Islas Canarias Restaurant Is Home To Miami’s Best Known Croquetas

If you live in Miami, the sheer mention of Islas Canarias makes you think of one thing…CROQUETAS! Before Islas Canarias became synonymous with Miami croquetas, it was another one of the great Cuban restaurants that opened in the 1970s.

Islas Canarias Restaurant History

In 1977, Raul Garcia and his wife Amelia opened their now-legendary restaurant at 285 NW 27th Avenue. The original spot was sold in 2015 and now operates as Caribe Cafe Restaurant, another real-deal Cuban comfort food restaurant.

Over the years, other Islas Canarias popped up around town, including a couple in Westchester, one in the mid-1980s and another in the early 2000s.

Ad from El Miami Herald 9-20-85
Islas Canarias on Bird Road ad from El Miami Herald 9-20-85

Raul and Amelia’s daughter Nancy would open an Islas Canarias restaurant (13695 SW 26th Street) to feature their family recipes. This eatery would give them legendary status regarding their housemade ham croquetas.

If you polled 100 Miamians and asked who makes the best croqueta in Miami, 95% would say Islas Canarias.

Islas Canarias carries on its legacy as a classic Cuban restaurant and a cafe/bakery about a mile away. Plus, three sister restaurants are run by Nancy’s daughter Eileen Andrade, FINKA, Amelia’s 1931, and Barbakoa.

There are many options, but remember you must start every meal with at least one croqueta.

The Original Islas Canarias Croquetas

Original Islas Canarias Croquetas
Original Islas Canarias Croquetas

The recipes varied slightly at the original Islas Canarias on NW 27th Avenue. It was always a much closer option to pick up or eat in for me.

While good, the croquetas at this location never reached the flavor stratosphere that everyone’s favorite does.

Islas Canarias Restaurant

Islas Canarias Restaurant
Islas Canarias Restaurant

I have never stepped inside the Islas Canarias restaurant, but I’m familiar with its drive-thru and pick-up window.

The sandwiches are solid, my Mom loves the malanga chips, and my regular drive-thru order of 20 croquetas brings me to the yard.

If you’re planning on heading out to use the drive-thru, you’re probably better off calling in your order so it’s ready when you arrive.

Whenever I’m waiting for those croquetas, it seems like an eternity.

Islas Canarias Restaurant Drive-Thru
Drive-Thru, aka I’m here for the Croquetas
Marcela watching the Islas Canarias Croquetas
Marcela watching the Croquetas
Malanga Chips aka Malanguitas
Malanga Chips aka Malanguitas
Arroz Moro con Chicharrones de Cerdo
Arroz Moro con Chicharrones de Cerdo, White Rice and Black Beans Cooked Together with Pork Rinds
Islas Canarias Miami Sandwich
Miami Sandwich

Islas Canarias Restaurant
13695 SW 26th Street
Miami, FL
(305) 559-6666

Website –
Instagram –

Monday 7:00 am – 9:45 pm
Tuesday 7:00 am – 9:45 pm
Wednesday 7:00 am – 9:45 pm
Thursday 7:00 am – 9:45 pm
Friday 7:00 am – 10:30 pm
Saturday 7:00 am – 10:30 pm
Sunday 7:00 am – 9:45 pm

Islas Canarias Cafe and Bakery

Right down the street from the flagship Islas Canarias restaurant is their cafe slash bakery. While the restaurant is old school, this spot has an updated feel.

It’s one part cafeteria and one part bakery. You can get all your favorite pastelitos here and one other fantastic item, party-size Islas Canarias croquetas.

These alone are worth the visit here.

Islas Canarias Party size Ham Croquetas
Islas Canarias Party-size Ham Croquetas

I’ve enjoyed breakfast several times here and usually start with a cafe con leche. A few croquetas and a pan con tortilla (omelet sandwich) round out my breakfast.

I like to keep my omelet simple, Swiss cheese and ham.

