The Ten Best Croquetas in Miami

Fried to perfection.
Fried to perfection.
Courtesy of Burger Beast

The perfect croquetica is a thing of science. You don't want too much or too little breading; its shell needs to be perfectly battered without being greasy. And its innards must have equal amounts of protein and béchamel so that you get meat with every nibble.

Luckily, these golden pipes can be found at café windows and restaurants all over town. But not all croquetas are created equal. Some are filled with chunks of jamón serrano and manchego cheese, while others feature meat that's a smooth paste. Then there those that forgo the archetypal ham and instead pack surprises like smoked local fish, shrimp, and even bacon. 

What follows are Miami's ten best croquetas.

Smoked fish waits inside.
Smoked fish waits inside.
Photo by Carla Torres

10. 27 Restaurant & Bar
There's only one place in town where you can get smoked fish croquetas made with local catch, and that's 27 Restaurant & Bar. Although these puppies are available only once a week, during Sunday brunch, that's probably a good thing; otherwise, you might eat them daily. Elad Zvi and Gabe Orta are all about fusing Miami's influences, and what better way to combine the quintessential Latin finger food than by taking it to neighboring waters and smoking the fish in house.

Bolinhos de bacalhau
Bolinhos de bacalhau
Courtesy of Old Lisbon

9. Old Lisbon
Perhaps you've never had the bolinhos de bacalhau at Old Lisbon, but you should, because these codfish "croquettes" that forego the breading and are closer to a conch fritter than a traditional croqueta are oceanic treasures. Lightly fried, the poofy exterior instantly gives way to the filling, which isn't overly salty (as you might expect from cod) and oh so creamy. If you're wondering why they're  served with a bean salad, all you need to do is mix a bit of bolinho with the black-eyes peas, onion, green peppers, and vinaigrette to understand.

Shrimp fritters
Shrimp fritters
Photo by Eric Saltzman

8. La Gamba
You've had cod and fish croquettes, but have you had shrimp? Probably not, unless you've been to La Gamba. Pay a visit to this little Spanish restaurant that could. In addition to garnering points for originality, La Gamba's croquetas won us over because of their complex flavor profile, which is twofold. Shrimp bits sautéed in onions are the obvious part, but there's also house-made seafood broth mixed in to the thick béchamel, so you taste the sea with each and every bite. Plus, they're served with squid ink aioli for your dipping pleasure.

Croquetas de bacalao
Croquetas de bacalao
Photo by Patrick Hieger

7. Asador 5 Jotas
Newcomer Cinco Jotas is already making waves with its northern Spanish cuisine, and though the restaurant only recently opened, its croquetas de bacalao taste like they've been handed down through generations. Besides tearing at the gentle touch of a fork, the spherical wonders take hours of preparation so that the béchamel and flaky cod filling form a creamy union of textures and flavors.

Croqueta shoe
Croqueta shoe
Courtesy of the Bazaar

6. The Bazaar
What would be considered unacceptable behavior at home (like putting your shoes on the table) is standard at José Andrés' culinary wonderland, the Bazaar. But the shoe in this case is a custom glass sneaker that holds not feet but some of the best chicken croquettes you'll ever try. The impeccably cooked and seasoned poultry makes this creatively presented $12 dish worth every penny.

Medianoche croquetas
Medianoche croquetas
Courtesy of Bread + Butter

5. Bread + Butter
Craving a medianoche and a croqueta? Why should you have to choose one when you can have both at Bread + Butter. Rather than cylinders, these spheres of golden perfection are chock full of all the ingredients that compose a medianoche. That means your croqueta has the usual ham, but also Swiss cheese, pork, and pickles. Wondering where's the mustard? It's served as an aioli on the side, right along with soda crackers in case you want to make your own croqueta preparada or medianoche croqueta sandwich. Mind blown.

Enriqueta's croqueticas
Enriqueta's croqueticas
Photo by Jenny Lee Molina

4. Enriqueta's
You might have to fight the crowd at Enriqueta's take-out window to get your hands on one of the eatery's fried-to-order, colossal ham croquetas, but the sweet, salty, crunchy, and creamy fritters are worth every bit of struggle you had to endure. And if you want to make your wildest croqueta dreams come true, order the bacon version. 

Sergios golden tubes.
Sergios golden tubes.
Courtesy of Burger Beast

3. Sergio's
Sergio's ham croquetas are like Tic Tacs — you can eat 'em like candy. Maybe it’s because they don't contain chunks of ham but rather a smooth paste that makes chomping them down so much easier. Or maybe it's the plethora of other flavors that coexist within one single croqueta. The brown tubes ooze with flavor from onions, peppers, and plenty of garlic. The secret: They're deep-fried in extra-virgin olive oil to make them extra-delicious.

Serrano and manchego up in this.
Serrano and manchego up in this.
Photo by Carla Torres

2. B&S Gastropub
These babies won the people's choice award at Croquetapalooza. Packed with copious amounts of serrano ham and manchego cheese, each croquette brings a mouthful of bold flavor. The brininess of the ham and richness of the cheese could get overpowering if it weren't for the ingenious use of guava sauce to balance everything out and provide a sweet ending.

Fried to perfection.
Fried to perfection.
Courtesy of Burger Beast

1. Islas Canarias
There's a reason why Islas Canarias has been a Miami landmark since 1977, and that's the ham croquetas. But even after three decades, the recipe remains a well-kept family secret. On the outside, they're crisp and sturdy. But bite into the shell-like façade, and you'll uncover a tender and smooth interior that has the perfect ratio of béchamel and smoky specks of pink ham. It might not be love at first sight, but it's certainly love at first taste. 

Follow Carla on Twitter and Facebook.

Use Current Location

Related Locations

miles
Islas Canarias Bakery-Restaurant

3804 SW 137th Ave.
West Dade, FL 33175

305-559-0111

www.islascanariasrestaurant.com

miles
Barley, an American Brasserie

9059 SW 73rd Court
Miami, FL 33156

305-397-8678

www.allpraisethelard.com

miles
27 Restaurant & Bar

2727 Indian Creek Dr.
Miami Beach, FL 33140

305-531-2727

thefreehand.com

miles
La Gamba Restaurant

3437 Main Highway
Coconut Grove, FL 33133

786-464-0908

lagambarestaurant.com

miles
Old Lisbon Restaurant

1698 Coral Way
Miami, FL 33145

305-854-0039

oldlisbon.com

miles
Enriqueta's Sandwich Shop

186 NE 29th St.
Miami, FL 33137

305-573-4681

miles
Asador 5 Jotas

1148 SW 27th Ave.
Miami, FL 33135

786-518-2111

asador5jotas.com

miles
The Bazaar by Jose Andres

Sponsor Content

Newsletters

All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories
    Send:

Newsletters

All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >