The chef Virgilio Martínez reopened his world-famous Central restaurant in the Barranco district last June. Here, he dishes on his favorite spots.

In the coastal city of Lima, street art is plastered on many of the weathered colonial buildings in the bohemian barrio of Barranco, the neighborhood where the celebrated chef Virgilio Martínez reopened his world-famous Central restaurant last June.

“It has this artistic sensibility,” Mr. Martínez said of the district once known as a seaside retreat for the Limeño aristocracy. “It looks like a small town where things are happening, but you also see old houses very well preserved.”

In relocating Central from the Miraflores neighborhood, he opened a multilevel complex that also houses the cocktail bar Mayo and the modern Peruvian restaurant Kjolle, run by his wife, Pia León. They live with their 3-year-old son, Cristobal, above their establishments on Pedro de Osma, the area’s ficus-lined main thoroughfare. “There are no big businesses here,” Mr. Martínez said. “You see independent owners doing everything from designing to cooking. People who really belong to a neighborhood.” Here, he dishes on five favorite spots in Barranco.


Published on The New York Times, by Sara Lieberman