Did you know Cuban pizza is a thing in Miami? Indeed it is, though you may have to travel west of Little Havana to get to the heart of it. Cuban pizza is known for its thick, soft, doughy crust and crispy edges; it’s heavy on the cheese (typically a mix of mozzarella and Gouda), and the little tomato sauce used is on the sweet side. The thickness and cheesy-crisp edges are a bit reminiscent of Detroit-style pizza, but when certain toppings come into play—chorizo, ham, picadillo (ground beef), even banana and plantain—it’s 100% Miami Cuban. Some pizzerias here are known to bake the toppings into the pie, rather than sprinkle them on top, but this isn’t always the case.

Naturally, pizza Cubana started in Havana, presumably introduced or at least inspired by Italians in Cuba. While exact origins are murky, this 2014 Miami New Times article equates the arrival of Cuban-style pizza to South Florida to the story of a people in exile: newly arrived immigrants following the tradition of countless others, starting pizza shops in the hopes of a better life. They were just making the pizzas in their own slightly different way. (This includes using dough ingredients found in Cuban bread—milk, salt, sugar, oil—as well as the Holland-imported Gouda, which, according to Eater Miami, was once a commonly used cheese in Cuba before rationing began.)

Where to Find Cuban Pizza in Miami

We tried our Cuban pizza at Star Chiguas (two locations including 1570 W. 43rd Pl. #1, map) in Hialeah, the heavily Cuban neighborhood north of the airport. Hialeah might be considered Miami’s real Little Havana, where you’ll find far fewer tourists and more Cuban residents. Not surprisingly, you’ll see lots of signs for Pizza Cubana in this area.

When: This location is open Wed-Mon, 10am-8:30pm; Tues, 9am-5pm.

Order: We’d heard about the locally beloved “pizza estrella,” or star pizza, here, so we had to try it. Cuban pizza is usually round though! The appealing part of eating this star-shaped is there are more crispy edges to enjoy.

You can order a round or star pizza with any number of toppings, but if you’re going to try one of these, get your pizza estrella “mixta” ($9.50 for personal size). Each star point contains a different topping: bacon, ham, veggies (olives, peppers, onions), chorizo, and pepperoni. This is like the Cuban meat-lovers’ pie.

It’s pretty satisfying! Our family devoured it in the car heading to the airport, ripping off greasy pieces because I forgot to ask for it sliced (pro tip: ask them to slice it!). The other popular item here? Spaghetti, with all manner of topping. (You can also grab a cafecito while you wait, or order a jugo.)

Alternatively: Rey Pizza is a popular local chain for pizza Cubana (also spaghetti), with a storied history and several locations in Miami and Hialeah. It has a banana pizza on the menu! Another good one to try is Pa’Comer Cuban Pizza (353 W 23rd St, Hialeah, map), which a trusted Miami source, @gustasian on Instagram, recommends.