Food Reviews

Review: El Fogón Latino: Authentic Venezuela Cuisine

El Fogon Latino Venezuelan Food Edmonton Restaurant 118 Avenue

Some of my favourite restaurants often end up being hole-in-the-wall types.

Small, family-run, serving quality, delicious food at affordable prices, but maybe isn’t the slickest or hippest looking spot—and that’s okay, because everything else is wonderful. 

I’d say El Fogón Latino: Comida Venezolana, an authentic, Venezuelan restaurant located at 8026 118 Avenue, is exactly that. 

El Fogon Latino Venezuelan Food Edmonton Restaurant 118 Avenue
El Fogón Latino Authentic Venezuelan Restaurant is located at 8026 118 Avenue.

El Fogón has been open for about eight months. Interestingly, it opened around the same time as the other Venezuelan arepas restaurant in Edmonton— Avila Arepas on Whyte Ave. I had never had an arepas before I tried Avila in November (see my review here) but now I’d like to have them all the time! And thankfully have even more options, with El Fogón now too. 

My friend Sharon (of Only Here for the Food) first introduced me to El Fogón just before Christmas. My pal Sharman (of This Piggy’s Tale) also recently visited El Fogón, and raved about it too. (Arepas, corn buns that are sort of like tacos, are gluten-free because they are made of corn flour, so people who have celiac disease, like Sharman, can totally gorge.)

Eager to return after my first visit, I brought my friend Gina to El Fogón this week, and she ended up being just as impressed with the food and family here as I was. 

El Fogon Latino Venezuelan Food Edmonton Restaurant 118 Avenue
Inside El Fogón! 

El Fogón is small. There are about two dozen seats including some at the counter. Sharman described the interior of this restaurant as something like a gas station (hence the hole-in-the-wall description) which I think is the easiest way to explain it too. We don’t mean that description in a negative way, it’s just to indicate how it’s not a fancy place and that’s totally alright.

The location, near the Safeway at 82 Street, is easily missed. The family chose this spot because rent was cheap. They are actually Portuguese/Italian, but lived in Venezuela (and ran a business there) for many years before coming to Edmonton. 

El Fogon Latino Venezuelan Food Edmonton Restaurant 118 Avenue
El Fogón’s arepas menu.

El Fogón’s menu is straight to the point. There’s no fancy descriptions here. They split their arepa options into cold, hot, or mixed fillings. They also have empanadas, cachapas (like a Venezuelan corn pancake), tequeños (Venezuelan cheese sticks), pupusas (Salvadorian corn tortillas stuffed with various fillings), different soups (seafood, chicken, tripe and chorizo), lunch specials and meat platters, and a variety of daily specials.

View their full menu here.

El Fogon Latino Venezuelan Food Edmonton Restaurant 118 Avenue
Beef and gouda cheese arepa from El Fogón.

I tried the shredded beef and gouda cheese arepa ($7.99) on my first trip with Sharon, and loved it so much I had to get it again on my second visit with Gina and her daughter Hannah.

Each bite of this arepa is full of flavour, made even better with their homemade sauces green and red pepper sauces (which we were told anyone can purchase to take home too!) 

El Fogon Latino Venezuelan Food Edmonton Restaurant 118 Avenue
Delicious green and red pepper sauces from El Fogón.

We also tried a cold arepa – the ham salad with gouda cheese ($7.99), which was also flavourful, filled with ham slices, lettuce, tomatoes and cheese.

Venezuelan corn buns are the perfect vehicle for delicious, savoury fillings! 

El Fogon Latino Venezuelan Food Edmonton Restaurant 118 Avenue
The Ham Salad and Cheddar arepa at El Fogón.

We slurped up El Fogón’s passion fruit juice (yuuuum), devoured the fried breaded, gooey queso blanco cheese sticks (tequeños – 6 for $7.99), and shared a mixed pupusa ($5.50). My only feedback on these items would be that the tequeños didn’t come at me as hot and flavourful as the arepas. They were definitely gooey but those first few bites into them seemed on the blander side. 

El Fogon Latino Venezuelan Food Edmonton Restaurant 118 Avenue
The best passionfruit juice. Toddler Hannah thinks so too.
El Fogon Latino Venezuelan Food Edmonton Restaurant 118 Avenue
The Tequeños (breaded cheese sticks) from El Fogón.
El Fogon Latino Venezuelan Food Edmonton Restaurant 118 Avenue
Cheesy goodness.
El Fogon Latino Venezuelan Food Edmonton Restaurant 118 Avenue
Mixed pupusa from El Fogón.

This super filling Venezuelan meal was also cheap. It cost $35 total (before tip) for all of those dishes! We would’ve tried even more too, if I had noticed their soup offerings sooner. (I LOVE soup).

The soups (I saw chicken, seafood, and tripe/chorizo) are at a bit higher price points ($12-$16) though you can get smaller cups of soup for just a few dollars. It’s definitely something I’m going to try on what I’m sure will end up being countless more visits to El Fogón. 

