Caracas Arepa Bar


Tonight, when I called Caracas Arepa Bar for takeout, there was no hello. Instead the receiver hovered within hearing-range of vague, delighted sounds–people enjoying buttery, cheesey arepas and beers. The second and third times: busy signal. This was not the first time this had happened.

And this is how I know I’m in deep with a snack obsession, because instead of pulling out another dog-eared menu, I threw on pants and ran out with shower hair, slinking past all the pretty people spilling out from bars. Because I need arepas and Caracas can’t ignore me if I’m standing there in the flesh, demanding them.

To maximize stomach space, I’ll skip the filling coconut shakes, serviceable salads, and deep-fried empanadas, and try as many arepas as you can. A Venezuelan specialty, the arepa is a flat, grilled-crisp, corn cake, about the size of a McMuffin and stuffed with a variety of fillings. My personal favorites are De Guasacaca–Venezuelan guacamole with crumbly mild paisa cheese ($5.50), and La del Gato–melty guayanes cheese, avocado, and fried sweet plantains ($5.75).

Expect a wait long enough that you smell like arepa when you emerge, but the food here is handmade and worth it. This tiny takeout joint is regularly packed, as three guys hustle to hand-prepare corn cakes behind the counter. If you have company, there’s a larger dining room for eating in, two doors down.

Caracas To Go 91 E 7th St. at First Ave.
Mon-Sat 12:00pm-10:45pm, Sun 12:00pm-9:45pm