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  • La Caraquena Latin American Cuisine

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La Caraquena Latin American Cuisine
La Caraquena Latin American Cuisine

La Caraquena Latin American Cuisine Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.lacaraquena.com
  • Phone: (703) 533-0076
  • Hours of Operation: Lunch: Monday & Wednesday - Sunday 12:00am - 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, Visa
  • Cuisine: Latin American, Venezuelan, 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
Foodspotting photos
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Diner Reviews
  • "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"
    Dined on 8/21/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 8/16/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 7/26/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 7/12/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 7/3/2014
  • "Husband and I really enjoyed our dinner. Highly recommend!"
    Dined on 7/3/2014
  • "The food was outstanding! Been twice and have not found anything on the menu I didn't like!"
    Dined on 6/21/2014
  • "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!"
    Dined on 6/20/2014
  • "I always love visiting La Caraquena. Last week I visited it for my birthday and it didn't disappoint. The food is on point :)"
    Dined on 6/18/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 6/6/2014
  • "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. "
    Dined on 5/31/2014
  • "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. "
    Dined on 5/25/2014
  • "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"
    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. "
    Dined on 5/24/2014
  • "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. "
    Dined on 5/17/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 5/16/2014
  • "enjoyed the energetic salsa lesson, Food was pretty good. Service was friendly. Great Margarita."
    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."
    Dined on 5/14/2014
  • "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 "
    Dined on 5/12/2014
  • "My husband and I love this place, we come all the way from gainesvilles and every time food is delicious "
    Dined on 5/11/2014
  • "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"
    Dined on 5/10/2014
  • "We enjoyed our meal at La Caraquena immensely. The food was excellent and came quickly, delivered with a smile."
    Dined on 5/7/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 5/5/2014
  • "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!"
    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."
    Dined on 5/3/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 4/19/2014
  • "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."
    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."
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 3/24/2014
  • "Due to quickly falling temperatures, the patio quickly lost its appeal and the demise of the extra seating seemed to be fraying the nerves of the waitstaff. However they were very accommodating when they could be, and despite the slightly slower service, the food was worth it. Looking forward to nicer weather and Mojitos!"
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "My wife and I had been there about a year ago and loved it. We've been meaning to get back ever since. This time week took our two sons. Everything was great through the apps. Then we had to wait 30 minutes until the main course. At first we just received the kids sandwiches. And we thought they just had to go back for our. Five minutes later they bring my wife's dish. She ordered the steak med- rare, it came back so well she couldn't cut through it! We sent it back. My meal came after the kids were done, and her second order placed, - it was pulled beef, rice, and beans. But too salty. I started to get salty! We got out as fast as we could. We'll be telling stories about this for awhile - and laughing. But not in a good way."
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "The arepas were delicious!!!! Grilled may be healthier but you have to get them fried! Also, the service was fantastic! Our waitress was very helpful and friendly. We are definitely going back!!!"
    Dined on 3/21/2014
  • "Fourth time we have been back and always good. Seemingly plain dishes are wonderfully tasty. Venezuelan food with E. European service and it works well."
    Dined on 3/16/2014
  • "This is the first time we have dined outside here. It was a bit loud from road noise, but enjoyable none the less. The for and drinks, as always, were great."
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "Despite a bit of a wait for our booked table and having to stand among other diners who were eating, once our table was ready it was a very nice meal and service was very good."
    Dined on 3/1/2014
  • "Super fast service. Need to make reservation, though. Great Venezuelan food with an authentic twist. You need to try their passion fruit Margarita."
    Dined on 3/1/2014
  • "The food and service was fantastic. While the restaurant is small, the atmosphere is wonderful. We were also nicely surprised byt the birthday celebrations. It was a nice touch for out evening. We will definitely go back and recommend to our friends and family!"
    Dined on 2/15/2014
  • "Food is always consistently good and the hand crafted cocktails tie the meal together. The ambiance leaves a little to be desired but the food more than makes up for it."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "This restaurant was on triple D so I had to check it out. I made reservations for 2 at 7:30 on a Saturday. We arrived 10 minutes early to the hole-in-the-wall location to find about a dozen people waiting. We waited for 10 minutes until a waitress, although very kind, hurriedly asked us if we had reservations. It took another 20 for us to be seated. Once in our booth, we ordered a couple of their house margaritas which came promptly. We were both very hungry so we ordered an appetizer (yuca) and the Pabellon Completo Con Baranda. They brought out our meals very quickly but forgot about the appetizer (we did eventually get it). The food was phenomenal authentic Latin cuisine, worthy of Guy's visit. If you're in this area don't miss out!"
    Dined on 2/1/2014
  • "Food here is excellent - very fresh and lovely presentation. The only problem is that the space is so small that diners waiting for a table are literally hanging over yours. The owner might want to take a look at what many tiny SOHO and alphabet city restaurants in NYC do. They have temporary plastic covered entry ways for the winter months. Nevertheless, the food and friendly service are worth it . Try the Pabellon Criollo!"
    Dined on 1/31/2014