Amara Chocolate & Coffee is one of those laid-back places perfect for entertaining the kids, taking grandma out for a coffee, or having a quiet lunch with a coworker who equally needs to decompress. As the name suggests, the Pasadena spot is a tranquil coffee/chocolate shop that makes an award-winning bittersweet hot chocolate, very good Spanish churros, and some Venezuelan-style arepas with plant-based options. The Vegana arepa is a Mediterranean twist on the dish with hummus, chickpeas, roasted eggplant, tomatoes, onions, and bell peppers tightly packed inside the dough. The Orinoco also deserves special recognition for its overnight-cooked pork that’s very tender and pulls apart the moment you sink your teeth into it. The meat pairs nicely with its fried plantains and creamy queso de mano - a soft white cheese that melts beautifully and is good enough to stand on its own, minus the meat or extra fixings.
Amara Chocolate & Coffee