Cafe con Leche
Cafe con Leche
Islas Canarias Ham Croquetas
Ham Croquetas
Pan con Tortilla
Pan con Tortilla, Omelet Sandwich

For me, Islas Canarias Cafe is more of a late-lunch spot. They’ve got some tasty malanga fritters, but you need to order their bistec empanizado or bistec de Pollo milanesa.

The bistec empanizado (breaded steak) is larger than the plate, but what makes it unique is the breading. If you like ham and cheese, the milanesa de pollo (breaded chicken steak topped with the good stuff) will fulfill your chicken parm dreams.

No authentic lunch meal is complete without a flan and a cup of Cuban coffee to wash it down.

Malanga Fritters
Malanga Fritters
Bistec de Res Empanizado
Bistec de Res Empanizado, Breaded Steak
Milanesa de Pollo
Milanesa de Pollo, Chicken Milanesa

Islas Canarias Cafe, Restaurant & Bakery
3804 SW 137th Street
Miami, FL
(305) 559-0111

Website –
Instagram –

Monday 7:00 am – 9:00 pm
Tuesday 7:00 am – 9:00 pm
Wednesday 7:00 am – 9:00 pm
Thursday 7:00 am – 9:00 pm
Friday 7:00 am – 10:00 pm
Saturday 7:00 am – 10:00 pm
Sunday 7:00 am – 9:00 pm

A Treat For The Beast

Croquetas in a Papa Johns box
Islas Canarias Croquetas in a Papa Johns box

After going through the drive-thru line at Islas Canarias, the lady at the window tells me they have no croquetas left. I couldn’t believe it, so I texted Eileen to ensure someone wasn’t playing a cruel trick on me.

Nope, all gone.

She said to come by the new restaurant they’re building out called FINKA. They were testing out the new fryers by frying a case of croquetas.

There was no packaging in sight, so the croquetas were given to me in a Papa John’s box. True story.



August 14th, 2011 – From the good folks at Islas Canarias restaurant, home of the Best Croqueta in the world, comes CUBANCUBE.  2 years ago at my inaugural Burgie Awards, they were named the Best Croqueta in Miami.

It’s a distinction that’s hard to disagree with once you have one. They’re not a one-trick pony, though.

There’s a wide variety of Cuban-influenced dishes that make it hard to choose on the CUBANCUBE.


Two menu items caught my eye right off the bat. I can’t wait to try the Milanesa Bite no “s,” a breaded steak bite topped with a house tomato-based sauce, ham, and cheese.

The Cuban Belly Buns (Cuban-style marinated pulled pork topped with roasted garlic, caramelized onions, and pork cracklings) are right up my alley.

The Islas Canarias Restaurant dates back to 1977, so you know they do it right. Plus, the ability to now have a croqueta on the go is never a bad thing!

CUBANCUBE participated in the 2012 and 2013 South Beach Wine & Food Festival editions with these dishes.

CUBANCUBE Freedom Tower
Freedom Tower – Tower of Sweet Plantain Mash, Cuban Marinated Pork, Cassava Mash, Fried Sweet Potato, and Tropical Chimichurri
Cuba Libre – A fried Spanish Sweet Potato stuffed with Rum and Cola braised Ropa Vieja paired with Materva-infused Sugarcane

Unfortunately, Eileen and Jon shut down CUBANCUBE to focus on their new restaurant, FINKA. FINKA Table & Tap is a fusion of Cuban, Peruvian, and Korean flavors.

You can now find them at 14690 SW 26th Street in West Kendall.

Croqueta County

Islas Canarias is Croqueta County, which makes sense to me!

They’ve created this excellent Croqueta County box that was delivered to me by the croqueta elves, which included a Croqueta County tee. If you want to pick one up, it is available on the Croqueta County website.

The nicest reveal was to find their famous croquetas hiding inside the little cazuela, very sneaky and very tasty.

Croqueta County - Islas Canarias
The Croqueta County Box
Croqueta County Open Box
What’s in the box?
Croqueta County Open Box & Cazuela
Croqueta County Open Box & Cazuela

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