Ybor City – historic neighborhood of Tampa, Florida
Ybor City was founded in the late 1800’s by cigar manufacturers and was dominated by cigar factories for 50 years. Ybor City is a National Historic Landmark District. The name of the city comes from Vicente Martinez Ybor, a Spanish-born cigar manufacturer, originally located in Cuba and then Key West before he settled in Tampa. The cigar industry boomed in the 20th century, bringing many immigrants mostly from Cuba, Spain, and Italy. The city of Ybor declined after the Depression and World War II and only started to recover in the early 1980’s and now thrives on tourism, restaurants, and nightlife.
How to get to Ybor City from Downtown Tampa – take the tram!
You can take the tram (one way ticket is $2.50) from downtown Tampa to Ybor City, walk down 7th Avenue, have lunch at the famous Colombia Restaurant and then head back to Tampa on the tram.
The tram in Tampa began running in October of 2002 and is 2.7 miles long with a total of 11 stops. Tampa’s first trams, or electric streetcars, were used in 1892 and were at their height of popularity in the 1920’s. The tramlines were shut down in 1946 until the new heritage line was started in 2002. The trams in Tampa are managed by the Tampa Historic Streetcar Inc. and owned by the City of Tampa.
Colombia Restaurant in Ybor City – where to eat in Ybor City/Tampa
The Colombia Restaurant in Ybor City is an important historic landmark as the restaurant opened in 1905! Not only are there 4th and 5th generation family members of the Hernandez Gonzmart family working in the Colombia Restaurant today, but also it is said to be the oldest restaurant in Florida and the world’s largest Spanish restaurant!
Located on the main streets, 7th Avenue, you can’t miss it. The Colombia Restaurant in Ybor City is 2117 East 7th Avenue and is open every day!