Best Cuban Sandwiches in Miami

If you are from Miami or a few of the other Cuban neighborhoods throughout the country, then you are most definitely familiar with the very famous “Cuban Sandwich”. Being Cuban-American, having grown up in a very Cuban area of NJ, and living in Miami for over 25 years, I have definitely had a “few” Cuban sandwiches in my life.  But as with most things, not all Cuban sandwiches are created equal.  Here in Miami, you can find Cuban sandwiches almost everywhere, but beware, there are big differences between the pre-made bargain sandwiches found at many lunch counters and coffee windows, and the delicious fresh made to order ones found at restaurants and cafes.

You will also come across places which like to experiment and add mayo, lettuce, tomatoes, pastrami, sauerkraut, salami, and even Thousand Island dressing, or their own version of a secret sauce. While some of these concoctions are really tasty with a twist on the original version, the classic Cuban typically consists of a toasted buttered Cuban roll, with fresh sliced pork, ham, Swiss cheese and pickles (some folks include mustard too).  So for those of you that may be clueless as to where to find the best Cuban sandwiches when you visit Miami, here is a quick list of some of my favorites:

Enriqueta’s Sandwich Shop
186 NE 29th St.
Miami, FL 33137
(305) 573-4681

You know this has to be a good pick when it’s the #1 place chosen by Zagat in Miami for Cuban sandwiches.  This little hole-in-the-wall, located in the Wynwood area, is a local favorite.  And if you’re looking for something really special, try the Cubano Preparado Con Croquetas, basically a version of their Cuban, stuffed with their yummy ham croquetas.

Cuban Sandwich at Enriqueta's

Cuban Sandwich at Enriqueta’s

Little Bread Cuban Sandwich Co.
541 SW 12th  Ave.
Miami, FL 33130
(786) 420-2672

This is probably my current favorite.  Owned by Alberto Cabrera, (whom I have blogged about before, with his amazingly delicious restaurant, Bread & Butter), at Little Bread, fresh-baked baguettes with a good crust get transformed into a Cubano with pork belly rillette, ham, salami, house pickles and red wine mustard. The restaurant’s culinary director, Richard Torres, explains that the secret is in the homemade bread that the restaurant uses and “not pressing the sandwich twice” like many places do.  The result, in my opinion, delicious!

The Cuban at Little Bread

The Cuban at Little Bread

Islas Canarias
Various Locations
(305) 649-0440

You know you’ve made it when Anthony Bourdain instagrams your sandwich (in this case another version of the Cuban, called Media Noche) with the hashtag #miami. The secret to their sandwiches is simple….they bake their bread fresh every day in their bakery.

Cuban sandwich at Islas Canarias

Cuban sandwich at Islas Canarias

Latin American Cafeteria & Restaurant
Various Locations
(305) 267-9995

Luis Galindo’s Latin American Cafeteria & Restaurant, named for the brother of Cuban sandwich patron Raúl Galindo, is owned by Elias G. Elias, a Lebanese-Syrian man raised in Cuba. It makes one of the city’s best Cubanos. The perfect press crisps the bread’s crust, slightly warms the interior, and compresses the whole thing without flattening it into a cracker. This place has been around forever, I remember eating Cuban sandwiches here, when I used to vacation in Miami as a young girl, before I even lived in Miami!

Cuban sandwiches at Latin American

Cuban sandwiches at Latin American

Ball & Chain
513 SW 8th St
Miami, FL 33135
(305) 643-7820

So, I have not actually eaten here…yet!  But a few friends have highly recommended this restaurant, and because their version of the Cuban is so original, I just had to include it on my list.  Ball & Chain serves Cuban Spring Rolls…a twist on the obvious sandwich.  They claim that being located on famous Calle Ocho (SW 8th Street), where there are numerous restaurants serving the traditional Cuban sandwich, they were needed to come up with something that would make their sandwich stand out among the rest.  The result…roasted pork, ham, and pickles wrapped in a spring roll with Swiss cheese, served alongside faintly spiced mustard aioli, perfect for dipping. I must try this one soon!

Cuban Sandwich Spring Roll at Ball & Chain

Cuban Sandwich Spring Roll at Ball & Chain

Well, as you can see there’s a Cuban for all tastes!  Have you ever tried a Cuban sandwich?  If you have, which one has been your favorite? I’d love to hear…

My Signature


An authentic, homemade Cuban ice-cream shop, named after the trademark shout of the beloved Cuban salsa singer Celia Cruz, located in the heart of Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood, featuring over 40 Latin infused ice cream flavors…how could we not stop in?  Of course I’m talking about Azúcar, which in a relatively short amount of time, has become a staple of this historical Calle Ocho community. Although the shop is small, there are a few benches (covered with guayabera shirts) where you can sit down and enjoy your tasty treats.

Beautiful painting of Celia Cruz hanging inside of the shop

Beautiful painting of Celia Cruz hanging inside of the shop

Outside of  Azúcar

Outside of Azúcar

All of the extravagant flavors scream sabor latino, such as, Cuatro Leches (4 milks cake), Guayaba, Platano Maduro (Sweet Plantain), Mulatica (Cinnamon Oatmeal Cookie), Besitos (Vanilla & Pink Meringues), and Mamacita (Orange Blossom-Almond). However, Azucar’s signature flavor Abuela Maria, which consists of homemade vanilla ice-cream, infused with sweet chunks of guava, tangy cream cheese and crumbly bits of Maria cookies, was by far my favorite!

Their signature Abuela María flavor

Their signature Abuela María flavor Photo Courtesy of Azúcar Ice Cream Company

I recently discovered that this flavor has become so popular, that it’s also being offered in some Cuban restaurants throughout the city. Now I should warn you that although there is a huge list of flavors written on the chalkboard wall, only a portion are usually on offer. (I was looking forward to tasting the Balsamic-Strawberry and Platano Maduro, but they were not available that day).  But that’s not a problem, as I’m sure we will be back.  Even my daughter, who I have to sometimes bribe to try Cuban cuisine of any kind, really enjoyed her Domino (Oreo Cookies ‘n’ Cream) ice cream.

Visit Azúcar on your next visit to Miami, try one of their delicious concoctions, and let me know which flavor was your favorite!

Azúcar Ice Cream Company
 1503 SW 8th Street
Miami, Florida 33135
(305) 381-0369