4 Essential Sandwiches to Try in Miami

By  //  December 27, 2021

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America might not have invented the sandwich – those honours probably go to 18th Century Britain – but we did perfect it. Each corner of the United States offers a singular take on the form, from the lobster rolls of the far Northeast to the French dips of LA, the piled-high pastramis of New York, to the Po Boys of New Orleans. 

Miami might not jump to mind when you think of sandwiches, but the southeastern tip of the contiguous United States is no slouch when it comes to marrying bread and fillings. To honour the contributions the city has made to the sandwich, this article lists five essential Miami sandwiches to try. 

Some of these sandwiches exist elsewhere, and not all were born in the Magic City – but each sandwich here encapsulates a fundamental aspect of Miami culture. Let’s get eating! 

The Ultimate Cuban Comfort Food: Cuban Sandwiches

You can’t discuss Miami and sandwiches without mentioning the Cubano. Along with the medianoches (the Cubano’s softer-breaded brother), the Cubano is an entirely South Florida invention. Developed by Cuban immigrants longing to blend their native culture with American food traditions, the sandwich endures as a symbol of the city. It’s American, it’s Cuban, and it’s downright delicious. 

You can find this heavenly mixture of ham, roast pork and swiss cheese just about anywhere in Miami. But the most convenient way to enjoy it is from Sergio’s Cuban Café and Grill, available for quick order through getREEF Miami

Japan By Way of America: Fried Chicken Sandos 

When the Marlins paid tribute to Miami’s Japanese community (back when Ichiro briefly swung for the team), it drew attention to a connection often overlooked. Japanese culture is alive and well in Miami, sustained by a small but mighty community established over a century ago. 

Perhaps the best Japanese take on the sandwich is the katsu sando, a marriage of pillowy white bread, fried cutlets, Japanese mayo and slaw. If you’re looking for an exemplary sando, try Fuku’s Miami-inflected take on the Japanese classic, with habanero brined chicken and pickles. 

Mexican-Indian Fusion: The Tikka Masala Burrito

Historically, the Asian American population in Miami (and, by extension, the South Asian American population) was low. But that’s beginning to change, and with the change comes exciting new culinary mash-ups. 

Case in point: The Tikka Masala Burrito from Balloo Wallah. Miami is famously obsessed with the burrito, an enthusiasm you can easily trace to its strong Central American ties. The Tikka Masala burrito takes the basic outline of the Mexican favorite, adding the spices, richness and boldness Indian food is famous for. 

A Taste of the Atlantic and Gulf Stream: Blackened Fish Sandwiches 

Miami’s sandwiches don’t all arise from cultural makeup; some were born from the city’s geographical position. The surrounding waters of Miami teem with diverse fish like marlin, swordfish, grouper, amberjack and more. 

It makes sense, therefore, that enterprising chefs would take this bounty and put it between bread. You can find several fish sandwiches in downtown Miami. Go for a stroll by the South Beach or consult a food delivery service to find one that speaks to you. 

Miami is a town made for lounging on the beach and dancing away the night, so it makes sense that handheld sandwiches caught on with the local population. Try the four sandwiches above to celebrate the city’s contribution to one of America’s favorite foods.