Ávila Arepa is a newer Venezuelan restaurant opened not too long ago, located in Whyte Ave. I came here on a Saturday early evening for a quick bite. It took me awhile go try this place since it gets pretty busy on the weekends. This is my first time trying Venezuela food, so I don’t have anywhere else to compare it to.

The menu is a little extensive — offering a variety of  arepas, drinks, and sides. 12 signature arepas made to order, mainly containing meat and cheese, with one vegetarian option. I asked the cashier for any recommendations prior to my order.

Starting off with a small appetizer, we tried the yuca frita (aka. cassava stick.) These are a great alternative to French fries. Cassava is a starchy edible root. It reminded me of a mix between lotus root and potatoes. It was also served along side a cilantro, garlic, and vegetable oil dipping sauce. A very light appetizer, and something you wouldn’t feel bad about eating all the time.

Arepas are simply sweet corncakes made with corn flour, and fried to order.

According to the cashier, their classic pabellón arepa is one of their most popular options. It’s a traditional Venezuelan dish with grilled beef in stew, black beans, fata cheese, and topped with two slices of plantain. To be honest, I ordered this dish before reading what was in it. I’m normally not a fan of black beans, fata cheese, or plantain all together… My boyfriend enjoyed this dish though! The arepa was crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Even better than a taco I may add.

Another recommendation from the cashier. Ávila is loaded with oven roasted pork slices, cheddar cheese, tomatoes, and arugula. This one was more up my ally. It’s less rich than the pabellón, but you could taste each individual ingredient. One of the main reasons why I avoid ordering pork is because restaurants tend to overcook it, making it very dry and tough; however, the pork here was cooked thoroughly and still soft.

Boy, are these arepas surprisingly filling! I could barely finish one on my own… I’d have to stop eating pre-dinners. As much as I rate my experience on the food, having good customer service is the lil’ cherry on top. The owner knew I was a food blogger (maybe due to my camera?), and came out of the kitchen to ask if he could follow me. He also went by every table to say hello! You definitely don’t see this everyday. This will be the perfect place for a quick bite before heading out.

Avila Arepa

10760 – 82 Avenue, Edmonton, AB, Edmonton, AB T6E 2A8