On Miami’s sandwich Mount Rushmore, there are the usual suspects—like a pan con bistec or Cubano. But no doubt, the little disco volador is up there too. The sandwich (which means “frisbee” in English) is essentially a little pocket of filling enclosed in a circle of crispy, toasted bread. It’s a childhood favorite for many Miamians of Cuban descent, and while they’re not as easy to find around town as the Cuban sandwich, they are absolutely worth the search. Here are four great versions you should get to know.
Caja Caliente’s disco volador roster is the most impressive in town. They don’t stick to the classic guava and queso or ham and cheese combos. The Gables restaurant has options like croqueta and queso, prosciutto and blue cheese, and one stuffed generously with vaca frita. They even occasionally have disco volador guava pancakes on the menu for weekend brunch. They are all excellent and if you’re very hungry, you can probably eat two. The croqueta and vaca frita versions are our personal top two.
photo credit: Cleveland Jennings
La Palma, an old school Cuban restaurant just outside Coral Gables, has been slinging discos for a long time—longer than anywhere on this guide. This is where most people will send you if you ask them where to find a disco volador, and it's not a bad choice at all. They serve a decent selection of them, with multiple combinations of ingredients like ham, roast pork, queso, guava, and strawberry jam.
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Odaly’s is a little cafe and ventanita in Westchester. They have burgers, croquetas, and also serve a big pile of fries covered in cheese and chorizo. You should eat all of that eventually, but first, try the disco volador. They have three versions: guava and cheese, ham and cheese, and just cheese. If you have a sweet tooth, go for the guava, which comes in big chunks right in the center of two beautifully toasted pieces of bread. One of these should be big enough to fill you up.
Café Bea, another Westchester restaurant, also offers a couple of discos. The brunch spot serves two small versions, one with ham and cheese and one with guava and cheese. Theirs are smaller than the other two places on this guide, but still serve as a fine brunch or lunch appetizer. Get the frozen mint lemonade to drink. It’s a perfect companion to your little toasted pocket of cheese.