20 Best Spots For A Cuban Sandwich In NYC

Amidst the vibrant culinary mosaic of New York City, the Cuban sandwich emerges as a savory gem, symbolizing the city's rich blend of cultural influences. Although Miami often comes to mind as a prime location for delicious Cuban sandwiches in America, which it is, New York also holds its own when it comes to this dish, sometimes in ways that might surprise you. For instance, when Chinese immigrants to Cuba fled Castro's regime, many of them came to New York, which provided a haven for their families and welcomed their unique blend of Cuban-Chinese food with open arms.

Even so, the sandwich remains spectacular in every shape and form. As long as it contains the requisite ham, roasted pork, Swiss cheese, pickles, and mustard on good bread, it's going to be a success. From the bustling streets of Manhattan to the eclectic neighborhoods of Brooklyn, authentic interpretations of the Cubano abound in local delis, food trucks, and other eateries, reflecting the city's ability to preserve culinary masterpieces such as this. In every bite of a Cuban sandwich in New York, one experiences not just a celebration of Cuban and American influences but also an exploration of the cultural forces that brought this food to our shores. So let's take a look at which restaurants offer the best Cuban sandwiches in New York City, based on personal experience and reviews.

Cafe Habana

We go to some restaurants because we want to be pampered and comfortable. We go to others because we want food that is so good it can't be topped. Cafe Habana falls in the latter category. It focuses all its attention on the quality of the food, which is top-notch, and that's all anyone can really ask for in a restaurant.

That is not to say you won't be comfortable. The place has the appearance of a dive but with a warm and welcoming neighborhood feel. This sentiment only grows once you bite into the Cuban sandwich here, which is made with citrus-marinated roast pork, chipotle mayo, and the rest of the usual gang of ingredients. Pair it with the grilled corn with cotija cheese, chili powder, and lime to make the most of your visit.


(212) 625-2001

17 Prince St, New York, NY 10012

Rincon Criollo

Queens has some of the most diverse cuisine in all of America, packed within just a few blocks. Cuban food is no exception, and Rincon Criollo is a fine example of it. Although the place is largely known for its meat and bean specials, you also can't go wrong with a Cuban sandwich.

Just be sure to check the menu before you head in, or call and ask about those specials. They change daily, and the Cuban sandwich might not always be available. But there are plenty of other delectable options to choose from, including the cassava stuffed with ground beef, the arroz con pollo, and a long list of Latin American desserts. You can always come back for the sandwich another time.


(516) 506-1653

2232 Jericho Turnpike, New Hyde Park, NY 11040

Victor's Cafe

Many Cuban places in the city are fairly casual affairs. Food trucks, counters, and dives abound in this genre. But Cuban food can also be sophisticated and fancy, and you will learn this if you ever go to Victor's Cafe, in Midtown. Indeed, there a not a lot of Cuban places that offer tasting menus for lunch and dinner, but Victor's Cafe is one of them.

The Sandwich Cubano here is just as sophisticated, made with hand-carved pork and accompanied by tropical chips. For an even more tropical experience, wash it all down with an expertly made Mojito, served with plenty of fresh mint. And if you have time before your show (because we're smack in the middle of the Theater District here), try the house flan, a delicious Cuban-style custard topped with caramel sauce.


(212) 586-7714

236 W 52nd St, New York, NY 10019


Margon is one of the few places in or around Times Square where you can get good food at a decent price. Indeed, it's an all-around great place to eat in the Theater District. In particular, you can get a great Cuban Sandwich with rice and beans for only $16, practically a steal for any area in the city, never mind smack in the middle of it.

Margon has made a name for itself by using fresh ingredients and preparing good food quickly. In fact, the crowd that flocks to this little hole-in-the-wall tend to be actors on break from rehearsals or office workers — essentially the local labor force that needs a quick bite of something good before getting back to their jobs.


