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Cuban Sandwich

elizabeththinks May 23, 2007 09:53 AM

Any thoughts on where to get a good Cuban Sandwich? I like the one at Cafe Havana. I've also had it at Havana Central, and hated it! I love them, and can't seem to find a good one...

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  1. k
    kayonyc May 23, 2007 09:55 AM

    Margon on 46th st between 6th and 7th ave. I have not tried theirs there, but have heard great things. Super cheap as well. If you get the chance, try their other prepared foods. Yum!

    2 Replies
    1. re: mountdorahound
      princeofpork May 23, 2007 09:59 AM

      Sophies on LEx and 40th

      1. re: kayonyc
        KTinNYC May 23, 2007 01:20 PM

        I've tried the Cubano at Margon and can recommend it. It's better than the ones found at Sucelt and Chelsea Havana.

      2. Bob Martinez May 23, 2007 10:24 AM

        I had the one at Paladar recently and thought it was quite good.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Bob Martinez
          nativeNYer May 23, 2007 11:39 AM

          el presidente on w165th and broadway which is across the street from columbia's uptown campus/ny presbyeterian hospital.

          1. re: nativeNYer
            kelea May 28, 2007 09:15 PM

            Agreed El Presidente is amazing! The pieces of chopped garlic in the sandwich is the best touch.

            For a non-traditional, I really enjoy the Cuban sandwich at Dinosaur BBQ. Pulled pork which I top with chipotle BBQ sauce really brings it home

          2. re: Bob Martinez
            Peter Cherches Jun 4, 2007 10:34 AM

            Yes, Paladar makes a good Cubano. Not the cheapest, though. I'm not fond of the Margon version with salami.

          3. o
            olia May 23, 2007 12:24 PM

            I have tried cubanos from Malecon and Mambi up in Wash. Heights and both are good, but the best one was from Floridita at 125th+Bwy -- not dry and very flavorful.

            1. f
              fun_seanny May 23, 2007 01:36 PM

              if youre downtown, theres a spot called el castillo de madison. its more greasy spoon but super authentic and absolutely delicious.

              El Castillo de Madison
              207 Madison Street (between Rutgers and Jefferson)

              1. c
                cimui May 23, 2007 06:35 PM

                I can't claim to be a Cubano expert, but the ones at Cafe con Leche are tasty and seem to me just like ones I've had in South Florida. I don't think the bread is made out of lard, but it's still nicely crispy and chewy on the outside and tender on the inside.

                1. e
                  eastvillagegirl May 23, 2007 06:35 PM

                  It's a little hole in the wall, but the Cubanos at the latin country place, Gena's Grill, on 1st Avenue between 12th and 13th are very good, very traditional and very inexpensive, as all their food is.
                  Check it out: www.GenasGrill.com

                  1. bigjeff May 23, 2007 06:46 PM

                    clinton street restaurant has a nice one at around $4, also west side coffee shop on church street is alright, and also quite inexpensive.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: bigjeff
                      soopling May 24, 2007 10:36 AM

                      i agree with clinton restaurant! it's been several years, but i remember it being huge, delicious, and cheap. every time i pass by i want to get one, but i always fear attempting to finish one on my own.

                      1. re: bigjeff
                        bluestone May 29, 2007 08:16 AM

                        I'm going to second (third?) Clinton Street Restaurant. Closest I've ever had in the city.

                        1. re: bigjeff
                          bigjeff Jun 4, 2007 10:52 AM

                          snap! and they have their own website:


                        2. carolinadawg May 23, 2007 06:47 PM

                          I've had a cuban sandwich at Margon, and I thought it was fantastic! Its a hole in wall joint, so don't expect a fancy atmosphere, but the food is outstanding.

                          1. guttergourmet May 23, 2007 07:29 PM

                            Let's see- Margon, Havana Chelsea, Sophies (had a good one yesterday at the new one on 56th between 5th and 6th), Cibao on Clinton, Castillo de Jagua on Essex, Spanish American aka Cuchifritos on 13th RIP, Cafecito on Avenue C, of course my mother-in-law's or Mrs. GG's are better than all of them. In Miami Latin American Cafeterias

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: guttergourmet
                              Wilfrid May 24, 2007 08:18 AM

                              Cafecito's is poor. Be bold, and go to Joselito's on Avenue D.

                            2. e
                              elizabeththinks May 24, 2007 09:41 AM

                              thanks so much for all the help so far!

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: elizabeththinks
                                egit May 24, 2007 09:56 AM

                                Has anyone ever had the Cubano at Manchester pub on 49th and 2nd? I get it there quite often, and I do enjoy it.

                                Though, I confess, I probably wouldn't know a good cuban sandwich if you hit me in the head with it.

                                1. re: egit
                                  Cpalms May 24, 2007 10:10 AM

                                  for a non-traditional cubano a good can be found at Blue Smoke......

