Lyssa Goldberg
Sep 2020

Hispanic influence has made a lasting impression on local culture, history and cuisine in cities across America. To celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month, visit a Florida city settled by Cuban cigar makers, and which claims to be home to the best Cuban sandwich in America (Hint: it's not Miami). Further north, savor classic Peruvian dishes in the New Jersey neighborhood known as Little Lima. Then, head west to the Windy City to marvel at bright and bold public art created by Mexican immigrants in Chicago's Pilsen Historic District.

Handrolling cigars in Ybor City / Credit: Alamy

Ybor City
Tampa, Florida
Miami might be the first place that comes to mind when you think of Cuban influence, but Cuban cigar makers settled in Tampa as early as the 1880s, turning Ybor City into the Cigar Capital of the World. Tampa and Miami are still contending for the title of best Cuban sandwich. The Tampa version includes salami, which has been the source of much controversy.

Lomo saltado / Credit: Getty Images

Little Lima
Paterson, New Jersey
The unofficial capital of the Peruvian diaspora, Paterson, New Jersey, is home to the largest Peruvian community outside of South America. Looking for good ceviche or lomo saltado? Peru Square, a stretch of downtown along Market Street, is lined with some of New Jersey’s best Peruvian restaurants and bakeries.

Pilsen's Casa Aztlán / Credit: Getty Images

Pilsen Historic District
Chicago, Illinois
Mexican immigrants have made their mark on Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood through public artworks depicting Chicano leaders and their revolutionary heritage. Bright murals and mosaics color the historic district, and Casa Aztlán, a former community center for arts and education, remains one of Pilsen’s most iconic exteriors.

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