We knew we had to eat the Peruvian delicacy before we left Cusco. In fact, I refused to leave the country without trying it. Luckily, great reviews led us to KusiKuy.
We had just gotten back from Machu Picchu and were pretty tired from the train ride. It was around 9pm when we arrived at KusiKuy, still carrying our backpacks from the day’s adventures. Because we knew we were arriving late, we called ahead to place our order for cuy. We’d also read that it’s a good idea to call ahead anyways if you’re ordering the roasted cuy since it takes about an hour to cook.
The restaurant itself was beautiful and very nicely decorated. It’s been owned by the same family for years and they actually live upstairs above the restaurant.
After we sat down, our waiter came by with menus and took our drink orders. He was very nice and had a great big smile. I went ahead and ordered an avocado salad as an appetizer since I was pretty hungry. It didn’t look like much, but it was really good.
Then it was time for the main course. Our waiter brought out the whole cuy on a plate for all of us to take pictures with. Although cuy is a staple in the Peruvian diet, they know that foreigners aren’t used to eating guinea pig and that we make a big deal out of eating these little animals that most have had as pets. While we waited for our plate, we saw other tables getting their whole cuys and each time it was a big and loud affair with everyone busting out their cameras. And we were no different. It was a little surprising to see the little guy completely whole; teeth, claws, and all!
After the photo op, our waiter took back the cuy. He returned a few minutes later with the head off and cut into 4 pieces. Besides the cuy, the plate also came with a giant corn on the cob (also now cut in 4 pieces), small potatoes, and a meat stuffed pepper. The cuy itself was good. If you had just handed me a piece of its meat, I might have thought it was chicken although the taste was a bit gamier. The skin was a bit too thick and chewy for me though, maybe because it was roasted? The flavor was still good though. And that stuffed pepper was delicious! I really liked the dipping sauce too, even though I couldn’t tell you what was in it.
We walked out of KusiKuy full and content. We could see why it had gotten so many good reviews online. The service was exceptional, the food was great, and the prices were about average.
You do have to walk a couple of blocks from the Plaza de Armas which is in the center of town, but that’s a good thing if you want to get away from the crowds. Overall, I would recommend KusiKuy to anyone wanting to try cuy for the first time or to anyone looking for a restaurant in Cusco with a great ambiance. I know most have a problem with eating guinea pig. But that’s what traveling is about right? Getting out of your comfort zone and trying something new.
Address: Calle Amargura 140 Cusco, Peru
Phone: +51 84 262870
**While we were there it was cash only, so keep that in mind**
Have you ever tried cuy? Would you?