HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >


Cuban sandwich

Where can I find a cuban sandwich like the kind served in Miami?
with the greasy pressed cuban bread--
looks like this...http://s3.amazonaws.com/iamstillalive...


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. The bread is the problem around here. This is the closest rendition i've found bread-wise.

    1. I saw an Cuban sandwich advertised at El Indio in Hayward. It has both a taco truck and brick and mortar store on the same lot. Didn't order it. I wouldn't hold out huge hope but someone might want to try it. The tacos were good however, not mind blowing but certainly if you're in the area worth a stop.

      El Indio
      22221 Hathaway Ave, Hayward, CA 94541

      7 Replies
      1. re: ML8000

        Was that a Cuban sandwich or a torta cubana (mexican style cuban sandwich)?

        1. re: Melanie Wong

          That's an important distinction, because from what I've heard, the Mexican "torta cubana" is basically a Mexican torta stuffed with every kind of meat imaginable, very different from the Cuban sandwich.

          The many Cuban sandwich threads on this board (which I always check out when they pop up) seem to conclude that nobody in the bay area makes an authentic Cubano like those in NYC and Miami - probably because the local Cuban population is so small - but I think there are a few that seem close enough to me, like the one at Paladar in downtown SF.

          1. re: Agent 510

            No, not every kind of meat, usually roast leg of pork, ham, chorizo, and, if you're lucky, some sliced hot dogs, plus the avocado, cheese (some times two or three kinds), crema, mayonesa, lettuce, tomato, onions, chili peppers. Torta cubana tends to be the most expensive torta combo on the menu, when available, which is understandable.

            1. re: Melanie Wong

              My bad, I oversimplified. That combo does sound like a bit much though. The sliced hot dogs push it into "for eating challenges only" territory for me.

              1. re: Agent 510

                Forgot to mention that carnitas are in there too sometimes. It's a pork fest.

            2. re: Agent 510

              Paladar's food is excellent, including their Cuban sandwich.

            3. re: Melanie Wong

              Could well be a torta Cubana...which I read as Cuban sandwich in translation.

              For what it's worth, Atlas cafe sells a Cuban Sandwich, pressed w/ roast pork, ham and swiss cheese, at least they did last year. I did not order but a friend did. They liked it but no comments on authentic or not.

              Atlas Cafe
              3049 20th St, San Francisco, CA

          2. That is a good looking sandwich. What is in it? I've never had one.

            1. Cha Cha Cha on Haight almost always has a special on their menu called a Cubano Sandwich. Roasted pork, Ham, cheese and pickle.

              4 Replies
              1. re: patcox

                What type of bread does ChaCC use?

                1. re: Melanie Wong

                  It's not a soft bread like the one in your photo. It more like a panini with crispy grilled bread. Good luck on your quest to find an authenic Cuban sando!

                  1. re: patcox

                    The secret to true Cuban bread is the use of lard in the mix...

                    1. re: Fog City Kid

                      Hmmm ... where do Maccanese restaurants get their lard rolls?

              2. When I tried Paladar's, they were using crunchy baguettes, which were seriously wrong. Have they switched to something else? Otherwise it was classic.

                Some more past discussions:


                1. Sol Food in San Rafael

                  Sol Food Puerto Rican Cuisine
                  901 Lincoln Ave, San Rafael, CA 94901

                  1. OK, so I wouldn't know a Cuban sandwich if one snuck onto my plate. But I see you mention Paladar, as does Windy and Agent510. Now I see a review of Paladar in the Chron that speciically calls out the Cuban sandwich:

                    >>Don't miss the Cubano ($9) sandwich, a grill-pressed gem with Niman ranch pork, ham, pickles, mustard and melted Swiss cheese served with a side salad.<< http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article...

                    Is that not what you're looking for?

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: BernalKC

                      Paladar's is one of the best around. The bread's not right, or wasn't the last time I had one.


                      1. re: Robert Lauriston

                        Doesn't the Cheesesteak Shop "import" their rolls directly from Philly just to get it exactly right? It would be awesome if someone did something similar to create the Bay Area's first perfectly authentic Cubano, but I don't blame anyone for not trying......more cheesesteak-cravers out there than Cubano fans.

                        1. re: Agent 510

                          It's not that you can't find similar bread already, it's just that they're not using it. The bread itself is pretty nondescript, it's just that it's the perfect softness for lathering up and pressing to get that light crunch on it. In NY they mostly just use cheap soft Italian breads, which are cheap.

                          1. re: sugartoof

                            Actually, I'm not sure you can *quite* get the same bread many places outside Tampa and Miami. (I'm told that Cuban bread in Cuba isn't actually quite the same as the Tampa variant, and despite what folks in Miami might want to believe, the first bakery in the U.S. was in Ybor City in Tampa.) It's a bit more like French bread in my recollection, with a thin, slightly papery crust. The closest I recall finding for making my own Cuban sandwiches here a couple times was a sandwich roll at Lunardi's.

                            I have yet to find a really great Cuban sandwich out here; I liked La Bodeguita del Medio's a few years ago and Sol Food in San Rafael's. I recently tried El Habanero's and was left seriously underwhelmed. (Despite all the attention paid to the bread, I think the roast pork is probably the most important ingredient to get right -- and the easiest to get wrong.)

                            The prices of the sandwiches here still leave me shell-shocked, though; in Tampa, I'd say $4 is still probably the median price for a good-sized sandwich. Food's more expensive here in general, sure, but not usually 100% more expensive!

                    2. I haven't found anything like the cuban sandwiches I eat at West Tampa Sandwich Shop when I visit my parents in Florida, but do enjoy the cuban sandwich at DeLessio on Market.

                      1. Tried 21st Amendment's Cubano the other day. They've got all the ingredients right, even the bread. The only flaw is that they load it up with enough meat and cheese for two or three sandwiches, so the balance is off.

                        Paladar Cafe Cubano
                        329 Kearny St, San Francisco, CA 94108

                        21st Amendment Brewery Cafe
                        563 2nd St, San Francisco, CA 94107

                        1. I think the Cubano at the Berkeley Bowl West cafe may be the best I've found locally. The bread may not be exactly the same but it seems pretty close, with a good light crunch (not too crispy) and the ingredients are all there.