Miamians have it good. We have tons of Cuban cafes, Colombian hot dog carts, and ceviche can be found just about everywhere. Not to be overlooked are all of our options for Venezuelan eats and treats. If you’re craving cachapas, caraotas negras or cachitos, we’ve got a list of places for you to try them all out and then some. If you don’t know what those three things are, you need to find one of these places ahora mismo!
If you’ve ever asked anyone in Miami where they recommend you go for Venezuelan cuisine, they will almost always say Doggi’s. What began as a hot dog cart nearly a decade ago has morphed into two extremely popular brick-and-mortar eateries. Best of all, they deliver, so if you’re nearby, you can totally get cachapas and arepas sent directly to your home.
As you might imagine, some of the best Venezuelan food can be found in the heart of Doral. El Arepazo is one such place. An extensive menu spanning breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and every arepa combination you ever thought possible (Huevo perico? Carne mechada? Pabellón? Be still my heart) make El Arepazo one of the best.
Don Criollito is the type of place your best, trusted Venezuelan friend tells you about. Flavors are authentic at this family-owned biz, which initially opened in Venezuela in 1998 and in 2001 in the U.S. Come for breakfast (the Llanero platter with eggs, black beans, steak, arepa, and avocado is quite a bargain), or just drop by for empanadas and arepas. Either way, just try it and see for yourself.
Mondu started out as Loncheria Monyca, one of the best arepa restaurants in Venezuela some three decades ago. They finally opened here in the 305 last year, and have received stellar reviews ever since. Try one of their lunch specials (all under $10, all delightful), snag some salchipapas for the road, or crunch into some churros. You won’t be disappointed.
If home-made flavors are what you’re seeking, Hermon Restaurant will be your new go-to spot. This Venezuelan eatery has got everything that mama used to make: hallacas, patacones, and nice heaping, comforting plates of pabellón criollo. All the right flavors, all the right sized portions, and at ridiculously low prices.
You want to go to La Uchirena because it’s cheap and, like their name suggests, rapid (as in, fast). But you really, really want to go because of their bomb-ass empanadas. Try them all: cazón y plátano (fish and plantain), guayaba y queso (guava and cheese), shredded beef, or any combination you can think of. Once you’ve experienced that, then move on to the rest of the menu.
Hereford Grill is your typical Miami steakhouse, except it’s heavily rooted in Venezuelan cuisine. So while you might find milanesas and churrascos, you’ll also be pleased to enjoy arepas with guayanes cheese at the start of your meal, guasacaca sauce, crema de jojoto (sweet corn cream), and other tributes to Venezuela. It’s an excellent choice for the carnivores in the bunch who still long for a little taste of that fine South American cuisine.
If you’re as enamored with Venezuelan and Nicaraguan food as I am, you will fall head over heels for El Fogon. This Flagler Street fixture is owned by a family hailing from both nations, and their menu reflects it. They’ve got a number of bandejas (Venezuelan and Nicaraguan inspired), plus empanadas, patacones, arepas—the works. And yes, it’s all worth trying.
Budare Bistro is your new go-to place for late night Venezuelan munchies. While they are certainly also open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, it’s convenient as hell to have a spot for Venezuelan-style hot dogs, pepitos, and cachitos after a night of partying. Actually, just go for the Budare sampler (featuring arepas, cachapas, tequenos, mandocas, and empanadas) and be the hero in your group.