- Caracas Arepa Bar
91 East 7th Street, 212-228-5062
The arepa, in case you didn’t know, is not quite a snack, but then it’s not quite a meal either. It’s a Venezuelan corn muffin, crisp on the outside and steamy-soft in the middle, stuffed with exotic fillings like mashed chicken and avocado, perhaps, or sweet plantains and cheese, or shredded beef and shavings of Cheddar. At Caracas Arepa Bar, in the East Village, they’re even given regal names like Pepi Queen (chicken and avocado) and La Pelua (beef and Cheddar). They come in seventeen varieties, including one called the Vegan Deluxe made with tofu and portobello mushrooms. They’re served in plastic baskets, like burgers, only instead of ketchup and fries, you get to enjoy them with bowls of nata (sour cream) and fried plantains.
Best Hamburger Alternative
From the 2004 Best of New York issue of New York Magazine
So what exactly does “best” mean in a city with thousands of pizza joints, hundreds of celebrity masseuses, and museum-worthy concept shops on every corner? Well, in the case of this, our annual “Best of New York” roundup, there’s a heavy emphasis on what’s new or what has somehow remained virtually unheard of (until now, of course).