Amara satisfies customers’ sweet tooth


Chelsea Santos

The ice cream churros at Amara are to die for.

Nestled in Old Town Pasadena is a little Venezuelan cafe that can be missed if you don’t know what you’re looking for. Luckily, I was on the hunt for a new, fun dining experience that led me to the corner of Raymond St. Amara advertises its chocolate and coffee, but the menu has other hidden gems I was determined to experience.

The beef cabrera arepa, served with a choice of salad or fries (you can guess which one I picked) were fantastic. The meat was tender and savory, complemented by the shredded cheese that melted as I tried my best to eat at least half of the large portion I was served. I ordered a tropical mango lemonade to go with my arepa; it was neither too sweet nor too sour, and the mango flavor itself was present without being too overpowering.

The cacao latte, along with its other hot beverage siblings, come in multiple sizes, but I ordered the smallest, the 8 ounce, just to taste. It was rich, and had the distinct bitterness of 61 percent cacao that was just strong enough for me without being too un-chocolatey.

Then, finally, the moment had arrived, for me to taste the crown jewel: the ice cream churros. Amara’s churros are vegan, but for those who can’t go without their eggs or dairy, fear not—you can’t taste the difference. I ordered two churro plates, one with Nutella dipping sauce and one with melted dark chocolate, both sets of ribbon-shaped churros topped with McConnell’s vanilla ice cream.

Upon the first bite, I immediately had an out-of-body experience. And you will, too, when you try it. I also regretted eating the arepa first, because I had a dilemma; how was I supposed to eat all these churros if I had no more room? Fear not, because I took my leftovers home.

The verdict: I will be back for more, and I’m coming on an empty stomach.

Amara Chocolate & Coffee

55 South Raymond Ave

Pasadena, CA 91105

(626) 744-1765


Saturday 8:30 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Sunday 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Monday Closed
Tuesday 8:30 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Wednesday 8:30 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Thursday 8:30 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Friday 8:30 a.m. – 10 p.m.