(212) 354-5013

136 W 46th St, New York, NY 10036


Coppelia, one of those all-night diners that stay open 24 hours a day, offers a breakfast menu through it all, and so perfectly represents the city that never sleeps, also happens to be a pretty good Cuban restaurant. Owned by Mexican restaurateur Julian Medina, this diner offers a diverse menu of Latino food, including Caribbean and South American dishes, with standouts like the ropa vieja and lomo saltado.

Another great item on the menu is the Cuban Sandwich, of course, which hits the spot at any time of day. If you're still hungry after finishing that, just order another one, as no dessert on the menu can top it.


(212) 858-5001

207 W 14th St, New York, NY 10011


This restaurant on Eighth Avenue boasts some unassuming charm that has been able to resist the trends of modern mixology and fleeting Instagram fame. The atmosphere is bustling and unpretentious, and you're just as likely to see a patron dancing as you are to see them eating.

And one of the things they might be eating is the Cuban sandwich. The one at Guantanamera is as unassuming as its surroundings, but an impressive rendition nonetheless. Wash it down with a mojito, which comes with deep, unfiltered flavors from pounded lime, bruised mint, and rum. Live music adds to the vibrant ambiance, creating an unconventional space that defies the typical restaurant experience.


(718) 575-5755

110-80 Queens Blvd, Queens, NY 11375

El Castillo de Jagua

The Cuban sandwich here is one of the best value meals you'll get in New York City. It comes in at only $13 and offers a side of red beans, rice, plantain chips, or a salad — basically everything you need to fill you up. Aside from that, El Castillo de Jagua is a beloved neighborhood spot offering several other Latin American cuisines, including Dominican and Puerto Rican.

The kitchen consistently delivers satisfying fare, from breakfast eggs and mangu to battered steak with a crunchy crust. The decor, characterized by white stucco walls and harsh lighting might not be the most appealing to the senses, but the food will more than make up for that.


(212) 982-6412

113 Rivington St, New York, NY 10002

Pilar Cuban Eatery

Pilar Cuban Eatery, a Bedford-Stuyvesant favorite since it opened in 2009, transports diners to the essence of Cuban cuisine. The menu boasts staple dishes with a twist, such as the sticky-sweet maduros made with ripe plantains and crispy tostones served with ropa vieja and camarones enchilados. Plantains feature prominently, even in the grilled cheese sandwich.

One place you will not find them (except for maybe as a side) is in the Cuban sandwich, which doesn't need them anyway. It's already delicious as it is, a true classic of Cuban cuisine made especially well here at Pilar. Run by Ricardo Barreras and Lizbeth Moreno, the restaurant offers a weekly rotation of complexly flavored dishes all served alongside the ghostly presence of Ernest Hemingway, whose beloved fishing boat, the Pilar, inspired the restaurant's name.


(551) 210-2294

397 Greene Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11216

Calle Dao

Calle Dao, which boasts three locations in Manhattan, is one of the few remaining Cuban-Chinese restaurants in the city. Inspired by the history of Chinese immigrants settling in Cuba, the menu combines Asian and Latin American ingredients, paying homage to the Cuban-Chinese eateries that once thrived in Chelsea and the Upper West Side.

Chef Humberto Guallpa, embracing a non-authentic approach, skillfully melds flavors and techniques from both cultures, exemplified by the Cuban sandwich spring rolls (although they also have the real thing on occasion). Though not strictly a sandwich, between the roast pork, ham, salami, and mojo lime mustard, the spring rolls feature the best of what makes the soul of a good Cuban sandwich. The restaurant's ambiance, reminiscent of Hemingway's Havana, adds to its charm. Calle Dão has brought us a successful and tasteful revival of Cuban-Chinese cuisine, a culinary tradition that is sadly fading.


(646) 476-5696

38 W 39th St, New York, NY 10018

Cuba Restaurant and Rum Bar

When you want a Cuban sandwich, it's only natural to head to a place called Cuba Restaurant and Rum Bar. With such a name, you'd think you'd be able to scratch your itch, and you would be right. Not only will you find a Cuban sandwich there, it'll be a good one.