El Fogon Latino Venezuelan Food Edmonton Restaurant 118 Avenue
Today’s specials.

While I’m still a fan of Avila Arepa on Whyte, I would say El Fogón’s arepas are tastier, with prices that are just a bit more affordable than Avila’s. El Fogón’s most expensive arepas are the cost of Avila’s cheapest. 

Avila has a lot more arepa options though, and overall a better look and atmosphere.

At El Fogón, you can buy and check lottery tickets, and they also have an all-day Canadian breakfast menu too, which are things, in addition to the plain tables and seats, that sort of take away from the Venezuelan vibe. But I think the quality of El Fogón’s food easily makes up for its more simple interior.

I’d still recommend you try both if you’re hankering for some Venezuelan comfort food. But I think location-wise, it’s nice that there are solid arepa options both north and south of the river. 

El Fogon Latino Venezuelan Food Edmonton Restaurant 118 Avenue
Loving the Venezuelan food at El Fogón!

The mother, father and son team at El Fogón are very sweet. When I was with Gina and her toddler Hannah, the father brought over a red balloon Hannah could play with. The family was also so excited to recommend us dishes, and talk about their restaurant. Truly quality food and quality people at El Fogón.

When I came for lunch with Gina this week, we were one of two tables in there the whole noon hour. Service was very quick, but even when I was there the first time with Sharon, and the restaurant was packed, service was still quite fast. 

El Fogon Latino Venezuelan Food Edmonton Restaurant 118 Avenue
Little pieces of Venezuelan artwork.

If you’re looking for a hidden gem, El Fogón is it. If you’re into small, family-run restaurants serving up quality food at affordable prices, El Fogón is it. If you want to try something new, like I always am, El Fogón is it! It’s a really great food option on Alberta Avenue.

I wish this very kind family all the best. The restaurant business can be so challenging, but it really helps when what you’re serving is delicious. They’re not quite past that first-year mark, which is the hardest for new restaurants, but I have a feeling the family at El Fogón are going to be just fine. Their food assures it. 

So have you been to El Fogón? What did you think?! 

Linda

El Fogón Latino 
8026 118 Ave NW
(780) 756-8388
Mon-Fri : 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Sat : 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Sun : 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Follow lindork on Instagram

Like Lindork – Linda Hoang on Facebook!

Linda Hoang is an Edmonton blogger who writes about food, travel, lifestyle/events and pets. She's also a social media/digital specialist with a journalism background. Linda is in love with her city and loves exploring and promoting Edmonton and other places she visits with her husband Mike. Linda is also the founder of the Edmonton International Cat Festival (and has 2 cats herself, along with 2 dogs).

