The 15 Absolute Best Cuban Sandwiches In The US

The Cuban sandwich is beloved for its simplicity and flavor. The "golden standard" for a Cuban sandwich lies in five unwavering ingredients –- pork, Swiss cheese, mustard, pickle, and, of course, Cuban bread. When pressed firmly on a griddle, the meat steams between the bread, melding the flavors together in a harmony of savory and tangy. While these are the baseline for a Cuban, there has always been regional conflict as to what additions to these mainstays should be allowed (via 196flavors).

Cities claiming the most authentic sandwich (and origin city) are Tampa and Miami — who are pitted against each other in sandwich purism. What could be referred to as the "Cuban Sandwich Crisis," Tampa and Miami have long rivaled who made the first Cuban and what that Cuban should consist of. Tampa likes to include salami with ham and mayo, while Miami opts for the strict roast pork and ham rule (via Visit Florida).

If you should happen to find yourself in either city and holding a "mixto," you'll realize that nothing tastes better than neutrality in war. A great sandwich is made from great ingredients — plain and simple as the Cubano itself.

¿Tienes hambre? Here's where you can try some of the best Cuban sandwiches in the United States.

West Tampa Sandwich Shop - Tampa

The West Tampa Sandwich Shop is a no-fuss, no-frills deli located just west of the Hillsborough River (via Google Maps). Specializing in Cuban food for breakfast and lunch, this authentic little shop is the perfect place to get a Colada or espresso with your Cuban sandwich.

Served in the classic Tampa style, this sandwich features ham, pork, salami, Swiss cheese, mayonnaise, mustard, and pickles on pressed Cuban bread. If you're looking to mix it up a bit, add a presidential touch of a slight dab of honey. Featured in the menu as the "Obama Sandwich," the drizzle of sweetness isn't just a guess about what the 44th president prefers but was the exact sandwich he ordered when he came to the shop back in 2012! Now a menu staple, many customers agree that a little touch of honey really makes the mixto (via Action News). 

La Segunda Central Bakery - Tampa

La Segunda Central Bakery has really made a name for itself as the pervasive force of the Cuban sandwich scene in Tampa. Located in Ybor, the alleged home of the very first Cubano, La Segunda sells authentic, freshly made Cuban bread, pastries, and food since 1915.

A family-owned establishment for three generations, La Suguna Bakery has used the same recipe since the business opened early in the 19th century. Baked with the traditional palmetto leaf on top of the loaf, this bakery exports Cuban bread to many of the surrounding restaurants to use for their sandwiches, while also specializing in making their own Cubano.

With two locations in Ybor and South Tampa, patrons pop in the bakery to order from the over-the-counter deli. La Suguna's Cuban consists of Mojo marinated roasted pork, smoked ham, Genoa Salami, Swiss cheese, pickles, and "special sauce," all on their freshly made bread. Order with a large Café Con Leche and start your day like a Ybor local.

The Columbia Restaurant - Tampa

One of Florida's oldest restaurants, The Columbia is an institution in Tampa. Opened pre-Prohibition, The Columbia started as a 60-seat café known for its coffee and for catering Cuban sandwiches to local cigar workers. 

In 1929, the café rebranded itself as an upscale restaurant with live music and dancing and even eventually built the first air-conditioned dining room in Tampa, which faired well on hot summer evenings. Throughout renovations, rebrandings, and multiple locations opening, patrons can still come to The Columbia Restaurant for a classic Cuban sandwich baked using neighboring La Suguna Bakery bread.

Served classic Tampa style, the restaurant still uses their original 1915 recipe, with the same proportions of meat and laying with buttered and pressed Cuban bread. As one of the most popular items on the menu, the Cubano has yet to go out of style and still draws hungry patrons.

Zaza Cuban Comfort Food - Orlando

If you're looking for a bright, airy place for a quick bite, Zaza's fits the bill. Specializing in "Cuban Comfort Food," this trendy little spot totes three generations of Cuban Americans serving up the classic pork stacked sandwich.

Served with fries, Zaza's Cubano features fresh roast pork, deli ham, Swiss cheese, mustard, and pickles on toasted Cuban bread. For those not favoring pork, Zaza's serves an assortment of different styles on their Cuban bread, including fish, chicken, beef, or veggie (via Zaza). The standard Cubano takes the cake, however, winning a top spot as "Best Cuban Sandwich in Orlando" via the Orlando Sentinel. 

Pair a sandwich with some of Zaza's popular Cuban roasted coffee, which comes with a long menu of brew options, from an Espressito Cubano drink to La Negra Tomasa style roasts that are even sold in-store by the bag.

Bodega - St. Petersburg, Florida

Bodega started out as a small order window café in St. Pete's Edge District and eventually grew to open a second full-sized location in Tampa, competing in the birthplace of Cuban sandwiches with their own version of the popular sandwich.