But don't forget about the rum. There are plenty of options to choose from here, spanning a wide swathe of the Caribbean and representing everything from sweet, pineapple flavors to dark and smokey notes. Sample some rum on its own or drink it as part of that mojito you plan on ordering for your boozy brunch.


(212) 420-7878

222 Thompson St, New York, NY 10012

Sophie's Cuban

With several locations in Manhattan and one in Brooklyn, you're never too far from a Sophie's Cuban, and therefore from a good Cuban sandwich. Although Pete Wells of The New York Times described this place as appearing "inauthentic," citing, for instance, the fact that the owners are Peruvian and not Cuban, he also ended up not giving a hoot about that. The food is that good.

In particular, the Cuban sandwich "hits all the marks," according to Wells, which is exactly what we need when seeking out this ultimate Cuban comfort food. Indeed, this is the ideal place to go if you need to get your mojo back, especially since the Cuban sandwich serves it up in the form of mojo pork and mojo sauce.


(212) 608-6769

76 Fulton St, New York, NY 10038

Amor Cubano

Amor Cubano, located in El Barrio, a predominantly Puerto Rican neighborhood, stands out as a rare Cuban establishment in the area. The vibrant bar and restaurant offer a tropical atmosphere and a lively stage for salsa enthusiasts. Known for its traditional Cuban cuisine, the establishment boasts a variety of mojitos, with highlights like the Cojito, a twist on the classic made with coconut rum, muddled limes, mint leaves, and coconut water.

But remember to drink responsibly, so before you go wild on the drinks, be sure to get some food in you. We recommend the Cuban sandwich, of course, which comes with all the usual fillings and accouterments, but is prepared with unusual dexterity. Complete the dish with a side of fried yucca and cilantro sauce or sweet plantains.


(212) 996-1220

2018 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10029

Court Street Grocers

It stands to reason that one might find a Cuban sandwich at a sandwich shop. However, this isn't usually the case. Luckily, Court Street Grocers bucks that trend and serve up a delicious Cuban sandwich made with bacon fat, confited pork shoulder, ham, Swiss cheese, sour pickles, mayonnaise, mustard, and a freshly baked loaf of bread.

This is a great place to go for lunch with friends if you can't agree on cuisine. You can get your Cuban sandwich here, as you should, while your friends indulge in an Italian combo with mozzarella and pecorino and the late riser among you can order the breakfast sandwich with scrambled eggs, cheddar, and arugula. Go for the sandwiches, but stay for the groceries — this place is a treasure trove for oddball items like Quisp cereal, which is usually only found online.


(833) 533-3200

485 Court St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

Mi Salsa Kitchen

If you want a side of live music with your Cuban sandwich, Mi Salsa Kitchen, in the Lower East Side, is the place to go. According to the restaurant's website, this item is among the most ordered for Mi Salsa Kitchen's catering events, which is reason enough to try it if you stop by the restaurant for lunch or dinner.

Another reason to try it is that the restaurant focuses on using seasonal, local, and high-quality ingredients, the trifecta for any good dish. This may also be why their sauces are so good. Be bold and dip your Cuban into one of these delights, including the mojo criollo sauce or the honey mustard sauce, if the mustard on your sandwich is not enough.


(646) 649-4929

205 Allen St, New York, NY 10002

El Punto Cubano

Next time you head to the Alamo Drafthouse to see a movie, stick to the drinks and save your appetite for the market downstairs. The DeKalb Market Hall is chock full of delicious food stands encompassing a wide span of New York's culinary offerings, from specialty pickles to Caribbean jerk.

Cuban sandwiches figure prominently in this space, as offered up by El Punto Cubano, an authentic Cuban spot that also offers delivery. Make a B line for this stand and you won't have to feel overwhelmed by the plethora of options offered by this bustling market. Just be aware that they prepare the sandwich a little differently, with roasted chicken instead of ham, while the presence of the Swiss cheese, mustard, and mayo remains constant.


