There is a long-running debate between Miami and Tampa about which city in Florida the Cuban Sandwich – or Cubano – originated. It began in Miami by Cuban expatriates in the 1950s. However, historians note that the first recorded mention of a distinct Cuban sandwich came from descriptions of workers’ cafés in Ybor City around the early 1900s.
Either way, the Cuban has made its mark throughout the state of Florida since either the early 1900s or the 1950s. For the purposes of this piece, we will discuss the 3 Best Cuban Sandwich Spots in Tampa, Florida and you can decide.
#1 La Segunda Central Bakery
You’ll be hard-pressed to find a Cuban sandwich place as time-tested and historical as this one. Located on N 15th St in Ybor City, La Segunda Central Bakery has been in operation since 1915. They produce freshly baked Cuban bread, cookies, and pastries.
They also serve up the freshest, most delicious Cubanos, probably in the world. Not only can you buy a freshly made Cuban sandwich while visiting La Segunda, but you can pick up a plain Cuban loaf to dip into your afternoon café con leche – a Tampa tradition.
- Sunday 6:30 AM–3 PM
- Monday 6:30 AM–3 PM
- Tuesday 6:30 AM–3 PM
- Wednesday 6:30 AM–3 PM
- Thursday 6:30 AM–3 PM
- Friday 6:30 AM–3 PM
- Saturday 6:30 AM–3 PM
#2 Columbia Restaurant Ybor City
Located on E 7th St, Columbia Restaurant Ybor City is not only the oldest restaurant in Florida, but it is also the largest Spanish restaurant in the entire world. Again, it makes sense that Ybor lays claim to the first Cuban sandwich with places like this around.
Owned by a 5th generation Cuban family, the Columbia Restaurant also gets their bread from the aforementioned La Segunda Bakery. “You have to try the original Cuban sandwich. This is truly an incredible place, for the food, service and atmosphere. You can feel the history around you while inside. You won’t be disappointed.”
- Sunday 11 AM–9 PM
- Monday 11 AM–9 PM
- Tuesday 11 AM–9 PM
- Wednesday 11 AM–9 PM
- Thursday 11 AM–9 PM
- Friday 11 AM–10 PM
- Saturday 11 AM–10 PM
#3 12th Annual International Cuban Sandwich Festival
If you really want to test who makes the best Cubano in Tampa, Florida, then you’ll definitely want to attend the International Cuban Sandwich Festival. It’s held on Sunday, May 28, 2023, at Noon – 6 PM in Historic Ybor City.
You’ll find no other place in the world where so many are vying for the “Best Cuban Sandwich” title. Prepare to have your nose filled with the wonderful scent of pork and sweet plantain filling the air on this day.
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