The influx of Peruvian immigrants to the historic city of Paterson over the past 70 years has produced a thriving community of about 10,000 Peruvian Americans there. Enough have opened restaurants in the area around Market Street that it’s known as Little Lima. The restaurants bring the rich, complex flavors of Peruvian cuisine to the community, offering a taste of home.
Peruvian food is a mix of different cuisines, taking from Hispanic, Asian and Incan influences, among others.
Common ingredients in Peruvian cooking include the aji pepper and the potato, of which Peru has more than 4,000 varieties.
La Tia Delia is a hidden gem toward the end of Market Street. In addition to serving classic Peruvian dishes, the restaurant also serves Peruvian breakfast favorites like chicharrones (fried pork belly pieces), relleno (blood sausage) and an array of sandwiches.
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Chifa Jade is a bit out of the way of Little Lima, but it’s a great spot for chifa (Peruvian-Chinese fusion) cuisine, serving arroz chaufa (Peruvian fried rice), wonton soup and lomo saltado (a beef stir-fry dish).
Other restaurants to check out include Leña y Carbón and D’Carbon.