Let’s be honest.
The best Cuban sandwiches in the world require a trip to Key West or Tampa.
That said, Dayton versions of the porky grilled cheese sandwiches give them a run for their money.
Cuban sandwiches, also known as Cubano sandwiches, can be found on more than a few local menus.
Here are five of our favorites.
>> RELATED: 11 sandwiches you must eat in Dayton
>> RELATED: Best of Dayton 2017 Winners: Food & Dining
MUDLICK TAP HOUSE
Address: 135 E. Second St. in downtown Dayton
Hours: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Tuesday to Thursday; 11 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday
What is it like? Cuban lovers are going to love this one. Layers of roasted garlic stuffed pork shoulder, in-house made pickles, ham, swiss cheese and dijon mustard come in a perfectly grilled hoagie roll.
Price: $13 with house-cut fries or a house salad.
Address: 903 E. Dixie Drive, West Carrollton
Hours: Monday to Friday 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; dinner 4:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Thursday and 4:30 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday
What is it like? You’ll think you are munching on something tasty in Little Havana. El Meson does a classically delicious Cuban with a choice of ham and pork, chicken or grouper, pickles, mayo, mustard and Swiss cheese.
Price: It is served with soup or salad for $10. The cost is $11 at dinnertime. The sandwich is sold on El Meson’s food truck with rice and beans or fries for $8.
Address: 429 Troy St., Dayton
Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday
What is it like? Inspired by sandwiches he’s tried in Florida, Charlie’s owner Rodney Vangas puts his own spin on the classic sandwich with delicious results. Citrus marinated pulled pork, sweet cured ham, baby Swiss cheese and pickle stacks between unpressed Cuban bread with mayo, hot sauce and/or brown mustard. Rodney recommends all three and so do we.
CANAL STREET ARCADE AND DELI
Address: 308 E. First St.,
Hours: The deli portion of the business is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday to Thursday and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
What is it like? Canal Street’s Cuban is a “secret” off-the-menu item. The sandwich has all the ingredients on the restaurant’s pastrami sandwich except the pastrami. That’s prosciutto, salami, banana peppers, provolone cheese, mayonnaise and mustard on toasted white bread. It comes with a pickle spear. It is not a traditional Cuban sandwich, but boy is it good, good stuff.
Price: half a sandwich $6.25 | full sandwich $8.25 | full sandwich with extra meat $9.25
>> RELATED: Five Canal Street sandwiches we love
SOUTH PARK TAVERN
Address: 1301 Wayne Ave., Dayton
Hours: 11 a.m. - 1 a.m. Monday to Saturday and 12 p.m. to 1 a.m. Sunday
What is it like? South Park Tavern’s Cuban is not for the light eater. The restaurant’s take on the sandwich is a big ole tasty sub stuffed with cuts of pork tenderloin, ham, melted Swiss cheese, pickle slices, romaine lettuce and the restaurant’s sweet house blend dusseldorf mustard and mojo sauce with Cuban spices.
Price: $7.99 with potato chips
>> South Park Tavern sold; owner reveals plans (Feb. 20, 2017)