Venezuelan grub in Vegas: Where are the best arepas?

Venezuelan Grub In Vegas: Where Are The Best Arepas?

Photo courtesy of nehophoto via Shutterstock

By Aleza Freeman

February 22, 2024

Arepas are a staple of South American cuisine, with iterations in Columbia, Venezuela, Bolivia, and Ecuador.

In Venezuela, these round cornmeal patties are grilled or deep-fried, split as a sandwich, and stuffed with delicious fillings like chicken, beef, fish, and cheese. They’re eaten throughout the day as a regular part of the Venezuelan diet.

If you’re craving arepas in Las Vegas and you aren’t sure where to find them, read on. From quick stops with counter service to a world-class Latin restaurant on the Las Vegas Strip, the following restaurants have the best Venezuelan arepas in Las Vegas.

Viva Las Arepas

1616 S. Las Vegas Blvd, #120

Located at the intersection of Las Vegas Boulevard and E. Oakey, walking distance from The Strat Hotel, Casino & Tower in downtown Las Vegas, Viva Las Arepas is an arepa success story.

The restaurant began as a kiosk and grew to a storefront with counter service, plus indoor and outdoor seating. Owner, Chef Félix Arellano, a Venezuelan immigrant, kicked off his Las Vegas career as a chef at the Venetian on the Las Vegas Strip before opening his own restaurant with arepas, empanadas, pastelitos, sopas, and more. There are more than a dozen arepas (starting at $8.50 each) on the menu, including wood-fired chicken and beef, garlic shrimp, and roasted pork as well as vegetarian, vegan, and pescatarian options.

“They do not skimp here,” writes Alyssa C. on Yelp. “The food is always a 10, delicious,” adds Jaqueline L.

Rika Arepa Express

3650 E. Flamingo Rd.

At Rika Arepa Express, nostalgic Venezuelan dishes have been transporting customers to the Caribbean coast since 2013. Another success story, the family-owned restaurant was originally a food truck before parking full-time as a sit-down dining room with counter service on Flamingo near Sandhill.

Owner Migdalia Dávila, a veteran of the restaurant industry, promises savory arepas made to order with fresh ingredients (starting at $8.50). There are more than 20 arepas on the menu, stuffed with the finest ingredients like black beans, sweet plantains, grilled chicken, and shredded beef. The menu also has many other dishes including empanadas, tostones, patacons and tequeños.

“My Venezuelan man approves of Rika, so I feel confident in recommending it to my friends,” writes Sarah Y. on Yelp, while Yoshabel C. describes it as an “unforgettable culinary experience.”

Tony’s Arepas

1134 S. Rainbow Blvd.

With 14 arepas on the menu and the option to customize your fillings, Tony’s Arepas on Rainbow near Charleston Boulevard is on a mission to bring the taste of Venezuela to Las Vegas. Experienced chefs follow traditional recipes, using locally sourced ingredients and South American spices.

For arepas, choose from fillings including carne asada, shredded beef, shredded chicken, shrimp, and even hot dogs as well as vegetarian options and other dietary preferences (starting at $6.45). The menu also includes empanadas, pastelitos, and combination plates.

Yelper Mary L. shares that she was “Warmly greeted by Tony himself” and described the beans as “heavenly,” adding “The sauces were delicious and very fresh tasting. The food was freshly cooked and perfect. Tony was very welcoming and sincere.”

Panpanccs

3542 S. Maryland Pkwy. at The Boulevard Mall

At Panpanccs, arepas are made and served amid the festive Latin atmosphere of El Mercado at The Boulevard Mall (starting at $9.40). You can choose from more than a dozen types of traditional arepas drawing from the chef’s culinary roots, including shredded beef, chicken, and even pork rinds and cheese. You can even order the arepa alone without any fillings ($3).

The full menu of Venezuelan food includes arepas, empanadas, cachapas, tequeños, Creole sweets and Creole plates.

As part of El Mercado, Panpanccs is surrounded by other Hispanic food vendors and unique specialty shops as well as plenty of tables for seating, so it feels like you’re dining on the streets of a Latin country. “Just follow the music to the food court area,” writes Jim W. on Yelp.

Chica

3355 S. Las Vegas Blvd. at the Venetian

For a gourmet arepa experience, head to Lorena Garcia’s Chica, located in restaurant row at the Venetian Resort on the Las Vegas Strip.

With influences from Venezuela, Perú, Brazil, México, Argentina, and more, the menu has at least two arepa options, though they are a bit on the pricier side. There’s the Asado Negro Arepas appetizer with braised short ribs for $24, which Yelper Monica M. calls “genius.” There’s also a Chorizo and Arepa Benedict, made with housemade Mexican chorizo, poached eggs, jalapeño scallion espuma, and guacamole for $25 — ”a standout dish,” writes Marjorie U.

This article first appeared on Good Info News Wire and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.Venezuelan grub in Vegas: Where are the best arepas?Venezuelan grub in Vegas: Where are the best arepas?

  • Aleza Freeman

    Aleza Freeman is a Las Vegas native and award-winning journalist with two decades of experience writing and editing lifestyle, travel, entertainment, and human interest stories in Nevada. Her work has appeared in AARP magazine, Haute Living and Nevada Magazine.

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