International Cuban Sandwich Festival Planned for Ybor City

Mark your calendars, Tampa, the International Cuban Sandwich Festival returns March 31 and April 1 to historic Ybor City. The contentious and never-ending debate concerning who makes the finest Cuban sandwich in the city, the state, and the world draws feverish passion from longtime area residents. Chefs gather to layeth the proverbial culinary smackdown to put such debates to rest once and for all.

Clash of the Cuban Sandwich Titans 

Prior to arriving in Tampa, the Cuban Sandwich Festival hosts special semi-final rounds in Kissimmee (March 3), and Miami (March 11). The winners advance to the main event in Ybor City.

Constructing the world’s largest Cuban sandwich

An exciting new facet to this year’s festivities is the attempt to construct the world’s largest Cuban sandwich at the Hillsborough Community College Ybor Campus on March 31.

Last year, residents were treated to the South Korea-based restaurant Tampa Sandwich Bar. It marked the first visit to the Tampa Bay area for owners Geunmin Kang and Hyunmin Cho. They both did exhaustive research in order to craft their menu — Cuban and Mac N’ Cheese sandwiches, shrimp po’ boys, fried Oreos and sweet potato fries are main fixtures. We hope to see them again this year.

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If you’re in attendance then you’re already a winner

A panel of celebrity judges will converge in Tampa to decide winners in several categories:

  • Tampa Historic Cuban Sandwich 
  • Non-Traditional Cuban Sandwich 
  • Popular Cuban Sandwich 
  • World’s Best Cuban Sandwich 
  • Smackdown Champions (Metro Orlando, Miami/South Florida)

Local residents have the unique opportunity on March 31 and April 1 to sink their teeth into the most inventive Cuban-inspired fare ever concocted. The participating chefs earn the criminally overused and dried out adjective, exquisite.

For further details and to purchase tickets to the event visit the festival’s main website. Hungry for more? View this list of spots that craft our *personal favorite* Cuban Sandwiches in Tampa.

Written by Andrew Harlan

Andrew Harlan is in his third year as Writer/Editor of ThatsSoTampa.com. New York Times bestselling author Andre Dubus III has said of him, “Andrew Harlan has a sharp and discerning eye for detail that deftly captures character and landscape.” He has published fiction and poetry in Sabal and Prime Number Literary Magazine. He graduated with honors from Eckerd College in 2013 with a B.A. in Creative Writing and a minor in Literature. Phone: (727) 896-3435 / Email: andrew@rkc.me