Who doesn’t love a good sandwich? It’s the most efficient way to eat multiple food groups at once. They’re so beloved that there’s a holiday for them: National Sandwich Day is Friday, Nov. 3. In that spirit, we rounded up a list of spots around Tampa Bay to eat them.
Note that this is not intended to be an exhaustive list of every sandwich around Tampa Bay, merely the results of our combination of eating (lunch) and researching.
La Segunda Bakery & Cafe
Residents of St. Petersburg rejoiced when this Tampa staple opened another location. It’s not hard to figure out why. Not only do they bake the area’s most popular Cuban bread, they also fill it with delicious ingredients — resulting in slammin’ sandwiches. Beyond the Cuban (which is delicious), try the Fire Bird (mojo marinated chicken, fire sauce, cheddar, bacon, jalapenos), the Tampa Cheese Steak (marinated steak, provolone, caramelized onions and peppers and fire sauce) or the Veggie (olive spread, onions, banana peppers, pickles, spinach, tomatoes). 2512 N. 15th St., Ybor City, 813-248-1531; 4015 W. Kennedy Blvd., Tampa, 813-540-9119; 2424 Fourth St. N., St. Petersburg, 727-388-4983. lasegundabakery.com.
Wright’s Gourmet House
You can eat around the world at this Tampa bakery, with sandwich names like the New Yorker (corned beef, pastrami, Genoa salami, provolone and red onions), Paris (turkey, Brie and apple), grilled Monte Cristo (double decker with ham, Genoa salami, turkey breast, German dill pickle and Jarlsberg cheese) and the grilled Bahama Baby (roast pork, ham, bacon and Jarlsberg cheese). But it’s the Cuban with house-roasted pork that is award-winning. 1200 S. Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa. 813-253-3838. wrightsgourmet.com.
Pané Rustica Restaurant and Bakery
Times food and dining critic Helen Freund loves this South Tampa spot’s curried chicken salad on house-baked rosemary focaccia bread, which she also recommends putting the mozzarella, tomato and prosciutto combo on. The Shaved Lamb Sandwich with roasted eggplant, red pepper, whipped goat cheese and basil pesto on toasted rustic Italian bread sounds equally yummy. 3225 S. MacDill Ave., Tampa. 813- 902-8828. panerusticabakery.com.
As the name indicates, this spot makes flan with flavors that rotate weekly. But it also makes “quick Cuban classics,” including sandwiches. In addition to a Cuban, there are locally named sandwiches like the South Tampa, with salmon, Swiss cheese, avocado and key lime tartar sauce, the Westchase (oven-roasted turkey, bacon and Swiss cheese) and The Heights, which is a vegetarian black bean and butternut squash burger with cilantro slaw and smoky aioli. 1718 N. Nebraska Ave., Tampa. 813-402-2400. flanfactory.com.
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Mustard Seed Deli & Market
We’re eager to try this Lutz spot based on the delectable-looking photos on its website. On the cold sandwich menu are the Renee (prosciutto, burrata, fig preserve, baby arugula) and the Bessie (roast beef, smoked Gouda, pickled onion, creamy horseradish sauce). On the hot sandwich menu are the Rocco (slow-cooked Italian roast pork, pancetta, carrots, San Marzano tomato, mozzarella), the Jordan (meatballs, mozzarella, fire-roasted red peppers, San Marzano tomato sauce, basil pesto, tomato cream sauce) and the Lucky (house-roasted pastrami brisket, Swiss cheese, caramelized onion, coleslaw, garlic dill pickle, house-made mustard sauce). Those are just a few of the offerings. It’s also a market and specializes in charcuterie. 1532 Land O’ Lakes Blvd., Lutz. 813-388-6100.
Mazzaro’s Italian Market
Everyone has a favorite sandwich at this St. Petersburg landmark — Hot Italian, Meatball and Sesame Tuna Wasabi were often ordered on a recent visit. But several new offerings keep the experience fresh. The Mortadella Pistachio, featuring thinly shaved mortadella with pistachio spread, creamy burrata, shaved Parmigiano and verdant arugula with a spritz of lemon oil on a crusty ciabatta roll, is craveable. Roast Beef Romesco, Cuban Panini, Chicken Milanese and the Fig & Pig (Prosciutto Cotto with fig spread) are the other new ones to try. 2909 22nd Ave. N., St. Petersburg. 727-321-2400. mazzarosmarket.com.
Known for its “mega” sandwiches, expect a line at this St. Pete hole-in-the-wall. Sandwiches come in 6, 8 and 12 inches, but they’re stuffed so fat that they make for several meals no matter what size. Try the Chicken Cordon Bleu, Cuban or meatloaf, which is probably the most popular and is only available from Wednesday to Friday. 2128 Ninth Ave. N., St. Petersburg. 727-327-0296. facebook.com/papajssimplydelicious.
The Violet Stone
Specializing in pizza and sandwiches, the owners are from Philadelphia, so they know their way around a proper cheesesteak. The bread is made in-house, the ribeye is finely chopped and the cheese is so evenly mixed through that you only taste it. Keep it simple, or jazz it up Schmoozy-style with mushrooms and American cheese sauce. Or you can have it made with chicken or Beyond beef. They also serve classics like eggplant and chicken Parmesan and original recipes like a chicken cutlet dipped in hot honey and topped with pickled slaw and spicy Calabrian ranch dressing. There’s no dining room so it’s pickup or delivery only. 2134 Ninth Ave. N., St. Petersburg. 727-202-8940. thevioletstone.com.
