“We try to be as homemade as possible,” says Alex, head creative chef of La Postrería Café, a sweet, neighborhood cafe tucked on a corner of Enrique Palacios in Miraflores.
A few years ago, La Postrería got its start on the popular beach town Mancora, in northern Peru. At the time, Alex and his wife, Ursula, were expecting their first baby and thus were in need of an extra income. With a few killer recipes in their back pockets, the young couple set out on foot and peddled baked goods along the sandy beaches. It was an instant success that, with time, allowed them to open up what would be the original (and humble) version of La Postrería.
Flash forward to today and the young couple now reside in Lima with their two young children. They moved south to be closer to family, to see what opportunities could be found in the metropolitan city, and to give La Postrería a new life.
The charming counter at La Postreria (Photo: Erick Andia/Living in Peru)
Despite its name, La Postrería is much more than desserts. The kitchen opens to the public as early as 7:30 am, which means you can swing by after dropping the kids off at school or on your way to work for a nutritious breakfast with a homey feel. Take a seat upon one of the sofas or comfortable chairs and gaze at the friendly chalkboard that lists items such as fresh smoothies, yogurt with seasonal fruit and granola, and various morning toasts. Everything is made by Alex and his staff, and the menu tends to rotate as the chef continues to experiment with new plates. One thing you definitely don’t want to miss is the coffee, originating from San Martin.
When we arrived for lunch, natural light filled the cafe. Complimentary water was brought to the table as we made ourselves at home, admiring the shelves of books, the colorful walls, and the whimsical, beachy decorations that still ring true to the restaurant’s origins.
Hummus done right is the perfect snack or starter (Photo: Erick Andia/Living in Peru)
We began with Tostinos de Pan Artesano, an appetizer of toasts with hummus and small cubes of avocado. A simple teaser to the main meal, the hearty bread (dotted with linseed, sesame and sunflower seeds) was a knockout combo with the creamy garbanzo spread.
Our lovely hostess, Ursula, recommended that we try one of the house favorites, the Gratin de Quinoah (spelled in such a way to honor the couple’s young daughter, Noah). A colorful mix of organic quinoa tossed with seasonal vegetables and berries, housemade chimichurri, and blue cheese is a filling option that one can feel good about devouring without having had forgone flavor. Served warm, the slightly melted, aged cheese does not overpower the dish, however if you’re not a fan of the stinky blue you’d be best to steer clear.
The season’s best produce gives color to this tasty quinoa bowl (Photo: Erick Andia/Living in Peru)
As we discovered on our visit, La Postrería is a great place to have a power lunch as it provides spacious tables and wi-fi. Should you come with a colleague or friend, don’t be shy in sharing the aforementioned salad along with one of their sandwich options. A standout was the El Artesano: crispy, artisanal bread sandwiched layers of now familiar flavors like hummus and chimichurri, as well as slices of avocado, cheese from Cajamarca, and alfalfa sprouts. The sweet potato (camote) chips served on the side offer a welcome textural change with just the right amount of crunch.
El Artesano sandwich with its nutritious, natural fillings (Photo: Erick Andia/Living in Peru)
It should be noted that the cafe’s owners do their best to not only make what they can themselves, but to incorporate ingredients that come from the farms of relatives and friends. Alex himself grew up on a farm in Cajamarca, which is where his passion for food and DIY-sensibility derives. To this day he incorporates ingredients from his hometown, including cheeses and mushrooms.
While the sandwiches are held together with the likes of gouda and mantecoso, their popular pizzas are topped with suiza (Swiss), which Alex believes has more flavor than the commonly used mozzarella. When you bite into the thin crust pizza, you’ll also appreciate the deep flavor of a well-cooked tomato sauce. Having tried two types (Cielito Lindo, and La Huertita, as shown in cover photo), both vegetarian, I was delightfully surprised that each had far more depth and flavor than those churned out by the curiously popular Lima pizza chain, Veggie Pizza. Once again, La Postrería proves that eating real food does not come at a cost of lesser flavor.
A thick and creamy version of the Peruvian classic (Photo: Erick Andia/Living in Peru)
Of course, we couldn’t leave without trying a few desserts (no matter how full we were). The bandera dessert is the Alfajor de granme. A Peruvian classic, the manjar filling is layered thick between two cookies, kept crunchy by assembling in the moment. Served alongside a scoop of artisanal (Haitian) vanilla ice cream, even alfajor-skeptics will have a hard time not licking the plate clean.
We also tried the Crocante de Manzana and the Crocante de Lucuma. While the lucuma dessert is a picturesque, whip-out-your-phone attention grabber, my personal favorite was the warm, gooey apple crisp. Both are served with scoops of ice cream (manjar and chocolate flavors, respectively), making you feel like a true guest rather than a rushed visitor.
La Postrería stays true to its roots by carrying on that relaxed beach vibe, a welcome “escape” for Limeñans.
La Postería Café
Calle Enrique Palacios 1008, Miraflores
Monday-Saturday: 7:30 am – 10 pm
Sunday: 9 am – 6 pm