According to the rules, you are not allowed to eat or drink in the Machu Picchu park. So, we opted to get our tickets stamped and leave the park to eat at the Sanctuary Lodge. Sure, we could have bought some food and ate on the picnic tables outside, but it was raining both days that we had lunch at Machu Picchu, so our options were limited to two dry places: Sanctuary Lodge Buffet (off to the side) and Sanctuary Lodge a la carte (through the main door). We chose the a la carte restaurant and we truly enjoyed the meals. They were pricy by Peruvian standards (US$15 an entree), but they were very good and gave us a chance to dry off.
Favorite Dish: I can't remember my favorite dish, but I avoided the Urubamba River Kingfish. I love fish, but that river did not look clean enough to eat its fish.
The a la carte restaurant is located on the far side (left) of the Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge, and was a nice alternative to the $24 buffet at the main restaurant, or the questionable sandwiches at the snack bar.
After a day of trudging among the ruins, it was a delight to sit, have a napkin drawn across my lap, and soak up the exclusive atmosphere of the Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge without having to pay the high price for lodging. (Although the web site says the restaurant is only for guests, we were more than welcomed.)
The bank of windows that overlooks the stunning mountain scenery (not Machu Picchu itself) complements the natural decor of the room and the bar area.
Favorite Dish: It was a bit of a splurge compared to prices 30 minutes away in Aguas Calientes, but the best service we had in Peru.
I had a plate of plate of cannelloni, for about $10. The serving size was pretty small, compared to U.S. standards, but adequate. The cheese on top wasn't quite hot but soon warmed from the hot pasta and plate beneath. Hubby enjoyed a $15 filet mignon.