|Extra-Cheap||Best for Carryout||No Alcohol|
For the uninitiated, an arepa is a handheld street snack popular in Venezuela. Imagine a palm-size pita made not with flour but with ground white corn, which is cooked on the griddle until the edges turn crispy, then stuffed with a variety of fillings. Arepas have caught on in DC over the past few years, from food trucks to three-star restaurants, and this tiny cafe, run by husband and wife Mickey Torrealba and Monica Serrano, arguably makes the best. The simplest version, with creamy black beans and a thick slice of queso de mano—which has the saltiness of feta but a richer character—is sublime.
Also good: Chicken-and-avocado arepa; beef-black-beans-and-cheese arepa; cachapas (savory pancakes) with queso de mano or queso and ham.