No matter how you slice it, sandwiches are a beloved culinary institution. A 2015 report by the USDA found that nearly half of American adults eat a sandwich on any given day. One statistic pegs the number of sandwiches eaten each day in this country at 300 million — pretty wild considering only 327 million people live in the U.S.
To celebrate this beloved food, 29 local restaurants entered their sammies in the 2019 Tampa Sandwich Hunt. Thousands of you voted, and three sandwiches came out on top. Read more about those on the following pages, and see all of the competing sandwiches below.
WINNER — Homage to Bern’s
FROM ÉLEVAGE | LOCAL RESTAURANT CATEGORY
When you have an icon like Bern’s Steak House as a sister property to your restaurant, you pay your respects. That’s what the team at the Epicurean Hotel’s Élevage has done with the Homage to Bern’s, a pressed steak sandwich topped with Alpine cheese, onion and jus. “The steak used in the sandwich is aged in Bern’s dry aging room,” says Élevage executive chef Jason Bamford. “It gives the sandwich a robust steakhouse flavor and aroma.” He adds that the classic steak sandwich evokes a sense of nostalgia but still fits the Epicurean’s elevated ambiance. “It complements the vibe at the restaurant yet celebrates the strong influence Bern’s has had in Tampa for so many years.”
EXECUTIVE CHEF JASON BAMFORD
1207 S. Howard Ave.
WINNER — Blackened Mahi BLT
FROM THE SPANIARD | LOCAL RESTAURANT CATEGORY
Topped with tomato, greens, smoked bacon, avocado spread and sriracha aioli on wheatberry toast, this newcomer made a splash with its deceptive richness. “It’s a light sandwich that leads you to believe it’s heavy and makes you wish you had more,” says The Spaniard’s chef Brian Agoncillo. He was inspired by a fish sandwich he had created on a previous menu and worked to incorporate the flavors of the city (including in the sandwich’s secret jam). “There’s different bursts of flavor with every bite, just like Tampa and the different heritages that make up our culture — bold and in your face.”
CHEF BRIAN AGONCILLO
The Spaniard at Hotel Alba
5303 W. Kennedy Blvd.
WINNER — Crispy Chicken Sandwich
FROM PDQ | MULTI-LOCATION CATEGORY
Though it now has locations as far north as Long Island, New York, and as far west as Las Vegas, PDQ is a hometown success story. The restaurant opened its first location across the street from Plant High School in 2011 and quickly made a name for itself with its fresh ingredients, homemade sauces and tasty chicken. Its winning Crispy Chicken Sandwich encapsulates what PDQ is all about. Topped with just mayo, lettuce, tomato and Grillo’s dill pickles on a toasted brioche bun, it’s simple, but done right.
EXECUTIVE CHEF MICHAEL BRANNOCK
Multiple Tampa locations
Korean Seoul Brother Melt
717 S. Howard Ave.
BBQ Pork & Pork Belly Sandwich
Asiatic Street Food + Noodle Bar
1600 E. 8th Ave. #D101
718 S. Howard Ave.
2223 N. Westshore Blvd. Suite B-202
1910 N. Ola Ave.
Cry Baby Café
710 Harbour Post Drive
Roger’s Rockin’ Reuben
2616 S. MacDill Ave.
datztampa.com | (813) 831-7000
Buffalo Chicken Sandwich
10413 Sheldon Road
fordsgarageusa.com | (813) 616-3673
912 N. Franklin St.
thefranklinmanor.com | (813) 487-9990
Black Bean Burger Sandwich
3225 S. MacDill Ave.
ig2go.com | (813) 287-2253
Tavern ‘Slamming’ Steak Sandwich
13134 N. Dale Mabry Highway
marlowstavern.com | (813) 513-8899
Mahi Mahi Sandwich
700 S. Florida Ave.
garrisontavern.com | (813) 221-4900
4011 W. Kennedy Blvd.
metrodiner.com | (813) 364-0076
Osteria Bar and Kitchen
903 N. Franklin St.
osteriatampa.com | (813) 563-5000
Glazed & Confused
Park & Rec
290 S. Meridian Ave.
youthhasnoage.com | (813) 563-4777
4424 W. Kennedy Ave.
eatpokefish.com | (813) 252-4189
Shrimp Po Boy
4205 S. MacDill Ave
rouxtampa.com | (813) 443-5255
Korean Hot Chicken Sandwich
500 S. Howard Ave.
shulaburger.com | (813) 867-8230
Gulf Coast Sourdough Sandwich House
5214 N. Nebraska Ave.
gulfcoastsourdough.com | (813) 304-1294
Italian Beef Panini
Timpano Italian Chophouse
Hyde Park Village
1610 W. Swann Ave.
timpanochophouse.net | (813) 254-5870
Chicken & Cheese Melt
Whiskey Cake Kitchen & Bar
2223 N. Westshore Blvd. B207
whiskeycake.com | (813) 535-9955
Pineapple Bacon Chicken Sandwich
Whiskey Joe’s Bar & Grill
7720 W. Courtney Campbell Causeway
whiskeyjoestampa.com | (813) 281-0770
Kickin’ Chicken Sandwich
Multiple Tampa locations
Piped Up Philly Cheesesteak
Yeoman’s Cask & Lion
202 N. Morgan St.
yeomanscaskandlion.com | (813) 224-9367
Smoked Turkey Special
201 W. Platt St.
zudars.com | (813) 250-6272