Mon-Thu, 11am-10pm; Fri-Sat, 11am-11pm; Sun, noon-11pm
N, Q at 36th Ave.
American Express, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
The Caracas-born team at this bright, no frills Astoria café turn out at least 20 variations of arepas daily. Fillings range from simple Guayanes cheese (like a dense ricotta) to the more intricate Queen Pepiada with chicken, avocado, and cilantro mayo. While the fist-size patties are the specialty here, tantalizing cachapa—a cornmeal crepe layered with cheese, shredded beef, and a sprinkling of sugar—is a worthwhile detour. During the day, stroller-toting moms catch up on the latest Caracas gossip over chicha shakes, a liquefied rice-pudding blend of condensed milk, cinnamon, and ice. When dinner rolls around, bilingual Venezuelan-Americans settle in at the long counter ideal for solo diners.Cilantro Mayo
It’s called “guasacaca,” it’s addictive, and it’s ubiquitous in Venezuela. It enhances nearly everything served at Arepas Cafe.Recommended Dishes
Cachapa, $8.95; La Pelua arepa, $6.50; Reina Pepiada arepa, $6; chicha, $3.50