21 Best Spots For A Cuban Sandwich Across The US

The Cuban sandwich, with its fluffy bread layered with ham, roasted pork, Swiss cheese, pickles, and mustard, is a culinary behemoth that's become a veritable American classic. Despite its reliance on imported ingredients (as the Swiss cheese component makes abundantly clear), this sandwich did, indeed, originate in Cuba, as the name implies. 

It appealed to American palates so completely that it was quickly adopted by Florida starting in the late 1800s, when the first of many great waves of Cuban immigrants started to arrive. Over time, it evolved from the initial mixto sandwich into something quite specific, especially in Tampa and Miami, with each city developing its own version. Both have now spread widely across the U.S., allowing us to sample this creation from coast to coast. 

So let's take a look at where you can get a great Cuban sandwich, not only in Miami and Tampa, but from sea to shining sea. Our list is based on a combination of my own personal experience, careful perusal of professional sandwich shop and restaurant reviews, and guidance from the almighty Google reviews.

Sanguich in Miami

The Cuban sandwich is already a perfect food, but that doesn't mean it can't also be improved upon. This is the case of the Elena Ruz Cuban sandwich, a variation inspired by the eponymous socialite, and which involves a slightly different combination of ingredients: turkey, cream cheese, strawberry jam, and medianoche bread.

Sanguich serves this tasty morsel off its secret menu, but it also offers a lineup of more classic sandwiches, all prepared expertly. Chief among them is the Cuban, which is not that different from a typical medianoche, and is made with pork that's undergone a week-long marination with garlic and spices before being added to the sandwich. It's all completed with bread made in-house.


Multiple locations in Miami

Court Street Grocers in New York City

There are many great places for a Cuban sandwich in New York, but we're here to narrow down the list for you, or you might spend a lifetime searching for the best one. Rather, head straight for Court Street Grocers, which has locations in Red Hook, Williamsburg, Manhattan, and Carroll Gardens, and which serves an exceptional Cubano.

This one is made with pork shoulder that's been cooked slowly in bacon fat before being combined with the usual ham, Swiss cheese, pickles, mayo, and mustard. All of it comes on some of the finest bread New York City has to offer, straight from the award-winning Sullivan Street Bakery.


Multiple locations in New York City

Cochon Butcher in New Orleans

The group that runs Cochon Butcher in New Orleans, which includes standouts like Cochon and Herbsaint, has given the city a lot of delicious meals over the years. This includes the Cuban sandwich — one of its best offerings. Indeed, as you might expect, Cochon Butcher makes its own cured meats, which is fitting for the deli meat-centric Cuban sandwich.

In fact, this item comes with house-cured smoked pork and ham along with the rest of the usual Cuban sandwich accouterments, like Swiss cheese. The bread is also homemade in the bakery of its sister restaurant La Boulangerie. Although Cuban sandwiches came to America through Florida, the rest of the country is catching up, and the Cuban sandwich at Cochon Butcher is proof.


(504) 588-7675

930 Tchoupitoulas St, New Orleans, LA 70130

La Segunda Central Bakery in Tampa

If you're looking for the most authentic Cuban sandwich you can get in America, the ones produced by La Segunda Central Bakery in Tampa are safe bets. The eatery churns out some 18,000 loaves of traditional Cuban bread each day, many of which are used to make top-notch Cuban sandwiches.

But like the real Cuban sandwich, the history behind this one is not entirely Cuban. The bakery was started by a Spanish soldier who fought in Cuba and got a taste of Cuban bread. After the Spanish-American War, he moved to Tampa and started making these loaves, which today are made by the 4th generation of his family across three Florida locations.


(813) 248-1531

2512 N 15th St, Ybor City, FL 33605

Café La Trova in Miami

A Cuban sandwich empanada is not exactly a sandwich, but this little appetizer with a big flavor may be one of the best Cuban sandwich experiences you can have in Miami, and that's saying something. That's because the specialty of James Beard Award-winning chef Michelle Bernstein is Cuban cuisine with a modern take, though the menu at Café La Trova does also offer an occasional Cuban sandwich in the traditional sense of the word.

