Venezuelan American restaurant Caraotas brings loaded milkshakes and Arepa burgers to Bushwick: Bushwick Daily

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Caraotas, a new Venezuelan American restaurant, has opened at the corner of Irving Avenue and Stockholm Street in Bushwick.

Having launched just over two weeks ago at the end of July 2021, Caraotas is co-owned by manager Andy Vasquez and his good friend Cris Vasquez, a Venezuelan and veteran chef at the beloved Colombian Basque restaurant of Bushwick, Maite.

Named after the classic Venezuelan black bean dish, Caraotas has a varied menu that includes yuca fries, acai bowls, patacones, and teque̱os Рdeep fried breaded cheese sticks that you should definitely try.

Caraotas tequeños are served with fresh green salsa.

In addition to their set menu, the fusion restaurant offers a build your own bowl experience, with a choice of rice, beans, meat, vegetables and sauces to choose from and customize as you wish. Vegans don’t worry; Caraotas also offers an impossible burger and bowl option.

But their signature dish is the one Andy recommends as a must-have: the arepa burger.

“We actually based the concept of the arepa burger on a dish that my wife and I created together,” says Andy. “My wife is Venezuelan and I am Dominican. I was in the kitchen making a burger, and she was making an arepa, and I was like, ‘How about we make an arepa burger? Let’s put the two together. I decided to open Caraotas soon after.

In addition to arepas burgers, Caraotas offers arepas with other toppings like grated chicken and beans with grated beef.

According to Cris, another great option if you’re in a gentler mood is “absolutely milkshakes.” There is nowhere in Bushwick with milkshakes like ours.

Caraotas offers nine extravagant milkshakes, all stacked with a decadent variety of candy skewers, from chocolate waffles to Peeps bunnies.

A remarkable shake aptly named Shrek the Third features pistachio ice cream, green whipped cream, and a whole chocolate chip ice cream sandwich perched on top of a mason jar rolled in green sprinkles.

With a bright, uncluttered feel, plenty of outdoor seating, and a multi-colored heart-shaped mural splashed across the building’s facade, Caraotas is a playful addition to the stretch it inhabits on Irving Avenue.

“The place is made with a lot of love,” says Andy. “As you can see in all of these hearts.” Underneath the window facing Irving are small painted letters spelling out “Nacho.”

Nacho is his dog’s name and, he continues, “My daughter’s name, Alana, is on the other side. She was born seven months ago. I wanted to pay tribute to both of them.

Andy points out that he and Cris opened Caraotas with the intention of making it a space for not only finding delicious food, but also a sense of community. “We’re not just here to do business, we’re here to cheer and support the Bushwick community in any way we can.”

You can visit Caraotas at 162 Irving Ave. Monday, 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., and Wednesday to Sunday. Check their Instagram for updates and their website for delivery and take out.


All images are courtesy of Caraotas.

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