Tampa is home to great restaurants and tourist attractions. The city also has a rich culture and people from various parts of the world have introduced their cuisines to the region. The Cuban influence is evident throughout Tampa, and this is especially evident in the food. Whether you’re visiting Tampa or want to find more great Cuban food in your area, here are some of the best Cuban restaurants Tampa has to offer.
2117 E. 7th Ave., Tampa, FL 33605
You’ll feel like you’re at a restaurant in Havana when you visit Columbia restaurant in Tampa. The eatery was founded in 1905, making it the oldest restaurant in Florida. Start your meal with a classic Caesar salad or the white asparagus salad, or order a bowl of Spanish bean soup with chickpeas. If you’re dining with friends or on a date, you can try the tapas, which include pincho mixta (three skewers of chicken, pork, and chorizo), or gambas al ajilo, a shrimp appetizer that is popular in Spain. Of course, the Cuban sandwich is one of the favorites with diners, but if you’re not in the mood for a sandwich, try the poll Asado with roasted potatoes and green beans. If you’re looking for a sweet treat as the perfect finishing touch to your meal, the key lime pie does not disappoint.
La Teresita Restaurant
3246 W. Columbus Dr., Tampa, FL 33605
La Teresita is one of the best Cuban restaurants Tampa has to offer, especially if you’re looking for authentic Cuban entrees in a relaxed setting. The ropa vieja is one of the best items on the menu, and the black beans and yellow rice, which are a Cuban food staple, are delicious with virtually any entree. The pollo salteado is delicious as well and is served with fries drenched in savory gravy. Carne con papas is another filling dish that will make your time at La Teresita much more pleasant. If you want to try some Cuban desserts, opt for cream cheese flan, sweet rice pudding, or bread pudding.
1802 E. 7th Ave., Tampa, FL 33605
The Tampa Cuban is one of the most delicious Cuban sandwiches in the region, and the Ybor City restaurant also offers appetizers like fried green tomatoes with remoulade. The plantain chips with mojo dipping sauce are an impressive appetizer as well. In addition to the Cuban sandwich, Carmine’s is also home to the breaded steak sandwich with red onion and a balsamic reduction. If you want a seafood entree, try the locally sourced wild gulf shrimp. You can also enjoy the French-cut pork chop or the Palomilla, which is 7 ounces of quality sirloin.
1910 N. Ola Ave., Tampa, FL 33605
This trendy Cuban restaurant offers tasty entrees with a creative twist. Appetizers like fried tostones with melted Muenster cheese or chicharrones will make you look forward to your entree. The La Frita Cuban sandwich is a favorite as well and is made with beef, pork, and chorizo with caramelized onions and Swiss cheese. Or try the El Ultimo sandwich with Cuban coleslaw, spicy aioli, and heirloom tomatoes on a sweet egg bun. The Cuban Bowls are also popular; choose from the ropa vieja bowl, the black bean bowl, the picadillo bowl, or the Pollo a la plancha bowl. Kuba is also home to some of the most delicious Cuban desserts in Tampa; don’t forget to try the guava and cream cheese empanadas or the tres leches cake stuffed with dulce de leche.
7233 W. Hillsborough Ave., Tampa, FL 33605
Pipo’s is one of the best places to go in Tampa when you’re looking for great Cuban food at an affordable price. The Cuban sandwich is one of the best-sellers at the Tampa eatery, but you can also opt for other delicious menu items like Palomilla steak served with white rice and sautéed onion. The roast pork with plantain and yellow rice is a favorite among diners as well. If you want to order some side dishes with your Cuban entree, choose from fried potato balls, deviled crab, empanadas, or black beans.
Gold Ring Cafe
2510 N. Tampa St., Tampa, FL 33605
When you’re looking for a hearty Cuban meal you can enjoy during a casual breakfast or lunch with friends or family, check out Gold Ring Cafe. Order breakfast platters with sausage, ham, eggs, and hash browns, or order an egg and cheese sandwich if you’re having breakfast while on the go. Lunch favorites include the baked or fried chicken meal served with black beans and white or yellow rice, Cuban coleslaw, or fries. In addition to the delicious Cuban sandwiches on the menu, you can also order a smoked turkey breast sandwich or steak, onion, and pepper sandwich on Cuban bread.