La Caraquena Latin American Cuisine
La Caraquena Latin American Cuisine

La Caraquena Latin American Cuisine

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.lacaraquena.com/
  • Phone: (703) 533-0076
  • Hours of Operation:
    Lunch: Monday & Wednesday - Sunday 12:00pm - 2:30pm; Dinner: Monday & Wednesday - Saturday: 5:30pm - 10:00pm, Sunday: 5:30pm - 9:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Carte Blanche,Diners Club,Discover,JCB,MasterCard,Pay with OpenTable,Visa
  • Cuisine: Venezuelan, Latin American, South American
  • Executive Chef: Raul A. Claros
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Beer, Cocktails, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Takeout, Wine

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Little Falls Street
  • Parking: Hotel Parking
  • Parking Details: Please park in the motel parking lot surrounding our restaurant.
A word from La Caraquena Latin American Cuisine
At La Caraqueña, the taste of Latin America is alive in every dish. Chef and owner, Raul Claros, shares his heritage by combining over 20 years of family recipes with the authencity that comes from his travels through Latin America.
This is comfort food served in a relaxed atmosphere where our guests can experience the best in Latin American cuisine and culture.
Continued
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La Caraquena Latin American Cuisine reviews from OpenTable diners
41 reviews since July 26, 2014
Overall Rating4.2
  • Food4.2
    Service4
  • Ambiance3.7
    Noise LevelModerate
95% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (28)fit for foodies (20)great for outdoor dining (12)great for lunch (9)special occasion (7)romantic (6)kid-friendly (6)late-night find (4)great for brunch (2)good for groups (2)hot spot (1)notable wine list (1)Show More
  • Fun Birthday Dinner
    cherierose
    Dined on 11/15/2014
    I love the safrina arapa and the margaritas, it was a great night and the service was fantastic like usual
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Disappointed...
    SetpointVIP
    Dined on 11/10/2014
    This was our first visit and no intention of returning. We ordered the Pabellon Criollo and the Lemon Fish. The Pabellon was so salty, and the Lemon fish was very ordinary. Service was very good though.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • La Caraquena
    katshanhill
    Dined on 10/31/2014
    I love the mojitos and margaritas yes they are the best. The food is pretty good but I go for the drinks!!!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, late-night find, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • 2nd Time as Good as thr First Visit
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/30/2014
    I loved my first experience at La Caraquena, almost a month ago, and was no less satisfied with my second visit. For me, that sets this resturant on my favorites list. I hope nobody else finds out about this place. It's perfect just the way it is.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Small portions, high prices
    Terico
    Dined on 10/15/2014
    2nd time visited. First time about 3 year ago or so. Left disappointed & hungry. Paid $15 or so for two small arepas. I recently returned at the invitation of a friend. The service was good. Had Pabellon ($16) and it was very good. But, the price in relation to the moderate portion of main dish and dessert was very high. The ingredients for most dishes in the menu are inexpensive and the cooking is fairly simple.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Nice dinner
    TraCru
    Dined on 9/28/2014
    The service, food, and atmosphere made for a wonderful birthday dinner.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A Treasure!
    RachandBobsReview
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    We love the comfortable and clean atmosphere in this quaint treasure, and the service was spectacular! Our first choice was from the arepas menu and was called JP's favorite. It was excellent! We also shared Yuca Frita, a superb choice. For lunch we split the El Sabroso sandwich which came with French fries and it too was delicious. We are margarita conoisseurs and typically can't find a good margarita outside our home. Theirs were outstanding and were made with fresh squeezed lime juice and simple syrup prepared in their own kitchen. I overheard the people next to us saying how wonderful their drinks were too. One was a mojito and I'm not sure what the other one was. We can't wait to return, even though it's an hour drive for us.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, kid-friendly, late-night find, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Latin Food
    McLeanMomVIP
    Dined on 9/11/2014
    Love the arepas and the black bean soup. You cannot go wrong. My friend and I lingered until closing and no one bothered us at all. (We hadn't seen each other for a long time.) Good service, good food. You can't go wrong.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Mojito + Meal
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/1/2014
    Neither will let you down. Time and again we are impressed with the quality of the food and beverage...nothing fancy-jsut fantastic.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • hidden gem
    OpenTable Diner Since 2002VIP
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    i've been wanting to try this place from the reviews. finally did! it was great! all the food we ordered was delicious. the quatro leche cake was great too.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Must try the black bean soup!
