I Found the Best Latin Cuisine in Cleveland — Part 1

Is there any illness Arroz con Pollo cannot cure? Arapzo on Detroit Avenue in Lakewood, Ohio is the cure for you

Libby Winkler
3 min readJul 16, 2022


Photo credit by author, Libby Winkler

I have a confession to make.

I am obsessed with Latin American food. In fact, I have been known to plan entire trips based solely upon the region’s cuisine and beverages.

No Fake-Ass Mexican Here

I imaging since the founding of Taco Bell, America thinks they love Mexican food.

With the creation of such dishes as a taco pizza, Gordita (not made up but completely different thing in Mexico), and nachos supreme Americans discovered they really did like Mexican food.

In my travels in Latin America, nothing is a better conversation starter with a local like, “hey, where is there a Taco Bell?” This question is sure to get a good laugh, or at least a chuckle and eye roll, as well as letting the other person know you are a red-blooded gringo with a sense of humor.

Simple is Better

Living in Cleveland, Ohio is not for the faint of heart to be sure.

One of the many challenges is finding the cuisine my soul craves, the genuine authenticity of latin food. The food my abuela made, filled with solid, homegrown ingredients, prepared with care, and served with pride.

Photo by Danie Franco on Unsplash

Straight forward carnitas.

Salsas with flavor, depth, and character.

Food with a story and not a marketing department.

Arepazo Latino & Bar delivers all this and more.

Ba-zinga! I found What I’m Looking For

In an unassuming location, the corner of Detroit and Warren Roads, in Lakewood, Ohio, a tiny piece of authenticity is found.



Libby Winkler

Freelance writer who loves exploring the messiness of humanity, while poking around in nooks of life and shining light on all the things that make us complex..