Gluten Free at Hotel Monasterio (Cusco, Peru)

Gluten Free at Hotel Monasterio (Cusco, Peru)

Hotel Monasterio is actually a former monastery built in 1595, although renovations have been completed since then. Today it is designated a national landmark protected by the National Institute of Culture (INC). It stands as an example of colonial Renaissance architecture while also featuring a stunning chapel and collection of colonial art.

Gluten Free at Hotel Monasterio (Cusco, Peru)
Fruit Bowl in the Hotel Rooms

The hotel also features the oldest tree in Cusco, a majestic cedar tree standing over 20m high, from over 300 years ago. It was originally nurtured and maintained by the monks of the original monetary. As a member of the cedrela angustifolia family, this wood is ideal for carving and you’ll see it in many pieces of colonial Spanish architecture around the city, such as pulpits and columns.

Gluten Free at Hotel Monasterio (Cusco, Peru)
Main Courtyard at Hotel Monasterio (Cusco, Peru)

The hotel serves tea in the lobby nearly every hour of the day. They offer coca tea in the morning and afternoon. This tea is supposed to help with the symptoms of altitude sickness, and even if it does not work, it appears to have a nice placebo effect at a minimum. Since coca tea keeps you awake, they serve mint tea in the evening, which was my mom’s favorite.

Gluten Free at Hotel Monasterio (Cusco, Peru)
Tea in the Courtyard

Conveniently, this hotel is located just minutes away from the Plaza de Armas in the heart of Cusco. You don’t need to be staying at the hotel to enjoy either breakfast or lunch in the courtyard, or dinner in the main dining room. Although, if you do stay at the hotel, breakfast is typically included in the room price.

All meals are can be served with a gluten free assortment of bread featuring blue corn and a potato bread. The potato bread was my favorite.

Gluten Free at Hotel Monasterio (Cusco, Peru)
Potato and Blue Corn Bread (Gluten Free)

The breakfast menu is the easiest to follow as they label which items contain gluten. The main options are eggs and quinoa pancakes which I didn’t try. There is also a buffet, which I didn’t eat off of due to a risk of cross contact with gluten, but it does feature many peeled fruits that you could try.

Gluten Free at Hotel Monasterio (Cusco, Peru)
Breakfast Omelet

The lunch and dinner menus are a bit more confusing. While there is a gluten free logo, it’s only listed next to their meals that they modify to be gluten free, such as their gluten free pasta. However, after handing them my card explaining celiac disease and food allergies, they were always able to provide a gluten free meal it’s a minimal risk of cross contact. For both lunches I had steamed fish with vegetables. A good safe go to for any celiac, and a fruit plate for dessert.

Gluten Free at Hotel Monasterio (Cusco, Peru)
Fish and Steamed Veggies

The food was tasty, and the view for lunch is one not to be missed as it’s in the courtyard by the old cedar tree. Dinner was a bit fancier. In fact, three nights a week, you can attend dinner during a two hour long Peruvian opera, which eats quite the experience.

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Amuse-bouche

For dinner, I began each meal with a sautéed mushroom dish. I then had meat and veggies for each meal. On our first dinner, I works closely with the waiter to determine that I could safely eat both the polenta cake and sauce that came with the fish of the day (sea bass), which was probably my favorite meal. By my second dinner the restaurant remembered my dietary restrictions and was ready to feed me, which was nice as well.

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For dessert I stuck to ice cream and fruit, although I did have chocolate covered in quinoa for one meal, which was quite tasty.

Gluten Free at Hotel Monasterio (Cusco, Peru)

Overall, I ate pretty well here, which is nice. I did have to confirm my allergens and explain cross-contamination/contact with each new waiter/wait staff. (Don’t expect that they’ll understand celiac disease immediately, even with the gluten free labels on the menu.) However, they took me seriously once I expressed my needs, I was able to eat safely here without being “glutened.” I do recommend confirming that your meal is gluten free/allergen friendly when it’s delivered to the table as well.

Heading to Cusco soon? Don’t miss my reviews of my favorite spots in the city:

As always, happy Wanderlust Wednesday!

I’m thrilled to be sharing this trip over at Fiesta Friday hosted by Jhuls @ The Not So Creative Cook.

14 thoughts on “Gluten Free at Hotel Monasterio (Cusco, Peru)

  1. You’re providing such an invaluable service by reviewing restaurants that serve gluten-free food. It’s wonderful that you are finding accommodating restaurants wherever you go!

  2. What a beautiful place to stay! The Main Courtyard is so pretty; I’d love to enjoy a cup of tea while looking at the cedar tree! I’m a big tea lover so that’s really cool they serve tea so often. And It’s nice you were able to get some gluten-free options at the hotel. All the food looks delicious!

  3. Its great you were able to find some gluten-free meals in Peru. I wonder if South and Central America are easier than European countries as so much of the cuisine is based on maize or if it’s that they are more accommodating? Interesting about the coca tea. I drank it in Bolivia and you’re right – at least there’s the placebo effect!

    1. Most Peruvian cuisine is traditionally gluten free because they do rely on a lot of potatoes, quinoa, corn, etc. I loved the food, specifically, ceviche (although I didn’t have it here). However, with globalization there is more gluten introduced into Peruvian restaurants, so as a celiac I still had to be able to communicate with the chef to ensure there wasn’t cross-contact with gluten too!

  4. The place looks wonderful and your meals look amazing! That was a great trip, indeed. Thank you for joining this week’s Fiesta Friday party, Kaila.

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