The Best (and Worst) Cuban Sandwiches

Ham, roasted pork, Swiss cheese, pickles and mustard. While the ingredients for a Cuban sandwich remain the same, every restaurant has its own variation. We tried them all and are here to report who gets a gold star and who failed to understand the assignment.


Havana Harry’s

A true Cuban establishment, it comes as no surprise that Havana Harry’s ended up on top. Their portion size is massive; two people could split one sandwich. For less than $8, this is a great deal. They also use lechon instead of sliced pork, which gives it a robust flavor. Everything is sandwiched between authentic Cuban bread. $7.95 

Cuban Sandwiches

Tinta y Café 

If getting a Cuban sandwich (called the Patria here) “right” is all about balance, this is a great example. No element, including the Swiss cheese, is overbearing. Excellent flavor, great bread and not sloppy. It may not be on Havana Harry’s level, but it’s definitely a close second. $11 

Cuban Sandwiches


Vicky Bakery

Vicky Bakery also uses lechon on theirs, though not as much as Havana Harry’s does. They put the sandwich on a Panini press before serving, so the cheese is warm and melted. A little heavy on the mayo, but you can order it without. This is your basic, utilitarian Cuban. $7.50 

Cuban Sandwiches

Chandlers Place

They’re not as generous with the ham at Chandlers Place, and the Cuban bread was thinner and less substantial. On the other hand, it came with a side and a small piece of ginger cake. A fairly standard Cuban sandwich. $8.95 

19th Hole

They use quality meats and the roasted pork is very flavorful. Just the right amount of cheese and mustard. The entire sandwich is nicely toasted and not overdone. Worth a mention despite the very non-Cuban setting on the edge of the Biltmore’s golf course – and despite costing $16! 


La Casita

Is this a Cuban sandwich or a ham sandwich? This one is way out of balance with a thick wad of ham that makes it feel more like something you’d order at a Jewish deli. They also missed the pickle memo. They do, however, win the prize for best price at $6.95. 

Chef Sucre Café 

The “Mr. Cuban” comes between thick slices of white bread, toasted, panini style. What do you expect from a French joint? But the ham is good, and though the roasted pork is sliced, the mustard is mixed with mojito. What sets them apart from the competition is a guava dipping sauce on the side. Not bad, but the panini style takes them out of the winner’s circle. $9.50 



Who uses turkey breast instead of roasted pork? And who uses prosciutto cotto and porchetta instead of ham? Plus, it’s way too salty and costs $17. It shouldn’t be called a Cuban. Can’t wait to see what they do with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. 

Books & Books

In an attempt to be upscale, Books & Books destroyed everything that a Cuban sandwich should be. The portion is small, cut into four, finger sandwich-sized pieces. It also comes with a side of guacamole, which just doesn’t fit in. Not only was the sandwich disappointing, the service was abysmal. Not worth the $12 or the 50-minute wait.