miércoles, 30 de agosto de 2017

Discovering Lima, Historical Center, Leisure & Nightlife (VI)

In previous post we talked about the colonial wealth and history that we can still find in its churches, museums, parks and mansions, but the Historical Center of Lima also has a number of entertainment venues where we can make a stop to have cocktails based on pisco, beers, and all kinds of drinks. Some places full of history and anecdotes.

In the early morning the center of Lima may not be safe for tourists, but as we always repeat, only common sense is necessary. Stories abound in which taxi drivers in the early morning spray their seats with some kind of sleeping pill or change their route to take them to dark streets where they wait buddies with guns.

We do not want to be alarmists, but it is never too much to warn about these possible dangers. An article (in spanish) by El Comercio newspaper columnist Raúl Castro warns of this situation.

If you want to leave at dawn, try to be accompanied by peruvians or people who know their streets well, and try not to take public taxis (we recommend late-night mobile applications like Easy Taxy or Uber, the most popular taxi apps in Perú).


In the previous post we talked about Plaza San Martín and its Art Deco buildings, but this emblematic square also keeps some places full of history like the Hotel Bolivar, and the Portales del Zela and Pumacahua. These premises have been a meeting point for the Lima intelligentsia.

Writers like Mario Vargas Llosa (where the famous phrase of Conversations in the Cathedral is framed: "When did Peru messed up, Zavalita?"), The poet Blanca Varela, the storyteller Julio Ramón Ribeyro, or the Creole singer Chabuca Granda.

El Mirador, Vichama, or Yakana are some of the rock bars that open in Plaza San Martín until the wee hours of the morning.

Plaza San Martin, Centro de Lima, Viajes del Peru, Salir por el centro de Lima


At Jiron de la Union 1044, very close to Plaza San Martín, is the Munich Piano Bar, located in a basement and named after an untiring pianist who plays all kinds of songs on party nights. This bar was founded by a german in the 50's and still retains its peculiar decor. Famous are their beers and their salchipapas (french fries with frankfurt saugages) . The salchipapa Munich, which contains two types of sausage, serbulac, frankfurt, chorizo and french fries (and can eat 4 people), has the modest price of S/ 30. Facebook of Munich.

Munich Bar, Historical Center Lima, Peru Travels Blog, Going Out Lima

Next to Munich is the Rincón Cervecero (Jr of the Union 1045), a European style place that as its name indicates, is specialized in the sale of all kind of beers. The decoration simulates a brewery in minuature. Facebook of the Brewery Corner.

Rincón Cervecero Lima, Historical Center Lima, Peru Travels Blog, Going Out Lima

Also very close to the two previous ones, you will find the bar Estadio Fútbol Club (Jr Union 1049). Open since 2000 it is a themed soccer bar and offers a great variety of drinks like pisco sour, chilcanos, house cocktails or beers. It has two floors and is a meeting place for football fans who see important matches on their screens. Facebook of Estadio Restaurant.

Estadio Futbol Club Lima, Historical Center Lima, Peru Travels Blog, Going Out Lima


This jirón was until recently the home of a great amount of booksellers - that were evacuated a couple of months ago by the Municipality of Lima - and that sold their works in some of the galleries that were there.

During the 1980s most of the underground rock bands in the city played in their bars (Leuzemia, Narcosis, Autopsy, Zcuela Crrada or Guerrilla Urbana). El Averno was a cultural center where a large number of groups have performed and there have been alternative activities such as theatrical performances or performances. (Photo borrowed from the news portal Lamula.pe).

Jirón Quilca Lima, Historical Center Lima, Peru Travels Blog, Going Out Lima

La Taberna Queirolo which celebrates its 95th anniversary since its opening, and still boasts one of the prevailing places in Lima's culture with the visit of journalists, writers, poets or musicians, was also home to the main poetic movements of the 60 and 70 in Lima.

It is recommended to sit at a table and ask for the classic "Res", which consists of a bottle of pisco, with ginger ale, lemon, ice and bittersweet bitters, so that the parishioners can prepare the classic pisco chilcanos (in later post more in detail of the chilcano and its origin). If a Res seems too much, you can also ask in this place "media Res" (half of a Res).

On some occasion talking at the Queirolo tables, someone told me that the bottle of pisco is called Res (cattle in english) because in the past decades they changed bottles of pisco by cattle. I could never corroborate that statement, but I comment it as a curiosity. Facebook of Queirolo.

Taberma Queirolo Lima, Historical Center Lima, Peru Travels Blog, Going Out Lima

In the same Jirón Quilca and a few meters from the Queirolo tavern is La Rockola (or Don Lucho, or Ciro's), a traditional bar that has this name for the rockola (jukebox in english) that is at the bottom of the premises and whose repertoire goes from Ballads, rock '80s, salsa or huaynos (traditional music from the Peruvian sierra).

It is a tavern bar whose main clientele are journalists, artists, or representatives of Lima bohemia. They serve butifarra sandwich and some more food. It's not a nice place, but maybe that's where its charm is. They serve beer and the aforementioned Res of pisco.

Don Lucho's Lima, Historical Center Lima, Peru Travels Blog, Going Out Lima

A little further away from the Jirón de la Unión, there is an option for the gay public, Sagitario nightclub. A place of two floors where they put disco, salsa or rock music at high volume. Although the club is focused on gays, it can accommodate any type of audience.

We will continue in the next post walking through the center of Lima to take one of the most international drinks in Peru. The pisco sour.

Esteban García, Peru Travels Blog
August 2017

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