Cusco Restaurant Review: Incanto – Peruvian-Italian Fusion

Cusco Restaurant Review: Incanto – Peruvian-Italian Fusion

Cusco, Peru is a city of about 430,000 people, with about 2 million people visiting there each year.  As a result, the town caters to – and, in some cases, preys upon – visitors from other countries.  Once we arrived in Cusco and saw how heavily saturated it was with tourists, I didn’t have high hopes for any meals we might eat in a Cusco restaurant.

On our first night there, we went to the Plaza de Armas and did a little sightseeing, then looked for a place to eat.   We felt overwhelmed.  Between the amount of people that were there, having to think in two languages, suffering from the altitude, and not really knowing much about what our dining options were, it was difficult to pick a Cusco restaurant for dinner.

We walked along and checked out restaurants as we came upon them.  Nothing seemed to strike a chord with any of us.  My daughter was complaining about being cold and I was hungry. In addition, the altitude was making all of us feel worn out.

Luckily, we happened across Incanto, which had an English menu displayed in its front window.  We looked over the choices and decided to give it a try.

cusco restaurant incanto exterior

Our table was right next to the wood-fired oven.  The location warmed up my daughter and gave me a fascinating look at how they made their breads and pizzas.  After we placed our orders, a waiter brought us a basket of focaccia bread and a plate of olive oil and herbs for dipping.  The bread was amazingly scrumptious – crispy on the top and bottom but light and fluffy in between.  It did not last long.  I was so thankful when the waiter came by and asked us if we would like more!

cusco restaurant
The focaccia bread and dipping oil at Incanto.

The restaurant was decidedly Andean, yet managed to feel Tuscan at the same time.  The colorful bar area invited customers to try a Pisco Sour or other adult beverage.  The clean dining area was relaxed and casual, but at the same time managed to feel elegant too.

cusco restaurant incanto interior

The wood oven occupied a prominent space in the center of the restaurant.  It was a hub of activity, people constantly coming and going.  Chefs made pizzas and slid them in carefully, positioning them in just the right spot so they cooked evenly without burning.

cusco restaurant incanto wood oven

My daughter and I both had Saltimboca, a chicken breast stuffed with creamy Andean cheese, sage, and Prosciutto, served over a bed of pasta in Parmesan sauce. It was delicious, just the right combination of flavors and textures.

My husband, a more adventurous eater, ordered the alpaca with quinoa. When I asked him what he thought of it, his response really surprised me – he said it was better than steak!  He ate every morsel on his plate and left nothing.

The prices for entrees at Incanto are comparable to what they would be at a nice restaurant in this country – roughly $15-$20.  It’s expensive by Peruvian standards but well worth every cent.

If you’re in Cusco and wondering where to eat, I highly recommend Incanto!

Incanto is located at Santa Catalina Angosta, number 135, near the Plaza de Armas in Cusco, Peru.

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