ZAGREB, September 3, 2020 — Zagreb, the capital of Croatia, welcomes its very first Venezuelan restaurant! Former Cubismo singer Ricardo Luque launches Arepera Maracay on Preradovićeva Ulica, right in the center of Zagreb’s nightlife.
Not only is this the first of its kind in Zagreb — it is also the very first Venezuelan Restaurant in Croatia. According to Večernji list, the restaurant gets its name from the famous South American dish Arepa. Arepas, a popular South American street food, are patties of ground kernels made from maize. People can grill, bake, fry, boil, or steam them. They can also stuff them with various meats, chicken, avocado, ham, or cheese.
While Arepas are popular throughout South America, their origin is in dispute. The name Arepa comes from Cumanagoto, natives of Venezuela. According to popular legend, Columbus asked the native population what they were eating, and they answered “erepu” or corn.
Arepera Maracay also has many other fabulous homemade dishes, which pay homage to the families’ roots.
Zagreb Restaurant Pays Homage to Maracay, Venezuela
Maracay, the other half of the restaurant’s name, comes from the city where the Luque family originally came from. Over 8,600 kilometers from Zagreb, it is in the state of Aragua, located at the foot of a coastal mountain range. In addition, the city’s nickname is “City of Gardens” and its name comes from one of the wild cats that live in the vicinity of Maracay. The family also has an attachment to the city because half of the team was born there.
Their eldest son Jorge is the Zagreb restaurant’s head chef. The family works together as a team to make traditional Venezuelan dishes, which help make their faraway country seem closer. Guests experience the families’ passion and love for their country through their diverse menu.
The Venezuelan restaurant takes Zagreb guests on a much-needed virtual vacation by offering another escape from the local cuisine. It is also a welcome addition to Zagreb’s increasingly diverse restaurant scene!