Readers Voted for These Local Destinations for Best Peruvian Food

Hunting & Gathering


A highlight from this year's Best of SRQ Local Readers' Competition. A spontaneous trip to South America may not quite be in the budget (not to mention the hassle of finding a last-minute babysitter for your dog and kennel for the kids), but your mouth can take a voyage to Peru almost any night, thanks to the winning restaurants in this new category. Selva Grill and its stunning ceviches emerged a clear winner, holding the Platinum trophy up high on the shoulders of twice as many votes as any competitor. Darwin’s Evolutionary Cuisine holds a solid Gold finish, with diners raving about creative dishes and fresh fixin’s straight from Peru, while Peruvian Grill takes home the Silver alongside scrumptious yucca fries. And battling neck-and-neck for a dead tie across the finish line, Maemi Peruvian Cuisine and Brasa & Pisco tie as Bronze winners.

Nancy Schulman (on Selva Grill): Chimichurra Steak with Plaintains—probably my favorite meal in town. Steak is flavorful and tender, service is always good. They even serve it in a smaller portion for happy hour! We like to sit in the bar area—cozy dark red walls. Becky Brodkorb (on Selva Grill): My absolute favorite! I have been to Peru and this is by far my favorite Peruvian around here. 

Michael Henshaw (on Darwin’s Evolutionary Cuisine): This is one of my favorite go-to spots outside of downtown Sarasota. The steak tacos, chicharron de calamar, and truffle chive risotto are amazing. Any time we have friends in town, we stop here for a quick meal and every time everyone leaves happy. Sheila Vincent (on Darwin’s Evolutionary Cuisine): I have been a fan of Darwin Santa Maria since his days on Swift Road. He and his wife, Lelys, always strive for the best flavor, the best presentation, the most authentic Peruvian food. The success he has brought to Selva Grill, to Darwin's on 4th and now to Darwin's Evolutionary Cuisine shows his creativity, market-savvy, and excellent public relations. Not only an excellent chef but a wonderful and philanthropic human being. Shari Shepard (on Darwin’s Evolutionary Cuisine): Darwin is a local chef and owner. He is inventive in his menus. He brings his children in to assist with meal prep, teaching them the beauty of cuisine. He travels home to Peru often searching for the ordinary to extraordinary! Evolutionary is not just a name: it's Darwin. Marie Bonilla (on Darwin’s Evolutionary Cuisine): Elegant Peruvian food, amazing flavors and presentations. Chris Grandstaff (on Darwin’s Evolutionary Cuisine): fresh, exciting dishes with flavors that dance.

April White (on Peruvian Grill): Peruvian Grill is a favorite of mine and my fiancé. We probably pick up takeout at least once a month from here. My favorite dish and the thing I order every time is the shrimp picante. So yummy!

Kim Fineout (on Maemi Peruvian Cuisine): Yucca fries are amazing.

James Meade (on Brasa & Pisco): The menu had many delicious entrees. Music during dinner was provided by the Hot Club of SRQ—my favorite acoustic jazz band. It was a memorable evening.

Pictured: Maemi Peruvian Restaurant, photo by Wyatt Kostygan.

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