So come for the empanadas, but stay for the amazing cocktails, which are part of what put this dynamic spot in Little Havana on the map. The drinks are curated by legendary bartender Julio Cabrera, who helped revolutionize the Miami cocktail scene, bringing it out of the dark days of frozen drinks with pre-made mixes with fresh, artisanal creations.


(786) 615-4379

971 SW 8th St, Miami, FL 33130

Margon in New York City

It may seem impossible to find a restaurant that serves good food in Times Square, the quintessential representation of all that's touristy and kitsch. Yet there by the grace of god is Margon, a Latin-American restaurant that also serves some of the city's best Cuban sandwiches.

Not only that, but these sandwiches are also big and relatively affordable. They come with enough pork and Swiss cheese to fill anyone's belly. Basically, they can do no wrong. But if by some enchantment you're still hungry after eating one of these, don't worry, because a cup of soup or a combination of rice and beans is included in the price of your meal.


(212) 354-5013

136 W 46th St, New York, NY 10036

Columbia Restaurant in Tampa

Whenever you're in the mood to step backward in time, Columbia Restaurant in Tampa, which also happens to serve great Cuban sandwiches, should do the trick. The decor will make you feel like you've stepped into an old Spanish kingdom or a set for a "Zorro" remake. Indeed, this location (the first of several), which was established in 1905, is the oldest continually operating restaurant in Florida.

But the best part really is the food. In 2024, Southern Living named its Cuban sandwich the best in Florida, which itself might just have the best Cuban sandwiches in the world. Its strength comes in part from the bread, made at La Segunda Central Bakery, and the time-honored recipe that's been used since 1915.


(813) 248-4961

2117 E 7th Ave, Tampa, FL 33605

5 Brothers in Key West

Key West is a fairly expensive tourist destination, so it's nice to know that you can get a great meal for relatively little. The meal in question is the Cuban sandwich from 5 Brothers. At the time of this writing, it will cost you a paltry $7.75 for the traditional Cuban, and $8.50 for the Cuban mix, which adds lettuce, tomato, and salami to the equation.

Both the price and the flavors make it worth the treasure hunt to this place, which is tucked away on a quiet street and situated at the back of a convenience store. Its casual appearance belies the quality of the sandwiches it puts out.


(305) 296-5205

930 Southard St, Key West, FL 33040

Versailles Comida Cubana in Los Angeles

A restaurant with this name might lead you to think it served French food. But despite the initially disorienting title, this place serves excellent Cuban food, not least of which is its traditional Cuban sandwich, a favorite among patrons.

Versailles — which is not affiliated with the Cuban restaurant with the same name in Miami, which is also very good — has been in operation since 1980 and going strong ever since. The sandwich is served with french fries, but you might also want to order a side of plantain chips instead, just to switch things up.


Multiple locations in Los Angeles

Mojitos in San Fernando

While you should definitely be getting a mojito at Mojitos in San Fernando, it's even more imperative that you order its Cuban sandwich, which you can enjoy on the restaurant's outdoor patio while listening to live music, if you're there on a weekend.

But one thing that sometimes makes a meal taste even better than the ingredients alone can is friendly and attentive service. As per Google reviews, the staff at Mojitos is widely reported to have those qualities. So next time you head north out of LA into the wild reaches of whatever is out there, you'll know you have a safe spot to stop for a good meal.


(818) 639-0339

233 N Maclay Ave A, San Fernando, CA 91340

Doce Provisions in Miami

This spot in Little Havana is known for serving some of the best overall food in Miami, and therefore best Cuban food, and therefore best Cuban sandwich — which includes salami. Just make sure you come early in the day, as this delicacy is only served at lunchtime and has limited availability.

