Nightlife in Lima: Best Cocktail Bars, Breweries, & More


Courtesy of Carnaval

Lima is a vibrant destination around the clock, with frequent cultural festivals, street performers, and talented artists bringing color to a city often referred to as "Lima la gris" (gray Lima). Not even the dark night skies can dim Lima’s energy, thanks to emerging cocktail and micro-brewery cultures as well as passionate musicians and actors who vow to make their country known for more than just its food. 

Lima doesn't have a massive club scene, and at over 1,000 square miles, it's not a city made for bar crawls or venue hopping—but by staying within a handful of centrally located and nearby districts, it is possible to satisfy a few late-night cravings in one go. From the top cocktail bars and craft breweries to live music venues and restaurants that loosen up after dinner service, this is the best of nightlife in Lima. 


Courtesy of Carnaval

Cocktail Bars

Peru’s best-known drink is the pisco sour, a frothy blend of the grape spirit with ice, eggs, and simple syrup. As delicious as it is, this one cocktail has unfairly stifled the common traveler from venturing out into the vast cocktail culture that Lima holds. Try one (or a few) of the following cocktail bars to get a taste of the city's mixology scene.

  • Carnaval: The only Peruvian bar to be considered among The World’s 50 Best Bars, this San Isidro spot is both classy and playful—and all it takes is one look at the menu to understand why. Aaron Diaz, a decorated Peruvian mixologist, is the creator of Carnaval, a project he describes as "Coctelería Conceptual" (Conceptual Cocktail). From the ice to the glassware, every detail has an artist’s touch, and the drinks that dance around these art pieces are unique recipes inspired by the worldly travels of Diaz. 
  • Ayahuasca: If you can’t go a night without a pisco sour, at least try one infused with a spicy aji pepper or camu camu, a tantalizing fruit from the jungle. The interior walls of this massive casona (house) in Barranco are lined with glass jugs that contain various fruits and herbs macerated in pisco, causing adults to feel like kids in a candy store. And you’ll feel absolutely spoiled when you realize there is more than one bar in Ayahuasca, just as there are various rooms and terraces to provide you and yours with privacy as well as superb service.  
Cerveceria del Valle

Courtesy of Cerveceria del Valle


Over the past decade, craft beer culture has substantially grown in Lima, and with the hop venture has followed a bevy of brewpubs. Most of the following serve typical bar food (think chicken wings and hamburgers), and are ideal for early birds as they tend to fill up around 8 p.m. All lure a great deal of expats and tourists, so don’t be surprised to hear English the moment you step through the doors.

  • Cerveceria del Valle Lima: For those who prefer to savor a fine pint as opposed to simply drinking for the buzz, this Miraflores taproom is the place. Award-winning brewery Cerveceria del Valle Sagrado, based in the Cusco region of Peru, brought some delicious country flavor to the big city a few years ago, instantly becoming the taproom for craft beer connoisseurs in Lima. Seasonal and limited edition brews are matched with chicharron de pollo (Peruvian fried chicken) and choclo con queso (large-kerneled corn with cheese).
  • Lúpulo: Facing the popular Parque Kennedy, Lúpulo is a casual bar with a college feel, as guests from nearby hostels mingle with the young local crowd. The main draw is its Miraflores location, meaning that it's easy to find a cab or, if early enough, walk to a nearby restaurant. The bar serves up a variety of national brews, making it a great place to discover your favorite Peruvian brewery. 
  • Barranco Beer Company: Around the corner from Barranco’s main square, this brewery was one of the first to pop up in Lima—and it arrived in no small way. Three levels (including a rooftop), ample seating, and televisions for sports events draw a variety of customers, from families to coworkers. Try their slightly spicy maiz morado (purple corn) pizza.
  • Red Cervecera: With a vibe that’s one part punk, one part rock and roll, this Barranco district microbrewery has a lot of attitude. Live music shows and dance classes appear periodically throughout the locale’s monthly calendar, but one thing is for certain: These brewers like to experiment. Pumpkin, pastries, and fruit have found a way into the beer here, and you can try it on tap or take it home in a growler. On the way out, check out the small shop that sells ingredients for homebrewers.
La Noche de Barranco - Lima

Courtesy of La Noche de Barranco - Lima

Live Music and Performances

Though salsa and reggaeton get plenty of play on local radio stations (yes, radio is still incredibly popular in Peru), a steady stream of underground DJs, indie bands, and pop singers are emerging in this international city. And while Lima does have a fantastic Grand National Theatre to host symphonies and big bands, the casual weekender can find their groove in any of the following late-night venues for live music and performances.

