El Venezolano Toronto

El Venezolano

El Venezolano is a strictly Venezuelan restaurant run by the Robertson family serving all manner of empanadas, arepas and cachapas.

There are even baby shark empanadas on the menu, as well as a variety of patacon, seafood and hot table dishes. 

El Venezolano Toronto

The 20-seat space is relatively plain but has large front windows to let in lots of light and wide tables to support Venezuelan spreads.

El Venezolano Toronto

The El Venezolanito ($14) is basically an app platter of miniaturized pairs of arepas, empanadas, toquenos and patacones served with their signature "pink sauce." Just ketchup, mustard and mayo, it's more delicious than it should be. 

El Venezolano Toronto

Mini empanadas come with your choice of filling like ground beef or beans and cheese.

El Venezolano Toronto

Toquenos are a little like Venezuelan mozzarella sticks, but with harder outer shells and not as melty.

El Venezolano Toronto

Mini patacones top smashed plantains with slaw and pink sauce.

El Venezolano Toronto

Cachapas ($10) are traditional sweet corn pancakes stuffed with cheese, to which you can add roasted pork, shredded beef or chicken for $2.99, or grilled chicken or steak for $3.99.

Adding protein definitely makes a cachapa more of a meal, though it's huge enough to satisfy without any. Oily and sweet, the cheese in these could be a little more melted, but it's still a comforting combination.

El Venezolano Toronto

The same goes for a Pabellon arepa ($12.99), stuffed to the max with all the components of a traditional Pabellon plate: shredded beef, black beans, avocado, cheese and sweet plantain. 

El Venezolano Toronto

The description of a Toddy ($4.99) as Venezuelan chocolate milk is an undersell.

El Venezolano Toronto

Made with Venezuelan Toddy powdered mix, not only is the drink dense and chocolatey, it's rimmed with frosting and crushed Toddy cookies and topped with Cocoselle coconut wafer cookies.

El Venezolano Toronto

Papelon con limon ($3.99) is much simpler sugar cane juice with lime—opaque and sweet with a hint of molasses flavour.

El Venezolano Toronto

On the other end of the spectrum, there's an off-menu dessert you have to know about to ask for, and it's actually the only dessert offered here. 

It's your choice of a strawberry, chocolate or vanilla shake topped with an entire slice of red velvet cake, a scoop of ice cream and a Toddy cookie, all resting on a base of two toquenos drizzled with Nutella (a combination that shouldn't work as well as it does).

El Venezolano Toronto

El Venezolano started out with a stall in Downsview Market, where they still operate on the weekends.

El Venezolano Toronto

Photos by

Hector Vasquez


El Venezolano

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