Food and Drink
Venezuela has a variety of traditional dishes which are
found in nearly all local restaurants. Most are fried maize or wheatflour based
pancakes or breads. The most common meat dishes in Venezuela are fried and grilled
fish and meats usually served with rice. Generally, beef and chicken are most
popular, though other meats such as goat are preferred in certain regions. Pork
is eaten mostly at Christmas. The huge variety of fish includes trout, red snapper,
dorado, parrot fish, catfish and the baby shark (cazon). Oysters, clams
and other shellfish are also widely enjoyed.
There is an abundance of fruits in Venezuela. Mango, papaya (lechosa),
avocado (aguacate) oranges (naranja), banana (cambur) coconut
(coco), passionfruit (parchita), melon (melón), pineapple
(piña), guava (guayaba) and soursap (guanábana) are just
Besides all the traditional Venezuelan dishes, a wide variety of world cuisines
are available in the country. Caracas has everything from Italian to Chinese.
Generally, a 10% service charge is added to restaurant bills, and it is usual
to give an additional tip of around 5%. Several fast-food chains are common in
larger towns, and burger and hot-dog vendors are found on many street corners.
| Some traditional
Venezuelan dishes are:
A plain fried corn pancake. They are filled with almost anything, including eggs
and tomato for breakfast, beef, chicken, ham, sausage, shrimp, cheese, salad
and even baby shark.
Deep-fried cornmeal turnover filled with chicken, ham, cheese, fish
(baby shark included) or meat.
Hot croissant filled with chopped ham and or cheese.
Thick, slightly sweet pancake made with maize and served with mozzarella-type
cheese (queso guayanesa).
Traditional christmas dish made from chopped beef, pork and chicken
with green peppers, onion, garlic, tomatoes, raisins, olives and various herbs
and spices all mixed into maize dough. It is then wrapped in banana leaves and
Venezuelas national dish, consisting of shredded beef, black beans
(caraotas negras) and cheese, served with fried plantain (cooking banana)
Fresh fruit juices are readily available, as are batidos, a thicker
juice, and milkshakes (merengada).
Sugar cane juice with lemon (papelón con limón) and fresh coconut milk
are also on offer. Beer is ubiquitous, and the most popular brand is Polar.
Rum, the commonly found spirit, comes in several varieties and is mixed with
coke to make Cuba Libre, a favourite drink amongst Venezuelans.
Coffee is domestically produced in Venezuela and is the most common hot beverage.
It is always offered to visitors as a welcome drink.