La Cocinita

You know how sometimes you don’t know you needed something in your life until it hits you one day and then you can’t go without it? That was my introduction to La Cocinita and Venezuelan street food. Honestly, one of the things I regret is not trying their food truck during Big Bite Night. But it’s okay since their restaurant is open for business right on Chicago across from Whole Foods in a perfect though slightly hidden location.

Since my goal is to have tried as many Evanston restaurants as I can before I graduate, my friend and I had had this restaurant on our list since Big Bite Night. Neither of us were familiar with Venezuelan food so we thought it would be a great new experience. The dinner style is cute and comforting.

The menu was on the wall behind the cashier. We had no idea what to order since neither of us know anything about Venezuelan food so we did what any slightly confused tourist in a new place: we asked the cashier for some recommendations. She recommended two of their most popular dishes and they were amazing. The fried plantains are a delight in their dishes and the beef and steak were very tender. The flavors are wonderful and definitely worth trying.

If you ever wanted to try some Venezuelan street food, La Cocinita is the place to go. If you never thought about Venezuelan food, go try it. La Cocinita is great for a quick lunch and doesn’t get the hype it deserves.

Hot Plates:

Carne Asada Patacones (left)

Fried plantain sandwiches with tender grilled steak and cabbage slaw. A bit dry but overall a decent dish.

El Pabellon Arepas (right)

Venezuelan National Dish with shredded beef, black beans, sweet plantains and flat maize dough. These were fantastic.