- Nico’s Arepas Grill – 8303 N Armenia Ave Tampa, FL 33604
- Cuisine: Latin American, Venezuelan
- Price Range: $
CHOOT CHOOT! The “Tiffany Eats Tampa” train is taking us to a very special place in my
belly heart this week- Nico’s Arepas Grill.
sidenote: if you would like to play a game while reading this, you can take a shot every time I say the word “arepa”- spoiler alert: you will get drunk. Don’t drink & drive! 🙂 #tiffstips #PSA
Let me start my foodietale (get it, like “fairytale?” ha- okay, moving on) in London, September of last year. Bae and I went to Camden Market (which is fabulous by the way, I will need to make a separate blog about my love affair with London –stay tuned) which was basically a foodie & shopping paradise. There were tons of different food trucks & restaurants with a wide variety of cuisines to choose from. We stumbled upon a truck that said “AREPA”- it smelled heavenly. We looked at each other and said “what’s an arepa”? I’m SO glad we asked because we soon discovered it’s amazingness. Below is our first ever arepa….
It was love at first bite!
For those of you who aren’t familiar, an arepa is a Venezuelan and Columbian dish, it’s almost like a corn pita/pancake. It is opened up and served with your choice of toppings inside. It’s a bit doughy on the inside and crispy on the outside.
Once we came home from London we went on a quest to find the best arepa in town. We found 3 places in the Tampa Bay area (if there are more, let me know!)- I felt like “Goldie Locks & the 3
Bears Arepas” – one place the arepa was too hard, one the arepa was too soft- but Nico’s…Nico’s was just right! We had a winner!
Nico’s Arepas Grill is an authentic Venezuelan restaurant that has a wide variety of items but their speciality is the almighty arepa. For first timers I would reccomend trying the sampler (below) as it gives you a bit of everything.
All of these items are fantastic. It comes with tequenos- cheese wrapped in dough (think mozzarella stick meets Pillsbury dough boy- but better!), mini arepas, empanadas, and last but not least CACHAPAS- eating them is even more fun than saying “cachapa!” (whenever I say it my shoulders do a little dance from left to right to left 🙂 They are sweet corn cakes with salty cheese- SO MUCH YES! The combination of the sweetness from the corn cakes and the saltiness of the cheese is a match made in heaven.
If you thought the mini arepa looked incredible, wait until you see a full sized one. I, myself, love sweet & salty so I decided to get an arepa with shredded beef, plantains, avocado, cheese, and black beans. I then add some of Nico’s garlic & cilantro relish sauces and BAM…magic happens…
The arepa is almost as big as the size of my head and i’m not gonna lie, I have a big head (#bornthisway)! The taste is exquisite! Each ingredient compliments another. It’s one of those foods that’s so scrumptious but huge so i’m having an internal (and external) struggle while eating it because my bodies like “slow your roll woman! There’s no more room!” but my taste buds are like “KEEP EATING! YOU CAN DO IT” and Bae’s all like “boo, you’re going to get sick, get a box!” SO MANY EMOTIONS but ultimately my body won- I got a to-go box. If you can eat a whole arepa, you should win a t-shirt or something because that’s impressive!
Nico’s is truly one of a kind- so far everything I’ve had on the menu has been incredible and there is also a lot more I want to try. We go at least once a month. They also have a food truck & do catering. If only we would have known about Nico’s when we got married 😦 :sigh: It’s also great too because I can try my Spanish out 🙂 “muy delicioso!”
Bottom Line: Hands down, one of my FAVORITE places in Tampa, like top 5, no joke. If you like food- you will LOVE Nico’s Arepas Grill! I’ll see you there! 🙂
Do you love arepas? Did you play the drinking game? Are you okay? What is your favorite arepa toppings? Let me know!