Trying picanterias eateries in Huaranguillo
For the best and perhaps most unique eating experience try hitting up a local picanteria. These are traditional eateries that in their most traditional sense will still cook all the food using wood burning stoves and are family-owned. Traditionally, farmers would gather to eat at these establishments and accompany their meals drinking chicha de jora. A must try if you are eating at a picanteria. Chicha de jora is served in a large class and its preparation requires several steps, including sprouting corn kernels and barley and fermenting them overnight, which yields a slightly viscous drink that tastes something like sparkling cider.
Around the city of Arequipa you will find traditional towns (they are districts really, of the city) such as Huaranguillo, Sachaca and Tiabaya. These places host traditional picanterias. You will find picanterias in the center too, but be careful where you go, nowadays picanterias are trendy and you can find very fancy ones that are not the real thing and are expensive. My grandfather used to say that if there were flies in a picanteria then it was the real deal. If you want to savor the country side, where tourists don't really go, a place that is safe and certainly off the beaten path but where you can also find a large array of picantarias then go to Huaranguillo. Its very easy to get to Huaranguillo from Cayma. A brown bus heading to Pampa de Camarones along Av. Quinoñez will take you for .60 centimos and its about a 10 minute bus ride (you can take this bus across the street from the mega store "Saga", ask the driver if they go to Pampa de Camarones). Take it to the end of the bus' route. You will know you are there because the bus stops and everyone gets off. Get off and get to the main road and make a left onto the main road, then just start walking down this main road. You will find a famous picanteria called Sulu to your right for example. After lunch, walk behind the Sulu restaurant along an unpaved road for the most beautiful view of the volcanoes and the country side. Or, take a cab to Tiabaya or even Sachaca and ask the cab driver to take you to a picanteria tipica.
What to eat at a picanteria: if you are into shrimp try the shrimp chowder called "chupe de camarones"; if you are into chicken try the "Aji de gallina", if you are into exotic dishes try the "cuy chactado" (guinea pig); if you are into duck try the "arroz con pato" (rice and duck); if you are into beef and spice try the "rocoto relleno" (a deveined hot pepper stuffed with ground beef and other things accompanied by a baked potato dish; if you are into lamb try the "seco de cordero"; if you are a vegetarian try the "pastel de papas" (a baked potato and cheese pie) or "soltero de queso" (a salad made of tomatoes, fresh cheese, olives, corn, and habas) or "escribano" (a salad made of spicey pepper called rocoto, tomato, and potatos). And for desert don't leave without eating a "queso helado". This is an ice cream made of different types of milk and it is deeeeelicious. It has no cheese even though you would think it does from its name.