While there is debate about where the Cuban sandwich was first invented, most credit Ybor City as the birthplace of the modern day foodie delight. Many restaurants in Tampa have perfected and innovated the dish that began with Diamonds ham, roasted pork, Swiss cheese, salami, pickles and mustard on Cuban bread.
We sent out a request to our followers to let us know where to find the best Cuban sandwiches in the city. A few spots appeared more than others. From reader replies, reviews, suggestions, and our own personal preference, here’s a look at the titans of the dish in Tampa.
Aguila Sandwich Shop
The Cuban sandwich from Aguila was made famous after its appearance on the hit show Man Vs. Food. Many have poured into this Tampa staple to see if their taste buds were ready for the awesome sensation of an authentic Cuban sandwich. Aguila, 3200 West Hillsborough Avenue.
This spot has served Tampa well since 1948. While their breakfast sandwiches, deviled crab and fried plantains are magnificent, their Cuban sandwich is what makes this restaurant famous. Brocato’s is located at 5021 East Columbus Drive.
You can’t talk about food in Tampa without mentioning the ever-popular Columbia Restaurant. The original restaurant opened in Ybor over 110 years ago. The restaurant spans five generations and now has locations all over Florida — 7 in total. The success of the restaurant is emblematic of their commitment to sharing the flavors of Ybor and the entire Tampa area with the rest of the state. The Columbia Restaurant in Ybor, 2117 East 7th Avenue.
Hugo’s has served Tampa since 1975. The restaurant is frequently lauded for its black beans and yellow rice, their outstanding breakfast and their Cuban sandwich by local publications including Creative Loafing, TBO.com and Fox 13. The Spanish American fusion restaurant draws many in with their versatile and extensive menu, but you’re hard-pressed to leave there without sinking your teeth into their pressed Cuban Sandwich. Hugo’s Spanish Restaurant is located at 931 South Howard Avenue.
La Segunda is the spot to get your pastry fix. Before you satisfy your sweet tooth, we highly recommend you give their massive Cuban Sandwich a try. Over the course of 101 years, this bakery has perfected the iconic meal. La Segunda, 2512 North 15th Street.
This small shop in Tampa packs some serious flavor into their outstanding Cuban sandwich. They make them with the highest quality ingredients and press them to perfection so that when you take your first bite you’re treated to that signature crunch. La Ideal Sandwich Shop, 2924 West Tampa Bay Boulevard.
A popular spot amongst our local Twitter followers, Ruben’s Cuban Cafe has been open for almost three decades. The cafe brews some sensational cafe con leche, and their pressed Cuban sandwiches are equally impressive. Ruben’s Cuban Cafe is located at 4941 East Busch Boulevard.
Known as the home of the honey Cuban sandwich, the West Tampa Sandwich Shop has been putting together the area’s finest Cuban for almost 40 years. The spot received national attention when President Obama paid the business a visit and remarked how much he enjoyed their sandwich in a phone call after his trip. The West Tampa Sandwich Shop is located at 3904 North Armenia Avenue.
Tampa’s premier cafe has been open since 1963. Their large menu of sandwiches and cakes are legendary, but their award-winning Cuban sandwich is a true foodie gem in the city. Wright’s Gourmet House is located at 1200 South Dale Mabry.
Did we miss your favorite Cuban sandwich spot? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know so we can add it to the list and give it a visit!