The Ultimate Battle of the Cuban Sandwich: Miami vs Tampa


As one of Tampa’s newest residents, our very own Miami-born, Cuban-American communications guru Vicky Cela wasted no time checking out the Tampa food scene. But, old habits die hard – and they led her straight back to the Cuban sandwich. And yet, not all Cuban sandwiches are created equal, which begs the question – who makes a better Cuban Sandwich, Tampa or Miami?

Check out her insight into which city’s sandwich reigns supreme below!

As a Miami native turned official Champa Bay resident, I decided it was time to give their version of the Cuban sandwich a try.

For those who don’t know, in South Florida the ‘Cubano’ is a traditional Cuban sandwich made with six simple ingredients:

  • Cuban bread (obvi)
  • Roast pork
  • Sliced ham
  • Swiss cheese
  • Yellow mustard
  • Pickles

However, the Tampanians branched out and added a seventh ingredient that some people (me) have deemed questionable: Genoa salami. You know, that cured Italian sausage. Rumor has it the decision was likely due to the influence of Italian immigrants who lived side-by-side with Cubans and Spaniards in Tampa’s Ybor City at the beginning of the 20th century.

For research purposes, I went straight to the top of the food chain. I ordered a Cuban sandwich from La Segunda Central Bakery in Tampa’s Ybor City and during a recent trip back home, I ordered a Cubano from La Carreta in Miami (IYKYK).

My final take? Admittedly, the salami added another level of flavor to the sandwich that sure, made it tasty — but there’s just something about the Magic City’s combination of purely pork and ham that just hits the spot every time, in the way that only traditional comfort food can.

Maybe it’s true what they say, you can take the girl out of Miami, but you can’t take Miami out of the girl. So for now, the rivalry lives on. But don’t get me started on croquetas…