Serving "Latin Street Food," Bodega's Cuban features roast pork, ham, Swiss cheese, pickles, mayonnaise, and mustard for a classic take on the Tampa version (sans the salami). The shop couples their sandwiches with fresh-squeezed juices for a perfect pairing for lunch in the Florida sun.

While the first location still has the order window, it has since expanded to a larger eatery for customers. Those looking for a quick sandwich can grab the award-winning Cuban to-go, while lingering patrons may find themselves stumbling in the back of the restaurant (where the speakeasy is) for unique cocktails to pair with their pressed mixtos (via ABC).

Sandy's Café - Key West, Florida

Lines stretching down the block at Sandy's Café for their "Cuban Mix" sandwich are a regular occurrence in Key West. Served with ham, pork, salami, Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, mayonnaise, and mustard –- this Cuban hails from the Tampa version of the sandwich (rather than neighboring Miami) and is stacked high with meats, veggies, and cheese (via Sandys).

Located at the M&M Laundromat over 35 years ago, this unassuming sandwich shop has ruled Key West as the quick-stop Cuban eatery in town. Known as "the place" to get no-frills Cuban food for a great price, Sandy's sandwich is still as good as it ever was while staying under $10. Pair the mixto with a frosty Cortadito Batido (expresso frappe style with caramel and whipped cream) and you'll stay cool while traveling about as far south as you can get for a great Cuban without leaving the United States.

925 Nuevo's Cubano's - Miami

This unique residence-turned-restaurant in Miami draws crowds for its big bar and insanely delicious Cuban sandwiches. Opened in 1976, 925 Nuevo's Cubano's is actually the front portion of the owner's family home, which was remodeled with a small kitchen and bar to accommodate guests.

While the drinks are strong at 925 Nuevo's, it's their Cuban sandwich that hits harder. The restaurant roasts six legs of pork a day for 16 hours, pulling the meat for their Cubans rather than slicing it, in order to keep the pork "extra juicy" (via New Times).

Rated by Eater Miami as one of the best Cuban sandwiches in the city, 925 Nuevo's has been trending from a local staple to a tourist destination. The restaurant has been looking to expand its parking and hours to accommodate the growth that the small family eatery has seen in the past few years (via New Times).

Still as good as it ever was, those that find themselves in town will want to be sure they head to 925 for a life-changing Cuban sandwich. 

Bunk Bar - Portland, Oregon

It wouldn't be the best Cuban sandwich in Portland if there wasn't any live music to accompany it. At Bunk Bar, you'll get your grunge fix with your pressed sandwich craving satisfied in a one-stop shop. Named after William "Bunk" Moreland from the HBO series "The Wire," Bunk Bar has been serving creative sandwiches while securing indie acts since 2008. The crowds came for both and soon Bunk was getting national attention from the Food Network, Food & Wine Magazine, and Travel + Leisure for their creative combination of food flavors and band bookings. (via Bunk).

While there are many favorite sandwiches at Bunk, a crowd favorite is the "Bunk Cubano," which earns a top spot on the menu and is one of the best in the city. Made with Mojo pork shoulder and hot-pressed to perfection, this sandwich is sure to help fuel you to keep rockin' out.

Porto's Bakery & Café - Glendale, California

While all the ingredients of a great mixto weigh equally for the perfect bite, we really do love the Cuban bread. That's why at Porto's Bakery & Café, there is a particularly fantastic Cuban on their menu where the fresh-baked bread takes it to another level.

This Cuban bakery makes destination-worthy bread and pastries, enough that there is usually a long line out the door (via Latimes). For over 60 years, Porto's has been perfecting and growing its business. Baking everything from empanadas to wedding cakes, there is a variety to satisfy customers on a given day.

While pressed, fresh Cuban bread is the star of the show on their classic Cuban, there is also no better place to mix it up a bit than by trying the "Medianoche." Dubbed the "Midnight Sandwich," this sweet take on the Cuban features the standard roasted ham and pulled pork, Swiss cheese, pickles, and a "Cuban" dressing of mustard and mayo ingredients. Rather than Cuban bread, however, this sandwich is served on a Medianoche roll before being pressed. Made in-house, this rich, sweet bread has a soft crust that compliments the savory ham. It's a variation on a favorite you'll find you love.

Cochon Butcher - New Orleans

Cochon Butcher specializes in meats, making for one of the most amazing places in New Orleans to grab a sandwich. A tribute to "old-world" style butcheries and charcuterie shops, Cochon makes all their own cured meats, sausages, and fresh cuts that are served on the menu (via Cochon). Cochon's Cubano features their house-made smoked pork and ham. Topped with Swiss and served between their sister restaurant's (La Boulangerie) homemade Cuban bread, this Cuban sandwich rivals any to come out of Florida.

