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…

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What Is A Montadito?

What is a “Montadito” you might ask?  Well, In Spanish, montar means “to mount,” so montaditos are tapas-style tiny baguettes that are piled high with meats, cheeses, chocolates…essentially delightful bite-sized finger food.

Various "montaditos"

Various “montaditos”

That is the concept behind 100 Montaditos (you can choose from 100 mini sandwiches, hence the name).  They also serve appetizers, tapas, salads, various types of beer, and of course sangria.

100 Montaditos has become a very popular restaurant chain, which first opened its doors in 2000 in the south of Spain, and has now become the largest Spanish-owned franchise in the world.  The ambiance is very typical of a tapas bar in Spain, where once folks finish their meals, they like to hang around drinking and having fun.

Ham croqueta appetizer

Ham croqueta appetizer

In 2011, the first US restaurant and Americas headquarters was opened in, where else, Miami.  My family and I love to frequent this place because there is such variety, and you can’t beat the prices. The mini sandwiches range in price between $1.00 – $2.50, but on Wednesdays, all sandwiches cost $1.00! Another great feature of these restaurants is their locations.  In the Miami area, you can find one in South Miami, Miracle Mile, Lincoln Road, Brickell Avenue, Midtown, Kendall, Pinecrest…just about anywhere. My favorite montaditos are the Serrrano ham, Manchego cheese, tortilla Española with ali oli, and my husband loves the BBQ pulled pork.

My favorite Guava & Cream Cheese Montadito!

My favorite Montadito!

On our last visit there, they had changed up the menu a bit, and I was surprised that they no longer serve the very popular cream cheese and guava montadito, (not sure why it’s off the menu, it was delicious). But if you’re looking for a sweet ending to your meal, make sure you try one of their delicious chocolate montaditos, especially the Cookies and Cream one! Have you been to 100 Montaditos?  If you have, which is your favorite?

Montaditoscollage