15 Classic Venezuelan Foods You Have to Eat

Venezuela, a country in the northern part of South America, has a rich and diverse culture reflected in its cuisine. Combining elements from its indigenous roots with Spanish and African cultural influences, it is home to an array of must-try unique foods we have listed in this article.


The arepa, a thick corn cake, is a Venezuelan staple that can be a meal or snack. Whether grilled or fried, it’s the perfect canvas for various fillings like cheese, avocado, plantain, egg, beans, or meat, making it a tasty and versatile treat.


Cachapas are another corn-based dish, much like an arepa but thinner (a pancake). The batter is made with fresh maize flour and other ingredients like cheese, plantain, or meat and served sweet or savory. They’re a popular breakfast food in Venezuela.

Pabellon Criollo

Pabellon Criollo is a beloved delicacy that hails from Venezuela. It features shredded beef cooked with peppers, onions, and garlic served with a bed of white rice and then topped with fried plantains and black beans, which add a burst of flavor and texture that is truly unforgettable.


Hallaca is a Christmas celebration favorite. The meal is made of cornmeal dough filled with beef or pork, capers, raisins, and olives and wrapped in banana leaves before being boiled until cooked. This flavorful dish will make your holiday season extra special.


Tequeños are a popular Venezuelan street food consisting of deep-fried dough filled with soft cheese. They make for a great snack at parties or as an appetizer before dinner. Serve them with dips like tartar sauce, garlic mayo, or ketchup to enhance their deliciousness.

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Venezuelan Quesillo is a traditional dessert similar to caramel custard, made with eggs, condensed milk, evaporated milk, sugar, and vanilla extract. The custard mixture is baked in a water bath, then inverted onto a plate, revealing a layer of caramel.


Hallaquitas are savory cornmeal dough pockets filled with tender beef, pork, and salty olives. These delectable treats are boiled in salted water and served with tangy tomato salad, enhancing the dish’s rich flavor.

Patacon Zuliano

Patacon Zuliano is a famous Venezuelan sandwich made with flattened plantains. The plantain is lightly fried and topped with various fillings, such as shredded beef, avocado, mayo, tomatoes, lettuce, and cheese. It’s pressed on the grill to give it a signature crunchy texture.

Pabellon Empanada

The Pabellon Empanada is a Venezuelan empanada that’s hard to resist. The cornmeal pastry crust has a flavorful shredded beef, black beans, fried plantains, and cheese filling. It’s then deep-fried until golden brown and served hot and crispy.


Mandoca is a traditional Venezuelan snack made with yuca flour, pork fat, and spices, deep-fried until golden brown and crunchy on the outside, yet soft and chewy on the inside. It’s best enjoyed warm with a cup of hot coffee or as an afternoon snack.


Guasacaca is a tangy green sauce made with avocados, onions, peppers, cilantro, garlic, olive oil, and vinegar. It’s the perfect addition to arepas, sandwiches, grilled meats, and other dishes in Venezuela for an added kick of flavor.

Carne Mechada

Carne Mechada is a traditional Venezuelan dish specialty. Shredded beef is slow-cooked in a rich tomato sauce with peppers and onions, creating a rich and flavorful stew perfect in tacos or as an accompaniment to arepas or rice.

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Dulce de Lechoza

Dulce de Lechoza is a thick and sweet Venezuelan dessert made with green papaya, sugar, cinnamon, orange juice, and lime juice. The flavors mix perfectly to create a unique and delightful treat.


Tizana is a delightful Venezuelan fruit punch composed of fresh fruits like pineapple, papaya, guava, and oranges. Honey or condensed milk adds sweetness, while a dash of lime juice provides a pleasantly tart finish to the refreshing concoction.


Cocadas, a classic Venezuelan dessert, is a delicious blend of shredded coconut and sweetened condensed milk. These treats boast a chewy texture with a rich and sweet coconut flavor that will surely leave your taste buds tingling with delight.

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