for a winter day?

Don’t miss the ceviche, though, an outstanding rendition with a bit of heat spicing things up. And there’s so much more, too! Some popular Peruvian dishes like lomo saltado and aji de gallina; a big selection of desserts; the breakfast menu, with options like bread, pork, and sweet potato topped with salsa criolla…for a small restaurant, there’s a lot going on here. I can’t wait to go back and try more.

78 Arlington Ave., Charlestown, (617) 242-5100,