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Best of New York Food 2004

Best Hamburger Alternative

  • Photo by Kenneth Chen
  • 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.

From the 2004 Best of New York issue of New York Magazine

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