One of the most popular Latin American restaurants in the Twin Cities, Hola Arepa started out as a food truck, slinging their take on the satisfying Venezuelan sandwiches on the streets of Minneapolis. For those unfamiliar with their eponymous arepas, think hefty griddled cornmeal cakes stuffed with all sorts of ingredients, from Argentinian-style chorizo with black beans and bright pickled cabbage, to their take on a Cuban sandwich with grilled ham, swiss, slow-roasted pork, crisp refrigerator pickles and coarse grain mustard. Chef and co-owner Christina Nguyen does the fillings the right way, from scratch. Take the slow-roasted pork for example, cooked for half a day with a secret blend of vibrant Latin spices, chiles, and oranges. It’s heaven.
With rustic furniture and turquoise accents, the restaurant itself is casual and inviting—a place that lends itself to leisure, but is consistently busy, with couples vying for spots at the bar and groups of friends willing to wait over a cocktail or two for a seat outside. It’s worth the wait, whether you make it in for brunch, dinner or happy hour.
3501 Nicollet Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55408
Photographs by Matt Lien.