The competition for Miami’s favorite fried food is nothing short of fierce. Seemingly endless variations and regional styles of the quintessential croqueta are sold from street carts, high-end restaurants, and beyond. They’re inescapable. Yet who would want to escape them?
Whether served for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snack time, croquetas have long been an iconic fixture at meals. Forget having just one. After biting into the crisp golden-brown cylinder, stuffed with the perfect balance of protein and béchamel, you can't help but reach for another.
The 305 offers many celebrated croquetas in various flavors, shapes, sizes, textures, and methods of preparation, and all are worthy of recognition. But let's direct you to the very best. Hint: They're not all from Vicky Bakery.
The Bazaar by José Andrés1701 Collins Ave., Miami Beach
José Andrés is a humanitarian, a Nobel Prize nominee, and an author, but he's also one of the best chefs and restaurateurs alive today. Known for his whimsical and precise takes on classic dishes, Andrés offers two croquetas on the menu at his South Beach restaurant. The croqueta de pollo ($12) is creamy and addictive, but it's the croqueta de jamón ($13) that takes the prize. The chef uses Ibérico ham in his croquetas, which are fried to a golden hue.
Cafe La Trova971 SW Eighth St., Miami
At this celebration of Cuba, expect to find live music, cantineros shaking precision daiquiris, and chef Michelle Bernstein's paella croquetas. To make these delights, the kitchen prepares a full paella, complete with saffron, bomba rice, mussels, clams, and pink shrimp, all chopped finely enough to be tucked into two bites. A serving comes with a shot of seafood caldo and saffron aioli.
Chug's3444 Main Hwy., Miami
Chef Michael Beltran's Coconut Grove Cuban diner serves all manner of comfort food, but it's the croquetas ($1.99) that are the star of the show. Beltran doesn't reinvent the wheel with his classic ham croqueta — he just uses the best ingredients and makes every golden croqueta from scratch. Each one is made with freshly ground ham seasoned with the chef's personal blend of sazon completa made in-house. The croquetas are hand-rolled and breaded, and each batch takes four days to complete. That's a lot of work for the perfect bite.
541 SW 12th Ave., Miami
Justin Sherrer’s Doce Provisions offers a tasty, locally sourced menu of Latin-style sandwiches and other gastropub fare. The shrimp po'boy tacos ($8) and lechón asado buns ($8) are indeed tempting, but you’re here for the chorizo croquetas ($6), packed until plump with Miami Smokers’ chorizo, mostaza, and queso fresco.
Dos Croquetas 10505 Bird Rd., Miami