Sabor a Maiz: Authentic Venezuelan Food in Jersey City Heights

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Nestled on the northeast coast of South America, Venezuela is known for its national dance, the Joropo, its biodiversity, and the delicious food the country has to offer. Luckily for locals, a new Venezuelan restaurant opened up on Central Avenue just last year, and it goes by the name Sabor a Maiz. Located at 408 Central Avenue {between Thorne and South Street}, Sabor a Maiz is serving up authentic Venezuelan meals and street snacks in its brand new backyard dining area.

sabor a maiz jersey city

{Photo credit: @sabor_a_maiz}

The Experience

The atmosphere is spacious, bright, and airy. Sabor a Maiz, like many restaurants, has adjusted to the guidelines of the pandemic by creating a brand new outdoor dining area in the backyard. The outdoor area accommodates five to six tables that are stationed underneath a white, open tent, and a colorful abstract mural was painted on the wood fence for added style {definitely Instagram-worthy}.

sabor a maiz jersey city

{Photo credit: @sabor_a_maiz}

The staff is friendly and willing to help with any recommendation if you aren’t familiar with Venezuelan food.

The Menu

sabor a maiz jersey city

{Photo credit: @sabor_a_maiz}

The menu is largely based on traditional Venezuelan snacks, fast and tasty food that doesn’t take long to eat but leaves your belly full.

Arepas {a flat, round patty soaked in ground kernels of maize} are arguably the most popular dish in Venezuela. This corn-based bread can be eaten as a main dish or as a side. The dough can also be cooked several ways including grilled, baked, fried, boiled, or steamed. Arepa flavors at Sabor a Maiz include beef, chicken, roasted pork, tuna salad, cheese, black beans and cheese, and shredded beef, and cheese. There are also special takes on the traditional arepa that include the Arepa Perico {scrambled eggs, tomatoes, and onion} and the Arepa Pabellon {black beans, shredded beef, plantains, and cheese}.

Read More: Cocina Candela: Authentic Puerto Rican Food in Montclair

sabor a maiz jersey city

{Photo credit: @sabor_a_maiz}

Venezuelan empanadas are made from the same flour as arepas and can be fried or baked. There are endless possibilities for empanada fillings, and they vary depending on the region. Sabor a Maiz whips up a little bit of everything. The flavors include beef, cheese, chicken, ham and cheese, black beans, and cheese, bacon, and cheese, with special editions like the Empanada Pelua {shredded beef and cheese} and the Empanada Platano Con Queso {plantain and cheese}.

Cachapa is another staple within the culture. It is a pancake-like cake made from fresh corn batter with some pieces of corn kernels. It is often eaten with hand-made cheeses. It has a sweet flavor that pairs well with salty stuffings. In Venezuela, these can be bought from food-carts and formal restaurants alike. Available flavors at this gem include cheese, beef and cheese, chicken and cheese, roasted pork and cheese, and more.

sabor a maiz jersey city

{Photo credit: @sabor_a_maiz}

Another common street-food in Venezuela is pepito, a type of sandwich that is filled with meat and lots of sauces and condiments for added flavor. Pepito options served here include beef, chicken, and specials like the Pepito Mixto Especial {bacon, eggs, and avocado}.

For something a little more filling, opt for the breakfast platters like the Criollo {arepa, black bean, scrambled eggs, shredded beef, and grated white cheese}, the Maracucho {arepa, eggs, sweet plantain, and grated white cheese.} or the Llanero {arepa, black bean, scrambled eggs, roast beef, and grated white cheese}.

Other menu items include pastelitos, and tostones that come with several meat toppings. Desserts include the Latin American dessert known as flan, as well as a Venezuelan hailed dessert known as Bienomesabe {sliced cake, layered with coconut cream and topped with meringue}.

sabor a maiz jersey city

{Photo credit: @sabor_a_maiz}

Sabor a Maiz is a BYOB spot, so be sure to bring your favorite Latin American beer to pair with the food. Other drinks include natural juices, Malta Polar {Venezuelan malt}, Chicha Criolla {popular Venezuelan street-drink}, coffee, hot chocolate, and tea.

See More: Angel Azul Bakery: A Delicious Colombian + Ecuadorian Cafe Nestled in Jersey City Heights

“Sabor a Maiz is a great addition to Central Avenue. It’s a casual Venezualan restaurant offering arepas, empanadas, sandwiches, and a few plates. We ordered a couple of empanadas, both of which were delicious. The food is tasty and offers excellent value for money,” Emma P. stated on Yelp.

Another Yelp comment left by Oriana G. read “I love this place so much. The food is so good. My favorite dishes are cachapa with cheese, cheese empanada, cheese pastelito, pepito, and tequeños. If you want to try authentic Venezuelan food this is the perfect place.”

Have you already eaten at Sabor a Maiz? Let us know in the comments!

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Victoria is a fourth-generation Hoboken native, BNR in the Mile Square and part-time in Jersey City. Through playing softball for fourteen years, playing the trumpet for the Hoboken High School Redwings Band, and graduating from New Jersey City University, these two cities have a special place in her heart. When she isn’t Style Assisting or volunteering at Symposia Bookstore, Hoboken Fire Museum/Hoboken Historical Museum, she’s exploring everything the Concrete Jungle has to offer. You can catch her at art exhibitions, local festivities, traveling, diving into a new book, thrifting or indulging in some form of arts and crafts.