About two months ago, I wrote an article proclaiming Queens’ Arepa Cafe as having the best arepas in the city. Then, about one month ago, I went to Arepera Guacuco. I’d been there before, and to satisfy an arepa craving with a shorter train ride, I headed to here, back to Bushwick. And it was really good. A couple weeks later, I went back again.
And now I’m really rethinking things. Maybe I didn’t remember things too well between my very first visit to Guacuco and Arepa Cafe (the two first visits happened about a year and a half apart from each other) but in my mind, Guacuco is still giving Arepa Cafe a run for its money.
Guacuco pros? The area and space. You might fight me hard on this one – I know people don’t say this too often but I love Bushwick – I love the character of the neighborhood and how it feels like a place that can still be discovered, but yes, it is pretty desolate over there. The actual restaurant, however, is decorated in a really cute way, with tons of cute Venezuelan trinkets, as opposed to Arepa Cafe’s slightly tacky decor.
And then there’s the arepas. While Guacuco’s arepas are definitely smaller in size (and you probably get more for your money at Arepa Cafe) this could be good if you actually want to pick up your arepa and eat it. The arepa pabellón (beef, beans, and plantains) is on point at both places, but I’ve also sampled a breakfast arepa at Guacuco and the chicken salad and avocado arepa, which was amazing.
The empanadas are different here from any other place I’ve had them (I think they are made from corn?) – they are enormous and presented nicely – the one I had one this last visit was ham and cheese. Major points to Guacuco for their cocada, the coconut milkshake – don’t think about it, just get it.
Final verdict? Arepera Guacuco wins me over in terms of location and the cocada – if you want to sacrifice a slightly bigger arepa for a really good cocada, a cuter “date spot,” and a slightly easier trip, depending where you’re coming from.
44 Irving Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11237