Venezuelan Chocolate-Based Cafe Is A Taste of Caracas In Old Pasadena

Thursday, December 26, 2019 | 3:21 pm

Amara Chocolate & Coffee is a Venezuelan inspired cafe where chocoholics go to satisfy their cravings, break bread over authentic dishes, and pick up international award-winning hot chocolate mix made right here in Old Pasadena.

Amara Barroeta, Owner of Amara Chocolate and Coffee, was raised in Caracas, Venezuela and moved to the United States a decade ago. Just three years after arriving to get her master’s degree, she took the leap to open her own cafe inspired by the city she knew growing up in during the ‘80s and using her grandmother’s recipes.

There’s no shortage of hearty plates and personal favorites of Barroeta like arepas, cachapas, churros, fresh salads and more.

While Venezuelan food is traditionally un-spicy, Barroeta ventured out with her menu and uses various chiles from around the world to give these dishes some unexpected but tasty kick.

However, chocolate is what built the cafe in the first place.

“We have a big culture of coffee and maybe an even bigger one of chocolate. Some people wake up and have a cup of coffee, but in Venezuela, you do that either mixed with chocolate or you have a cup of hot chocolate,” explains Barroeta.

“It’s part of the Venezuelan way of living. You have to have chocolate…always.”

The Tournament of Roses Parade is one of the busiest days for Amara as it has become a famous spot for serving hot chocolate en masse.

“We have become a destination without a doubt,” she explains.

The hot chocolate mix is made in-house and uses quality sourced organic certified and fair trade cocoa beans from Venezuela.

Don’t worry if you forgot to pack your favorite Amara hot chocolate mix with you on a winter vacation. The popular mix is available on Amazon Prime and ships worldwide.

The mix even earned a bronze medal in the hot chocolate category at the International Chocolate Awards in Germany out of over 3,000 submissions worldwide.

“I wanted to create a cafe that feels like you’re in Caracas. I think we did it.”

Amara Chocolate & Coffee, 55 South Raymond Avenue, Pasadena. (626) 744-1765


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