I am SO excited to announce a series of blog posts I will be writing called Wandering Wednesdays. These days will showcase different places I have visited that I feel are cool enough for you to visit! They might be whole cities, or maybe just a really cool restaurant. I will post them every other Wednesday, until I run out of cool places to visit, which will probably never happen. 🙂 I have to say that these posts may be my favorite to write. I thoroughly enjoy traveling and visiting new places, and I want to share that excitement with you! So let’s start on our journey, shall we?
For today’s Wandering Wednesday, I present Ybor City, Florida.
Ybor City was at it’s heyday in the 1800’s, as the Cigar Capitol of the world. Ybor was also a melting pot for many different cultures with immigrants coming from Cuba, Italy, Germany, and Spain. The artists from the many different cultures helped make this city into what it is today. There are art galleries, amazing restaurants, and music venues lining the streets.
So today I’m going to share with you some of my favorite places to visit in Ybor City in no particular order!
#1 The Ritz
The Ritz is an amazing special event and music venue. The Ritz was built in 1917 as the Rizoli theater. It underwent a $2 million renovation and reopened as a special events/music venue in 2008. The inside of the Ritz is amazing. It has beautiful chandeliers and original checkered floors. Jackson and I went and saw the band Sleigh Bells there a few years ago and the venue was small enough for the concert to feel like a private show. One day if you’re walking down there and you see someone in the ticket box, ask to see if they will give you a tour of the inside! And on that tour, ask about their ghosts!
#2 La France
I can’t even begin to describe my love for this store. You need a cute cloche hat? Go here. You need an authentic 1920’s flapper dress? Go HERE! I’m telling you, this store will take care of all your vintage clothing and accessory needs!
You walk in to walls stocked full of vintage pieces for men and women, glass cases with antique pocket watches, and brightly colored crinoline slips dangling from the ceiling.
Everywhere you look there is something adorably vintage! And, if you don’t need any of the aforementioned things, which is insane because every girl needs something vintage in her life, you can go in and play with their adorable dog that helps manage the store. What else could you ever need?
#3 Stone Soup Company
This place is becoming somewhat of a regular for us when we go to Ybor because the food never disappoints. The Stone Soup Company not only has amazing soups and sandwiches, but they are also geared to make you feel good too! They make many of their dishes with air-cooking and use mostly locally based produce, which makes for a healthier eating experience! They have won awards for their Cuban sandwiches,which is saying a lot because many places in Tampa claim they have the best cubans, but these guys can prove it! However, our favorite thing on the menu has a bit of a more Mediterranean feel! I absolutely love the Souvlaki, which is more or less a chicken gyro. Jackson’s favorite is the Mediterranean Flatbread with gyro meat. Both have awesome flavors and definitely keep us coming back for more!
The restaurant also has an amazing atmosphere and feels really laid-back. They have fantastic classic rock songs playing in the background that helps set the tone.
We wholeheartedly recommend The Stone Soup Company.
#4 The Blind Tiger
Jackson and I just found this place today, but after the experience we had we will definitely be visiting more often. The Blind Tiger opened it’s doors to Ybor City about 6 months ago, and I get the feeling that it’s a well-kept secret. They serve Buddy Brew coffee and TeBella tea. They have yummy looking pastries for sale and even have an oatmeal bar where you can make your own oatmeal mixes. Jackson indulged in their nitro-tapped coffee, which is basically black coffee that is chilled with a nitrous tank and served out of a tap.
While I enjoyed a fresh Blueberry Pomegranate Green Tea.
The decor of the shop was lovely. The giant chalkboard wall displaying the menu was perfect.
The staff was adorably dressed in button-down shirts and bow-ties. They were so friendly and very knowledgeable about their menu.
The atmosphere was everything you could have wanted out of a coffee shop and more. Soft jazz music played in the background, and all I wanted to do was sit on the couch and read a book while I downed some freshly brewed tea.
If you are looking for a nice place to study and drink some amazing coffee, this is your place.
There are many other wonderful places to visit in Ybor, and one day I will do a part two to this post. But these are my go-to places when I think of visiting Ybor! I hope this post has inspired you to want to visit Ybor City, FL!