Tampa Journals

Tampa Bay: Ybor City

A February 2006 trip to Tampa by wildhoney269

International Bazaar Photo, Tampa, Florida More Photos
Quote: Known as "Florida’s Latin Quarter", Ybor (Ee-bore) City is Tampa’s National Historic Landmark District.

Tampa Bay: Ybor City

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Overview

Centro Ybor Photo, Tampa, Florida
Quote:
Actually a neighborhood, not a city, Ybor City is Tampa’s version of Bourbon Street. For the true experience, this area is best explored at night instead of during the daytime. Head down for dinner at any of the great restaurants. After dinner, wander up and down Seventh Avenue and stop in and out of the various bars for a drink or just to hear some great music. Many shops stay open until about 10pm. If you are feeling adventurous, there are several tattoo parlors you can checkout which always seem packed with people. Yes, I got my first tattoo here (a sunflower).Quick Tips: This part of town was once known for cigar production. Cigars can still be found in various shops and cigar bars. You c...Read More

Hilton Garden Inn Tampa Ybor Historic District

Hotel | "Hilton Garden Inn Tampa/Ybor City"

Quote:
Ybor City has few hotels. The Hilton Garden Inn is an excellent choice when visiting Tampa. Since it is located in Ybor City and Ybor City is known as the party place, expect to have a fun crowd in this hotel. If traveling for business or if you do not plan to stay up late, I suggest staying in another part of town. However, if you come to Tampa for a good time, this is a great place to stay and in an excellent location.Each room is a mini-suite with a microwave and mini-refrigerator which is great for leftovers from dinner at all the nearby restaurants. The hotel is a two-block walk from Centro Ybor and the trolley, which will take you to other areas of Tampa. Hotel offers both a pool and a f...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 9, 2006

Hilton Garden Inn Tampa Ybor Historic District
1700 EAST 9TH AVENUE
Tampa, Florida 33605
813 769-9267

Carmine's

Restaurant | "Carmine’s Seventh Avenue"

Quote:
I didn’t have a typical experience when visiting Carmine’s. It’s a well-known restaurant, but I did not go there for dinner. I stopped in to have a few drinks at the bar while I was waiting for the nightlife to pick up in Ybor City. In the process, we made friends with Shane, a really great bartender, and ended up having a few things to eat. Next to the TV, above the bar, is a picture of two older gentlemen in bathing trunks sitting on a boat. I asked Shane about them and he answered me with a short history of the bar. The original Carmine opened the bar in the 1940s. He passed the restaurant to his son (with a different name) who was pictured on the right in the photo. He died a few years...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 9, 2006

Carmine's
1802 East Seventh Ave
Tampa, Florida 33605
+1 813 248 3834

Cephas's

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Restaurant | "Cephas Hot Shop"

Quote:
What an experience! We went to this Jamaican restaurant in Ybor City at the suggestion of one of my coworkers, who found it online while looking for ethnic food in Tampa. As soon as we pulled up in front of the restaurant, I knew it would be unique.On the outside it looks like an old dive, and this was confirmed upon walking into the restaurant. Old Jamaican posters were plastered up all over the walls. We were overtaken by the fast-talking Cephas, who was asking us what we knew about aloe vera before he gave us a table. He continued to tell us the health benefits of eating it and continued on with a long speech on colon cleansing (not my usually dinner conversation). He put on a video on the TV ab...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 9, 2006

Cephas's
17 St. Ybor City
Tampa, Florida

Dish

Restaurant

Quote:
Dish is a great restaurant for groups. It is a fun and interactive dining experience. While there are other items on the menu, diners come for the noodle and rice dishes. The concept is that for about $16 you can eat as much as you want. Walk around the various "bars" set up, and choose what kind of rice or noodles, meat, veggies, and sauces you want to combine in your dish. Then get in line at the "grill," which is a huge circle in the center of the restaurant. The "chefs" stir-fry the food while you are standing and waiting. Then sit down at your table to enjoy. It is fun to get up and down to get seconds and thirds. The nature of dining like this can make it a long evening if the restaurant is crow...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 9, 2006

Dish
1600 East 8th Avenue
Tampa, Florida 33605
(813) 241-8300

Samurai Blue

Restaurant | "Samuri Blue"

