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“Dilapidated, nothing to do, not at all what expected” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Ybor City

Ybor City
Northeast of the Downtown Tampa on I-4 at Exit 1, Tampa, FL 33618 (Historic Ybor)
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Ranked #25 of 60 Attractions in Tampa
Type: Historic Sites, Neighborhoods, Landmarks/ Points of Interest, Cultural
Activities: Nightlife, City walk sightseeing, Shopping, Dining
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Owner description: Once the cigar capital of the world, Ybor City is now a thriving community.
Umatilla, Florida
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
“Dilapidated, nothing to do, not at all what expected”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2013

I was disappointed with my visit to Ybor City. We came for one reason, to visit the Columbia Restaurant because we have been to the one in St. Augustine several times and wanted to see the original. We arrived two hours early so that we could walk about Ybor City having heard so much about it. Well, I don't know if it tanked with the economy or what, but the restaurant was pretty much all that was there. (For the record, we were pleased with the restaurant.) There was absolutely nothing to do at 3:00 on Saturday. I expected shops and other business, but most of the places were boarded up. The area in general is very run down. Maybe it's more of a night spot and I'm not into nightlife, but if like me you are expecting an interesting area to walk around and explore, there's just nothing there.

Visited July 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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539 reviews from our community

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English first
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“Maybe next time....”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2013

We arrived at Ybor City expecting a little more than what we got. My husband and I both agreed that if we were to return we'd maybe go back in the evening. There are a LOT of clubs/bars. Not really a family scene. There seemed to be lots of places to eat, but several weren't open yet. (It was late afternoon.)

Visited July 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sarasota, Florida
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
92 helpful votes 92 helpful votes
“Beware of parking lot owners making extra cash towing cars”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 26, 2013

We brought our very pregnant daughter to Ybor City while visiting us in Florida. She wanted Greek food and we decided to try Acropolis. We were driving west on 7th, turned south (left) on 19th and then turned right into the lot behind the restaurant. Only three or four cars were parked back there in a lot that probably holds 50-60 cars. It was an un-busy Tuesday. We went in and enjoyed our lunch, walked down to a store in the same building, and then went to get in our van. All in all, maybe an hour and a half or so, max. When we went back to the car it was gone. At first we thought it had been stolen. I was ready to call the police when a young man walked by that works in the building and told us our car was probably towed. He said that a guy that owns the lot cruises the lot (in his Cadillac) to look for cars and has them towed. He said it happens every day and that is is basically a money-making scam. We were shocked! Where does it say to pay to park? What was going on? The young man showed us a small sign under some trees. The sign faces west, so there is no way you would see it when pulling in. He then told us the machine to pay is always broken anyway, and when I looked at it, it was indeed "out of order." There is no way a reasonable person would think that you would have to pay to park where we did.

Note: if you enter a block over from Angel Oliva St. there are signs facing the street that say "pay to park" -- not the case when you enter from 19th.

I called the towing service and was told it would be $155 to get the car back, in cash, and I had to be there by 6:00 pm. They were located by the airport on the other side of town. We went into the restaurant and told them what happened. One of the employees said the owner had gotten his car towed and they had just put a sign on the door warning people (not sure if the sign was there when we went in, but it wouldn't have mattered because the nice girl at the door opened it for us, so we would not have seen it anyway). The employee said we could get a cab 3 or 4 blocks down. In retrospect, he probably should have offered to call a cab for us. Especially with our overheated 8 month pregnant daughter standing there! Oh well, he was very nice and sympathetic.

We found a cab four blocks down, got cash, paid the driver $40, dealt with the extremely rude towing company and we were on our way. Lunch with tip $61 + parking $155 + cab ride $40 = $256 lunch. Sigh.

The lot is owned or operated by 717 parking and the person that called to report our car was with "The Italian Club." The towing company was "Ascension." So, please beware that, in our opinion, these enterprises should be avoided like the plague.

It is going to be very hard to go back to Ybor City after this. It has left a bad taste in our mouths. We are supposed to stay pre-cruise for a 3 day weekend in December, but will probably do something else.

As far as Ybor City goes . . . it is mostly nightlife (clubs and restaurants) with a little shopping during the day. The history is interesting. I highly recommend the Columbia Restaurant. So, so good.

Visited June 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Top Contributor
153 reviews 153 reviews
63 attraction reviews
Reviews in 41 cities Reviews in 41 cities
75 helpful votes 75 helpful votes
“Pretty architecture but not worth a long drive”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 19, 2013 via mobile

Thought the architecture was cool but in general it was pretty boring. I expected there to be things like fun shops or more history. Instead there were just a bunch of unopened bars. I've heard it's really fun at night, but it was not very interesting on a Wednesday afternoon.

I actually drove from the beach to see it and didn't find it worth the long drive.

Visited June 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tampa, Florida
Top Contributor
118 reviews 118 reviews
14 attraction reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
200 helpful votes 200 helpful votes
“Lots to see and do. Tampa's version of Bourbon Street”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 15, 2013

Plenty of night clubs, bars, and restaurants. Movie theatre, historic places, and fresh hand rolled cigars. This is a MUST DO if you come to visit Tampa. There truly is something for everyone. Young, old, partier or sightseer.

Visited May 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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