Permanently Closed - La Caraquena Latin American Cuisine

4.3
653 reviews
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$30 and under
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Latin American

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About

This restaurant is permanently closed. 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.
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
Latin American, Venezuelan, South American
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Hours of operation
Lunch: Monday & Wednesday - Sunday 12:00pm - 2:30pm; Dinner: Monday & Wednesday - Saturday: 5:30pm - 10:00pm, Sunday: 5:30pm - 9:00pm
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Phone number
(703) 533-0076
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Payment options
AMEX, Carte Blanche, Diners Club, Discover, JCB, MasterCard, Pay with OpenTable, Visa
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Dress code
Smart Casual
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Executive chef
Raul A. Claros
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Little Falls Street
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Parking details
Please park in the motel parking lot surrounding our restaurant.
Additional
Beer, Cocktails, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Takeout, Wine
What 653 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.3based on all time ratings
4.4
food
4.0
service
3.6
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
95% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
2
1
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EC
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on March 4, 2017
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

This was my favorite restaurant but we were unable to go as they have closed down. Such a loss.

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on February 22, 2017
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

This place has closed and is no longer in business - website still functions, but the place is closed.

G
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The cuisine is always high quality. I go for the quatro leches cake and its the only place I trust to deliver a perfect cake EVERY time! Try the fried arepas!

CF
Washington DC
12 reviews
Dined on December 23, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

What a great restaurant!!! Small but not too noisy. Fabulous food !

OT
Seattle
5 reviews
Dined on December 17, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 4

I can't believe this place closed!!!!!! This was one of the best Latin food places within miles, now we're going to have to find another restaurant with similar food and great Brazilian caipirinhas!

OT
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on December 8, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Pleasantly surprised. Tasty, reasonable portion size, great pricing. So much better than I expected. Was a repeat customer 3 years ago. Family liked it but I had been bored. Millennial niece recently relocated suggested we dine there. I said sure. Found expanded menu, attractive presentation and great flavor. Will be returning in much less than 3 years. A delight. Check out the food

DC
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on December 8, 2016
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

The arapas were really good. It's what they do best. Portions are a bit small but every bite has intense flavor.

b
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on December 1, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food here is great. The owner/chef is usually around and he is super nice. Best Cachapas in the area, they are a must have.

s
Washington DC
22 reviews
Dined on December 1, 2016
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Very friendly atmosphere and delicious! Really loved their platanos fritos paired with cheese and pico de gallo. Sweet and salty!

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on November 26, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

My wife and I had dinner at La Caraquena Saturday and loved it. We're thrilled to have another date night option in the nearby area and one that feels more like a unique destination than pretty much any of the other options in our mostly sterile nearby food environment (other than Eden Center).

For those considering this, and observing some of the other apparently disgruntled diners and some of the reviews, I think it's important to note what this restaurant not - namely 5-star, white table cloth dining. If you want waiters to be instantly attentive to your every need and whim, go Downtown, but you'll be missing out.

The dining room is very small, but cozy (if you can overlook some mold on the ceiling tiles). Despite some pleasant background music, it is also refreshingly quiet so you can actually hear your companion.

There were only two waiters and one busboy, so service is slower than you'd expect at a 5 star restaurant, but that was largely a consequence of, and more than made up for by, how good the service was when you had their attention. When we asked about a bottle of wine, the waiter poured tastes and then said "Be honest. If it's not perfect, it's no problem and I'll get you something else. No charge." (Contrary to another reviewer's post, the prices are posted on the menu.) We also overheard them patiently describing to other diners items on the menu and giving recommendations.

Most importantly, the food was amazing. We shared an avocado salad, three arepas and yuca frita. They were all great, but JP's Favorite seemed aptly named.

The prices, while not dirt cheap, seemed imminently reasonable for the quality of the food/wine and the atmosphere/service.

Parking was easy with the motel parking lot right there, which is another nice feature for the area.

In short, if you're willing to exercise a little bit of patience for great food and service, you'll be well rewarded.

OT
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on November 25, 2016
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

This was a very interesting place that we heard of on Triple D. The food was great and we all liked the atmosphere. No hard liquor but they had beer and wine. The music was VERY loud. So much so that we had trouble with conversation. I would go back ... with earplugs.

VC
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on November 25, 2016
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Good Venezuelan arepas and sandwiches. Cozy spot in Falls Church, every table is good except for those right by the door (opens directly to the chilly outside, and those right by the swinging kitchen door. We asked if we could move to an adjacent free table (we were lucky to find one) shortly after we were seated and our server gladly moved us.

Tasty cuisine and bustling, fun neighborhood atmosphere. The kitchen was a little heavy on the salt for my steak sandwich (and I like salt) but the food was otherwise excellent. A good spot for conversation and a meal.

SL
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on November 23, 2016
Overall 3food 4service 1ambience 4

We brought friends to dinner for their first time because we always talked about how much we loved this restaurant. The service was unfortunately the worst it had ever been and we found ourselves apologizing to our guest through the entire meal. Very disappointing. Food was still good but experience not so much.

W
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on November 14, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Fantastic food! Unfortunately, there was only one server working that night but he was so nice and gracious! The food is really good and I would highly encourage the entrees with the shredded beef - succulent and so full of flavor!

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on October 29, 2016
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

Small dining area but great food.

HG
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on October 16, 2016
Overall 3food 5service 1ambience 4

Usually I never have a problem here, the food is great and the service is usually good! But on my last visit, the service was pretty terrible. We had to wait 15 minutes for our waiter to come and greet us. Then when we ordered, our water and drinks didn't come for another 20 minutes--and actually they forgot our water, and we had to ask for it again. Our food (for a party of 4) all came out at different times. The waiter never came to check on us to ask us how we were doing. We didn't have silverware so we had to call out to get their attention because they never checked on us. I really do love the food and have not had issues before, but I was very disappointed this time. Hopefully they can improve their wait staff.