Quote:
One of my favorites, Samuri Blue is a great place to have sushi in Ybor City. While this is one of the smaller sushi restaurants in town, it offers a wide variety of creative maki rolls. This is the type of place where one likes to dress up a bit before going out to dinner. The restaurant is long and narrow, with incredible high ceilings. It looks like an old loft with exposed bricks and beams. The sushi bar stretches throughout the restaurant, all along the left side.The food is great. I usually enjoy several different maki rolls when I eat sushi. They serve plum wine, which I always consider a bonus at sushi restaurants. It is a very refreshing drink to begin the meal. They also offer a ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 9, 2006

Samurai Blue
1600 East 8th Avenue
Tampa, Florida 33605
(813) 242-6688

Columbia Restaurant

Restaurant | "The Columbia Restaurant"

Quote:
The Columbia Restaurant in Ybor City is a Tampa institution. This restaurant celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2005. This is the type of restaurant I like to take people for a fancy evening out if they are visiting the city for the first time. I also like to go here for celebrations. Flamenco dancers perform at set times in the evenings, which really makes dining at this restaurant more of a unique event. You can request a table near the stage when you make your reservation, if you would like to enjoy the show during dinner.There are a lot of great things about Columbia. First of all, the food. They offer a large variety of tapas for starters, make wonderful paella, and have amazing fish...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 9, 2006

Columbia Restaurant
2117 E 7th Avenue
Tampa, Florida 33605
(813) 248-4961

Boneyard

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Quote:
The Boneyard is a great place to stop for a drink when in Ybor City. The jukebox is filled with all sorts of great songs, and there are two red pool tables in the back if you like to play. The bar is filled with a wide variety of items, and it is fun to sip a beer and just look around. Next to the pool tables is an area where an old bathtub was cut in half and turned into two couches. There is a coin change machine where you can get quarters to play pool sits above an old toilet. Yes, there is a toilet in the middle of the bar. In the front window, an old children’s plastic rocking horse was covered with various colored feathers. And people sitting at the tables outside were smoking something from a l...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 9, 2006

Boneyard
1823 E. 7th Ave.
Tampa, Florida 33605
(813) 248-6224

Green Iguana Bar and Grill

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Green Iguana"

Quote:
Restaurant by day, club by night. One Saturday night we walked up and down 7th Avenue, venturing in and out of the various bars, but none of them really appealed to us. When we came to the Green Iguana, we were drawn in by the live rock band. We caught the end of the first set of “The Usual Suspects,” and they were good enough that we wanted to wait the half-hour while they took a break to catch their next set. We ended up staying all night.The Green Iguana is split into two sections. The left half of the bar has a dance floor in the back and features pop dance music. I prefer this to other clubs with real techno songs because there are usually at least a few songs I am familiar with. They p...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 9, 2006

Green Iguana Bar and Grill
1708 E. 7th Ave.
Tampa, Florida 33605
(813) 248-9555

International Bazaar

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Attraction

International Bazaar Photo, Tampa, Florida
Quote:
This is a unique place, and I strongly suggest stopping in if you are visiting Ybor. As the name suggests, you will find items from all over the world at this shop. The store itself is huge, and you will find yourself wandering through items from Greece to Mexico, into Peru, and over to Thailand, along with many other cultures. Items range in price from inexpensive to big-ticket items, such as ancient weapons and hand-carved furniture. A wide variety of jewelry and clothing is also available.Much more than a shop, the International Bazaar offers even more cultural experiences through various weekly events.Learn to tango, salsa, flamenco, belly dance, and Hawaiian dance through lessons o...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 9, 2006

International Bazaar
1600 E. 8th Ave.
Tampa, Florida
(813) 241-8292

Quote:
Muvico makes movie-going a unique experience. The Muvico Centro Ybor is built with a Spanish theme. Not just the outside of the building is themed, but the entire theater. The hallways continue this theme, and there is so much detail that even the walls inside the theaters are painted with a faux theme.Muvico Centro Ybor has 20 movie screens, all with stadium seating. There is an over-21 section that has a bar and allows patrons to enjoy a drink while watching the movie.This movie theater often attracts me to Ybor. While Ybor is known as the bar and nightclub area, it is also fun to go down for a nice dinner and movie. The theater is close enough to the action to still feel exhilar...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 9, 2006

Muvico Centro Ybor 20
1600 East 8th Avenue
Tampa, Florida
(813) 248-2323