    KBandLM
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    Consistently excellent food and exceptionally friendly staff. Raul has taken a menu of modest length and established a neighborhood must in the middle of Falls Church. Our biggest challenge is to decide whether one arepa will suffice...or whether to opt for a second and go straight home for a nap!
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • a lovely evening in Falls Church
    egurian
    Dined on 8/21/2014
    We ordered many small plates and only one etree and it was perfect for two. Each of the plates perfectly done and presented very beautifully, I like that every person on the waitstaff waits on your depending on who is free. It is very effecient and they are all charming. The creme caramel is very special as are the plantains
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Venezuela in Falls Church!
    Foodie4Fun
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    Arrived at 8pm on a Saturday night and the dining room was empty, but the patio was packed (pleasent summer weather)! Was informed by wait staff that the big dining push was at 6:30pm, so lots of patrons had just left when we arrived. Food and service was excellent. Everything on the menu is fresh and tasty. The worst thing this restaurant has going for it is the crappy motor lodge around it.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Has not failed to please!
    Picky
    Dined on 7/26/2014
    Been going here since 2007; ate here twice a week for the 8 months we remodeled the kitchen. The food has never failed to delight, the service is always professional, and the recent remodel is amazing! This is my favorite date place with my husband.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 27 ratings-only reviews submitted since July 26, 2014
    • Overall Rating4
    • Food4.3
    • Ambiance3.7
    • Service3.9
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 465 reviews are from the La Caraquena Latin American Cuisine reviews archive.
  • Go for the Arepas
    goodeaterVIP
    Dined on 7/12/2014
    The arepas are worth the trip here. We loved each type we tried: chicken salad, ham and cheese, carne mechada. The plantains and yuca are both well-prepared, but portions seem a bit small for the price.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great New Renovation
    VelendineVIP
    Dined on 7/3/2014
    The new renovation looks great! The new seating is far more comfortable and the updates to the decor are a significant upgrade. I never really cared about the decor because the food was so amazing, but the new decor makes the experience that much better.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Delicious!
    fdwg
    Dined on 7/3/2014
    Husband and I really enjoyed our dinner. Highly recommend!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Awesome
    GatorNation
    Dined on 6/21/2014
    The food was outstanding! Been twice and have not found anything on the menu I didn't like!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Delicious!
    SteakisgoodVIP
    Dined on 6/20/2014
    Truly delicious! We ate outside but it's on the corner of two busy streets so next time, i'd opt to sit inside because it looked quaint. We tried a lot of different things, including the most popular appetizers (yuca, plantains and something with cheese inside), and then we all had variations of the National Venzualian dish. Food was outstanding! We went there because we saw it on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives with Guy Fieri and our whole tab for 4 people would have been a lot less without the 2 drinks each we had, but it was worth it. Food prices are very reasonable, but definitely not diner/dive prices. Go there, you won't be disappointed!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great Restaruant
    AnnaOMGYum
    Dined on 6/18/2014
    I always love visiting La Caraquena. Last week I visited it for my birthday and it didn't disappoint. The food is on point :)
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Good but not great
    FCLocal
    Dined on 6/6/2014
    We went in with pretty high expectations based on the Washington Post review. Sadly, I forgot that Tom Sietsema had given poor marks to the tilapia/shrimp combo, and I selected that as my entree. The shrimp had no flavor, and the lemon-caper sauce was ok but not exciting enough to compensate. The tilapia seasoning would have been great had there been less of it. Bites of the fish were so salty that they bordered on inedible. My husband had the pabellon completo as his entree and said it was alright. On the plus side, I thought the peanut soup was excellent. And the arepa we had as an appetizer made us wish we had just ordered a couple of those as our entrees. Glad we tried it but probably wouldn't go out of our way to do it again.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Mixed emotions
    QueenHoney4
    Dined on 5/31/2014
    I was a little disappointed with the overall experience. The music changed from 1 min. to the next between 90's hip hop and 90's latin music. The food price was a little steep. I'm not sure I would come back again for the price it has. I've been to South Florida and arepas do not cost that much. My kids normally eat 2 arepas easily... but with a price of $8.99/arepa - I had to let them snack on my meal after they were done with their 1 (one). My meal, Pabellon, tasted more like bbq style american pulled beef then carne mechada - should be able to taste all the fine ingredients of aji dulce (banana peppers) garlic, onions, tomatoes, bell peppers (green/red/yellow) adobo - it didn't taste the same. Will wait to make it at home.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Another Wonderful Meal!