Since the restaurant's opening a little more than five years ago, Cochon Butcher has been a city favorite and garnered national attention within a short time. Voted one of the "Best New Restaurants in New Orleans" by Food & Wine for their meats and menu, Cochon Butcher is likely to "wow" any Cuban sandwich aficionado for both the quality of ingredients used and authenticity in flavor.

Cafecito - Chicago

This Latin-American sandwich shop in busy Chicago is the perfect place to slow down and enjoy a genuine meal with loads of aromas of the Caribbean. Here, you'll find a Cubano that takes center stage on the menu.

At Cafecito, the Cuban sandwich was the foundation for the idea behind this little eatery. With a passion for Cubanos, the Cafecito owner built a sandwich that highlighted the interlacing of pork, mustard, cheese, and brined pickle flavors during cooking to a meticulous degree. By topping the sandwich with naranja agria mojo (sour orange with lime and lemon juice, cumin, garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper) and warming the whole thing together, all the flavors come together for Cubano perfection (via Chicago Reader).

Cafecito has won the "Best Cuban Sandwich in Chicago" for their marinated asado and toasting from Time Out Chicago. Pair it with a cup of Cuban black bean soup on a cold night and you've got a meal to warm you like a hug from an abuela (via Cafecito).

Margon - New York City

Since New York specializes in the best food from all over the world, it's no wonder that one of the most flavorful and authentic Cuban sandwiches can be found in the heart of the city. Here, at Margon, you'll find an authentic Cuban sandwich that comes at a great price and is plenty big enough to satisfy even the hungriest of Cuban food lovers. 

A small Latin-American counter-service eatery, Margon keeps it simple, dishing out big portions to customers on plastic serving trays. With heaping plates of pork and Swiss cheese on long, pressed baguettes, this Cuban comes slathered in garlic sauce as a house specialty.

Featured in City Guide New York and New York Chow Report, this modest shop near Times Square is worth escaping the touristy streets for. Head in when the hunger hits and you'll be surprised one of the best Cuban sandwiches in the city was just around the corner. 

Crispy Cuban - Los Angeles

A food truck worth seeking out in Los Angeles, the Crispy Cuban lives up to its name. Serving authentic mixtos with slow-roasted pork and either fries or potato balls for sides, this retired trolley-turned-food truck is where you'll find the best Cuban sandwich in the city of angels.

With an extra thin slice of pickle and spiced, slow-roasted pork stacked on house-cured ham and pressed in a Cuban baguette until crisp, this sandwich is made with love. Additionally, for those true connoisseurs of all things Cuban sandwich, the Crispy Cuban allows the customer to decide if Tampa style, Miami style or even the Medianoche or "Juban" (with pastrami and pineapple coleslaw) is what's on the menu for that day (via Eater).

With plenty of choice that adheres to authenticity while leaving room for creativity, it's easy to see why the Crispy Cuban makes our list of one of the best Cuban sandwiches in the U.S.

Havana Restaurant - West Palm Beach, Florida

Havana Restaurant in West Palm Beach is a local staple, and you'll find all sorts of neighbors here, popping in for a quick bite or celebrating a special occasion.

Not only has this restaurant been open for 25 years, serving clientele either in their sit-down dining room or through their walk-up window open 24/7 (known as the "ventanita") — but some very famous patrons have enjoyed themselves here. Havana Restaurant features a celebrity wall of fame that includes Zsa Zsa Gabor, James Taylor, Sofia Vergara, and Martha Stewart, who apparently loves the Café con Leche (via West Palm Beach Food Tour).

Beloved by public figures and locals alike, the Cuban sandwich is worth making the trip for. Voted by USA Today as one of the "10 Best in Florida," and honored by the Palm Beach Post as the "Best Cuban Restaurant and Cuban Sandwich" of 2019, Havana Restaurant has racked in awards both locally and nationally for its Sandwich Cubano.

Sanguich de Miami - Miami

Sanguich de Miami takes its Cuban sandwich very seriously and it shows. By brining the ham for days, marinating lechon for 24 hours, brushing the bread with homemade lard, and pressing a crisp, perfect Cuban — Sanguich is one of the most popular places to visit in Miami for a sandwich.

Tucked in a small shopping center, this tiny 25-seat eatery focuses its energy on crafting the perfect Cubano from unpretentious devotion. Sunguich's passion hasn't gone unnoticed, by fans and food critics alike. Their Cuban sandwiches have been cited by CBS Miami, NBC 6, and even the New York Times.

For those dropping into town to experience some authentic Cuban flavors in Miami, the top of the list should include grabbing a seat at the bar at Sanguich de Miami for one of the best Cuban sandwiches you're sure to find in the Sunshine State.