Previous Post
January 13, 2018
Next Post
January 13, 2018

No Comments

Leave a Reply

Instagram

  • Sunday at the @Cat_Cafe_On_Whyte! 😻💚 My first time back since they opened in April. So happy to see that since then—80 cats have been adopted, they’ve expanded their drinks & pastry menu (and made it unlimited drinks for the hour), added merchandise, and the place was packed! #purrfect
.
.
.
.
.
#yeg #yegcats #edmonton #edmontoncats #exploreedmonton #yegpets #tailsofyeg #catcafe #catcafeonwhyte #catcafes #macarons #matchamacaron #matcha #safeteamrescue #pawprint #🐾 #meow #ameowzing #whyteave #oldstrathcona #rescuecats
  • Finally visited the Edmonton Funicular today at the #ExploreEdmonton @dialogdesign #instameet! Pretty neat way to get to our beautiful #yegrivervalley. 😊 Have you been yet?
.
.
.
.
.
#yeg #yegdt #edmonton #funicular #explorealberta #travelalberta #wintercityyeg #wintercity #winter #edmontondowntown #downtownedmonton #rivervalley #edmontonrivervalley #edmontonfunicular #FUN
  • Ventured north for handmade pizza 🍕 and pasta 🍝 at @saccomannos1965! Delicious food at really good prices from this family-run business (since 1965!) They just held a grand re-opening in December. Blog post soon! We also discovered a huge fenced in dog park in this area. 🐶 Can’t wait to come back to try more dishes and take the pups to the park. 😊
.
.
.
.
.
#yeg #yegfood #exploreedmonton #edmonton #northedmonton #northyeg #pizza #pasta #saccamannos #saccamannospizzapastadeli #cheeselover #handmade #authentic #italianfood #italian #edmontonfood #foodlover
  • Classic Vietnamese pork chops on rice with eggs, scallion oil & cucumbers for a nice and needed Friday night in. Super simple. Super comforting! ❤️
.
.
.
.
.
#homecooking #lindorkcooks #yeg #yegfood #edmonton #exploreedmonton #vietnamesefood #vietnamese #comfortfood #vietnamesecomfortfood #porkchoponrice #porkchops #scallionoil #friedegg #friyay #friday #tgif #comforting #fridaynightin
  • I came for the #Instagrammable Skating Rink. 💕 I think that probably sounds silly, but I do love how “Instagrammable” spaces can encourage people to #ExploreEdmonton! Had a lovely double date at the lovely Victoria Park Oval & Freezeway with @mikethyking, @littlmissandrea & Gordon! ⛸👯‍♀️👯‍♂️
.
.
.
.
.
#yeg #yegdt #yegrivervalley #instagramyeg  #edmonton #wintercityyeg #wintercity #victoriapark #victoriaparkoval #edmontonfreezeway #explorealberta #doubledate #rivervalley #winterfun
  • Ohhhhh so many feelings. ❤️ I had such an incredible experience watching @traviswall’s @shapingsoundco AND finally meeting Travis! Fun fact: I used to run a fan page for Travis back during his early #SoYouThinkYouCanDance days. He said he used to check the page for updates on himself, lol. 😂❤️ Thank you to the @albertaballetcanada for inviting me to see this phenomenal show with just the most ridiculously talented dancers! 💃🏻🕺 and for asking me to host the pre-show #DanceTalks Q&A. 🤓 Thanks to @nikolevallins for arranging the meet & greet 📸 and thanks to my old friend @jasmine.topham for coming & sharing in the #SYTYCD love! So happy. ❤️
.
.
.
.
.
#yeg #yegdance #yegarts #abculture #albertaballet #shapingsound #shapingsoundco #traviswall #contemporarydance #ballet #edmonton #exploreedmonton #edmontondance #edmontonarts #shapingsoundafterthecurtain
  • 🍩🍩 DONUT CONTEST! 🍩🍩 What’s your ideal donut? Tell @TheRecRoomCa for a chance to have your donut featured at The Rec Room of your choice, win a $200 gift card, game tags, and swag! If you win, you also get to eat your donut every day in March for free! Head to my blog (link in bio 👩🏻‍💻) for contest details! I also share what my ideal donut is. 😉 Also head over to The Rec Room’s Facebook Page to enter before Jan. 29! 🍩 #partner
.
.
.
.
.
#yeg #yegfood #edmonton #exploreedmonton #edmontonfood #donuts #therecroom #donut #donutparty #youdonutwanttomissthis #donutcontest #yegdonuts #doughnut #doughnuts #makemydonut #makemydonutcontest #buildyourowndonut #diydonuts
  • If there’s a brunch poutine on the menu, we are getting it. 😍🍟🍳 This one has bernaise sauce in place of gravy. 🤤 We are having Sunday Funday at  @therecroomca!
.
.
.
.
.
#yeg #yegfood #exploreedmonton #edmonton #edmontonfood #brunch #sundayfunday #sundaybrunch #brunchpoutine #breakfastofchampions #breakfastpoutine #bernaisesauce #putaneggonit #brunchlover #yegbrunch #therecroom
  • #NewOnTheBlog: I write about the delicious, authentic Venezuelan lunches I’ve been having at @elfogonlatino on 118 Avenue. ❤️ It’s great to have two awesome options for arepas north and south of the river! Read my post on my blog (link in bio 👩🏻‍💻)
.
.
.
.
.
.
#yeg #yegfood #edmonton #edmontonfood #exploreedmonton #arepas #venezuelanfood #venezuelanarepas #albertaavenue #webelievein118 #northedmonton #newblogpost #elfogon #elfogonlatino
  • When it’s -32C out ☃️, there’s no better food choice. 🍜 I warm right up with my mom’s pho at @KingNoodleHouse! (and you can too! 😉) I’m also excited to share that @KingNoodleHouse is participating in Edmonton’s first-ever #ChinatownDiningWeek! We’re offering a $15 two-course dinner option - your choice of a large bowl of pho + a spring roll & grilled pork balls platter. There are 4 other great restaurants in the area participating too. Learn more on my blog! (link in bio 👩🏻‍💻)
.
.
.
.
.
#yeg #yegfood #exploreedmonton #edmonton #pho #vietnamesefood #vietnamesepho #soup #souperb #yegwx #yegpho #yegsoup #yegnoodles #kingnoodlehouse #foodlover #yegchinatown #chinatownyeg #eatyegchinatown
  • Fun fact: @mikethyking makes perfect waffles. ❤️
.
.
.
.
.
#waffleking #wafflekingyeg #thewaffleking #yeg #yegfood #homecooking #sundayfunday #weekendvibes #wafflelover #waffles #brunch #sundaybrunch #pizzasshirt #edmonton #edmontonfood #exploreedmonton #husbandgoals
  • I’m such a sucker for eggs on anything—especially on poutine—ESPECIALLY with shoestring skinny fries. 😍 This is The Cure from @centralsocialhall, with red wine gravy, avocado, bacon and a roasted poblano + white cheddar sauce. It’s eggcellent! 🍳🍟😋
.
.
.
.
.
#yeg #yegdt #yegfood #exploreedmonton #edmonton #edmontonfood #brunchpoutine #breakfastpoutine #poutine #shoestringfries #fries #centralsocialhall #putaneggonit #centralsocialbrunch #skinnyfries #yegdtfood #eggcellent

LINDORK