Tampa’s own Flan Factory voted Best Cuban Sandwich at International Festival

a plate of Cuban bread covered in syrup. A table with several plates on it. A woman holds a halved sandwich on pressed Cuban bread

Who makes the best Cuban Sandwich in Tampa? It’s a question that has plagued the Tampa Bay region for decades. The annual International Cuban Sandwich Festival gathers chefs from across the state, country, and world to compete for the title of Best Cuban Sandwich. The event takes over the streets of Historic Ybor City, a place some consider to be the birthplace of the classic Cuban sandwich. At the 2022 event it was none other than Flan Factory that was voted Best Cuban Sandwich by event attendees and judges.

This mini but mighty restaurant hasn’t been open in Tampa too long, but its brief tenure has quickly endeared it to local diners. To start, Flan Factories impressive list of flans are a sweet, jiggly delight. They even offer a list of vegan flans if you’re so inclined. The team also specializes in some savory eats such as the 1985.Savor brioche bread is deep fried in cinnamon batter and filled with guava sauce, cream cheese, with oven roasted turkey breast in the center.

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fried brioche bread covered in red guava sauce

Apparently the coup de gras of menu items is Flan Factory’s Cuban sandwich. The ownership wrote the following message on Instagram following the restaurant’s victory:

“We did it guys! By we I mean our amazing staff (who kill it), mama Esther and papa Tony, family, friends & EVERY single one of you that continues to support us. Thank you for everything Flanatics!!”

Flan Factory’s classic Cuban sandwich is made with slow-roasted Cuban pork, Genoa salami, serrano ham, melted Swiss, pickles, mayo and mustard and is served on pressed Cuban bread.

In addition to the Cuban sammie, Flan Factory also offers up amazing empanadas, Cuban bread French Toast, fried queso blanco bites, and Cuban-style fried rice.

man in a black t shirt a small cube of fried queso blanco

“As a first generation Tampeño born and raised in West Tampa, it was always important to my abuela that we held on to our Cuban heritage and traditions,” writes Flan Factory owner Joseph Palau. “When my abuela passed away in 2014. I would often find myself reminiscing about the countless family dinners she had hosted, and the evolution of her flan. In 2016, I decided to honor my abuelas memory and keep her legacy alive by introducing the world to Flan Factory.”

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Celebrate and support a local business at The Flan Factory, 1718 N Nebraska Avenue. 

See more menu teasers on Facebook.

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