Act quick - our Big Sale ends soon! This is your last chance to grab up to 20% off* selected trips. Book Now!

What to eat in South America

When it comes to culinary influences, no country is turned away from the South American table. Take a pinch here, a tablespoon there and stir in a bunch of flavours from around the world. Hey France, we love your croissants, so we’re gonna make them thicker and call them cachitos. Hey China, your fried rice tastes great. How about we throw in some quinoa and call it arroz chaifa? In fact, we might just take a bunch of your ideas, fuse them with ours and call the whole movement “chifa”. From feijoada in Brazil to ceviche in Peru, South American food is not just an accompaniment - it’s the main event.

Taking a cooking class in Oaxaca, Mexico

South America's signature dishes

Bolivia - Salteña

Oven-baked breakfast pastries, somewhat like an empanada. The pastry is sweet, but the inside is oozing with a spicy broth and savoury meat and vegetables.

Brazil – Feijoada

A hearty meat and black bean stew. Slow-cooked served with rice, sautéed greens, orange slices. Topped with pickled malagueta peppers and faraofa.

Chile – Humitas

Mashed corn, onion, garlic basil and butter wrapped in cornhusks and steamed. Served with fresh tomatoes, chillies, salt, olive oil and paprika.

Colombia - Bandeja Paisa

Huge platter of ground beef, pork crackling, black pudding and chorizo served with rice, red beans, a fried egg, sliced avocado and plantain chips.

Ecuador – Cuy

Guinea pig is often cooked on an open spit. There isn’t much meat but the crispy skin is delicious, and locals also tuck into the small, crunchy paws and creamy brains.

Guyana – Metemgee

A Guyanese Creole stew made from dumplings, yam, potatoes, cassava, plantains and okra surrounded by a peppery coconut milk sauce.

Peru – Ceviche

Freshly caught fish “cooked” in a marinade of lime juice, chilli peppers, red onion and salt. Serve with avocado, sweet potato, lettuce or corn and you’ve got Peru’s favourite dish.

Uruguay – Chivito

A sandwich loaded with ham, bacon, steak, cheese, mayonnaise, olives and a fried egg. Anthony Bourdain has proclaimed it as, “the best sandwich I’ve tasted in my life”.

Still want to learn more about South America? Return to South America Trips

Our tours in South America

Read more about South America