This cozy Cuban cafe in Little Havana doles out various Cuban sandwiches—medianoche, pan con bistec, pan con lechón—but its Cubano is what truly put them on the map. Part of the reason why this sandwich is special is the hours of prep that go into making each ingredient before it’s even assembled: the mustard is ground in-house, the pork is cured in-house and the bread is baked precisely to Sanguich’s specifications. Once it’s all put together, the Cubano is finished off in la plancha, just how it should always be.
Look, we’re not saying Tampa didn’t invent the Cuban sandwich. We’re not even saying that Tampa’s addition of salami is an abomination to the sandwich gods. But what we will insist is that Tampa—a.k.a, the capital of southern Alabama—misses an integral building block of a pressed Cuban: the Miami culture that made it a sandwich icon. That plays out every single day. It’s finding a Cubano at a cafe still open at dawn on Calle Ocho. It’s ordering one from a cafecito window on South Beach. It’s brushing crumbs off your person after devouring a Cuban scored at a drive-through in Hialeah. The Cuban sandwich is Miami culture, buttered and pressed. It’s a sandwich we love, and here, at these spots below, are the absolute best of them.