Sunday, January 27, 2008

Caracas Arepa Bar

Caracas Arepa Bar [91 East 7th Street, New York; Menu]

From what I have read, this tiny place might be the only authentic Venezuelan restaurant in the city (except for its second location in Williamsburg). Caracas offers a variety of Venezuelan specialties, but the arepas (think stuffed english muffin, but made of corn flour) are the signature dish. After many visits, I have found my favorites to be the La Del Gato, the Reina Pepiada, the La Pelua, and the De Pabellon. The fillings here are fresh and flavorful, while the actual arepas are critical complements to what's inside. For appetizers, start with the Guasacaca (Venezuelan Guac) and the Yoyos. Finally, because this restaurant is so small and crowded, there is a conveniently located To Go cafe right next door. Here you can order all the same food without having to wait for a table, although they do have some seating. You will have to wait awhile for the food (service is notoriously slow), but it's worth it!

Eat Richly Rating: One Star


Guachiman said...

Hi Rich
I just happened upon your post, and I wanted to let you know that there are more than one venezuelan restaurant in NY. Here are another three for you to explore:

El Cocotero Restaurant
228 W 18th St

Flor's Kitchen
170 Waverly Place

El Rincón Venezolano
70-04 Roosevelt Avenue, Queens

I hope you find this useful!

Rich said...

thanks for the heads up! i'll have to try and get out to those places and compare.

Russell Maddicks said...

Hi Rich,

Guachiman is right to give a heads up to Flor's Kitchen, which has been going for years. Of all the options Caracas Arepa Bar is definitely the best Venezuelan place in NYC and their guasacaca rocks.

I'm working on a short arepa glossary for travellers to Venezuela, you might find it useful.

Russell Maddicks said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Russell Maddicks said...

Hi Rich,

The only Venezuelan arepa place that I know about in the UK is Arepa & Co, a stall that sells pabellon and arepas on Saturdays and Sundays at Camden Market, London.
Camden is the funkiest market in the capital, selling vintage and homemade designer wear, jewelry, hammocks from Mexico, and food from everywhere. Check it out if you're ever over here. You won't be disappointed.

Guachiman said...

Hi Russell

Since you are in London, I also know about a couple of venezuelan restaurants (I hope they are still open) over there:

Mango Bajito
107 Kingsgate Rd.

Sol y Luna
103 Hampstead Road

I haven't heard of the one you mentioned, but if they own a brick-and-mortar restaurant somewhere, I'd love to know. I'm the owner of the venezuelan expat community directory.


Russell Maddicks said...

Hey Guachiman,

Sol y Luna is no longer operating. They closed down ages ago.

Mango Bajito is still open but it's more of a cafe than a restuarant and only opens from 9:30-4:30.

The best deal at Mango Bajito is the all-day desayuno with carotas negras, perico and arepas, which comes in at a not inconsiderable £4.90.

West Hampstead is a nice area to visit and Mango Bajito is a funky place to hang out and try some Venezuelan dishes.

Russell Maddicks said...

Finally did a blog entry about Arepa & Co in Camden. Check it out:

Arepa and Co: The only Venezuelan food outlet in the UK