Cubano Perfection in Tampa Bay

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By Gabriele Walkow

Warm and crunchy on the outside with a gooey texture on the inside and pressed to perfection, the popular Cuban sandwich—sometimes called a Cuban mix, a mixto, a Cuban pressed sandwich or a Cubano—is a Florida staple. The Cubano has deep roots in Florida and can be found on menus throughout the state, but in the Tampa Bay area the quest for the best Cuban sandwich is hotly contested! Here’s a sampling of award-winning Cubanos sure to delight Allegiant travelers.

BODEGO ON CENTRAL

Nestled in St. Petersburg’s bustling Edge District, this unpretentious Latin food walk-up is renowned for its Cuban sandwich. Made with slow roasted pork, ham, Swiss cheese and dill pickles layered on fresh Cuban bread, Bodego’s Cuban is named as one of The 20 Best Cubano Sandwiches in America by Foursquare. Savor your heavenly Cubano while sitting at the counter or at the picnic tables out front at this rustic, local favorite. bodegaoncentral.com

Bodega On Central is renowned for its Cuban sandwich

Bodega On Central is renowned for its Cuban sandwich

PIPO’S THE ORIGINAL CUBAN CAFE

Serving the Tampa Bay area since 1979, this popular St. Petersburg restaurant offers up its Cuban sandwich on “the original” fresh baked Cuban bread. The El Habano Cubano is an enticing combination of Pipo’s pork, ham, salami and Swiss cheese. This Cubano took first place at the 2016 Tampa Historic Cuban Sandwich Festival in the non-traditional category and can also be sampled at Tropicana Field, home of the Tampa Bay Rays, this ball season.pipos1979.com

TIA’S AUTHENTIC LATIN FOOD

Located in Largo, Tia’s is home of the “Real Deal” Pernil Pork Cuban Sandwich after winning the 2015 title for World’s Best Cuban Sandwich at the Cuban Sandwich Fest in Tampa’s historic Ybor City neighborhood. Made with fresh sliced ham, salami and Swiss cheese and topped with Tia’s own savory, slow roasted pernil pork piled high on Tampa Bay’s finest Cuban bread, prepare for mouthwatering excellence! Pair your Cubano with Tia’s famous café con leche. tiaslatin.com

THE FLORIDIAN RESTAURANT

This gem on beautiful Treasure Island prides itself as the home of Tampa Bay’s most authentic Cuban sandwich—as recognized by several accolades, including Best Cuban Sandwich in Tampa Bay by the St. Petersburg Times. Loaded with ham, spiced pork, Genoa salami, imported Swiss cheese, dill pickle, mustard and mayo, and pressed to perfection on fresh Cuban bread, your divine Floridian Cuban sandwich awaits! floridianrestaurant.com

 

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