  • La Noche de Barranco: Simply referred to as "La Noche" by locals, this is a classic nighttime spot that’s been around since 1991. Nightly performances ranging from jazz to cumbia-rock take to the humble stage as crowds fill the multi-leveled tiers of a revamped mansion. With a block party sensation, drinks and food can be ordered from the small restaurant behind the stage, and the patio area tends to fill as the night advances. Cover typically ranges from 15 to 30 soles,
  • Microteatro Lima: Fifteen-minute theatre performances for 15-member audiences in 15-square-meter rooms: For a unique night out with friends, the concept of Microteatro Lima can’t be matched. This live arts experience is set in Barranco, specifically in an old house that’s been renovated to host numerous simultaneous shows. Order a classic gin and tonic or negroni and settle in for a show of drama, romance, or even provocative comedy—anything goes!

Late-Night Restaurants

Lima is renowned as the heart of Peru’s award-winning gastronomic scene, yet there’s another slew of local restaurants that cater to the city’s nightlife crowd. Without forgoing the quality of food, these restaurants have developed a loyal set of customers for their impeccable ambiance—and experiencing it for one night on your trip to Lima can be a healthy reminder to not take Peruvian food so seriously.  

  • Bottega Dasso: A classic and elegant style mark this upscale restaurant and bar, located in the suburban San Isidro district. Ideal for a romantic date night or celebration, the brunch and Mediterranean-inspired dinner options are worth sampling, and the drinks menu features one of the largest varieties of gin in the city. The bar and lounge is open Sunday to Thursday until midnight, and Friday to Saturday until 2 a.m.
  • Rafael: Time and again this Miraflores restaurant has been listed among the best restaurants in Latin America, but it also knows how to have a good time. Entering Rafael is like walking into a photoshoot for an interior design magazine—think walls hung with beautiful Peruvian artwork, one-of-a-kind pieces of vintage furniture, and an eclectic after-sunset playlist. Soak in the colorful atmosphere from the bar, open until 11 p.m.
  • Juanito de Barranco: This traditional tavern has been a Barranco favorite since it opened its doors in 1937, proving that some things are best left unchanged. Tiny wooden tables hold patrons’ ceviches and other classic Peruvian dishes by day, and their pitchers of beer and jamón del país (country ham) sandwiches at night. There’s an unpretentious vibe set by the regulars that will make you wish you could stay a few rounds beyond the 11 p.m. closing time. 

Tips for Going Out in Lima

  • Casual drinks with friends can be had at any hour in Lima, but don’t be surprised if a bar or venue seems empty around 8 p.m.—the real partygoers don’t turn out until 10 p.m. 
  • Theft is an issue in Lima, and walking home late at night is not recommended, even if it’s within the same district. Keep in mind that buses stop running before midnight and street taxis are not reputable; instead, use rideshare apps that save your "home" address.
  • Open-container laws exist in Peru, however it is yet another regulation that is not strongly enforced. It is common to pass someone or a group on the street drinking a beer on their way to a party or event. Only if you are making a scene or being rowdy will local authorities bother to say anything. 
  • In the case of tipping, do not do as the locals do (in other words, leave a tip). Not until recent years was there a tipping culture in Lima, and it remains a hard habit to begin for many Limeños. Tip bartenders and waitstaff at least 15 to 20 percent.
Article Sources
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  1. William Reed Business Media. "World's 50 Best Bars." 2020.

  2. William Reed Business Media. "Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants." 2021.