The Cuban at Tampa’s Columbia Restaurant is Florida’s best sandwich, says Food & Wine

The magazine cited the Ybor City staple in its ‘Best Sandwich in Every State’ list.

click to enlarge The Cuban at Tampa’s Columbia Restaurant is Florida’s best sandwich, says Food & Wine

If you believe Food & Wine, Tampeños don’t have to travel very far to get Florida’s best sandwich because it calls Ybor City home. In his new listing of “The Best Sandwich in Every State,” Food & Wine Editor David Landsel wrote that the Cuban sandwich at Columbia is top of the heap in the Sunshine State.

Landsel rightfully picked up on how the original version of Casimiro Hernandez Sr.’s “Mixto” sandwich is a reflection of the immigrants who helped build Ybor City.

“Ham for the Spaniards, Genoa salami for the Italians, mojo roast pork for the Cubans, and for the Germans and Jews, Swiss cheese, pickles, and mustard,” Landsel wrote, adding that Columbia’s offering ($10-$15) is served on “Florida's best Cuban bread” from nearby La Segunda.

Wait until he tries Tampa’s signature cocktail, which is also an homage to the city’s immigrant culture.

In his assessment of the best sandwiches from sea to shining sea, Landsel wrote that all Food & Wine was looking for were each state’s most iconic, time-tested sandwiches.

“We wanted the ones with an extreme sense of belonging, the sandwiches people would fight for, and possibly over,” he added. And yes, Miami, we’ll fucking fight you over the Cubano.

22 Cuban sandwiches in Tampa Bay you should’ve tried by now

By now, it’s no secret that Landsel is kinda sorta in love with Tampa Bay. In November of 2019, he put three local coffee shops on his “Best Coffee Shops in America” list, even placing Tampa Heights’ King State at no. 8 in the nation. Less than a year before that, Landsel spent an afternoon getting a tour of Tampa from James Beard semifinalist chef Ferrell Alvarez. In 2018, he wrote a “Beginner’s Guide to Cuban Tampa.”

And if you can’t get to Columbia for a Cuban sandwich, fret not. Creative Loafing Tampa Bay can think of at least 22 Cuban sandwiches in Tampa Bay you should’ve tried by now, and in 2017 we even ran through some of our favorites including the versions at Florida Bakery, La Tropicana (R.I.P.) and of course the Obama Cuban at West Tampa Sandwich shop.

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About The Author

Ray Roa

Read his 2016 intro letter and disclosures from 2022 and 2021. Ray Roa started freelancing for Creative Loafing Tampa in January 2011 and was hired as music editor in August 2016. He became Editor-In-Chief in August 2019. Past work can be seen at Suburban Apologist, Tampa Bay Times, Consequence of Sound and The...
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