Caracas Arepa Bar
Adorable, yet all business, the all-Venezuelan staff at this wildly popular East Village eatery will have you seated and smiling as soon as humanly possibly (though you may have to contend with a hip little contingent crowding the sidewalk outside, so get your name on the list quick). The arepas, delicious corn tortillas stuffed with meats, beans, cheese, plantains, and such, are addictive, so be careful, start with two, and perhaps some fried plantains – dusted with salty cheese – to share for two. Particularly delicious are De Pabellon (shredded meat and black beans with plantains and aged cheese) and La Playera (shredded white fish with onions, garlic, and herbs); although everything is rather wonderful. There are also empanadas, nightly specials offerings, and knock-out fresh juices – passionfruit, and a not-too-sweet blackberry-strawberry combo.