Whether you’re a fan of food, Latin America, or both, you’ll quickly discover there’s so much to try in Venezuelan cuisine. From savory to sweet, and filling breakfast staples to full-on meals, here are five must-try dishes that will pamper your taste buds and become your new favorites!
1. Pabellón Criollo — The Most Traditional Venezuelan Dish
When it comes to Venezuelan signature dishes, you simply can’t miss Pabellón Criollo. Made from pulled beef, white rice, and black beans, this meal can be served in a number of ways. Most commonly with potatoes (like it is in the picture above) or with fried eggs on top (called Pabellón a Caballo).
2. Arepas — Delicious and Flavorsome
If you ask any Venezuelan about their favorite traditional snack, it’s likely that most will answer arepas. These small corn flour pitas are so versatile that they can be served with a dizzying number of fillings. Depending on how adventurous the cook is, arepas can be filled with pulled pork, beans, eggs, cheese, rice, veggies, and so much more. Not to mention sauces and spices! Perfect for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, arepas will steal your heart!
3. Cachapas — Venezuela’s Version of Pancakes
Similar to arepas, cachapas are often dubbed Venezuelan pancakes. Made from corn or cornmeal, these have sugar added to the batter (unlike arepas) and are most traditionally paired with a filling of queso blanco (like in the image above). Slightly sweet and perfectly delicious, this meal and its ingredients are a match made in heaven.
4. Cachitos — Croissants With a Twist
Filled with cheese and ham, these buttery crescent rolls are sort of like the Venezuelan version of French croissants. Cachitos have the perfect blend of crispiness on the outside and a chewy softness on the inside that makes them a must-try for everyone. In Venezuela, they are most commonly eaten for breakfast with coffee or some orange juice, but you’ll probably want to have them all day long as soon as you try them!
5. Mondoca — Donuts Meet Pretzels
You can’t go exploring Venezuelan cuisine without trying mondoca. These are basically donuts shaped like pretzels made from cornmeal and plantains. You can dip them in butter, queso fresco, or another salty option to bring a kick to the otherwise sweet mondoca. They are typically a breakfast meal because they’re quite filling, and it’s best to eat them while they’re still warm.