Tampa, FL

5 Interesting Things to Do When In Ybor City, Tampa


You might also like to explore the 1920s-era Ferlita Bakery building, which houses the park’s main museum. This is where you’ll learn more about Ybor City, how it was founded, and the cigar industry’s birth.

The Centra Ybor with a TECO Line Streetcar crossing in front, Ybor Tampa City.Photo byBobak/Wikimedia Commons

Ybor City is a historic district in Florida. It’s located a few miles away from Tampa. Once the cigar capital of the world, Ybor City offers guests some eye-catching sights including historic structures, vibrant nightlife, several shopping locations, and eateries that serve up all kinds of cuisines. 

There’s much to do in Ybor City for every tourist, from the foodie to the history buff. You can explore the historic district on a walking tour to learn more about the architecture and immigrant history or indulge in a food tour that takes you to Latin and soul food restaurants.

1 Explore 7th Avenue 

Though the fun and excitement begin once you arrive at Ybor City and you can begin your tour at any part of this historic district, nevertheless, it won’t be a bad idea if you head to 7th Avenue first before anything else. 

Also known as La Setima, 7th Avenue is a historic part of Ybor that offers people amazing views and attractions. You can spend your morning walking around the shops on 7th Avenue and admire the works of local artists displayed on the shop windows lined in the street. Or buy a cup of coffee and enjoy strolling 7th Avenue while marveling at the views of the tall palm trees lining the sidewalks. Sit back and relax at one of the benches available on the street and enjoy the view of people walking down the street, the sky, and the sound of Latin music.

2 Try The Food 

Ybor City tradition is to hang out on the sidewalk of a good Cuban coffee shop watching the busy street and feeling like you’re in Havana. And depending on what your cravings are, Ybor City has several joints where you can enjoy varieties of incredibly delicious meals. This historic city is the home of Columbia Restaurant, Florida’s oldest restaurant and the Largest Spanish Restaurant in the world. You can also find the best Greek food in town at the Acropolis, where varieties of traditional Greek dishes are served in large portions. 

3. Go on a Cigar Factory Tour

Ybor City is also called the “Cigar Capital of the World,” thanks to the cigar factories built during the turn of the 20th century. What this means is that a trip to the “Cigar Capital of the World” will be incomplete without going to a cigar factory. This is even more interesting if you’re into cigars. Regardless, you can visit any of the Cigar factories out of curiosity. 

One of them is the Tabanero Cigars factory tour. This tour takes you through the facility and you get to see the equipment and learn a few things about the making process of Cigars. You’ll be amazed by how their Cuban artisans work precisely with the best quality tobacco leaves and expertly turn them into what is known as the “Best Cigars in Tampa.”

4. Visit The Iconic Columbia restaurant 

Whether you’re a foodie or not, you shouldn’t leave Ybor without visiting the more than 115 years old Columbia Restaurant which happens to be the oldest eatery in Florida. Some of their famous foods include the Spanish Bean Soup that made Columbia famous, Garbanzo beans simmered with smoked ham, chorizo sausage, and potatoes in a delicious broth of chicken and ham. 

If you’re thinking of visiting this amazing historic restaurant, then you must catch the nightly flamenco dance show which runs every night except Sundays. This show is a must-see rhythmic dance event that offers an extraordinary entertainment experience to guests. It consists of ballet moves in colorful Spanish costumes accompanied by the distinctive sound of castanets. 

Meanwhile, if you’re in the mood to eat seafood at Columbia, try their Paella a la Valenciana. You can pair your meal with a glass of Sangria or their Original "1905" Martini.

5 Explore Ybor City Museum.

If you want to know what Ybor City was like 100 years ago, step into Casita, a small house built for cigar factory workers and their families. Here you’ll learn what it was like to live in the homes of cigar workers during that time. A tour of the house will take you through the living area, kitchen, and kids’ bedroom giving you a glimpse of the life of a Cigar worker back then and where they come home to at the close of work each day. 

When you’re done at the Casita, check out the Mediterranean-style garden to delight yourself with the beautiful views of the fountain and the different flowers and plants scattered around the garden.

You might also like to explore the 1920s-era Ferlita Bakery building, which houses the park’s main museum. This is where you’ll learn more about Ybor City, how it was founded, and the cigar industry’s birth.

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