A drastic shift from bar food to Latin cuisine is nothing new here week to week at Hays Take On, as we stop at nothing to bring you the best of the best in food and drink in the Twin Cities. Hola Arepa is our stop this week and while their food truck food was incredible to start, expanding to a full kitchen has opened up all new avenues of taste and flavor.
Hola Arepa is located just off of Nicollet at the 35th street intersection, just a few blocks from 35W in South Minneapolis. On non-food truck nights, the vehicle will be parked out front which is another great marker to identify this slightly inconspicuous building. Hola Arepa features a few different sections, a front patio, side patio, and an inside section with a bar and tables. The front patio is covered by an overhang, providing shelter from any elements that may occur during your dining experience, however the side patio is only covered by umbrellas, making it a slightly more adventures choice on any night featuring precipitation. The indoor bar gets you a live look at the action as well as fits plenty of people, so bring your whole crew along. The atmosphere is pretty loud and crazy and gives you that Latin street food vibe right as you walk in the door. With loads of servers hustling around, food and drink coming in and out quickly, and a standard line out the door at peak times, the crazy vibe sucks you in immediately.
With tons of accolades for the food from the truck, it is no surprise that the restaurant is starting to create its own list of merits. Everything here is packed with flavor, from the cocktails, to the appetizers, to the main dishes, no dish can be slept on. The huge list of cocktails always features something different, with seasonal sangria and horchata, as well as plenty of other great choices. We owe a big thank you to the Passport Program for getting us hooked on the Aviso, which is a gin based drink combined with genepy and cava as well as lemon and mango-tonka bitters, paired with some mint. This super refreshing drink is perfect for the warm summer weather and thanks to the Passport Program we were able to get 2 for 1! For an appetizer you can never go wrong with the chips and salsas, as they have a spice level for anyone’s taste preference. We also love the Areptias, which are arepa balls filled with jalepeno and goat cheese. Think fancy jalepeno poppers with much more flavor. The main dishes at Hola Arepa are in fact Arepas, which are described as griddle cake sandwiches. You can choose from a large variety fillings, such as slow roasted pork, chorizo sausage, our favorite the chipotle chicken, and more. They all come with yuca fries which are thick potato wedges perfectly seasoned and come with a choice of dipping sauce. Really you can’t go wrong with any choice, it all just depends on how adventurous you want to be with new flavors, and we recommend you do!
An incredible food truck turned into an even more incredible restaurant. From the cocktails to the appetizers to the meals, everything hits the mark. If you’re looking for food packed with flavor, this is your spot, but make sure you get there in time to beat the rush!
For more check out Hola Arepa here: http://holaarepa.com/
Or go try it for yourself at: 3501 Nicolett Ave Minneapolis, MN 55408