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The world's best restaurants for ceviche, from Lima to London

You’ll find ceviche the world over, from Baja California to the suburbs of Birmingham. Here are some of the best places to try the Peruvian raw fish dish.

Published 21 May 2021, 16:21 BST, Updated 15 Jun 2021, 14:22 BST
The classic sea bream ceviche is a speciality at Chakana in Birmingham.

The classic sea bream ceviche is a speciality at Chakana in Birmingham. 

Photograph by Richard Kiely

1. Ceviche, London

One of the UK’s first Peruvian restaurants, this place probably still has one of the largest ceviche menus in Britain. Vegetarian versions are controversial, but non-fish-eaters can try avocado and beetroot ceviche, with sweet potato crisps and ribbons of asparagus. Purists, meanwhile, will want to choose one of the two classic sea bass varieties, or the tuna ceviche with pickled pineapple. The best seats are at the counter, watching the chefs and bartenders at work.

2. Chez Wong, Lima, Peru

Chef Javier Wong is revered in Peru for his ceviche. Chez Wong is part of his home, and he gets up early each morning to buy fish from the market before returning to prepare dishes for lunch. Service ends at 4pm (reflecting the fact that ceviche was historically seen as a lunchtime meal). Booking is essential and there are no frills, but you can watch Wong dextrously fillet fish and cook in the open kitchen. Some of Peru’s best chefs learnt their trade here. 

Read more: How Lima's buzzing barrios revived the city's arts scene

3. La Guerrerense, Ensenada, Mexico

This family-run street food cart in the Baja California city of Ensenada is renowned for ceviche served on tostadas (crunchy, fried tortillas). The sea urchin and sea snail versions have both won multiple awards in international street food competitions, but that’s not to say you shouldn’t also try the more traditional cod, tuna or octopus ceviches on offer too. 

4. Chotto Matte, London

This Japanese-Peruvian restaurant has branches in Miami and Toronto as well as London, and if you can’t venture as far as Peru to discover how well the two food cultures have blended over the past 140 years, the Soho outpost is a good place to start instead. As well as sea bass ceviche, try Nikkei maki rolls, king oyster tostadas and black cod in yuzu and miso. The plating often features glorious pops of colour, such as bright pink sushi rice. 

5. El Mercado, Lima, Peru

Founded by celebrity chef Rafael Osterling, this is another lunch-only spot, but somewhat fancier, with the restaurant set in a large, partly open terrace filled with foliage. As well as at least three ceviches — the mixed ceviche sureño means you get seafood as well as fish — the menu features treats including Nikkei gyoza (Japanese dumplings).

Read more: Ceviche: the surprising history Peru's raw fish dish

6. Peru Perdu, Manchester

This white-bricked, pink-accented restaurant was only meant to be a six-month popup, but proved so popular it’s here to stay. Although part of the menu is dedicated to Uruguayan wet-aged steaks — butchered on demand — there’s also a sizeable plant-based section too (think yam curry or black bean dumplings). As for ceviche, try the sea bass with samphire and macadamia nuts. 

7. El Caribe, Huanchaco, Peru

This restaurant is where Maricel Presilla was given the recipe she was later to include in her book (see previous page). While there are many other seafood specialists in coastal Huanchaco, this is where people come for authentic Peruvian ceviche, served with corn and yucca. Plus you’ll have sea views and a sea breeze in the open dining room.

8. Chakana, Birmingham

Robert Ortiz was once head chef at Lima, a Michelin-starred Peruvian restaurant in London, before opening Chakana in the smart Birmingham suburb of Moseley. The classic sea bream ceviche is a speciality, alongside a Nikkei tuna variation with seaweed.

Published in Issue 11 (spring 2021) of National Geographic Traveller Food

Love food and travel? Taste the world at the National Geographic Traveller Food Festival, our immersive culinary event taking place on 16-17 July 2022 at London’s Business Design Centre. Find out more and book your tickets.

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