                              2. b
                                BrigitteT May 24, 2007 12:44 PM

                                Boca Chica on the LES makes a delicious Cuban Sandwich.

                                1. b
                                  blanchita121 May 24, 2007 02:01 PM

                                  On the LES, you can't beat Castillo de Jagua -- two locations (Grand near E. Broadway and Essex at either Rivington or Stanton). And, they cost $4! I have cravings for them often! They are authentic. Also, the one at Mo Pitkins House of Satisfaction is very good, but it's a variation w/ sauerkraut, which you can ask them to leave off!

                                  1. t
                                    tpigeon May 24, 2007 06:53 PM

                                    Blue smoke is the best one I had ever.

                                    1. cava_girl May 28, 2007 11:23 PM

                                      Cafe Habana has my fave Cuban Sandwiches, but Paladar in the Lower East Side is also a good option [and a great Latin menu in general]:


                                      1. d
                                        Desidero May 29, 2007 07:25 AM

                                        I'm surprised no one has mentioned Spotted Pig's phenomenal Cubano. At $15 it's significantly pricier than the traditional Cuban sandwich, but it's made with better ingredients. I believe it's only served for lunch.

                                        1. a
                                          Aaron L. May 29, 2007 12:41 PM

                                          Has anyone been to Calidad Latina (9th Ave btwn 18th & 19th)? It looks tasty...

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: Aaron L.
                                            bluestone May 31, 2007 07:30 AM

                                            GREAT cuban. i always forget about that place. complete dump but in a good way. i still prefer clinton restaurant, but calidad latina is really solid.

                                          2. f
                                            foodcritik May 31, 2007 08:09 AM

                                            Sophies on Chambers, I work in Wall Street, however it's worth 15 min walk to eat there.

                                            1. sgordon May 31, 2007 11:51 AM

                                              I went on a Cubano spree last year, attempting to try every one I possibly could in this city of ours. 20 pounds later, these were my results:

                                              A hole-in-the-wall called "Spanish-American Foods" on 13th just W of 1st Ave - they make DAMN fine Mofungo as well.
                                              Clinton St Restaurant (corner of Clinton & Rivington.)

                                              Niether is fancified, both are perfectly seasoned and the texture... mmmmm. Lately I've been leaning towards Clinton, you seem to get more bits of crispy pork skin in there.

                                              Oh, and I'd just say no to the Spotted Pig's "Cubano" - "better ingredients" (quite debatable) or not, it isn't worth $15 by any stretch of the imagination. Maybe $7, but truth be told I'd order something else if I were there. No dis on TSP - great joint - but that sandwich doesn't cut it.

                                              Just MHO.

                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: sgordon
                                                guttergourmet May 31, 2007 02:12 PM

                                                As I mentioned above, Spanish American a/k/a Cuchifritos on 13th off First is long gone though I agree they were at the top of the list. Is Clinton Restaurant also known as Cibao? If so, I agree.

                                                1. re: sgordon
                                                  bigjeff May 31, 2007 04:22 PM

                                                  the clinton restaurant that serves cubanos and other latin food is on clinton street and houston, actually. as opposed to clinton street baking company which is like a brunch and comfort food place.

                                                  1. re: bigjeff
                                                    sgordon Jun 4, 2007 07:59 AM

                                                    I'm thinking of a different one on Clinton than you... the one where I get Cubanos is on Clinton & Rivington, across the street from Alias - not Houston. Might be called Cibao, I don't remember the name.

                                                2. h
                                                  hlbones Jun 4, 2007 08:20 AM

                                                  Floridito, Broadway at about 127th. A large, spotless diner/restaurant; an excellent, freshly made Cubano for $3.50, good coffe for a buck. And if you don't want a Cubano, there are lots of other options.

                                                  1. bigjeff Jun 4, 2007 10:49 AM

                                                    I'll tell you where NOT to get a cuban, at El Nuevo Amanecer (Essex and Stanton in the LES). I think its a hybrid mexican/latin place since they have enchiladas and tacos alongside mondongo and chuletas but anyway, their cuban sucks. only had 3 ingredients: roast pork, ham, and swiss cheese. no good toasting, no pickle. the roast pork was good, but it might as well have been a hot ham-and-cheese sandwich. and their tripe soup is terrible; no depth of flavor and the tripe was not cooked into submission but a bit too al dente for me. I've had better. if you're in the area, might as well hoof it to clinton st. restaurant (clinton and houston).

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: bigjeff
                                                      sgordon Jan 29, 2009 01:45 PM

                                                      Agrred. Amenecer's Cubano was downright awful. I would disagree with you on one point, though: I'd hoof it to Cibao on Clinton and Rivington instead. CSR ain't bad, mind you - but Cibao's is better IMHO.

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