Punto Azul, Lima, Peru
This ceviche spot has such a reputation booking is impossible and lunchtime queues regularly stretch around the block.
Punto Azul is a special place for many limeños, with a storied history in the Peruvian capital that began in 1992. From humble beginnings in some small premises in the San Isidro district, these days there are now six restaurants dotted around the city.
I ate in the San Martin, Miraflores branch on a Wednesday afternoon, and had to wait 30 minutes to get a table. Once inside, it’s easy to see why the place is so popular.
The portions are huge, and it’s not just ceviche on the menu. There are plenty of other seafood dishes, including breaded crab claws, Parmesan clams and grilled octopus. Most people order a variety of dishes to share, but you can also choose from a list of seafood pastas or other main courses if you prefer to eat an individual meal.
That said, it would be an error to eat at Punto Azul without trying the emblematic ceviche. After all, the restaurant claims to be the best cevicheria in Lima. That might be a bold claim repeated by a number of establishments around town, but the ceviche is truly brilliant.
Fresh fish, spicy leche de tigre and crunchy onion combine for a taste sensation that will leave you wanting more. The ceviche itself is $10, and you can get a beer for another $3.
It’s more expensive than the vast majority of ceviche joints in town, but it’s worth every penny.