For Venezuelan comfort foods like crispy arepas, plump patacones, and gooey tequenos, Cachapas Y Mas is your best bet in NYC. This family-run mini-chain has two locations — one in Ridgewood and the other in Inwood — and, at both, you’ll be greeted by a smiling ear of corn who appears to be grooving to the ’80s and ’90s Latin music videos playing on a nearby TV. (Only the Inwood location is open until 2am every single day, however.)
There are few dishes we don’t recommend from Cachapas Y Mas, but, as you might have gathered from the name, the cachapas here are keythanks. Order them stuffed to the brim with moist, shredded beef and cheese, and get a patacon and a few tequenos for the table.
If you don’t order cachapas here, you’re doing it wrong. Eat at least one plain sweet corn cake while you wonder how they pack so much gooey fried cheese in each bite — or, for something more substantial, order your cachapa stuffed with your choice of pernil, chorizo, shredded beef, or whatever other protein makes you feel most comfortable. The wisest among us will do both of these things.
It’s essential that you eat at least three tequenos here. The breaded and deep fried snacks should be commonplace at all venues that serve finger foods, and the queso blanco inside could probably stretch around your head a couple of times over. Dip your tequenos in a side of pink secret sauce, and pop a Lactaid for this excellent cause.
These crunchy, double-fried green plantain sandwiches are loaded with meat and stuffed with lettuce, tomato, and creamy white sauce. Each patacon is about the side of your palm, and you definitely want to try the version at Cachapas Y Mas for a quick lunch or dinner at least once in your life.