With year-round sunshine and blue skies, the rolling waves of the Pacific Ocean and kilometres of golden sand, Máncora is quickly becoming one of the most popular destinations in Peru. Located in the country’s northern coast, Peruvians and foreigners alike are now flocking to this small seaside town to enjoy some fun in the sun and, of course, fresh seafood.
Máncora proper is small and easy to navigate, with one main road that parallels the coastline. You’ll find most of the restaurants in one of these two locations. Suffice to say, it doesn’t take long to discover the area’s best places to enjoy a great meal.
DCO Restaurant at DCO Suites, Lounge and Spa (Playa Las Pocitas)
Starting a little further south along the coast (2 km from the centre of Máncora), the less-populated beach “suburb” of Las Pocitas, or Mancora Chico, is where you’ll find many of Máncora’s upscale resorts, including DCO. A modern and sophisticated boutique hotel, DCO also houses a stylish ocean-view bar and restaurant where it is far too easy to while away the afternoon, sipping cocktails, snacking on maki rolls and watching the whales go by (if you’re lucky enough to be around during the whale migration). The service is exceptionally friendly and attentive. On a recent visit, we were even gifted tasty little cupcakes fresh from the oven! A light meal for two including cocktails and a tip costs around S/.155 ($53 USD).
Aqua (Avenida Piura 233)
Located at the end (or the beginning depending on which way you came in) of Máncora’s main drag, otherwise known as the Panamerican, this casual Mediterranean-style bistro is one of the best places in town to enjoy fresh seafood. If you happen to be around when lobster is on offer, take advantage of the opportunity. Nowhere will you get a lobster dinner for two (including side salad and rice) for only S/.70 ($23 USD). If lobster is not available, there is a wide range of delicious seafood to choose from including traditional Peruvian ceviches or their very popular tuna dishes. Top it off with a decadently delicious chocolate brownie for dessert. You won’t regret it. Dinner for two at Aqua including a glass of wine or bottle of Cusqueña plus tip is a steal at around S/.120 ($41 USD).
Sirena d’Juan (Avenida Piura 316)
This charming two-level bistro stands out on a strip of mostly mediocre dining establishments. It’s very easy to find. Just look for the mermaids. Contemporary bohemian décor combined with delicious seafood make Sirena d’Juan a favourite among Máncora’s trendy and chic. Think classic dishes with a modern twist. A simple green salad is kicked up a notch with the addition of caramelized pecans and grilled tuna.
House-made ravioli (there is a whole section of them on the menu) is given Peruvian flare stuffed with yuca (an Andean tuber) and covered in a creamy cheese sauce infused with local herbs. Thai-style shrimp curry with coconut rice round out an international menu. On a balmy evening, the upstairs terrace may seem like the perfect spot. But be aware that being street-side means you are in direct earshot of all the passing cargo trucks and cars. Dinner for two including a glass of wine or bottle of Cusqueña plus tip costs around S/.145 ($49 USD).
Also worth mentioning is Sirena d’Juan’s sister establishment, Sirena Café (Avenida Piura 336), located just down the street. Here, the vibe is cafe casual. Enjoy a cappuccino or cocktail on the small ground-floor patio before heading next door to the Sirena boutique for some retail therapy.
For something more casual…
Budget-friendly options abound if you’re looking to spend a little less. Right on the beach, you’ll find Papa Mo’s/Green Eggs & Ham at The Birdhouse. Here, they serve western-style comfort food for breakfast and lunch like pancakes, sandwiches and fresh fruit smoothies.
And of course there’s cheap, fresh and delicious ceviche everywhere. Just head towards the boardwalk (or malecón) and take your pick!
For a small beach town that caters to so many different budgets, Mancora has an impressive array of dining options for those seeking a little more sophistication, but also for those dining on a budget. The focus is seafood, of course, though you can find something to suit most tastes. But when the seafood is this good and at such great value, be sure to take the opportunity to enjoy as much of it as possible!
Have you visited any of these restaurants in Mancora, Peru? Did you enjoy your experience? Did you find other restaurants that you enjoyed? Let us know in the comments section below. Let’s keep the conversation going on Facebook or Instagram. We’d love to hear from you!
***This is a slightly updated post that was originally written in December 2014 for a luxury tour company based in Peru.