Aripo is a no-frills, unassuming family run restaurant, where you can have the best assembly of Venezuelan specialties in town. Arepas are their trademark. Originally from Venezuela and Colombia, these round pockets – made of corn flour that you can fill with pretty much with anything – are Venezuelan’s daily bread. They are eaten throughout the country, by all socio-economic groups at all times of day.
For me, Arepas bring back delicious childhood memories. With a part of my family born or having lived in Venezuela, Arepas often made up our weekend meals and were a small window to a culture I only knew at a distance. Going to Aripo, is more than having good, comfort food, it’s an experience I share with family and friends.
Try the traditional Arepa with shredded meat, cheese and spicy sauce (tip – ask them to add avocado slices), the Tostones (fried plantain with peppery spicy sauce) or the Hallacas (corn dough, filled with shredded meat, cooked in banana leaves), typically eaten around Christmas, so don’t miss it!
The place is big, with lots of tables – including a nice terrace in the back – so you don’t need to book ahead (an extraordinary achievement in Lisbon these days).
The location is not its best asset – and probably the reason why it’s not a huge success yet – but I guarantee the food, and the welcoming Venezuelan/Portuguese family behind the counter, will make it worthwhile!