While LiV Tampa Bay is being updated, let’s explore Ybor City…..

It’s late morning in Ybor City, and the streets are awakening as I walk to a local coffee shop to start my day discovering this “city within a city” in Tampa. Passersby greet each other with handshakes, heartfelt hugs and “¡Buenos días!” I can’t help but feel light in my step, seeing the warmth exchanged among locals.

Beyond the door to La Tropicana Cafe, the aromas of freshly brewed coffee and right-out-of-the-oven Cuban bread fill the air. My appetite sits up and takes notice. Within moments, I’m seated at a table, and a brimming cup of café con leche is set in front of me, as well as a healthy portion of hot, buttered Cuban toast. Though I’m not a big coffee drinker, I figure when in Rome—or rather, Ybor City—and take a sip from the steaming mug while plotting out the day ahead. Toward the back of the restaurant, a group of longtime friends and cafe regulars gather for their morning tradition of camaraderie, their laughter echoes through the building.

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