Finding the best Deviled Crabs in Tampa Florida

Deviled Crabs are a delicious cuban dish that can generally only be found in Tampa, Florida. They consist of an outside layer of breading much like a hush puppy but with more of a dressing flavor stuffed with spiced crab meat and deep fried. They are one of a kind and once you have them you only want more.

Because of its large cuban population, Tampa Florida is a great place to find this wonderful and unique dish although Miami and other south florida cities also have restaurants that serve them also.

I have collected a list of the best restaurants to get "deviled crabs" in Tampa Florida. I am sure there are other places than what I have listed but these are a good start and all have a reputation for good quality.


Brocato's Sandwich Shop - 5021 E Columbus Dr, Tampa - (813) 248-9977

Carmine's Seventh Avenue - 1802 E 7th Ave, Tampa - (813) 248-3834

La Tropicana Cafe - 1822 E 7th Ave, Tampa - (813) 247-4040

Roberto's Latin Cafe - 5232 S Macdill Ave, Tampa, FLę - (813) 839-6388

La Teresita Restaurant - 3246 W Columbus Dr, Tampa, FL - (813) 879-4909 (my personal favorite)


Deviled Crab Dough

1 loaves dry white bread, (no crust)
3 loaves dry Cuban bread, ground fine
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt

Crabmeat Stuffing
5 tbsp oil
2 onions finely chopped
1/2 red and/or green pepper finely chopped
4 garlic cloves mashed
1 level tsp italian style crushed red hot pepper
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp sugar
1 level tsp salt
1 6 oz can tomato paste
1 lb can fresh crab meat - claws - picked clean and shredded

Cracker Crumb Meal for Rolling Croquettes In
2 eggs, well beaten
1/2 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup cracker crumbs (crushed)
1/2 cup all purpose flour
Vegetable oil


Dough: break white bread into pieces; place in a large bowl, cover with water and let soak 15 minutes. Drain water and squeeze soaked bread until almost dry; return to bowl. Slowly sift in Cuban bread until mixture becomes like dough. Add paprika and salt amd mix thoroughly. Form dough into ball and refrigerate about 2 hours.

Make filling: Heat olive oil in large skillet, heat to low. Add onion, garlic, peppers and ground hot pepper, saute very slowly 15 minutes. Add bay leaves, sugar, salt and tomato paste; stir. cook uncovered 10 minutes, remove bay leaves. Place mixture on platter, refrigerate 2 hours.

After dough and filling have chilled, make croquettes: Take about 3-4 Tbsp of the bread dough, press into your palm making an indention for the filling. Add 1-2 Tbsp crab filling and seal dough around filling like a croquette with pointed ends. In a small bowl mix your eggs, milk, pepper and salt and in another bowl mix cracker crumbs and flour. Roll croquettes first into cracker mixture then into egg mixture then again into cracker mixture. Refrigerate about 2 hours. Heat oil in deep heavy saucepan or a deep fryer. Place croquettes in hot oil and fry until light brown.

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