Am I the only Cuban in town? Niko’s Express – Vista, CA


Ok, with so many opportunities in this town, why is there only one? Niko’s Express in Vista, CA has the only Cuban sandwich in town . . . and it’s good. Hurry before the neighbors find out. Before the guy next door realizes his lost opportunity. Oh wait, maybe this is a challenge to the guy next door. Can he make a Cuban sandwich? Does he make a Cuban sandwich? Although Niko’s was pretty damn good, is was missing something. I talked with the Chef.

Niko’s explained that they had started steering more toward fresh ingredients to create these “specials”. Like this Cuban sandwich, their slow-roasted pork had a nice benchmark of pepper that helped steer the flavors. I inquired about the mustard being plain, regular mustard. It was. I could even taste the smokiness of the ham.  I found myself attempting to discover what was missing. I could taste every component except something. I deconstructed the sandwich to look to see how thick the pickles were, as if they were missing. But I could taste them. It was explained that Niko’s had changed to house-made pickles and the Chef thought they should stay in the brine a bit more. I agreed saying that I went to look for pickle, but they were thick enough. They even had a good crunch. Maybe just a dash more saltiness from the brine would have helped. I think that may have been it. Otherwise a real treat here in Vista.

Chef James even gave me a piece of cheese pizza that they have ready in slices or pies prepared as big as an 18″ large. I found my self going back to that slice rather than the sandwich. I then remembered I was here for the sandwich. In other words the pizza was great also.

Niko’s Express has a fairly substantial menu that seems to get bigger and better weekly as they experiment with new things and new challenges. I was told they have recently been named of the top 50 restaurants in San Diego.

Niko’s usually has daily and weekly specials like this. Another is the smoked pastrami or pulled-pork sandwich. Niko’s menu is authentic Eastern Italian fair, with a hint of Eastern, done exceptionally well. I have written about them in the past, but when I saw the Cuban, I had to stop by and let them make me one. The last time I had a real craving for a Cuban Sandwich was just after watching the movie “Chef”. We drove all the way to Los Angeles to find a good one . . . but I must have never realized I passed up one of the best right here in town. Check ’em out at

Take a stop through to Niko’s Italian Express, because you mightNiko's Express Italian Deli sign just stumble on something “special”.



2 thoughts on “Am I the only Cuban in town? Niko’s Express – Vista, CA

  1. Foodie, Thank you for the review of our Cuban Sandwich. This is usually done as a special but we always have the supplies on hand to make one. Anyway, the House pickles are done now and up to their salty and briny goodness. If enough folks like the Cuban well will add it to our regular Menu, much like the Sicilian Muffaletta. Our menu can be seen here:

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