While you're here, don't miss out on the rest of the provisions. The service style is mostly comprised of small plates, so it's possible to sample a wide variety of dishes without getting too full too quickly. Expect them to be made with high-quality ingredients, mostly sourced locally by Doce Provisions' chefs and owners Justin Sherrer and Lisetty Llampalla.


Multiple locations in Miami

West Tampa Sandwich Shop in Tampa

When a U.S. president, sitting or non, walks into a sandwich shop, it instantly becomes clear that this is not just any sandwich shop. Such was the case with the West Tampa Sandwich Shop, which received a visit from then-President Barack Obama back in 2012. Not only that, but the former POTUS' order was the Cuban sandwich on honeyed bread, which from then on became known as The Obama.

But fear not, you can also order a more traditional Cuban sandwich, which comes with ham, salami, pork, Swiss cheese, mayo, mustard, pickles, lettuce, and tomatoes. Whatever you choose, expect large portions at low prices — the best of both worlds.


(813) 873-7104

3904 N Armenia Ave, Tampa, FL 33607

Coppelia in New York City

If you need a Cuban sandwich in the middle of the night while in New York City (as you do), your best bet is to go to Coppelia, a 24-hour Latin diner specializing in Cuban food. If you prefer your Cuban to be layered onto slightly sweeter bread, you can also order a medianoche sandwich, which comprises the contents of a traditional Cuban sandwich but on a brioche roll.

Other Coppelia favorites include the lomo saltado, which is what Rihanna reportedly orders when she visits, as chef Julian Medina once told Billboard. Made with a soy-ginger glaze, tomatoes, and onions, this stir-fry dish is popular among locals and new visitors alike.


(212) 858-5001

207 W 14th St, New York, NY 10011

Bodega on Central in St. Petersburg

At this popular spot in St. Petersburg, you can get your Cuban sandwich to go from the Bodega on Central order window or you can sit down and enjoy it at a table. The only catch is that you might have to wait a while before you get this award-winning sandwich, as there are frequent lines out the door.

Pair your sandwich with a freshly squeezed juice made with fresh ingredients or an elaborate smoothie. You can also enjoy these and other delights in the back-room speakeasy known as Bar Chica, which also serves inventive cocktails like the Bywater, made with rum, Averna, green Chartreuse, falernum, and bitters.


(727) 623-0942

1180 Central Ave, St. Petersburg, FL 33705

Buena Gente Cuban Bakery in Decatur

One would think that once you start to venture away from Florida, the epicenter of the Cuban sandwich, these bites would start to decrease in quality. One would be wrong, especially when it comes to the Cuban sandwich at Buena Gente Cuban Bakery in Decatur, Georgia. Although, to be fair, Manny and Stacie Antich-Rodriguez — the people who run this place — are transplants from Miami.

As for the sandwich, expect a combination of carefully curated ingredients. The pork is marinated overnight in orange juice, garlic, and spices, and then roasted for four hours before being slapped on the bread along with ham, Swiss cheese, pickles, mustard, and salted butter.


(678) 744-5638

1365 Clairmont Rd, Decatur, GA 30033

Mi Cuba Cafe in Washington, D.C.

The kitchen at Mi Cuba Cafe makes clear that there are no small dishes in this world, only small ingredients. That is to say that it treats every item on the menu with the utmost respect, putting its all into each food item, whether it's a main course or a side dish, including the lowly rice.

So it should come as no surprise that the Cuban sandwich, which is already an elevated food to begin with, is spectacular here. Not least because the bread is tailor-made by a nearby bakery. The atmosphere is just as enticing. It's the type of space where you can feel instantly comfortable, even if you've never been there before.


(202) 813-3489

1424 Park Rd NW, Washington, D.C. 20010

Cuban Coffee Queen in Key West

When searching for a Cuban sandwich, your first thought might not be to head to a coffee shop. But this is not just any coffee shop. Cuban Coffee Queen specializes in the Cuba style of coffee, which is essentially a very sweet espresso, but also light Cuban cuisine, like the Cuban sandwich with mojo-marinated chicken or roast pork, ham, Swiss cheese, pickles, mayo, mustard, lettuce, tomatoes, and onions.

