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Best Restaurant near Machu Picchu: Review of the Indio Feliz Restaurant

Updated on April 27, 2013
vespawoolf profile image

Vespa's recipes have appeared in "Midwest Living" & "Taste of Home" magazines. She belongs to "Cook's Recipe Testers" for Cooks Illustrated.

Indio Feliz Restaurant
Indio Feliz Restaurant | Source
4 stars for Indio Feliz Restaurant

Indio Feliz Restaurant of Aguas Calientes, Peru

“We’ve stumbled onto the set of Pirates of the Caribbean,” I thought as we came upon the Indio Feliz restaurant, its colorful décor brightening the darkening alley like a pumpkin patch at twilight. Built to look like a two-story ship with elaborate woodwork that took six years to complete, the quirky restaurant with European flair is an oasis amidst the drab, cloned restaurants in Aguas Calientes.

Patrick Vogin, the owner/chef of the award-winning restaurant bustled over. “No reservation?” he asked. As we observed the tables full of contented diners, we realized we’d made a mistake. It seemed every tourist in town had turned out for dinner. “Thirty minutes,” he said, forehead wrinkled, hands raised apologetically, as if our lack of preparation was his error instead of ours.

Twenty minutes later we plunked down in front of a freshly cleared table, legs weary from a day at Machu Picchu's ruins. Although cramped and a bit noisy, the restaurant’s cozy, high-energy verve embraced us.

We browsed the menu of Franco-Peruvian cuisine, with several vegetarian offerings, and quickly decided on the three-course meal which includes appetizer, main dish and dessert for S/. 54.50 Nuevos Soles, a bargain.


Click thumbnail to view full-size
Mango ChickenHomemade Potato ChipsFresh, Soft BreadQuiche LorrainePapaya Avocado SaladPineapple ChickenHomemade PastaPasta ToppingsChocolate Mousse
Mango Chicken
Mango Chicken | Source
Homemade Potato Chips
Homemade Potato Chips | Source
Fresh, Soft Bread
Fresh, Soft Bread | Source
Quiche Lorraine
Quiche Lorraine | Source
Papaya Avocado Salad
Papaya Avocado Salad | Source
Pineapple Chicken
Pineapple Chicken | Source
Homemade Pasta
Homemade Pasta | Source
Pasta Toppings
Pasta Toppings | Source
Chocolate Mousse
Chocolate Mousse | Source

What to Order?

All dishes are homemade under the watchful eye of French-trained chef and owner Patrick Vogin, who crafts his specialties from fresh local ingredients delivered daily by the local train. Portions are good-sized, service is friendly.

For starters, the Quiche Lorraine is highly recommended. French onion soup and Fresh tomato soup are savory and flavorful; Avocado with Papaya is mild and refreshing.

For the main dish, Tagliatelle Indio Feliz or homemade pasta served with sides of pesto, roasted tomatoes and garlic, mushrooms, peppers, basil and olive oil tastes earthy, tangy and slightly spicy. Pineapple chicken, served in a hollowed-out pineapple and scented with vanilla and orange, is delicious but very sweet. Salmon Trout in a Spicy Sauce comes in a sauce of tomatoes, carmelized onions, hot peppers and Chilean white wine. The trout was cooked to perfection with not a bone in sight.

Several desserts are offered including chocolate mousse, homemade apple or orange pie with custard and vanilla ice cream or my favorite, creme caramel.

Some nice touches include homemade potato chips sprinkled with parsley and garlic and hot, soft rolls made in house and served with a crock of butter. Try an imported draft beer or a bottle of Chilean wine with dinner.

Sit back and enjoy the atmosphere. You might even recognize a celebrity or two on their way back from Machu Picchu.


Overview

ATMOSPHERE: Quirky, Caribbean, colorful, eclectic

CUISINE: French Andean

SOUND LEVEL: Loud but not intrusively so.

RECOMMENDED DISHES: Quiche Lorraine, Tagliatelle pasta and creme caramel. The soups, trout, ginger chicken and pies are also delicious.

BEVERAGES: Wine and imported draft beers available, besides usual Peruvian offerings.

PRICE RANGE: A la carte options available for 20-40 Nuevos Soles; 3-course meal highly recommended at only S/. 54.50 Nuevos Soles

HOURS: Open for lunch and dinner

RESERVATIONS: Highly recommended

CREDIT CARDS: Yes


For Reservations call 51 (84) 211090

Restaurant Views

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Captain Bar
Captain Bar
Captain Bar | Source
Source
Source
Source
Source

How to Get There

Calle Lloque Yupanqui 4-12

Aguas Calientes, Peru


Conclusion

After a long day at Machu Picchu nothing will satisfy your hunger like Indio Feliz restaurant, a bright spot in the drab little town of Aguas Calientes. Don't miss it!

Comments

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  • vespawoolf profile image
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    vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

    Lindacee, I hope you can get to Peru someday and visit Machu Picchu and, of course, the Indio Feliz. It's the only restaurant I would recommend in Aguas Calientes. : ) It's the trip of a lifetime! Thanks for coming by.

  • lindacee profile image

    lindacee 4 years ago from Arizona

    Isn't it amazing that you can find such culinary treasures in the strangest places! This one sounds like a true gem. Have only spent the night in Peru on a layover, but maybe one day we'll return to visit Machu Picchu (and now Indio Feliz) -- it's on the bucket list! :)

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 5 years ago from Peru, South America

    Ishwaryaa, thanks so much for your kind words. It really is a vibrant restaurant with wonderful food. Thank you for paying me a visit!

  • ishwaryaa22 profile image

    Ishwaryaa Dhandapani 5 years ago from Chennai, India

    A well-written review! By the way of your well-shot photos, the restaurant décor looked vibrant and the food looked delicious. I always enjoy learning about different cultures and is willing to try new exotic dishes. Well-done! All the best for your participation in this contest.

