CHICHERIA & PICANTERIA traditional peruvian bars

The Chicheria and Picanteria are traditional bars in Cusco city that nowadays the Peruvian Government is recognizing as Cultural Legacy. These traditional restaurants and bars are places that Cusco people frequently visit. The name Chicheria was born because the local ladies used to sell Chicha in their houses. CHICHA de JORA is a drink derived mainly from the non-distilled fermentation of corn.


Basically, this typical bar called Chicheria derives from Chicha, Which is the fermentation of the yellow Corn. This name was used since the Colonial time by the Spanish people to call every beverage that was not Wine. Since the republic times, the Chicherias in Peru used to be popular. Cheerful places where people used to meet after a hard job. At the beginning of this century, the Chicherias were losing their cultural value. So, since the last year, the minister of Culture was improving the cultural identity.

The Picanteria was born from the Chicherias, the difference between these two places is because in the Picanteria the owner gives the “Picante”. The Picante is a portion of typical food, and they add a little of hot spicy (spicy = Picante). Nowadays Picanteria is a traditional restaurant where local people from Cusco eat traditional dishes called EXTRA. Between these extras, we have Chicharrones, Chiriuchu, Grill trout, Bisteck, roasted guinea pig, etc. Likewise, the Picanteria also has Traditional Drink, the Chicha.

Chicheria and Picanteria Bars nowadays are colorful places decorated with traditional things from the region. The Chicheria bar usually works in the same kitchen where the owners prepared it. Usually, at the Chicheria you can listen typical music that is called Huayno. And sometimes some of this traditional bar raise guinea pigs in the same kitchen. People pass their time in the chicherías playing, joking, telling stories and anecdotes as well as drinking chicha.


  • This traditional bar usually is located in the kitchen from the families who sell the Chicha.
  • Usually, you can find these places in traditional neighborhoods. Like, San Blas, San Pedro, San Cristobal neighborhoods.
  • The Chicheria and Cicanteria were the inspiration for many Peruvian artists.
  • The persons who sell the Chicha, usually are women.
  • To recognize this traditional bar in Cusco, people show a red plastic flag out of the home.
  • Some of the Chicherias have a funny game called SAPO (toads). The game consist to throw coins to the mouth of a toad located in a box.
  • There are some people who play traditional instruments to bring happiness to the Chicheria.


2015 November 04 Peru Culture Ministry declared Cultural heritage to the Chicheria and Picanteria Traditional bars in Cusco Arequipa, La Libertad,  Piura, Lambayeque and Tumbes regions. It is because Chicha’s beverage became a traditional drink. Likewise, it is highlighted that Picanterías and Chicherías are cultural spaces where you can find cultural manifestations. For example, the relationship they establish with the traditional musical and literary genders of each region.


Chicha is one of the ancient drinks in Peru. It was prepared at the Incas time for important Ceremonies and festivities. The traditional Chicha in Cusco is prepared basically with yellow Corn. The Quechua people used to call AJHA  at the Incas time. It is an onomatopoeic name because when you finish drinking any beverage you say exhale saying aaaaj.


Nowadays we have different types of chicha made with different ingredients. Some of them will be fermentations of any crop, and some of them will be boiled to drink like the Soda. Between these Chicha drinks, we have:

CHICHA DE JORA: fermentation of yellow corn

FRUTILLADA: fermentation of Frutilla (little strawberries)

WIÑAPO: Fermentation of the black corn that only grows in the Arequipa region

MASATO: fermentation of the manioc (called yuca in Peru). It is prepared in the jungle, people chew the manioc and spit it in a bowl

CHICHA BLANCA: It is made by the light fermentation of Andean Quinoa.

CAMBRAY: it is the fermentation of sugar cane. Also prepared in the jungle.

CHICHA MORADA: the process to make this Chicha is boiling the purple corn.


INCA MACHU PICCHU TOURS can offer you some walking tours around the city showing you these stunning traditional bar.

Regalanos un like

Machu Picchu 1 Day Tour

Enjoy a comfortable full day of energy in lost city of the incas Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu 1 Day Tour

Enjoy a comfortable full day of energy in lost city of the incas Machu Picchu