And that's just the simple version. On the menu here, you'll also find the Cuban Queen Mix, which also comes with turkey, bacon, and American cheese. Or, try the Caliente Cuban Mix, which — as the name suggests — heats things up with some pepper jack cheese and jalapeños.


Multiple locations in Key West

Porto's Bakery and Cafe in Los Angeles

Porto's Bakery may be beloved for its guava and cheese strudels, but that's not the only thing it knows how to make well. Its Cuban sandwiches are also highly worthy, given the house-made slow-roasted pork, which is doled out in perfect proportion with the sweet roasted ham, Swiss cheese, pickles, and a dressing made with mustard, mayo, and house seasonings. The bread roll is also pressed perfectly — not too fluffy and not too flat.

The place is widely admired among Angelinos in particular, which explains why it's often crowded. Luckily, you can try your luck at six different locations around LA and even order nationwide shipping for certain items if you don't happen to be in town.


Multiple locations in the Greater Los Angeles area

TriBecca's Sandwich Shop in Chicago

Cuban sandwiches go so well with warm Caribbean breezes that it's easy to forget that they taste just as good in the gelid gales of the Windy City. TriBecca's Sandwich Shop in Chicago is here to remind you with its Cubano sandwich, which comes with locally sourced ham, mojo-marinated pork, Swiss cheese, pickles, chipotle aioli, mustard butter, and a prime loaf of ciabatta bread.

TriBecca's is also one of the only places where you can get a good vegetarian Cuban sandwich, which sounds like an oxymoron until you try this combination of Phoenix Bean tofu with the classic Cubano ingredients. Indeed, all the sandwiches on the menu are carefully curated combinations of some of the area's best ingredients.


(773) 878-2717

2949 W Belmont Ave, Chicago, IL 60618

Cuba de Ayer in Burtonsville

This family restaurant in Burtonsville, Maryland may be a bit off the beaten track, but it's worth a trip for its Cuban food, including our favorite sandwich, dynamic decor, and live music on weekends. It's proof that you don't have to be in one of America's major cities to get a good Cuban sandwich, as long as you know where to look.

Other great menu options include the picadillo, which was much discussed within the family that runs the restaurant, as some preferred it with tomatoes while others wanted to do without them. Cuba de Ayer ultimately went the latter route, as owner Jessica Rodriguez told The Washington Post, and we're all the better for it.


(301) 476-9622

15446 Old Columbia Pike, Burtonsville, MD 20866

En Vida PDX in Portland

This hodge-podge of a Latin restaurant includes bits and bobs from Columbia, Brazil, and other south-of-the-border nations, but its Cuban sandwich stands out as one of Portland's best. Not only does it combine all the right ingredients in the right proportions, but it also boasts a particularly good mojo sauce, made with oranges, garlic, and cumin, and house-made pickles that manage to be both sweet and tangy.

While the classic Cubano is very good, the medianoche version may be even better. The interior is the same as the classic sandwich, but the slight sweetness of the medianoche's bread seems to push the flavor profile over the edge of good and straight into greatness.


(503) 384-2094

1303 NE Fremont St, Portland, OR 97212


As much as I would have loved to hop on a plane and travel the country to sample every single Cuban sandwich it has to offer, I was only able to try a few truly great ones, which I've included in this list. The rest I gathered by living vicariously through other lucky food critics who reported their experiences in publications such as The Washington Post or Los Angeles Times. Even with these, the list of great Cuban sandwiches that can be prepared across the United States was extensive, and although it was a shame to cut some of them out, it was necessary to keep our list manageable at 21. To that end, I used Google reviews to see which of my selections from professional reviews garnered the highest praise among the common people.