If you live in the LA/OC area you may have heard of the popular Cuban bakery known as Porto's. Porto's Bakery and Cafe opened up in the 1960's and has been serving delicious Cuban pastries and sandwiches at incredible prices since then.

Basically everything inside those four walls is delicious, but it is a Cuban bakery and the authentic Cuban pastries are above and beyond everything else. Don't get overwhelmed and end up ordering that chocolate cupcake you could get anywhere else. Here are the best things to try on Porto's menu, according to a Cuban girl. 

Cuban Sandwich ($5.49)

The most well known Cuban food is the classic Cuban sandwich. They're fairly popular, there are quite a few restaurants and chains that serve a take on it. But most of the ones I've tried thoroughly disappoint, basically taking any sandwich recipe and adding a pickle. But Porto's serves the sandwich of my childhood: crunchy Cuban bread, both ham and roast pork with a slice of swiss cheese in the middle, the slightly sweet mustard, and of course, the dill pickle. And for under $6 you get a full sandwich served with mariquitas, also known as banana chips. There's not a better Cuban sandwich in LA; quote me on that. 

#SpoonTip: Make sure to also try the "Medianoche" sandwich. It's the same recipe, just a different, sweeter bread. It's worth getting both. 

Papas Rellenas ($0.99 each, $11 for a dozen)

If there's one thing everyone likes it's potatoes. One of Porto's most popular items is the "papa rellena" or "potato balls". They're fried mashed potato balls filled with your choice of ground beef, or more recently, cheese and jalapeños. I have never met a single person disappointed after trying these, so they're probably your safest bet if you're a picky eater. But honestly, it's almost impossible to be a picky eater at Porto's. 

Croquettes ($0.89 each, $9.96 for a dozen)

Growing up I watched my mom roll what seemed like just a pile of mush into my favorite fried treat: Croquetas. Croquetas, or croquettes as they are translated to in English, are a breadcrumbed fried food made from meats, cheese, potatoes, vegetables, basically anything you want. Portos' taste just like the homemade ones and they have a variety available only in Cuban's dreams. I recommend passing on the chicken tenders and fries and taking home a dozen ham croquettes (and for under $10!) instead. 

Refujiados ($0.89 each, $9.96 for a dozen)

When someone asks me what my favorite food is, my answer has never been pizza, or cookies, or soft pretzels (although those things come very close). These sweet cheese and guava filled, perfectly flaky pastries have been my favorite food since I took my first bite. Take home a dozen (or five), and enjoy one as a late night treat or in the morning with some Spanish-style cafe-con-leche

#SpoonTip: They also have just a guava filled pastry and the very popular cheese roll if you're not a fan of the two together. 

Fruit Smoothie ($3.59 for a medium, $3.98 for a large)

Pair your lunch with a refreshing mango or guava smoothie, and really finish off the whole experience. It may be simple, but the fruit flavors in these smoothies are incredible and there's a reason so many wait in line for such a simple recipe. 

Cuban Cake ($21 for 9" cake, $3.15 for an individual slice)

And probably the most authentic and special things about Porto's, and something you don't want to go without trying, is the Cuban cake. The spongy cake is layered between a pineapple custard and covered with a special meringue frosting. This isn't a cake that you would find at a fancy dinner party, this is a cake that tastes of sweet childhood and is just waiting for you to stick your finger in the frosting. When no one's looking, of course. 

#SpoonTip: If you don't have an occasion to buy a full sized cake, they sell individual portions of this recipe in the normal bakery section. 

There's a reason the line at all four locations goes out the door. This bakery has perfected those Cuban recipes and been able to serve them at such an amazing quality, every time. 

I challenge you to go to Porto's and resist the temptation to walk out of there with dozens of pastries and sandwiches. You definitely won't want to leave empty handed. 

Last #SpoonTip: the best times to visit Porto's is really early in the morning, right when it opens at 6:30 am. The pastries are the freshest and the line is the shortest, and what better motivation do you need to wake up?