Caracas Restaurants and Dining

(Caracas, Miranda, Venezuela)

As you would expect from a national capital, there's a very lively restaurant scene in Caracas. Enough of a middle and upper class exists in Caracas to support a surprisingly broad range of fine restaurants and trendy eateries. Fusion cuisine and global classics are the most popular dining styles emerging in the city, along with classy steakhouses and fun sushi bars.

If you are dining in Caracas on a budget, keep an eye out for local restaurants with set 'menus of the day' (menu del dia), which generally provide the best value. Spanish tavern-style 'tascas' are another good choice and usually sensibly priced, boasting especially lively lunchtimes.

What to Eat, and Where

The steakhouses in Caracas are legendary. Classics like 'asado negro' (beef roast simmered in caramel) and 'pabellon criollo' (shredded beef with beans and rice) are done to perfection at the El Tinajero de los Helechos on the Avenida de Rio de Janeiro.

The El Fogon Restaurant on the Calle La Paz is a great place to explore the traditional food of Venezuela. Offering an atmosphere which is a pleasant mix of sophisticated yet relaxed, there is also an amazing open-air balcony on the top floor. El Fogon specialises in local dining favourites in Caracas, such as the soft shredded beef 'asado' and the tasty 'hallacas' that are like tamales steamed in banana leaves. Of course, dessert has to be fried churros if you want to go totally local.

You will find lots of dining options in Caracas. Make sure you try at least one of the ubiquitous local diners known as 'fuentes de soda'. These are the best places to grab a cheap, light meal in an authentic setting. Even simpler are the 'areperias' eateries that serve up incredible humble fare in their modest shops, such as the classic 'arepa' - a traditional cornmeal pancake stuffed with meat, chicken or cheese.

The big modern shopping malls, such as the Centro Comercial El Recreo, always have a wide selection of more popular global chains and flashy restaurants. This dining environment may be a bit sterile, but at least these malls are safe and reliable. If you are down in the Sabana Grande area, be sure to have lunch at one of the covered sidewalk cafes. They are an ideal spot for people-watching while dining.

Amongst the most highly regarded restaurants in Caracas is the Restaurante Urrutia. This place has been family run for 50 years and has both great ambiance and superb food. For a spot of upscale dining, consider the restaurants and eateries based within the neighbourhoods of Altamira, La Castellana and Las Mercedes.