Cuban pastries such as croquetas and pastelitos are a ubiquitous treat in Miami-Dade County and South Florida. But how do you know which one is best?
Following the introduction of these confections in the 1950s and ’60s, said the Migration Policy Institute, local bakeries have been satisfying the sweet teeth of locals and visitors. The five businesses listed below are the best in town, said their many customers, who shop at these locations frequently.
Breadman Miami Bakery
5804 W 20th Ave.
Tucked away in a strip mall, Breadman Miami Bakery elevates its flavors by putting new twists on classic Cuban snacks. One of the signature desserts, Ñoooo, a Cuban twist on creme brulee, has vanilla pudding topped with burnt sugar. The pudding has a light vanilla flavor, while the burnt sugar on top adds a much-needed smokiness said Alex Vega, a native to Hialeah and frequent customer. The dessert is priced at $4.23.
Los Tres Conejitos
1912 W 60th St
Los Tres Conejitos offers pastries for low prices, said Nomy Meneses, a big fan of the small bakery. The cheese pastelitos have a creamy, but somewhat savory taste to them, said Meneses. She thinks the two flavors mesh well and keep the pastry from being way too sweet. But it still manages to retain that classic taste while also being affordable. Two pastelitos of any flavor come out to $1.06.
3970 W 12th Ave.
Hialeah, FL 33012
Barbie Bakery serves customers cakes, coffee, and other pastries. The capuccino cakes have a sweet, strawberry filling that does not overpower the hints of vanilla from the actual cake, said Emily Rivera, who went in to get some goods for herself. She also recommended many of the other pastries in their selection, specifically their eclairs. A box of three pastries goes for $7.12.
1738 W 68th St.
Located in a shopping center, Finale Bakery serves baked goods and sandwiches. According to Lourdes Martinez, who was picking some up for her office, their ham croquetas are seasoned properly with salt and pepper. She also thought that despite being deep fried, the pastries taste light and are not greasy. Martinez also suggested getting them for large gatherings. Most of their croquetas come are priced at $1.24, but their cod flavor comes out to $1.63.
590 E 4th Ave.
Hidden away in a strip mall, Casablanca Bakery makes the most of its small location, according to frequent customer Eli Monteroso. The shop’s shortbread cookies are light and crunchy but still have a rich, buttery flavor to them. The cookies have one variant dipped in dark chocolate and another covered in sprinkles. Monteroso also recommended the cafe con leche to pair with one of their snacks. A box of three cookies comes out to $1.06.