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Doggi's best seller is the arepa pelúa.EXPAND
Doggi's best seller is the arepa pelúa.
Courtesy of Doggi's Arepa Bar

The Ten Best Venezuelan Arepas in Miami

Arepas, the cornmeal cakes iconic to Venezuelan cuisine, have become a part of Miami's culinary fabric since Venezuelans began fleeing the political and economic instability of their country and made the Magic City their home.

Grilled, baked, or fried and then split open like baby pita rounds and stuffed with practically whatever befits one's taste and imagination, arepas have grown in popularity in South Florida.

Here's a rundown of where to get the tastiest ones in town.

Favorites at Doggi's include the Santa Barbara and Pelua.EXPAND
Favorites at Doggi's include the Santa Barbara and Pelua.
Doggi's Arepa Bar

Doggi's Arepa Bar


7281 Biscayne Blvd., Miami
786-558-9538
1246 Coral Way, Miami
305-854-6869
260 Crandon Blvd., Key Biscayne
786-485-4356
eatdoggis.com


To get customers in the mood, the bright, colorful space boasts a wall covered with hashtags of Venezuelan slang (#pana, #chevere, and #chevere) as well as favorite foods: #tequeño, #tajadas, and #pabellon. Variety abounds at Doggi's. Favorites include the Santa Barbara ($11.99), marinated steak with thick avocado wedges, tomato slices, and shredded white cheese; and chicharrón y queso ($10.99), fried pork belly and shredded Gouda cheese. Vegetarian options include the arepa domino ($9.50), filled with refried black beans and white cheese; arepa criollo ($9.99), with fried plantain, organic white cheese (queso de mano), and avocado; and the arepa paleo, stuffed with grilled veggies ($8.99). Three locations make getting an arepa fix a breeze.

There's a filling for every taste at Samán Arepas.EXPAND
There's a filling for every taste at Samán Arepas.
Courtesy of Samán

Samán Arepas


4709 NW 79th Ave., Doral
786-391-1297
samanarepas.com


The origin of Samán Arepas dates to 1977, when arepas were sold from a kiosk in the Venezuelan city of Maracay. Today, lovers of Samán's grilled cornmeal cakes can find them in Doral. Opt for the arepas bistro ($8.39), which allows diners to mix and match up to four toppings such as fresh white Guyanese cheese, quail eggs, plantains, and chilled octopus salad.

Arepitas with shredded beef.EXPAND
Arepitas with shredded beef.
Courtesy of Cardon y El Tirano

Cardon y el Tirano


3411 SW Eighth St., Miami
305-392-1257
cardonyeltirano.com


The smorgasbord of flavors, ranging from ceviche to tacos al pastor to Brussels sprouts, reflects the cuisines of Venezuela, Mexico, Peru, and the Caribbean. Start with chef Francisco Anton's arepitas with avocado mousse, Guyanese cheese, and ancho chili sauce crowned with additional cheese ($3), shredded beef ($4), chicken ($3.50), pork ($3.5), or cazón — shark stew ($4).

Grilled arepas with reina pepia and vuelve a la vida.
Grilled arepas with reina pepia and vuelve a la vida.
Courtesy of Obra Kitchen Table

Obra Kitchen Table


1331 Brickell Bay Dr., Miami
305-846-9363
obramiami.com


Venezuelan-born chef Carlos Garcia trained in topnotch spots such as El Bulli and Mugaritz before opening Alto in Caracas, named one of Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants from 2013 to 2016. The ongoing strife in Venezuela lured him to Miami, where he spearheads this bright and casual Brickell spot centered on an open kitchen. Garcia says his American outpost specializes in "Latin American cuisine with international influences," which, luckily, includes his hometown staple of arepas. Order the duo arepa starter ($12) with vuelve a la vida ("return to life" — a ceviche-like seafood salad eaten at beachside shacks back home) and reina pepia (chicken salad with avocado slices). For the main course, there's grouper confit with pil pil (fish sauce emulsion) and a fried arepa ($32).

The popular Dirty Harry's arepa.
The popular Dirty Harry's arepa.
Courtesy of Empanada Harry's Bakery & Cafe

Empanada Harry's Bakery & Cafe


4009 SW 152nd Ave., Miami
786-313-3888
empanadaharrys.com


Although this bustling bakery has a hearty focus on empanadas from all of Latin America, Harry, a Miami-born Venezuelan, serves arepas as well. A sure bet is the Dirty Harry ($5.99), containing shredded beef, fried plantains, Guyanese cheese, queso llanero, garlic mayo, and guasacaca (avocado-cilantro sauce).

Meat lover's arepaEXPAND
Meat lover's arepa
Couretsy of Arepa Bar

Arepa Bar


169 NW 36th St., Miami
305-781-5143
instagram.com/arepabar


Catering to the throngs of tourists taking selfies in front of Miami's popular graffiti walls, this Wynwood eatery offers crowd-pleasing burgers and arepas. Opt for the classic reina pepiada ($8.25) or the meat lover's arepa ($11.50).

Arepas in a bright, happy space.
Arepas in a bright, happy space.
Isadora Gaviria Photography

La Latina


3509 NE Second Ave., Miami
305-571-9655
lalatinamiami.com


This homey spot just east of the Shops at Midtown Miami offers an extensive arepa selection divided by dining preference: meat lover, chicken lover, pork, vegetarian, and vegan. Prices range from $5.50 to $6.50 and include fun names ranging from the Rumbera (pork and cheese, $5.95) to the Latina (bacon, avocado, and cheese, $6.50) and the Perico (scrambled eggs with veggies, $5.50).

The Ten Best Venezuelan Arepas in Miami (9)EXPAND
Courtesy of Mondu

Mondu


236 NE First Ave., Miami
305-603-8009
mondumiami.com


Almost every Venezuelan grew up munching at a Loncheria Monyca, known to have among the top arepas around. Luckily for Miamians, the family that owned the iconic eatery brought its culinary expertise north when it opened Mondu in Doral. Pricing is easy: For $6.99, choose an arepa with one filling, and for $7.99, create your own with up to four ingredients.

Find more than 40 fillings at Don Criollito.
Find more than 40 fillings at Don Criollito.
Courtesy of Don Criolllito

Don Criollito


12039 SW 132nd Ct., Unit 1, Miami
305-235-5779
doncriollito.com


Open since 1998 in Venezuela and 2001 in West Kendall, Don Criollito is a mecca of Venezuelan home cooking such as ham cachitos, corn cachapas, empanadas, and enormous steak and egg breakfasts. Don Criollito also boasts arepas stuffed with your choice of more than 40 fillings, such as asado negro, Venezuelan bottom round roast ($6.99); arepa pelúa, shredded beef with yellow cheese ($7.99); and pata pata, with yellow cheese, black beans, and avocado ($8.99).

The Ten Best Venezuelan Arepas in Miami (11)
Courtesy of Amaize

Amaize


Various locations
amaizeyou.com


With multiple locations, this arepa concept emphasizes the fast-casual likability of its popular cornmeal cakes. Guests are invited to customize their arepas ($6.49) by choosing the fillings. In addition to selecting from traditional favorites (cheese, shredded beef, and black beans), diners can also opt to make their meal a combo, which comes with soup, salad, and baked plantains or black beans. Try the Caprese Latina combo ($8.69), with guasacaca, spinach, Guyanese cheese, and tomato, or the portobello-tofu combo ($7.49), filled with grilled portobello mushrooms and tofu with truffle olive oil.

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