When I first came across Hola Arepa, it was when I tried an arepa from their food truck. This post is from my second visit to the physical restaurant. They specialize in Latin food and cocktails, and both times I’ve been to the restaurant I’ve ordered their seasonal sangria.
If you ever come across a seasonal menu, I recommend trying something listed on it because you never know how long it’s going to stick around and if it’ll ever come back. For spring, Hola Arepa made Strawberry Hibiscus Sangria and I found it fruity and strong – well worth the $8!
Salsa, chips and guacamole found their way onto the table, but if you go and they offer it to you, keep in mind it’s an additional $8.50 total. The chips & salsa cost $5 ($3 during Happy Hour!) and I think that’s a good investment because you get three different kinds of salsa that will last throughout the meal. My favorite is the smoky Red-Chili Tomato but I like to balance things out by alternating bites with the sweet Hola Sauce.
Entrees included the Plantain Tostadas and Black Bean & Sweet Potato Arepas with Yuca Fries.
The tostadas entail two fried green plantains topped with black beans, tamarind sauce, guacamole, watermelon radish and pickled onion. They’re the perfect size for picking up (even with my tiny hands), and the tostadas are dense enough that they hold together when you bite into them. The toppings provide a great blend of flavors and textures, and I especially loved the sweetness, crunch and beautiful color that the watermelon radish provides.
Arepas are kind of like a corn-based pancake but sliced through like a pita pocket. They’re easy enough to make at home but it was fun to see the different ingredients Hola Arepa adds to their long list of arepas.
Though we requested them vegan, we noticed a white sauce when ours came out which turned out to be the queso fresco. Our server sincerely apologized and quickly whisked the plate away to have a fresh one made. Lucky for us, arepas don’t take long to cook so it wasn’t long before we had a replacement entree in front of us.
They can get a little messy… but that’s what forks are for, right?
My favorite component was the sweet potato, but like the tostadas, the dish is enjoyable overall from both a flavor and texture standpoint.
Pro-tip: when the Yuca Fries first come out, they are extremely HOT. I recommend breaking them in half right away and giving them a few minutes to cool off. They’re an excellent alternative to French fries and have a mild enough flavor that they go great with any kind of sauce.
Hola Arepa has a great laid back atmosphere and I love the color scheme with the bright turquoise blue. It’s almost like going to a cantina in Mexico!
3501 Nicollet Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55408