Croquetas are part of the Miami lifestyle, deeply engrained into our roots, served best with cafe con leche or un cortaditoCroquetas (or croquettes) are small breadcrumbed fried creamy mash of almost anything (ham, pork, chicken, fish, vegetables, cheese). Each culture has their own take on what a croqueta is and how it should be prepared and served, but in Miami, the flavors stem mostly from Cuba and Spain.  Definitely up there as one of my favorite foods, it's hard to turn down a croqueta adventure, whether it happens at 4 a.m. or 3 p.m.   

Now, here are the eight croquetas that you definitely need to try if you're ever wandering the streets of Miami. And you'll definitely come to realize why the South Beach diet exists.  

1. Versailles Cafe

Every time someone comes to visit me from anywhere, I always have to take them to Versailles, as this place holds so much Cuban culture.  Right on Calle Ocho, this beloved restaurant gives the community heart and soul.  And their croquetas have never disappointed, especially when you get them in the Versailles Combo with yuca fries and empanadas.  It's a must have.

2. La Carreta

Across from Versailles is another home favorite, La Carreta. This cultural hub has so much energy and heart, bringing abuela's (grandma's) favorites straight to your table. Their croquetas are served with the traditional saltines and limes, and they will make you want to keep munching.  La Carreta never fails to bring a celebratory and welcoming ambiance, it's a great start or end to anyone's day.

3. Bulla Gastrobar

Bulla Gastrobar is all about their Spain-influenced tapas and Sangria. The energetic vibe makes this place perfect for indulgence among a group of friends, family, or even a date. They serve everything with a flair, especially their take on croquetas.  Made with Iberian ham and served with a side of fig jelly, they are so so delicious and creamy and literally are causing my mouth to water right now.  They are fluffy and sweet and so well complimented by the jelly.  Perfection.

4. Estefan Kitchen

Miami's 11 Best Croquetas

Greyceli Marin on Eater Miami

Emilio and Gloria Estefan blessed Miami's Design District with its first Cuban restaurant, serving sophisticated cuisine along with live music to this shopping, art, and entertainment destination. It's the perfect fusion, which really is all what Miami stands for. Their Cuban Bites croquetas are served with a balsamic guava reduction that's A1, can't go wrong with guava. 

Restaurant very similar: Larios on the Beach

5. Dos Croquetas

"Dame Dos Croquetas!"  Honestly, I have never heard of this place before but I am running to their location after work, seeing that they are only open from 7PM to midnight.  They have super innovative croquetas - other than serving the classic, they also offer chili frito, buffalo chicken, and cheddar burger croquetas.  YUM. 

6. Ms. Cheezious

This place is all about the cheese, which means I'm all about this place.  Specializing in grilled cheese and never disappointing in comfort food, Ms. Cheezious offers a variety of gourmet grilled cheeses and other gooey cheesy sides (mac n' cheese, cheese fries).  One sandwich that stands out to me is their Croqueta Monsieur, literally a culmination of Spanish and French flavors with croquetas, ham, Swiss cheese, and béchamel sauce 😍, like are we kidding? And not on the menu, you can order a side of croquetas and they are ridiculously good. 

7. Casa Juancho

The door to Casa Juancho is the door to Spain. With the authentic brick and red tiles, rich wine selection, and delicious smells, they deliver authentic Spanish food, including paella, sangria, and Croquetas de Abuela.  These croquetas are special, as unlike Cuban croquetas, they replace ham with Grouper. I don't like fish, yet I definitely don't turn these down.

8. Havana Harry's

My family's go to Cuban restaurant with a menu full of modern takes of classic Cuban, Spanish, and Latin American cuisine. These croquetas are hefty, almost the size of a newborn baby. They came out, and, to say the least, I was shook. And also, side note - they have a tres leches milkshake that's topped with a tres leches cake, and I don't think I can name anything more pure or delicious than that.

Now, go on your own croqueta adventure through your own town or mine!