There’s something about a sandwich that can instantly heal what ails you. Maybe it’s the nostalgia factor — the memory of endless PB&Js or turkey sandwiches in the school cafeteria. Or the way the right combination of ingredients between two slices of bread can make you forget about the day (or week, or year) you’ve had. In honor of the humble but mighty sammie, we’ve rounded up a dozen of the best ones you can find around Tampa’s urban core. Read on to whet your appetite.
The Kennedy | Buddy Brew Coffee
A turkey sandwich, but make it spicy. To pair with their array of craft coffees and teas, the team at Buddy Brew whipped up a selection of sandwiches like The Kennedy, which features roasted turkey, cheese and avocado with sriracha aioli on toasted cracked wheat bread.
400 N. Tampa St.
Mozzarella | Pané Rustica Due
The South Tampa bakery and bistro’s beloved mozzarella panini is now available at their Armature Works location. Creamy fresh mozzarella cheese is piled with juicy tomatoes on Pané Rustica’s rustic Italian bread, then topped with basil and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil for a light but oh so tasty treat.
1910 N. Ola Ave.
Cubano | Michelle Faedo’s Tampeño Cuisine
For a classic Tampa Cuban sandwich, look no further than Michelle Faedo’s Tampeño Cuisine. Faedo and her team make a traditional-style Cubano, with her own seasoned roast pork, honey-smoked ham, Genoa salami, Swiss cheese, yellow mustard and dill pickles, pressed with homemade garlic herb butter. She even makes a “hybrid” Cuban, topped with additional mayo, lettuce and tomato.
1218 Ray Charles Blvd.
601 E. Kennedy Blvd.
Media Noche | La Segunda Central Bakery
Ybor City’s La Segunda Central is world-famous for its breads, but just as impressive are the sandwiches that employ the bread. The classic Media Noche sandwich has essentially the same components as a Cuban sandwich (marinated pork, Genoa salami, smoked ham, Swiss, pickle and La Segunda’s special sauce), but on the bakery’s Media Noche bread. This loaf is similar to Cuban bread but sweeter and hoagie-shaped.
2512 N. 15th St.
Philly Cheesesteak | Farmacy Vegan Kitchen
Understand there to be air quotes around the “cheese” in “cheesesteak” with this sandwich from the all-vegan eatery inside Duckweed Urban Grocery. They’re serving up the Philly classic with chopped Impossible “meat,” cashew cheese, peppers and onions, and add-ons like marinated mushrooms and a habañero-jalapeño mix.
117 N. 12th St.
803 N. Tampa St.
Grand Salammi | Café Hey
Knock your tastebuds out of the park with this sammie, filled with provolone, salami, balsamic aioli, garlic, oregano and tomato. Café Hey is big on supporting fellow local businesses, so they serve all their sandwiches on La Segunda Cuban bread alongside Buddy Brew coffee.
1540 N. Franklin St.
The Roll | Boat Run Oyster Co.
In addition to oysters grown on their own farm, the Sparkman Wharf seafood stand also does a tasty shrimp roll, with the shellfish tossed in a light coriander and lime aioli and topped with local greens in a buttered and grilled New England-style roll. Don’t forget a side of the specially seasoned nori fries, served with a drool-worthy black garlic aioli.
615 Channelside Drive
The Cubamanti | Stone Soup Company
Inspired by the over-the-top sandwiches at Pittsburgh’s famous Primanti Brothers restaurant, the Tampa-inspired Cubamanti at Ybor’s Stone Soup Company includes your choice of Italian meats, fried white fish, pastrami, or tofu and veggies piled high with French fries, melted provolone, homemade slaw and sliced tomato between Cuban bread.
1919 E. 7th Ave.
Chicken Sandwich | Osteria
Celebrity chef Fabio Viviani and Nocturnal Hospitality Group co-founder Lanfranco Pescante created Osteria as an homage to their home country of Italy, and the inspiration extends even to the sandwich menu. This sandwich features slow-cooked chicken breast topped with smoked mozzarella, caramelized onion, tomato jam, smoked onion aioli and arugula that meld to create one delicious bite.
903 N. Franklin St.
Old Broadway | Moxies Cafe
Moxies is a favorite among the downtown office crowd for a quick lunch, with this sandwich as a particular standout. Owners Karen and Bob Carr refresh the cafe’s menu each year, but this “Tampadelphia fusion” of pressed Cuban bread with Philadelphia-sourced sliced London broil, turkey, house-made slaw, melted Swiss and dressing has stuck around for 15 years.
514 N. Tampa St.
King Mac | King of the Coop
Look up “guilty pleasure” in the dictionary, and a photo of King of the Coop’s King Mac should be right there. The chicken kings put two tenders (tossed in any of their heat levels) topped with mac and cheese, a bread and butter pickle, shredded slaw and their signature King Sauce on a toasted potato bun. It’s drippy. It’s messy. It’s the stuff dreams are made of.
6607 N. Florida Ave. | (813) 232-2667
Jammy & Hammy | Yeoman’s Cask & Lion
The name of this dish might focus on the ham and fruit jam, but the real star of the show is cheese. This sandwich features no less than Swiss cheese, melty beer cheese and Parmesan-crusted sourdough bread. With the added ham and jam, you get a little salt, a little sweet, and a whole lot of “yum.”
202 N. Morgan St.