Queen Arepa Toronto

Toronto's new Venezuelan food truck goes way beyond arepas

Queen Arepa is a Venezuelan street food truck that despite its name serves up a great deal more than just cornmeal sandwich arepas, and it’s all gluten-free.

The mobile operation headed up by Mina Vuzio and Ali Sifontes is entirely female-run, hence, Queen Arepa. More familiar arepas and empanadas are served alongside lesser known street foods such as the pancake-like queso-filled cachapa and mozzarella stick-esque tequenos.

Queen Arepa Toronto

Tequenos ($6 for an order of 4) are made using a coating of fresh corn that envelopes incredibly stretchy queso, which acts as a filling for many of these snacks.

Queen Arepa Toronto

You have to dip these (and pretty much everything) into bright guasacaca, a tangy but simple sauce of garlic, mayo, oil, salt and cilantro. Enjoy with one of their imported malt beverages or colas.

Queen Arepa Toronto

La Vaca Real ($10) is the signature arepa with beef and cheddar. It's super savoury, moist, and falling apart in the best way —the molten cheese and meat fusing into a flavour bomb on buttery cornmeal cakes. Beef has been boiled, shredded, and cooked with special spices. You can also get the exact same sandwich with pork (La Rumbera).

Queen Arepa Toronto

A chicken avocado salad arepa ($10) isn’t quite as full of cheesy, meaty goodness but this does make it a far lighter, veggie-forward option that really delivers on big, fresh avocado flavour. All these arepas go great with a drizzle of guascaca or salsa verde, too.

Queen Arepa Toronto

They also do a vegetarian arepa with no meat that still contains all the Venezuelan flavour you could hope for, and could also function simply as a light option. Stuffed with a huge amount of tomato (around six thin slices), onion, aromatic cilantro and a ton of queso fresco, it’s nice and fresh. They also sometimes make a vegan arepa with vegan cheese.

Queen Arepa Toronto

The humble cachapa ($7) hides wonders within its simplicity. Two giant flat heavily buttered cornmeal discs that almost resemble corn pancakes, crispy from a light char, sandwich queso fresco for the ultimate melty stretchy effect. I could see this as a simple brunch option at a ton of places other than the sidewalk.

Queen Arepa Toronto

I can’t speak from experience, but I feel like these messy traditional Venezuelan street sandwiches would go great with beer, and the ladies of Queen Arepa must have had a similar inkling as they’re often posted outside or near breweries like Liberty Commons and Blood Brothers.

Queen Arepa Toronto

Lead photo by

Hector Vasquez

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