(516) 340-9945

DeKalb Market Hall, 445 Albee Square W, Brooklyn, NY 11201

Tina's Cuban Cuisine

This small chain with three locations around Midtown is ideal for grabbing a good Cuban sandwich on the go. Most locations are not open for dinner, so head here on your next break from the office, or if you happen to be around anytime between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Indeed, they are strictly geared towards the working crowd, as they're closed on weekends.

When you order the Cubano sandwich, expect the classic version made well, with roasted pork, ham, Swiss cheese, pickles, mayo, mustard, and all. And don't be afraid to make it to order: you can add extra Swiss cheese for that luxurious bubbly effect, or take it away if you're looking for a dairy-free experience.


Multiple locations


This Cuban and Dominican spot in Washington Heights serves the community well, making it unnecessary to head all the way downtown for a Cuban sandwich fix. Their version is large, satisfying, and at a mere $6, great value. It is possibly the cheapest Cuban sandwich in New York, or at least the cheapest good one.

What's even more exciting is that Floridita is open 24 hours a day, which means you can get that Cuban sandwich, or any of the other delicious offerings the restaurant has on the menu, whenever you want. One factor that sets this specimen apart from the rest is the pickles. There is just a tad more than the average Cuban sandwich, which helps to further cut through the fatty pork. Perfect for pickle-lovers.


(212) 928-0653

4162 Broadway, New York, NY 10033


Staten Island may be dominated by Italian food due to the large community there, but many other great cuisines have also been gaining a foothold over the years, and Beso contributes a lion's share to the options available for Cuban food. In particular, the restaurant offers a fantastic Cuban sandwich, made with slight variations to the basic ingredients: Spanish Mahon cheese instead of Swiss cheese and the addition of shredded cabbage.

Don't let these variations turn you off. They are not random choices — the chefs at Beso know what they're doing and the combination of these ingredients is considered and pleasing to the taste buds. The sandwich thus manages to maintain the ideal balance of tangy pickles with fatty roasted pork while giving patrons something new to sink their teeth into.


(718) 816-8162

70 Bay St, Staten Island, NY 10301

Bermudez Bakery

The Bermudez Bakery may blend into its East Harlem surroundings fairly well, with its bright yellow awning and neighborhood joint feel. But what's inside stands out in the best possible way by providing some of the area's tastiest Cuban sandwiches. This shouldn't come as a surprise, since bread features prominently in Cuban sandwiches, and Bermudez Bakery knows how to make good bread.

In fact, when you order your sandwich, you'll probably see employees grab a loaf of bread right off of a rack freshly taken out of the oven. Then all the usual trappings go on before the whole, delicious mess goes into the sandwich press to become the tight, flavor-packed sandwich we know and love.


(212) 427-2877

1875 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10035

Casa Adela

This Puerto Rican place in Alphabet City does more than just churn out delicious Puerto Rican food, which is already no small thing. It also makes a very good classic Cuban sandwich for only $10. Order it with a side of rice and beans, because then you get to choose between three different types of beans — kidney, black, or pinto.

The atmosphere at this cozy place is casual and welcoming, an ideal setting for taking in the comfort foods available. There are many of these: In addition to the Cuban sandwich, Casa Adela is also known for its rotisserie chicken, avocado salad, and roast pork. If you decide to try them all in one go, wake yourself up from your food coma with a perky café con leche.


(212) 473-1882

66 Loisaida Ave, New York, NY 10009


The restaurants chosen for this article were based on professional reviews from the top authorities in the New York City food scene, including food critics for the New York Times and NYMag. Other recommendations came from local food blogs, which were then confirmed with positive customer reviews of the restaurants. The author also weighed in personally based on their own experiences dining at places like Coppelia and DeKalb Market Hall.