A welcoming place with good energy, Kukuly Restaurant sits three blocks above the main plaza and offers not only a calm, inviting place, but good and inexpensive food. Kukuly blends an international flavor with local roots.
The entrance regales a symbol particular to Kukuly. The menu board’s frame is made from the famous black rubber tire ojotas, the traditional sandals of Cuzco’s rural people. As first impression this tells us that Kukuly claims a tie to the traditions of Cuzco though reworked with charm.
There are more details.
On the walls, photographs and comments from Kukuly’s many guests give a personal touch, suggesting how the experience of the restaurant, while away from home, had a positive impact on many travelers. They left a bit of themselves to share with the restaurant and its future guests.
This personal touch continues. Kukuly’s tables are decorated with postcards and photos sent to the restaurant from its guests from all over the world. These join straw from the tough bunch grass called ichu, typical of the highlands, as well as pictures of Andean children. Though modern and sophisticated, the suggestion is quaint and rustic.
Kukuly is known for its friendly attention to its clients which, with its warm and inviting ambiance, it draws many locals–especially artists and intellectuals, as well as a range of foreigners.
In the morning Kukuly welcomes with its own selection of breakfasts and at lunch it offers a selection from well prepared and delicious fixed three course meals. Called menu, in Spanish, these are the norm in the Andes as an inexpensive alternative to ordering individual dishes from the list of dishes. At Kukuly the Lunch runs seven soles, about three dollars.
Lunch begins with a soup, one of the traditional soups of Cuzco, deliciously rendered. This could be a quinoa soup, a barley soup, or a lawa–puree of corn or other main ingredients. These soups are hearty and refreshing and are an important part of the diet of the people of Cuzco.
Once the soup is finished, the server appears with one or the other of the main dishes offered today, generally one of them is a vegetarian offering. On the day we went, we were offered the main Creole Peruvian dish, lomo saltado–a stir fried (or sautéed) beef as well as a fusion dish, Spaghetti with an assortment of vegetables. Both dishes were invitingly presented and had a rich and satisfying flavor.
The restaurant offered us a chicha morada as a drink to accompany our dish and then for desert we had a banana cake with hot fudge. The flavors were excellent and left us satisfied as good and popular Peruvian food should.
At night, Kukuly emphasizes its menu of individual dishes. But its standout is its pizzas prepared in a traditional, wood fired, Cuzco brick oven. Kukuly offers a range from the classic mozzarella with ham to various fusions, including pizzas with hot pepper (rocoto) and oregano.
Throughout the day Kukuly is known as a biblio-café, a place where one can go to have a delicious cup of coffee, as well as sit and read a good book, or use their WI-FI. Kuukuly encourages people to hang around, converse, play board games, and just have a good time.
Its name is that of a ground dove found throughout Peru. This bird is a symbol of home, love, and warmth, values the restaurant creates for its guests. These include people from Cuzco who work in the area as well as tourists whose hotels are nearby.
One of many small restaurants, or special huariques, as we call them, Kukuly is a place that give you good service and value in its ambience, its service, and especially in its traditional lunches–called almuerzos, of Cuzco. You too will be enchanted and want to come back.