    CharlestonFan
    Dined on 5/25/2014
    We'd been away too long. This is a gem. One of our favorite restaurants in the area. FANTASTIC service, great food and fabulous prices especially given the food quality. The chicken salad arepa is excellent...so good we can't not order it to try other things. Drinks are excellent and wine list though limited is well matched to the food. Steak is good as are both chicken preparations and the shrimp. Good desserts.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • I love it
    MRdinning
    Dined on 5/24/2014
    Very good food and nice service... Since they opened up their doors the food has been excellent and customer service is very warm and kind.. Keep up the good job
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food, worth the trip
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 5/24/2014
    After seeing La Caraquena on DDD, we've been looking forward to eating there. Food and service was great. We chose to sit outside as the noise level inside was too loud. If you choose to side outside jeep in mind the patio side on Board Street so there road traffic to contend with; it still was better on Memorial Day weekend outside. Definitely will go there again and treat friends to there wonder full food. Need to try the Arepas next time.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fun and Fabulous
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011VIP
    Dined on 5/17/2014
    When you walk in to La Caraquena, you are welcomed like family. There's an informal but energetic vibe, and you know right away that the food is going to be good. Authentic Venezuelan dishes (especially the unique "arepas") and well crafted classic cocktails make this the perfect local spot for a casual dinner with friends or a night out with the kids. And sometimes you can even get a personal salsa dancing lesson from the charming owner.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Latin flavors in Falls Church City
    leQueenVIP
    Dined on 5/16/2014
    Although we live just down the street, this was our first visit to La Caraquena for dinner. We were happy to have missed the early dinner rush that was apparently partly spurred by Food Network re-running the 2010 episode of "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives," and we were seated inside right away. For an appetizer, we split an arepa and then we each ordered an entree. I had the Pabellon Criollo, and my fiancee had the Pollo La Carequena. He prefers white meat to the leg that was served, but still seemed to enjoy the moist chicken and BBQ-style sauce. The restaurant also has a patio for dining when the weather is nice. It's quite popular, so an OpenTable reservation is quite helpful.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • fun with pretty good food
    casualdiner9
    Dined on 5/14/2014
    enjoyed the energetic salsa lesson, Food was pretty good. Service was friendly. Great Margarita.
