Where to Find the Best Cuban
There are a lot of great reasons to book a flight to Miami and visit. Fantastic weather, sandy beaches, beautiful people, world class shopping and a burgeoning art scene are but a few. The food is amazing too. And not just at the hoity toity scene-ster restaurants either. Miami's Cuban restaurants and cafes offer down to earth meals at affordable prices with a decidedly local vibe.
Black beans, yucca frita and of course the eponymous sandwich … Cuban cuisine is hearty stuff. And it’s ramped up and pressed thin and toasty ham and cheese sandwich stuffed with additional roast pork, pickles and mustard is perhaps the heartiest example of just how satisfying Cuban food can be.
In a city full of sandwich presses, one could spend a whole lot of time researching the best Cuban sandwich in the Miami area. And that would be a delicious endeavor, but you'd possibly miss out on the sunsets and sunrises, the dancing, the mojitos, the fun. If visiting Miami for reasons other than just to eat sandwiches but you'd still like to try a commendable Cubano, here are three top choices for the best Cuban sandwiches in areas you'll likely pass through while there.
700 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach
Nowhere near as flashy as most of its SoBe competition, nevertheless this stalwart of the Collins Avenue strip knows how to reel 'em in: with a solid reputation for excellent food, efficient service and a no nonsense approach to dining. Puerto Sagua's Cuban sandwich ($6.95 for a medium, $7.65 for the “grande special”) is the definition of comfort food. Whether for breakfast, lunch, dinner or that all important post-clubbing fourth meal, this is the place to soak Miami Beach's cosmo atmo minus the glitz. Visiting celebrity chefs, vacationers, snowbirds, club kids and locals of all stripes: everybody seems to love this place.
3555 SW 8th Street, Little Havana, Miami
The world's most famous Cuban restaurant (according to the owners anyway), this Little Havana institution has got to be the world's largest Cuban restaurant as well. Along with bakery and takeout area, Versailles seats more than 350 people. Popular among local Cuban exiles and tourists alike for its connection to anti-Castro politics, the vast majority of these 350 plus seats are usually filled most of the time too. But it's not just the chance to dine like a local in a historic setting that draws 'em in – the food is excellent. Versailles' Cubano (small for $4.95, regular at $5.95 and the special for $6.95), as you might expect, is a classic. When in Rome …
501 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach
YUCA stands for “young urban Cuban American” and that's definitely the vibe at this casual but chic eatery on trendy and upscale Lincoln Road. The menu features traditional Cuban dishes with a contemporary twist, and the result is delicious. YUCA's media noche sandwich with sweet ham, roasted pork, Swiss cheese, mustard and pickles on pressed potato bread is a massive and gorgeous treat at just $10. Only problem is there's little if any room for the short rib sliders, guava baby back ribs, tuna tacos and other delectable Nuevo Latino dishes.
Photo: Chris Osburn(author)