UPDATE! Viva Las Arepas is moving to a location in the small plaza next door on the Las Vegas Strip. The new location is only a few hundred feet south!
Viva Las Arepas!
Viva Las Arepas is a modern mobile food truck style restaurant that has become a permanent fixture on the Las Vegas Strip. Viva Las Arepas specializes in Venezuelan street food cuisine. Mobile kitchens and gourmet street food have become very popular in recent years. Especially in Las Vegas!
Viva Las Arepas is located at 1516 South Las Vegas Boulevard at the intersection of Wyoming. The Viva Las Arepas restaurant is actually located in the Dino's Lounge parking lot! Dino's is one of oldest lounges in Las Vegas and it has quite a history of its own. Just across the street is the world famous Olympic Gardens. The Olympic Gardens Topless Cabaret is famous for their male strippers. It is an old tradition out west for moms to buy their daughters a lap dance at the OG on their 21st birthday!
Needless to say, Viva Las Arepas picked a great location for their business. There is plenty of car traffic, bar traffic and pedestrians walking along the Las Vegas Strip. Viva Las Arepas has some bright signage that is hard to miss when passing by.
There are plenty of Mexican mobile food truck kitchens and trailer taco stands in Las Vegas to chose from. Many of those food trucks offer nice specialties and one of a kind creations. Viva Las Arepas specializes in Venezuelan food and that cuisine is fairly new to Las Vegas. People mobbed Viva Arepas when they first opened to check the Venezuelan food out for the first time. Many Las Vegas food writers gave Viva Las Arepas great reviews. Viva Las Arepas is a great example of a successful street food style business!
There is no indoor dining at Viva Las Arepas. There are tables with umbrellas for shade and a stand as you eat counter with bar stools. There is no dress code at this Venezuelan arepas stand! It is a casual "come as you are" street food business that serves great food.
Venezuelan arepas are kind of like sopapillas or pupusas. They are like a thick sopapilla tortilla that is split open and a filling is stuffed inside. Arepas are like thick corn tortilla sandwiches that are easy to hold and easy to eat.
Viva Las Arepas offers many fillings for their arepas. I decided to try the traditional favorite arepas filling of Carne Mechada. Carne mechada is slow cooked shredded beef that is stewed with very mild chile pepper, tomato, onion, cumin a few other ingredients. Carne mechada is sometimes sweetened with fruit, honey or sugar. It is like a shredded beef Sloppy Joe sandwich!
The flavor of the carne mechada arepas at Viva Las Arepas is absolutely addictive! After the first bite, I caught myself saying "mmmmm!" a few times. I really enjoyed the carne mechada arepas. The pupusa style arepa bread was hand crafted and it had a nice texture. After eating the carne mechada arepas, I could see why Viva Las Arepas was a success. This was some really good food!
The empanada was shaped like a banana. I thought that was rather crafty. The empanada was made with a sweet nixtamal corn flour dough. I liked the corn flour empanada much better than the regular wheat flour empanadas that I have had in the past. The filling was piping hot and I had to wait for it to cool down. The empanadas at Viva Las Arepas are cooked to order, just like they should be. The black bean and cheese empanada only cost $2.00! That is a bargain of a price.
Fruit flavored slushy drinks are cool and refreshing. Viva Las Arepas had my favorite kind of slushy. Guanabana! Guanabana is soursop and it has a cool refreshing lemon lime coconut water kind of flavor that is perfect for beating the heat.
Viva Las Arepas also had Venezuelan Haracas on the menu. Haracas are a special tamale that is cooked in a banana leaf. They also offered tequenos. Tequenos are sticks of cheese wrapped in dough and then fried. Venezuelan desserts are offered on the menu too.
The service at Viva Las Arepas was friendly and they were helpful with describing the menu items. The atmosphere was street vendor style casual fun and there is never a dull moment on a Las Vegas Strip street corner.
I highly recommend Viva Las Arepas for visitors and locals alike! Venezuelan food is worth checking out and the food at Viva Las Arepas was delicious. Yum! ... Shawna