La Guayaba Verde offers a modern take on Venezuelan cuisine, head chef Eduardo Castañeda has a special talent for creating new dishes while keeping tradition alive. Polvorosas de pollo (chicken pot pie), pulpo de Juan Griego (octopus served with capers, raisins and pesto), and pabellón criollo (a plate of rice, beef stew and black beans) are widely considered to be La Guayaba Verde’s pièces de résistance. The menù ejecutivo changes often and showcases some of chef Castañeda’s most creative dishes, such as the homenaje al ají dulce (tribute to the sweet pepper), where sweet pepper is incorporated into every course of the meal. La Guayaba Verde offers excellent cuisine and a great wine selection set in a modern, fresh environment. On Saturdays and Sundays, live jazz adds that special something to the venue’s atmosphere.
La Guayaba Verde, Avenida Romulo Gallegos, Edifcio. Pascal, Local 2, Santa Eduvigis, Caracas, Venezuela +58 212 285 92 45
Cachapas form the basis of many traditional Venezuelan dishes and Doña Inés and her sons serve the best in Caracas. Prepared from a mixture of ground corn, milk, salt and a pinch of sugar, these pancake-like delights are a great choice for breakfast or lunch. Cachapas, usually sold at roadside stands, are traditionally served with queso de mano, literally ‘cheese of the hand’, a soft fresh cheese, and/or with a side of pork. Doña Inés’ restaurant has no frills, with a menu as simple as the decor, but as far as traditional and authentic go it doesn’t get much better than this. The restaurant is usually very busy, especially on Saturdays and Sundays, but the long wait for the world’s best cachapa is time well spent.
After working in world-renowned restaurants such as El Bulli of Barcelona and El Celler de Can Roca of Girona, chef Carlos Garcia returned to Caracas to open his own restaurant, Alto. During his time in Europe, Chef Garcia was heavily influenced by Carlo Petrini’s slow food movement, which is immediately apparent in the meticulous attention to detail poured into every single dish. Committed to using only locally sourced meats and seasonal produce to recreate the earthy flavors of Venezuelan traditional cuisine, Alto infuses them with a Mediterranean flair and turns every plate into something new and surprising. Every dish is a delight, starting with shots of vodka, lemon, and basil as an appetizer, going on to the eggplant crème and goat cheese dumplings, all the way to the cochinillo (slow roasted suckling pig), and topping it all off with the tierra de cacao, a pot that contains seven different types of chocolate. Alto is Caracas’ real gourmand experience.
Located in El Hatillo, the southeastern municipality of Caracas, Hajillo’s is the perfect place to get away form the bustling life of the city. Owner and head chef Felicia Santana brings forward her unique vision of innovative Venezuelan cuisine by blending it with Asian influences. Chef Santana’s passion and talent met with public acclaim in 2012, when she was awarded the prestigious Armando Scannone prize from the Venezuelan Academy of Gastronomy. Her restaurant is simple and elegant in decor, white with nuances of green, infused with an intimate mood best enjoyed when the dark cover of the evening envelops the city. Though one of Hajillo’s most popular dishes is arroz con mango (rice with mango), Chef Santana specializes in aphrodisiacs, which makes the venue the perfect place for a romantic date.
Hajillo’s, Calle Miranda. Centro Comercial Doña Auroral. Local 4. El Hatillo, Caracas,Venezuela, +58 212 961 4289
El Aranjuez is one of the oldest restaurants in Las Mercedes and considered to be one of the best meat-serving restaurants in Caracas. Nestled in a small colonial house, Aranjuez has the homey feel of bygone days, where the simple decor, the idle chatter of diners, the friendly service, and the smell of roasting meat fuse to create a unique atmosphere permeated by a sense of tradition. Venezuelan and Argentinian quality cuts of meat are the main attraction, while arepitas with cheese, avocado salad, and even some international dishes complement the menu. Due to its popularity, El Aranjuez is often busy, especially at lunch and on weekends.
El Aranjuez, Calle Madrid, entre Mucuchíes y Monterrey, Quinta Anacoa, Las Mercedes, Caracas, Venezuela, + 58 212 993 13 26
Small, fried corn cakes made from maize flour and filled with a number of different ingredients, arepas are the perfect choice for a meal on the go. At Arepa Factory Luna Llena, where they’re baked on the spot, arepas come in two sizes, the large luna llena (full moon) or the small luna slim, and can be prepared with maize or whole wheat flour. Fillings range from the traditional queso to salmon, roasted turkey breast and asado negro (roasted meat with a glaze of brown sugar). Arepa Factory Luna Llena is the ideal choice for those who want to taste this traditional dish with a touch of originality.