The arepa is a culinary symbol of both Venezuela and Colombia: a grilled or fried puck of corn dough, around two centimetres thick, sliced open and filled. The fillings can be vegetarian, vegan or carnivorous, with combinations of meat, beans, avocado, cheese, plantains and tangy hot sauce.
These sandwich-adjacent corn flour pockets may look small, but they’re usually dense and filling. They’re hard to track down in Berlin, but the handful of places that make them do a formidable job.
The location may be touristy, but Ruben’s neither cuts corners nor jacks up prices: coming in at €8, they’re so stuffed that you may need a fork to eat some of the filling to avoid making a mess.
The Reina Pepiada (avocado and chicken) is flawless, especially considering the difficulty of reliably sourcing good avocados in this town – the guasacaca sauce that goes in there turns it into a total flavour bomb.
- Ruben’s Arepas, Warschauer Str. 81, Friedrichshain, details
In a similarly touristy spot (by the tour boat dock in Treptower Park), La Casita’s best offerings include the hunky Arepa con Todo with a succulent stewed beef that’s bolstered by black beans.
The notable edge that La Casita has is a full bar with frozen cocktails (their rum-passion fruit concoction is a favourite). The stall will likely close for winter but may offer a delivery service: check their Instagram (@elcarritoberlin) for updates.
- La Casita, Puschkinallee 15 , Alt-Treptow, details
The arepas at this cosy cafe skew Colombian, which means they’re more of a breakfast item with fewer fillings (think cheese or chorizo with avocado). There are some stuffed Venezuelan-style choices, though, plus a full bar and some comfy living room vibes.
The tasty discs also appear on Macondo’s weekend-only brunch platters, accompanied by beans, eggs and empanadas: a formidable hangover cure.
- Macondo, Gärtnerstr. 14, Friedrichshain, details