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on October 15, 2016
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Very busy which is a good sign. They ran out of the item we really wanted-cachapas, but that's probably because they were just written up in the local paper, and that item was highlighted. Again-good sign.

Authentic Venezuelan fare-tasty
Nice and polite waiters

The restaurant was nothing fancy and quite small, but now I'm even more curious. I'll be back.

k
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on October 5, 2016
Overall 5food 2service 5ambience 4

The best mojitos ever !!!! Food is okay but I go for the drinks

MC
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on October 2, 2016
Overall 2food 4service 1ambience 3

On a Sunday night, they had one waiter for the entire restaurant. I was embarrassed that I had brought my friends. I watched the owner do nothing but watch his waiter frantically attend to every table. Obviously not the waiter's fault, but everything was so slow -- getting the menus, getting drinks after 45 minutes, other peoples' food was cold. Not sure how you screw up so bad that you only have one waiter but it seems like the owner is being cheap and not willing to chip in himself. I won't be back for a while, if they're still in business.

M
Baltimore
1 review
Dined on October 1, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Great neighborhood restaurant. Venezuelan cuisine that was authentic/excellent. Doesn't look like much from the outside but very pleased by great food, wine, and service. Finish your meal with their Cuatro (not just tres) Leches cake!

OT
Cleveland
1 review
Dined on September 24, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food and great service. I can't wait to go back.

DK
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on September 23, 2016
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 3

This is very close to our house and we've seen the restaurant change many times over the years. It was recently featured on a food channel show and now its very trendy, but its still an old kinda rundown place. Food was different and fun. Overall its fine (Venezuela) and enjoyed sitting outside with the traffic in the middle of FC. Inside was very crowded because its a small place. The real down side was the dishes are a bit pricey, but cant blame them when they've attracted attention and crowds.

CW
Charleston
1 review
Dined on September 10, 2016
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

2nd time and still great. Was notified that the kitchen was short of help. The wait staff kept checking on us. Well worth the wait.

FC
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on September 2, 2016
Overall 2food 4service 1ambience 2

Food was fine, but service was really off. Servers forgot about us for long stretches of time; when they did appear, they complained of being short-staffed, but we saw plenty of servers running around and the restaurant just isn't that big. There seemed to be a lot of chaos. Overall, we were left with the impression of a restaurant where the food was promising and the servers genuinely wanted to do well, but it was just poorly managed. Probably won't go back unless we hear that they've gotten back on course.

L
Washington DC
14 reviews
Dined on September 2, 2016
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

I love la Caraqueña, the food is always on point, this time unfortunately the service was very slow. which is unusual .

OT
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on July 30, 2016
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was great, but the menus we were given were completely damp.

HF
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on July 28, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Delicious food in an unpretentious setting. I'll be coming back.

LD
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on July 27, 2016
Overall 3food 2service 2ambience 3

WE DINED HERE THE LAST TIME WE WERE UP IN THE AREA AND THE FOOD WAS GREAT! THIS TIME, NOT SO MUCH. IT WASN'T BAD, IT JUST WASN'T GOOD. WE WANTED TO ORDER A SALAD - A SIDE SALAD - JUST SOME LETTUCE AND VEGGIES TO GO ALONG WITH OUR DINNER. THEY WOULD ONLY ALLOW US TO ORDER FROM THE 3 FULL SALADS ON THE DINNER MENU. THE WAITRESS WAS VERY SWEET BUT COMPLETELY OVERWORKED. SHE WAS THE ONLY SERVER FOR THE ENTIRE RESTAURANT

OT
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on July 23, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Definitely meet my expectations, and I had heard very good things about this place.

J
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on July 22, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Smaller restaurant, but in a good way. Perfect size for great food and attentive wait staff. Would highly recommend it!

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on July 15, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food...vibrant local restaurant. Highly recommend!

I
Kansas City
8 reviews
Dined on July 14, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was fantastic, a great combination of flavors that you won't find at any Mexican restaurant

CK
Washington DC
28 reviews
Dined on July 14, 2016
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 2

The food was really great, maybe a bit heavy, but very good. My problem was literally everything else. It's in the base of a crappy little motel. The place reeked of lemon floor detergent -which is good because it means it was clean -but disgusting to eat in. The servers were nice, but just very blah. Everything seemed a little sticky and not in a good "what an amazing whole in the wall kind of way" but in a "eww.. it's sticky" kind of way. Great food though, so it just depends on your priorities.

MS
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined on July 14, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was fantastic! Great Flavor. Great margaritas!

JG
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined on July 10, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great food - small casual dine - accommodating adapt dish for persons need - would certainly enjoy dining there again

b
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on July 8, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Very good service. Our server was awesome!

e
Washington DC
24 reviews
Dined on June 25, 2016
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Wonderful food. brough friends from out of town, and everyone was very happy.

JK
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on June 23, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

This is the most authentic taste of Caracas I have experienced in the States. The batidos make you feel like you are standing on las calles de Venezuela with a street vendor. The pabellon criollo is spot on and the arepas....the arepas brought me from Pittsburgh to DC on their own merit. We even got an email on the day of our reservation for 20% of the total bill!

OT
Washington DC
10 reviews
Dined on June 19, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 3

The food is always great!

S
Washington DC
14 reviews
Dined on June 17, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food and drinks are truly outstanding....and a surprise given its location. The arepas and everything we ordered was truly exceptional and even the drinks are unique and delicious.

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