The Tavern at Bayboro
This spot on the University of South Florida’s St. Petersburg campus is known for its grouper sandwiches, which come in multiple preparations. The basic sandwich comes either grilled and tossed with Buffalo or fried with a crunchy almond and Corn Flakes crust. Specialty grouper sandwiches include The Journalist (grilled and topped with mushrooms, onion and Swiss cheese) and The Greuben (grilled and topped with sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and Thousand Island dressing). 120 Sixth Ave. S., St. Petersburg. 727-873-2022. thetavernatbayboro.com.
Cuban sandwiches are ubiquitous in Tampa Bay, like sand at the beach. This spot on the Treasure Island Causeway brings Cuban sandwiches to the beach — as well as spiced pork, roasted turkey, roast beef and tuna, all on Cuban bread from La Segunda. Try the combo with a half sandwich and Floridian bean soup, black bean soup or black beans and yellow rice. It really is the perfect beach food. 230 107th Ave. N., Treasure Island. 727-367-6662. thefloridiancubansandwich.com.
Uncle Funz Provisions
This St. Pete Beach spot, owned by Z Grille former owner and chef Zack Gross and his wife, Jennifer, is a mostly grab-and go concept with a gift shop. The menu changes weekly, so you have to keep up with its Instagram account every Wednesday to see what’s available. Recent choices included pastrami with Swiss cheese, hot pickles and spicy mustard or ham and mozzarella with lettuce, tomato, pepper relish and Calabrian mayo. 6640 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach. 727-498-6873. unclefunz.com.
Golden Dinosaurs Vegan Deli
This vegan Gulfport spot has become known for its robust selection of sandwiches. Thanks to the versatility of seitan, a plant-based meat substitute, you can enjoy a Reuben, Philly, Cuban or French Dip. If those sound a little heavy, the Dill Chickpea salad sandwich on your choice of bread is a lighter take. They all pair with fries, either waffle or regular. 2930 Beach Blvd. S., Gulfport. goldendinosaurs.com.
Craving an authentic banh mi? Look no further than this Pinellas Park spot, which bakes it own bread on site. According to Times writers Gabrielle Calise and Helen Freund, “you can’t go wrong with the classic dac biet, or special cold cut combo, made with cold cuts, sliced pork and liver pate and topped with a bouquet of pickled carrots, daikon, cucumber and plenty of cilantro.” 9150 49th St. N., Pinellas Park. 727-999-1018. lesbaguette.com.
DeCosmo Italian Market
This family-run grocery store and deli in Pinellas Park has a nice variety of subs, like the Stefano with Italian beef topped with giardiniera and au jus; the Sicilian with tuna, capers, olive, red onions, arugula and garlic butter; and Zia’s Garden, a take on the caprese with house-made pesto, tomato, mozzarella and balsamic glaze. 6832 49th St. N., Pinellas Park. 727-289-6404. decosmoitalianmarket.com.
Seminole Subs & Gyros
With locations in Seminole (11775 Seminole Blvd., 727-399-2299), Pinellas Park (11599 66th St. N., 727-546-5558), Clearwater (1001 S. Missouri Ave., 727-443-2299) and Dunedin (2298 Main St., 727-734-2233), this popular spot is a solid choice. Try the Italian Cold Cut (ham, Genoa salami, capicola, cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, mayo, dressing) or the Vegetarian (provolone, Swiss/American cheese, lettuce, tomato, onions, mushrooms, bell pepper, mayo, vinaigrette) from the cold sub menu. On the hot side are the Pizza Sub (Genoa salami, pepperoni, Swiss/American cheese) and Eggplant or Chicken Parmesan. Or try a regular or chicken gyro — they are the shop’s specialty and essentially qualify as a sandwich. seminolesubs.com.
Nature’s Food Patch
With locations in Clearwater (1225 Cleveland St., 727-443-6703) and Dunedin (966 Douglas Ave., 727-304-1010), this healthy market offers vegetarian and vegan sandwiches in its cafe. The Pesto Veggie Melt (zucchini, Havarti, avocado and tomato) and The Shroomer (marinated portobello, cheddar, roasted red peppers) are hearty vegetarian options. Among multiple vegan options are the Vegan Big Stack (tempeh bacon, vegan cheese, tomato, red onions, Thousand Island dressing) and the Vegan Patch Sub (seitan deli slices, vegan mozzarella, homemade ranch). naturesfoodpatch.com.
Hog Island Fish Camp
Seafood sandwiches are on the menu at this Dunedin spot just north of Main Street. Take your choice of hogfish, grouper or mahi, fried grilled or blackened. Or go for Walt’s Crab Cake, 2 Fried Hogfish Sliders, Bottom of the Bay Po Boy with fried shrimp, oysters and grouper or the Oyster Po Boy with remoulade. Don’t like seafood? Try the Buttermilk Fried Chicken with choice of ghost pepper jack or cheddar cheese. Bonus: You can add pimiento cheese to any of these. 900 Broadway Ave., Dunedin. 727-736-1179. hogislandfishcamp.com.