    Thanks for SHARING. Useful & Interesting. Voted up & shared

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 5 years ago from Peru, South America

    Peggy W, you never know! I hope you end up in this part of the world someday. I've enjoyed reading about the wonderful sights in and around Texas. There are so many sights to see in North America, as well. Thank you for the comment and votes!

  • Peggy W profile image

    Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

    I have cousins that have visited Machu Picchu in Peru. It would be the trip of a lifetime for many people, I am sure. Don't know if I will make it there but nice knowing about this colorful restaurant with good food in case I do. Great photos you took of the Indio Feliz Restaurant. Looks very inviting! Up, useful and interesting votes.

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 5 years ago from Peru, South America

    MamaKim, I've missed seeing you around! It really is a fun restaurant. Thanks for coming by to pay me a visit. : )

  • Mama Kim 8 profile image

    Sasha Kim 5 years ago

    This looks like a fun and delicious restaurant! Your photos of the food are fantastic! Lovely review hub, good luck in the contest ^_^ voting and sharing!

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 5 years ago from Peru, South America

    You're welcome, unknown spy!

  • unknown spy profile image

    IAmForbidden 5 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

    thank you for sharing!

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 5 years ago from Peru, South America

    Tammyswallow, it really is a unique restaurant. I'm glad you enjoy different cuisines. Thank you for coming by!

  • tammyswallow profile image

    Tammy 5 years ago from North Carolina

    That looks like an awesome resturaunt. I love food from different cultures. Excellent hub!

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 5 years ago from Peru, South America

    Machu Picchu is the trip of a lifetime. Enjoy! I will be reviewing more restaurants in the Cusco area in the coming weeks. Thanks, Alocsin, for the vote and comment.

  • alocsin profile image

    alocsin 5 years ago from Orange County, CA

    I am visiting Machu Picchu, perhaps as early as next year and will look up this restaurant. Sounds like a wonderful discovery. Voting this Up and Useful.

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 5 years ago from Peru, South America

    Suzie, I'm glad you enjoyed the review. Yes, it is funky and full of character...just your type of place. You'd love it! I hope you have the chance to visit someday. Thanks so much for the vote, share and comment!

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 5 years ago from Peru, South America

    Happyboomernurse, I hope you have a chance to pay the restaurant a visit and try the unique and delicious food. Thank you for the votes and comment!

  • Happyboomernurse profile image

    Gail Sobotkin 5 years ago from South Carolina

    Great review and photos of this colorful and unique restaurant, plus you've given lots of good tips about what to order if the reader is lucky enough to eat there.

    Voted up across the board except for funny.

  • Suzie HQ profile image

    Suzanne Ridgeway 5 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

    Hi Vespa,

    Wow, what a funky looking place full of character! Loved the entrance, looks off the beaten track which is often where the best restaurants seem to be! The menu you picked sounds yummy!! First time I have said "yep, I'd eat that" to everything listed - chicken in pineapple and chocolate mousse (don't you know the choco fix would have to be mentioned!) sound dreamy!

    Great review and pics to give us a taster of this great place in Peru and a must when in the area!

    VU +++++++ and shared! :-)

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 5 years ago from Peru, South America

    Thank you for the vote and comment, Crystal Tatum!

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 5 years ago from Peru, South America

    It really is a unique place and such an oasis in Aguas Calientes. Thank you for reading, randomcreative!

  • Crystal Tatum profile image

    Crystal Tatum 5 years ago from Georgia

    Excellent review. Voted up and awesome.

  • randomcreative profile image

    Rose Clearfield 5 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

    Mango chicken, yum! This sounds like such a unique place. Thanks for the great review.

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 5 years ago from Peru, South America

    Yoginijoy, this is most definitely the best restaurant in AC. As you know, the town doesn't offer many options. We've been several times and last time we went to the hot water baths. They don't seem terribly sanitary but are relaxing. Thank you for taking the time to comment and it's nice to hear from someone who has visited!

  • yoginijoy profile image

    yoginijoy 5 years ago from Mid-Atlantic, USA

    Wow! I want to go back and try this place. I don't remember where we ate the day we spent in Aguas Calientes. This looks fabulous! Thanks for the review and the recommendation.

    Did you try out the actual aguas calientes? I wonder how that experience is. Take care!

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 5 years ago from Peru, South America

    It IS fun, MHatter! Nice to hear from you.

  • Mhatter99 profile image

    Martin Kloess 5 years ago from San Francisco

    Good review. Thank you. You make it sound fun.

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 5 years ago from Peru, South America

    Lemonkerdz, you're sure to have a chance soon living in close proximity to MP! Thank you for paying me a visit. Looking forward to your next hub. : )

  • lemonkerdz profile image

    lemonkerdz 5 years ago from TRUJILLO, PERU

    Thanks vespawoolf for the great review. Its always so helpful when you are travelling to have a tried and tested restaurant lined up for the evening. We will be sure to try the fixed menu when we next visit aguas calientes.

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 5 years ago from Peru, South America

    The restaurant has been there for twenty years now, so my bet is it's there to stay! I hope you have a chance to visit. Machu picchu is the trip of a lifetime! Thank you for paying me a visit, Glimmer Twin Fan.

  • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

    Glimmer Twin Fan 5 years ago

    Very cool. My dream is to make it to Machu Picchu by the time I am 50 (2 1/2 more years to go). Hopefully this place will still be there!

  • vespawoolf profile image
    Author

    vespawoolf 5 years ago from Peru, South America

    Thank you for being my first commenter, flashmakeit!

  • flashmakeit profile image

    flashmakeit 5 years ago from usa

    Thanks for sharing this article on this beautiful award-winning restaurant.