El Chalan Restaurant was founded in 1975 by Pedro and Elsa Espinoza. The Espinoza’s immigrated from their native land, Peru, in the late 1960’s with a dream to provide a better life for themselves and their family. They quickly acculturated to the customs and traditions of their new land but missed very much their native cuisine. After, a few years in the DC metropolitan area they opened a carry-out in Arlington, Virginia. They initially sold traditional American food such as hot dogs, hamburgers, and fries during the week and Peruvian food was served only on the weekends. Soon, there was increasing demand for the Peruvian menu, and they converted the carry-out to a restaurant and changed the name from Washington Lee Carry-out to El Chalan Restaurant.
El Chalan was the first Peruvian restaurant in the DC metropolitan area, and continues to be one of the most recognized in the area, and has received multiple favorable reviews. Located on 1924 I Street, El Chalan serves up delicious Peruvian fare every day of the week. Our most known dishes are the lomo saltado, causa, and ceviche. The pisco sours are also very popular.