Our Airbnb hosts gave us many recommendations for food in the neighborhood, many of which were located in the nearby Yanahuara Plaza.
The one we were most excited about was the bunuelo lady. According to the tip from our hosts, she only opened for business in the late afternoon/early evening hours. We tried to find her our first day in Arequipa, but we must have gone too late. On our second day, even though we were out exploring the central Arequipa area, we purposely made a trip back to Yanahuara to see if we could catch her.
We did, but only thanks to my sister's sharp eye. I definitely wouldn't have see the sign for bunuelos in this tiny spot:
There are tables and benches on one end and the bunuelo lady with her bunuelo team on the other:
One order comes with four bunuelos and costs only S/.3 or $1:
The Peruvian bunuelo is light, with a texture much like a mochi donut. It is flavored with anise and drizzled with sugar syrup. Very sticky and very delicious.
On our last day in Arequipa, we went back to Yanahuara Plaza during the early afternoon to see what else we could find. The bunuelo lady wasn't there, bu the queso helado ladies were out and about:
Queso helado, an Arequipan classic, is literally "frozen cheese", but there's actually no cheese in it. Instead, it's made with milk, coconut, and cinnamon:
When we rounded the corner and saw another queso helado lady, we couldn't help but stop and get another one:
Compared to the first queso helado, the second one was less savory and tasted more like a slushy horchata:
Though Yanahuara is a bit off the beaten path from central Arequipa, I really recommend making the trek if you have some free time. It's nice to get away from all the tourist hubbub and see a different side of Arequipa. Not to mention the views of the surrounding mountain ranges are simply breathtaking.
And the food is good. Very good.