Cubano Sandwich – Florida

Oh, Cubano sandwich, you make our hearts swoon. Besides being one of the best sandwich creations of all time, the Cubano sandwich has the distinct honor of hosting two types of pork. Before we get into the specifics, a little history.

Cubano sandwich - Florida

Miamians claim that the Cubano came from Cuba as it was on restaurant menus there dating back to the 1930s, but good evidence exists that it was created 25 years earlier in Ybor City, a Latin neighborhood in Tampa, at a place called the Columbia Restaurant, which claims to be Florida’s oldest restaurant. Tampa and Miami both have versions of this winning culinary creation. In Tampa, you will find the sandwich often includes salami, lettuce, tomato and mayo and is not pressed. In Miami, no salami and the sandwich is always pressed.

Our recipe here is a Miami version which is basically a gussied up toasted ham and cheese with both pork roast, ham, Swiss cheese, mustard and sliced dill pickles.  We used a bolillo which is a type of Mexican roll. Whatever roll you use, the exterior of it cannot be too hard or crunchy. Once the bread is compressed it will be too hard to chew. Also, make sure you put the cheese of both sides of the roll. When it melts, it will hold the other fillings in place. Don’t have a panini press? No problem. Just use your favorite skillet, and then take another heavy pan and place it on top of the sandwich. Press down on both with your hands to compress the sandwich by about a third.

Visitors to Miami should not miss Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, a stunning waterfront mansion built by James Deering, owner of Deering McCormick-International Harvester. This Italian Renaissance villa was completed in 1916 and features the main house, beautiful gardens and a stand-alone barge once used for cocktail parties that sits in Biscayne Bay, just a few feet from the terrace.

Cubano Sandwich

  • Servings: 1 sandwich
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 1 soft roll (like bolillo)
  • 3 teaspoons yellow mustard
  • 2 slices Swiss cheese
  • 3 ounces sliced deli ham or Canadian bacon
  • 3 ounces sliced roast pork
  • Dill pickle, sliced
  • Butter


Slice open the roll and spread mustard of both slides. Lay cheese on both sides. On one side, add ham, pork and then sliced pickles. Close sandwich and butter both sides. Using a hot griddle, a plancha or panini press, toast sandwich on both sides, pressing down slightly until sandwich is compressed, cheese is melted and bread is golden brown.


4 thoughts on “Cubano Sandwich – Florida”

  1. Hi Kat!! Looks delish! Makes me want to travel to Florida– for the sandwich and the mansion tour too. There is a small Bakery chain that just opened near us– and the family is Cuban and they make a version of this sandwich. But so far I haven’t tasted it– too busy eating little cakes and pastries!! How did your Christmas go?? And did you celebrate New Years?? We are ready for things to quiet down here. Hope you’re staying snug and warm in all that snow!!! hugs hugs!

  2. Hi Rhonda – you gotta get to that new bakery to try the cubano! Had a lovely Christmas in Louisville and celebrated NYE with a bourbon tasting in our neighborhood (yes, we walked to and from). It is bitter cold here – single digits! We need some warmth!! -Kat

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