Make sure to bring your appetite if you make the trip to Arequipa. ArequipeĂ±os are famous throughout Peru for their sumptuous cooking, and many restaurants in the area specialize in traditional regional cuisine. Some dishes to try are rocoto relleno (a stuffed, mildly hot pepper, served with cheesy potatoes), ocopa a la arequipeĂ±a (boiled potatoes drenched in a spicy cheese-peanut sauce) and alpaca steak.
The historic center is chock-full of great-value casual restaurants, and even the best eateries are affordable. Whether youâ€™re in the mood for Peruvian, Turkish, French Italian or vegetarian, Arequipa is ready to accommodate your taste buds (and your wallet). If youâ€™re on a budget, look for the menu, or daily lunch special (especially on Ayacucho, east of Calle JerusalĂ©n and on Puente Bolognesi, west of Calle Sucre) or head to Mercado San Camilo (San Camilo, between PerĂş and NicolĂˇs de PiĂ©rola). A supermarket is on Portal Municipal, Plaza de Armas.
If youâ€™re looking to spend the night wandering from bar to karaoke to disco, Arequipa makes it easy for you. On the 300-block of Calle San Francisco, youâ€™ll find a half-dozen bars opening their doors to travelers wanting to party down. By law, these must close the doors at midnight, but many continue to serve the clients that are still inside until 3 or 4 a.m. Plan your night accordingly and donâ€™t get locked out. If the scene there gets a bit stale, then head a block away, to Calle Zela (200-block), where an equal number of clubs sling drinks all night long.