Welcome to Venezuela! A country known for many things, but not so much for its street food. With today’s post, we’re hoping to change that because, truth be told, Venezuela has some impressive and satisfying snacks.
Below (in no particular order) we’ve selected what we consider to be the 15 best Venezuelan street food dishes!
Let’s get into it.
We’ll kick things off with the standard arepa: the cornerstone of Venezuelan street food! Pictured below is your standard arepa. Cornmeal dough either fried, grilled or baked, split open and stuffed with ingredients like beans, cheese, avocado, egg and/or meats. A typical arepa will look like the one pictured below. However, as you’ll soon see on our list, there are many different varieties of the arepa!
The arepa Cabimera is a decadent arepa to say the least! Just check out that photo. It comes from the city of Cabimas in northwestern Venezuela. The filling or…topping would be a more apt word…typically consists of shredded beef, ham, cheese, egg, ketchup (and/or mustard) and mayonnaise.
image from: scoopfest.com
Many folks are surprised to learn that the humble hot-dog is a popular street food choice in much of Latin America. Venezuela is no exception, and its version is one of the best in the entire region! It’s often served with cabbage, cheese, potato sticks, onion, garlic sauce, ketchup, a ‘pink sauce’ (a mix of ketchup, mayo, and a bit of worcestershire sauce) and/or mustard.
image from: mamacontemporanea.com
The pepito just might be the king of Venezuelan street food. There are no limits on its popularity or size — many street stalls try to outdo each other in terms of just how big they can make these things! Ingredients vary, but a typical preparation will include chopped meat or chicken, onion, red pepper, lettuce, salt & pepper, ketchup, garlic sauce, mayo, mustard and/or whatever ‘secret sauces’ the vendor has on hand. Oh, and we can’t forget the hefty serving of french fries that accompanies it!
image from: recetavenezolana.com
A typical Venezuelan beverage often sold at street food stands. Similar to Mexican horchata, Venezuelan chicha is rice based beverage flavored with vanilla, cinnamon and sugar and/or condensed milk. It’s served cold and is a great way to beat the heat!
The most famous arepa of Venezuela: the Reina Pepiada! This is truly delicious, and a must-try while in the country. The filling consists of shredded chicken, cilantro, garlic, onion, avocado, mayonnaise, olive oil, lime and salt.
Yet another arepa! This one, the arepa Tumbarrancho has its origins in the oil-rich city of Maracaibo. The filling can be ham, chicken, beef, (or all of the above; get creative!) with cheese, cabbage, tomatoes, mayo, ketchup and mustard. As you might note from the photo, this arepa is fried, so you might want to eat this dish for breakfast to give yourself time to burn off the extra calories!
Like the hot-dog, the hamburger has also caught on in Venezuela in a big way. And we do mean in a big way. The mammoth known as the hamburguesa 4×4 boasts two hamburger patties, chicken, ham or bacon, melted cheese, lettuce, onion, tomato and sauces of your choice. Note: ingredients may vary based on availability, but the size doesn’t — the 4×4 is ALWAYS big.
The cachapa is one of our favorite Venezuelan snacks. Sweet corn mixed into batter and cooked on a griddle. The filling is usually queso de mano, which resembles mozzarella. It’s typically enjoyed as an appetizer or as breakfast. You’ll have no trouble finding a street stand or a small eatery offering the delicious cachapa!
image from: comidatipicadevenezuela.blogspot
These tiny treats are deep-fried pastry turnovers filled with ground beef, garlic, onion, tomato, peppers, egg and cilantro. They’re similar to empanadas but much more aesthetically pleasing in our humble opinion.
image from: exclusivefoods.uk
Patacones or, if you prefer, a ‘plantain hamburger’, are fried plantains with a delectable filling of shredded beef, tomato, lettuce, cheese and ham. These ingredients aren’t set in stone, though! Feel free to order the fillings of your choice.
image from: buzzfeed.com
Fried balls of mandioca dough filled commonly filled with cheese. Papitas are also offered with a meat filling of your choosing (beef, chicken, seafood). This dish is common on the Maracaibo street food scene — you’ll see plenty of vendors selling them around the city.
image from: quericavida.com
A favorite snack among many Venezuelans, tequeños are a definite must try if you find yourself in the country! These treats are stuffed with a hard white cheese and fried to perfection. The dipping sauce is guasacaca, which consists of avocado, cilantro, garlic, onion, vinegar, lime and salt. It’s a popular Venezuelan party food!
image from: bizcochosysancochos.com
On to dessert! Mandocas are deep-fried rings of cornmeal and ripe plantain, typically eaten at breakfast time with cheese, butter and a strong coffee! Mandocas are not popular all over the country, however. You’re most likely to find these in and around Maracaibo.
image from: sweetbitesblog.com
One of Venezuela’s most underrated street foods! Yoyos are a sweet and salty treat made from ripe plantains, cheese, egg, flour, salt, sugar. It sometimes includes a meat filling (most commonly ham, as pictured below).
image from: cocinardecorazon.com
And that about does it! Those are our favorite dishes of Venezuelan street food! We sincerely hope you make it down to Venezuela to try them all.
Want more information on Latin American Street Food? Have a look at the vibrant street food scene of Brazil
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