Can you imagine a party without food? Perhaps you've been invited to one --- too many.
Let’s face it: after all those drinks, you’re a bit buzzed and you’re bound to get hungry. Now, wouldn’t it be wonderful to find an appetizing hand-held snack? Say an arepa for instance… to satisfy those cravings?
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the term. An arepa is a corn-flour cake that is prominent in the Colombian and Venezuelan cuisine.
Thankfully, you don’t have to travel far to find some of the best arepas in New York City.
When it comes to arepas, the choices are limitless. These delicacies can be accompanied along with a meal, or it can be devoured plain. Plus, many are filled with cheese, vegetables and meat.
Keep reading to learn more about this exotic or familiar treat, and check out some of our favorite NYC areperas (in no particular order) below.
1. Guacuco Arepera (44 Irving Avenue – Brooklyn)
When in Brooklyn… the Guacuco Arepera is a must!
If you are feeling a bit adventurous then head over to this homey Venezuelan cuisine fare. You might enjoy their delectable selection of hot steamy arepas like their famous “Pabellon,” an arepa filled with shredded succulent beef, white cheese, sweet plantains and black beans.
Not a meat lover? No worries! Guacuco Arepara serves vegetarian arepas too.
Don’t forget to have one of their traditional drinks such as the cocada, an amazing thick and creamy milk shake made with freshly grated coconut and cinnamon, or the papelón con límon, traditional Venezuelan limeade spiked with molasses.
2. Arepa Lady (77-02 Roosevelt Avenue – Queens)
Amidst a backdrop of music and the sizzling smell of Colombian food there’s a feeling of warmth and comfort when entering the Arepa Lady restaurant. Revel in the arepa de choclo, or the sweet corn cake arepa griddled until brown and crispy, served with cheese and butter.
Naturally, you’ll want to leave room and try the original arepa de queso too, stuffed with warm oozing mozzarella cheese and a velvety touch of butter on top.
Don’t forget to pair your meal with a refreshing natural fruit juice. Pick from mango, passion fruit, soursop, blackberry or the lulo, an exotic fruit with a citrus flavor that is most popular in Colombia.
3. Caracaras Arepa Bar (various locations)
We have to confess, we have a serious addiction with the Caracas Arepa Bar and their irresistible Venezuelan arepas. But with four different locations, can you really blame us?
Soft and smooth with a golden crisp, these steamy pita-like pockets can be stuffed with a choice of 20 different fillings (yes, you read that right). Plus, with an addition of daily specials you will never be disappointed.
Nothing beats the sweet aromatic smell of their daily fresh arepas made from scratch. Choose from chicken with chorizo and avocado, cheese and plantain, or the traditional classic with black beans.
Are you a spicy lover looking for a kick? Then Caracara’s Arepa has an option for you too! Try "La Mulata" which comes with grilled white cheese, jalapenos, and sautéed red peppers.
4. Arepas Pues Mixtas (83-15 37th Avenue – Queens)
Speaking of spice and everything nice, add a little spice to your life with Arepas Pues Mixtas!
Made from organic, Colombian ingredients, Arepas Pues Mixtas in Jackson Heights offers an authentic flavor. One thing’s for sure though, make sure you come with an appetite (you’ve been warned).
Not only are the arepas here rich in flavor, they’re also gigantic, perfect for the spoiled New Yorker. Select from different toppings including shrimp, tuna, corn, chicken, pork, beef and cheese.
We’d also recommend you try the agua de panela con queso, a customary Colombian drink made with sugar cane water and cheese.
5. Arepas Café (33-07 36th Avenue – Queens)
Living in Queens has its perks indeed! Another awesome place for arepas is at Arepas Café situated in Astoria.
Whether you’re a vegetarian or meat lover there’s plenty to eat at Arepas Café. Taste the llanera veggie arepa with sweet plantain and white cheese, or the Arepa Pabellon Pernil if you are into pork.
P.S. Don’t forget to try the other stellar Venezuelan dishes while you’re here, such as the Pabellón Criollo, or the Yuca con Guasacaca which are fried yuca sticks with creamy cilantro dressing.
6. Cachapas y Mas (107 Dyckman Street)
Fulfill your late night cravings with a culinary wanderlust. Cachapas y Mas serves some of the best Venezuelan street-food style to satisfy every appetite.
Choose from cachapas (fresh sweet corn cakes), arepas, patacons, cheese sticks and much more. The options here are endless! Have a steak arepa with their scrumptious house mayo, or a delicious and filling grilled chicken arepa.
You can find them at their brick-and-mortar location in Washington Heights, or on-the-go with their cachapas on wheels truck.
7. Macondo NYC (157 East Houston Street)
Want a taste of the Lower East Side? Head over to this Latin cuisine, Macondo for street-food inspired Latin tapas.
A fun fact, Macondo derived their name from the fictional town described in Gabriel García Márquez's novel, One Hundred Years of Solitude.
Now let’s not get sidetracked like every other tourist in time square, and let’s get straight to business, shall we? The arepas here are invariably pricey, but are they worth it? You’re darn right they are.
With a flavorful and diverse menu you will most certainly feel appeased. You want a love that consumes you -- some passion and flavorful adventure, right?
Go on and savor arepas from Venezuela, cocas from Barcelona, tacos from Mexico, ceviches from Peru, or churros with chocolate from Madrid at Macondo NYC.[Feature Image Courtesy Instagram]