El Cocotero restaurant in NYC, New York

El Cocotero is a great Venezuelan restaurant located in the heart of Chelsea. I went few times and they have been pretty consistent: good service and great food! This is were I discovered what arepas were (check out the recipe of arepas here)! 

We went there for lunch and had a feast!

We started with drinks:

Venezuelan lemonade made with sugar cane. Pretty good, although not the usual lemonade taste.


They also have shakes. I pick banana. The shake is quite good, not too thick.

For food, we started with the fried yuca served with guacamole and sour cream (nata).

This is a great dish! The yuca is cut like thick cut Fries and dipping in the sauce is divine. 

The cheese empanada was pretty good too although a bit tough to cut. I was also surprised when cutting through because I am used to have melting cheese. This one was made with white cheese (queso blanco).

Then we went for the arepas (cooked cornmeal pocket stuffed with various ingredients). They have a wide range of combination, whether you want an all vegetarian or some meat. 

This time, we went with the Santa Barbara, made with Guayanes cheese (white cheese) and sweet plantain. First of all, the arepa itself was real good: a bit heavy but not too much, perfectly seasoned and cooked. At first bite, you notice a caramelized taste coming from the plantains. The cheese is nice and soft. 

The second one is La Chinquinquira, made of quasacaca (Venezuelan Guacamole), guayanes cheese (white cheese), avocado and tomatoes. This is probably my favorite! Very fresh and extremely tasty with all the layers created by these ingredients.

El Cocotero has a wide range of dishes from Venezuela for those who would like to discover such cuisine and I will probably go back to try some more!

Enjoy (I did)!

And Remember: I just want to eat!

El Cocotero on Urbanspoon