Croquetas are a nice appetizer for parties here in South Florida — or a deliciously fried little snack to hold off your hunger.
Here’s what you should know about them: Croquetas are breadcrumbs with a binder that is stuffed with ground ham, chicken, fish and sometimes cheese. The binder (what holds it all together) consists of either wheat flour, mashed potatoes or a brown sauce. The combination is deep fried into a crunchy bite-size little log. Below are the five best croqueta restaurants. Don’t forget to get some cafecito while you’re at it!
541 SW 12th Ave.
Miami, FL 33130
(786) 452- 0161
Located in Little Havana, Doce Provisions has twice been named best croqueta in Miami’s Croquetapalooza festival — in 2017 and 2018. One order brings four croquetas for just $8.50. They are mostly famous for their chorizo croqueta which comes with mustard aioli underneath and fresco cheese sprinkled on top. “Just the process of making the masa [dough] and chorizo [sausage] for it takes time,” said Josue Vinvell, chef for Doce Provisions. “And a lot of love goes into it.”
13695 SW 26th St.
Miami, FL 33175
Islas Canarias restaurant is family owned and was established in 1977 by the late Raul and Amelia Garcia. It was then passed down to their daughter Nancy Andrade. The recipes have endured the test of time, gathering families from throughout South Florida to taste one of their homemade croquetas. Their price per croqueta is $1.75 with options of ham or chicken. “They taste just like my mother’s here at Islas Canarias,” said Mylene Bello, a frequent customer. “That’s why me and my family love coming here.”
5804 W 20th Ave.
Hialeah, FL 33016
What started as a hobby turned into a business — Hialeah’s hot and ready croquetas from Breadman Miami. Established in June 2015, the house specialties are ham, chicken and corn with cheese. All prices range from $1.30 to $1.50. The corn with cheese croqueta is exquisite; with every bite comes a crunch of cheesy goodness. There is also a croqueta cake that contains 100 croquetas stacked on top of one another with layers of vanilla butter cake. You must call ahead to order this.
925 Nuevos Cubanos
925 N Andrews Ave.
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33311
If you find yourself outside of Miami Dade County, make sure to stop by 925 Nuevos Cubanos in Fort Lauderdale. The croquetas offered are the traditional ham, chicken and fish. The most sold are the ham croquetas. An order comes with 2 croquetas for $2 with an additional dipping sauce of red-hot jalapeño and onion cilantro. They are prepared daily and go perfectly with a cortadito.
Versailles Restaurant Cuban Cuisine
3555 SW 8th St.
Miami, FL 33135
Right on the Western edge of Little Havana, Versailles has been serving delicious Cuban cuisine for over five decades. In comparison to all its competitors, Versailles serves a much larger croqueta. With a thicker breaded layer, the choice selections are ham, chicken and fish for $1.08 per croqueta. A little fun fact about Versailles is that founder Felipe Valls was a pioneer in Miami’s signature window experience, also known as “la ventanita.” This makes it easier to purchase some croquetas and Cuban coffee quickly.