Posted by: Jessie Kwak | December 30, 2009

Midweek Snack: Encuentros Cafe

We’ve missed the last few weeks’ worth of Midweek Snacks because my parents have been visiting us for the holidays, but with their help, we’ve eaten quite a bit of delicious food these past weeks. We can’t wait to write about it for you in upcoming Midweek Snacks, so check in every Wednesday to find out what’s on our plate.



Encuentros Cafe serves up the Peruvian set menu, done right and fancy. Tucked away on quiet Calle Suecia just off the Plaza de Armas, Encuentros is light and airy, its walls hung with colorful and whimsical art as a counterpoint to the imposing and massive dark stones of the original Inca wall that forms the back. The tables downstairs are all painted with floral and nature designs that leave a good part of the grain exposed. The cafe has two levels, with a lounge area of low couches and cocktail tables upstairs.

Encuentros serves up sandwiches, espressos, juices, and a la carte dishes, but what sets them apart is their S/.10 breakfast and lunch menus. We stumbled in yesterday morning, and in the name of science and for your edification, dear reader, we’ve gone back three times in two days.

A typical breakfast in Peru is the “Continental,” which includes coffee or tea, insubstantial pan frances (french bread), butter, jam, and juice. It’ll run you about S/.5 ($1.75 US), and for a couple of soles more you can get the “Americano,” which includes scrambled eggs or an omelet.

We’ve rarely paid more than that for breakfast and been satisfied, but for S/.10 ($3.50 US) Encuentros Cafe’s breakfast blows the rest of them out of the water.

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The coffee is divine, black and strong and served with a little chocolate cookie. Next comes the french toast (or regular toast if you prefer) with butter and honey, then your main course. Rob got an omelet with bacon, and I got the crepe with orange marmalade. Now, I’m not normally a fan of orange marmalade, but after trying the crepe twice (we really do go out of our way for our readers), I would unbiasedly have to say it’s the best thing in the world. We got a fruit salad to finish, and a delicious glass of jugo mixto (mixed-fruit juice) that didn’t have a pound of sugar in it.

We went in with my parents yesterday afternoon for the S/.10 lunch, which came with choice of cream of tomato soup (amazing!) or a fresh salad as a starter, Peruvian favorite Ahi de Gallina as a main, and desert was a choice of crepe with manjar (dulce de leche) or arroz con leche (sweet rice pudding).

Encuentros Cafe has only been open for a few months, but their operation seems smooth and professional. Encuentros’ owner, Rob, and his staff have been extraordinarily helpful and kind, and we wish them the best. If you’re in Cusco, we highly recommend Encuentros above the crush of other restaurants and cafes. Stop on by!

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