Michelle Faedo's On The Go Wins Best Cuban in Florida Crown

Fernandez the Bull in Naples comes in a close second

There may be as many versions of the Cuban sandwich in Florida as there are Cuban sandwich shops – a lot of them! Depending on where you land in Florida this sandwich might take a different shape. Most agree on the basics: roast pork and sweet ham, Swiss cheese, pickles and mustard on Cuban bread.

  • Sandy's Café
    Key West

    Housed at the end of a laundromat in Key West, Sandy's Cafe serves authentic Cuban food through an unassuming takeout window. Don't let appearances fool you! This sandwich keeps locals (including a loyal group of Cuban expats) coming back again and again. This massive sandwich comes stuffed with pork, ham, mustard, mayo, lettuce and tomato.
    Photo courtesy of Claudia Miller

  • Bodega
    St. Petersburg

    Located in the beautiful beachfront town of St. Petersburg just outside of Tampa, Bodega prepares "Latin Street Food" using the best, freshest ingredients. Their Cuban sandwich includes roast pork, ham, Swiss cheese, pickles and mayo. Not the traditional Tampa Cuban (no salami) but a simple and delicious version in a beautiful setting.
    Photo courtesy of Visit St. Petersburg/Clearwater

  • Zaza New Cuban Diner
    Orlando

    From Cuba to New York to Orlando, this restaurant is result of the great American dream. Zaza New Cuban Diner offers more than just traditional recipes, they pride themselves on their friendly neighborhood feel and the philosophy that “Cubans Don’t Skip Meals” and neither should you! Their classic variation of the Cubano comes with fresh roast pork, deli ham, Swiss cheese, mustard and pickles on toasted Cuban bread.
    Photo courtesy of Zaza New Cuban Diner

  • The Floridian
    Tampa

    This Tampa spot claims to have the “Finest Cuban Sandwich on the Planet.” Although it hasn’t won that particular title, it has received plenty of accolades for the Best Cuban in Tampa, and given the density of Cuban restaurants in the city, that just might make it the best on the planet. This sandwich is a Tampa classic loaded with ham, mojo-spiced pork, Genoa Salami, imported Swiss cheese, dill pickle and a spread of mayo/mustard mix.
    Photo courtesy of The Floridian

  • Havana Cuban Food
    West Palm Beach

    Founded by Robert Reyes, his daughter Martha and her husband Rafael Perez in 1993, Havana Cuban Food strives to serve the “Best Cuban Food in Town!” Their Sandwich Cubano is billed as a classic variation with ham, pork and Swiss cheese, steamed and hot pressed to perfection on Cuban bread. The pickles and mustard are optional. A truly simplistic, purist version of the Cuban. Simple, perfect, delicious.
    Photo courtesy of Havana Cuban Food

  • Columbia Restaurant
    Tampa

    Columbia Restaurant was founded by Cuban immigrant Casimiro Hernandez, Sr. and stands today as Florida’s oldest. The most detailed item on the menu is “The Original Cuban Sandwich - A Tampa treasure!"  Today they still use the original 1915 recipe of the Columbia founder with the same proportions of meat and each ingredient layered on top of one another, placed on Cuban bread brushed with butter and pressed to a crispy finish.
    Photo courtesy of Columbia Restaurant

  • El Meson de Pepe
    Key West

    Opened more than 30 years ago by Chef Pepe Diaz and family, El Meson de Pepe celebrates the great quality food and Cuban heritage of Key West. Their Cayo Hueso Cuban Mix epitomizes the Key West version of the traditional Cuban sandwich and is served with all the trimmings: sugar-glazed ham, roast pork, Swiss cheese, lettuce, mustard, tomatoes and mayo on crispy pressed Cuban bread.
    Photo courtesy of El Meson de Pepe

  • Horsin Around Deli
    North Fort Myers

    Perfectly pressed and delicious, the "world famous" Cuban sandwich at Horsin Around Deli is considered by many to be among the best variations in South Florida. One Facebook reviewer regularly drives 40 minutes just for their Cuban, which comes with roast pork, ham, salami, Swiss cheese, mayo, mustard and pickles.
    Photo courtesy of Horsin Around Deli

  • Fernandez the Bull
    Naples

    There are two offerings of the Cuban sandwich at Fernandez the Bull in Naples, the “Traditional Cuban” with a thin layer of the house roasted pork or the “Fernandez Cuban,” which is overflowing with roast pork. With a 29-year history, this is one Cuban you don't want to miss.
    Photo courtesy of Fernandez the Bull

  • Michelle Faedo's On The Go
    Tampa

    Tampa native Michelle and her husband Robert say Cubans are in their blood. Given the humble origins and working man appeal of the Cuban, it's only fitting that a food truck is known for serving one of the best Cuban sandwiches in Florida. Michelle is lauded by her followers (literally they follow her truck around) for putting love and attention into every aspect of her Cuban creation, which includes honey ham, pork roasted in house, handmade pickles and La Segunda bread – considered the best in Tampa. She has been awarded the best Cuban several times at the Cuban Sandwich Festival held every year in the Tampa area, and anyone who has tried it agrees.
    Photo courtesy of Michelle Faedo's On The Go / Facebook

From there things vary. Tampa – who claims the Cuban as their city sandwich – adds salami, but if you told a Miami Cuban purist you wanted salami you would be thrown out of the joint. Mayo, a big no-no to some purists, is widely used in Miami and Ybor City. Key West says Cubans were first made there for the cigar factories, and lettuce, tomato and red onion are often added.

USA TODAY 10Best and Sandwich America asked readers to help crown the best Cuban sandwiches in the state of Florida. Voting took place over the course of four weeks, and now the results are in.

The top 10 winners in the category Best Cuban Sandwich in Florida are as follows:

  1. Michelle Faedo's On The Go - Tampa
  2. Fernandez the Bull - Naples
  3. Horsin Around Deli - North Fort Myers
  4. El Meson de Pepe - Key West
  5. Columbia Restaurant - Tampa
  6. Havana Cuban Food - West Palm Beach
  7. The Floridian - Tampa
  8. Zaza New Cuban Diner - Orlando
  9. Bodega - St. Petersburg
  10. Sandy’s Café - Key West

A panel of experts picked the initial 20 nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote. Experts Gina Birch (The Birch Beat), Kara Franker (10Best Local Expert), Krayl Funch (An Appealing Plan), Claudia Miller (KeysClaudia), Kristopher Neild (10Best Local Expert) Skye Rodgers (10Best Local Expert) and Chelle Koster Walton (10Best Local Expert) were selected based on their knowledge of the Florida Cuban food scene.

Other restaurants nominated in this category included Aguila Sandwich Shop in Tampa, Carmine's in Tampa, Casa Rojas Cuban Bakery in Cape Coral, El Siboney Restaurant in Key West, Enriqueta's in Miami, Gaspar's Grotto in Tampa, JR's Old Packinghouse Cafe in Sarasota, Martha's Cuban Cafe in Fort Myers, Versailles in Miami and West Tampa Sandwich Shop in Tampa.

10Best and Sandwich America extend a big congratulations to all our winning sandwich spots n Florida!

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Gina Birch

Gina Birch

Jennifer Daskevich

Jennifer Daskevich

Kara Franker

Kara Franker

Terry French

Terry French

Krayl Funch

Krayl Funch

Claudia Miller

Claudia Miller

Kristopher Neild

Kristopher Neild

Skye Rodgers

Skye Rodgers

Chelle Koster Walton

Chelle Koster Walton