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Arepas

I was watching "Throwdown w/ Bobby Flay" a few weekends ago, and they showed these women from Venezuela who have an areparia in NYC which is known for being really good. They beat him in the throwdown. It got me thinking though, where could I try an arepa in the Boston area. Anyone know of any places that serve a good arepa and what kind would you recommend?

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  1. Viva Mi Arepa in West Roxbury is excellent, cheap, and authentic. It's a little counter-service place where you can watch them making your arepas to order, and it seems that most patrons are Venezuelan ex-pats (lots of families and groups of friends).

    Orinoco in the South End offers a pricier, fancier, but not necessarily tastier version, as does its new sibling in Brookline Village (which I haven't tried but understand is comparable). I tend to visit Orinoco a lot more, as it's close by and offers very good food, decent wines, prices that are pretty cheap by neighborhood standards, and a lovely patio on a less-traveled residential street. But VMA's arepas are better, in my book.

    I like all the fillings they offer, but I think I prefer the warmer, slightly spicier, stewed/shredded meat fillings like pernil (pork leg) and mechada (beef) to the more salad-like cool fillings (like reina pepiada, shredded chicken with avocado and cilantro). The domino (black beans and queso blanco) is nice, too.

    11 Replies
    1. re: MC Slim JB

      No one in Boston does an authentic Columbian arepas, but for an amazing Venezuelan version, Orinoco is más deliciosa.

      1. re: FastTalkingHighTrousers

        Out of curiosity what is lacking in authenticity at La Fonda Paisa in Revere or El Paisa in Orient Heights, East Boston?

        1. re: itaunas

          or for that matter in Allston there's El Cafetal or Camino Real.

      2. re: MC Slim JB

        I passed by the other day, and didn't stop, darn!

        Viva Mi Arepa
        5197 Washington St
        West Roxbury, MA 02132
        (617) 323-7844iva i

        1. re: MC Slim JB

          I agree that the arepas at Viva Mi Arepa are great. I also have to plug their empanadas, which have that super-crispy, thick shell which seems to be a hallmark of the Venezuelan variety.

          1. re: MC Slim JB

            So, does the following make me a total poser?

            I really kind of love indulging in those super-sweet, bright yellow arepas filled with gooey white cheese, the kind you can get hot at those stands at various street fairs. In fact, I've been pretty disappointed in some store-bought white corn arepas which tasted mealy and dry, blech.

            How do these real arepas compare?

            1. re: Prav

              Silly me, I should Google more often. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems like these yellow, sweet-corn Arepas are called arepas de choclo.

              Anywhere in town sell 'em?

              1. re: Prav

                The Hi-Lo does. Several types of arepas.

                  1. re: Prav

                    Did you ever find a restaurant with arepas that taste like the kind you get off a cart at a fair?

                    1. re: Prav

                      Since I think Prav moved to Somerville, Amigo's Market in East Somerville has Arepas de Choclo from time to time, but I haven't gotten around to trying them yet.

                1. I second Viva mi Arepa on the Dedham/West Rox line! Great little place, easy to spot on the corner of Washington St. When you walk in, you think you're actually in Venezuela. They often have soccer or Hispanic CNN on the TV; counter speaks little English.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: kparke30

                    I recently went to Viva mi Arepa and found it very good. I would recommend calling ahead, as we ordered our arepas to go and it took them 40 minutes to make them. My roommate and I ordered chicken arepas and they were very tasty & well seasoned. My other friend ordered the pork arepa and it had a definite lack of seasoning. The chicken is the way to go. We also ordered the empanadas, and I did not like mine due to the fact they use shredded beef, not ground beef. It didn't taste bad, it just wasn't my preference.

                  2. While not quite in Boston...here's an option if you ever take the ferry over to Provincetown for a daytrip.

                    I was just in P-town last weekend and had a really good arepa at Caribbean Corner Cafe on Commercial Street. My husband had the Venezualan Burger which he insisted was the best burger he'd had in a long time.

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                    The Caribbean Corner Cafe
                    269 Commercial Street, ME

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: mangorita

                      I agree. I was in P-town over the summer and went here 3 times. I have no idea if they are authentic as these were my first, but they were tasty enough to return two more times in a week! The breakfast arepas were especially flavorful.

                    2. I love the arepas at Viva Mi Arepa! The place is so warm and friendly but as kpark30 stated, there is little English spoken here by anybody.
                      Their vegetarian arepa with beans is to die over but it's awfully filling!

                      1. Thanks everyone! I'm going to have to try Viva Mi Arepa!!