PATERSON, NJ — From the sights to the sounds and of course the smell, stepping inside Bendita Arepa in Paterson will give most Colombian Americans a sense of home.
For everyone else, their famed arepas will likely put a smile on your face.
Since 2018, the family owned restaurant has built a business and a brand around the corn based patty. which is a mainstay in every Colombian dish.
When they first set up shop in Paterson, Santiago Velez, Estefanía Arroyave and the matriarch of the family Amparo Castaño wanted to bring a taste of Barranquilla to town.
They started with arepas, expanded to baked goods and smoothies and now they serve complete traditional Colombian dishes.
The arepa continues to be the centerpiece of their menu.
Unlike most businesses, when COVID struck, the Colombian restaurant kept their doors open.
Not taking a day off, the trio worked tirelessly churning out breakfast lunch and dinner for local families and essential workers.
They even transformed their parking lot to a lavish outdoor patio which has allowed them to welcome
more diners. A blessing is what they call it.
791 Main St.
Paterson, NJ 07503