Arepa Venezuelan Kitchen Brings Authentic Flavor to the U District
Arepa is the name of a delicious Venezuelan corn cake and the defining dish of a popular neighborhood restaurant. In a pretty blue house on 50th Street, Arepa Venezuelan Kitchen serves a variety of arepas with toppings including pork and shredded beef for meat lovers or spinach with black beans for vegans. “We can make any of our dishes vegan or vegetarian and the arepas themselves are gluten free,” explains co-owner Kami Valderrama.
The restaurant serves lunch and dinner to students as well as to Venezuelans who live in Seattle or are here on vacation. “We have had tourists from New York and Florida who find us on Yelp,” says Valderrama. The menu also includes favorite Latin American dishes such as sweet plantains, tostones, empanadas, and tropical fruit juices.
Arepa’s is a family-owned business. Kami and her husband Felix Valderrama opened the restaurant in 2015 with friends Ronni Tirelli and Mireya Cartaya. Felix had owned fast food restaurants in Venezuela. “Opening a restaurant in the United States was always his dream,” explains Valderrama. Any day you visit, you will find one of the owners working in the restaurant. Find them on yelp and in person at 1405 NE 50th St, Open Monday-Saturday 10:30 am - 8 pm, Sunday 11-5.