    Special Features:
    hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Delicious Venezuelan Food
    rolo76
    Dined on 5/14/2014
    I dined again at la Caraque~na and was very pleased. The Venzuelan arepas we tried were very delicious as was the fried yucca. For the main course I had the Pabellon Completo con Baranda. I was thinking this dish would be something like the Colombian "bandeja paisa" and it had some similarities, but was also different. This dish had delicious pulled beef, perfectly prepared white rice, avocado slices, black beans, and an egg sunny side up on top of the rice. The portion size was also reasonable, and not so much that I couldn't save room for dessert. To top off the meal, I had 4 leches, which is a variant of the tres leches dessert many have tried. The version I had here was delicious and I recoomend it.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • We love it!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 5/12/2014
    I would definitively come back to this restaurant. The location is not very convenient but the food and the service is really great. Don't hesitate to ask for the "tequeñones" that are ful of cheese!!! Yumyyy
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • True Venezuelan food
    Venezuelan2heart
    Dined on 5/11/2014
    My husband and I love this place, we come all the way from gainesvilles and every time food is delicious
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, great for outdoor dining, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • limited
    foodfinds
    Dined on 5/10/2014
    Menu limited to variations of 1 meat dish & a fish dish. Have had better Latin American food that was less pricey. Savi ngs grace was their excellent service. F
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Food, Relaxed Atmosphere
    DonBac
    Dined on 5/7/2014
    We enjoyed our meal at La Caraquena immensely. The food was excellent and came quickly, delivered with a smile.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Quality Food with Good Service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 5/5/2014
    The service staff was very friendly, combined with the small size and location making us feel like the restaurant was a neighborhood gem. Relatively quiet dining experience with a good size patio adding extra space to an otherwise small restaurant (although it was raining when we were there). The food was good and there were quite a few authentic or otherwise unique Latin American dishes that we did not recognize - the Lomo a La Plancha and the Lomo Borracho were both excellent, although they were out of mashed potatoes and had to substitute.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • pennsgrooverVIP
    Dined on 5/3/2014
    We'd been wanting to try La Caraquena ever since the Diners, Drive-ins and Dives episode a few years back. It did not disappoint! The food and drinks were terrific, the staff very accommodating. Well worth the drive from Bethesda!
    Special Features:
    Great for Outdoor Dining, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Arepas!
    goodfoodfollower
    Dined on 5/3/2014
    We had a very enjoyable dinner at La Caraquena last weekend. Especially good -- all the arepas. Big chunks of chicken, full of flavor, wonderful cornmeal -- cooked just right. Well seasoned beans and rice. The only dishes we had that were not outstanding were the beef dishes. All very tasty but the meat was a little too tough and chewy to be perfect, even the steak cooked medium was tough to chew. That's the only reason I don't give this place an outstanding for food. I would go again and order the arepas as a main course.
    Special Features:
    Great for Brunch, Fit For Foodies, Great for Outdoor Dining, Great for Lunch, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Pabellon Criollo
    LWoodVIP
    Dined on 4/19/2014
    I don't need the menu anymore because I always order the same thing. Why mess with greatness? 1) Order a beer, 2) order the Pabellon Criollo, 3) enjoy your meal. It is spectacular - every single time.
    Special Features:
    Great for Outdoor Dining, Great for Lunch, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Success hasn't gone to their head
    ORDlayoverVIP
    Dined on 4/5/2014
    It seems to be the case that great reviews and lots of publicity can be the kiss of death for a small restaurant. Not for La Caraquena. The quality of the food and the attentiveness of the wait-staff has not diminished in the least over the years. Owner, Raul Claros, is visible and vigilant in preserving the experience at his very special restaurant that's well on its way to becoming a classic.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Latin American Flair
    ArlingtonDinerVIP
    Dined on 4/5/2014
    This was our first time at La Caraquena, a well-kept secret in Falls Church city. It was kind of strange to enter from the parking lot of a motel, but once inside, the tiny space reminded us of some small restaurants we've been to in Latin America. The food was quite authentic and very good. The wine list is short, but the prices are reasonable. We had excellent service, although, surprisingly, the wait staff didn't speak Spanish. The atmosphere was friendly and lively, with tables squeezed very close together. It was a fun place to go, and we will return.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great Food, Local Feel
    Dannnny
    Dined on 3/24/2014
    This was just a pleasant experience. Don't go in expecting a five star experience. The food is delicious and the wait staff friendly. It is a great place to go if you want an affordable meal and have a drink or two. I would recommend getting the Arepa's and ordering 2 as an entree instead of a sandwich on the menu. I will be back.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.