Where to get cigars on 7th Avenue in Ybor City, Tampa

Places every cigar lover should visit in Cigar City

Bar at King Corona Cigars in Ybor City, Tampa
The bar at Ybor City's King Corona draws people for coffee in the morning and beer at night. Cigar Snob Magazine

If American cigar culture has a mecca, it’s in Tampa’s historic Ybor City neighborhood. To be more specific, it’s on E 7th Avenue, between 15th Street and 22nd Street. Ybor City is named for Vicente Martínez Ybor, the Spanish-born cigar manufacturer who took his business from Cuba to Tampa, creating a small company town that eventually grew into one of the Florida’s largest cities. How important were cigars to the area’s development?

Consider that Ybor City even had electric power before the rest of Tampa did. Without cigar making, Tampa wouldn’t be the city it is today.

That seven-block stretch of 7th Avenue isn’t just home to a lot of cigar shopping options (even in Havana, you’d be hard-pressed to find a higher concentration of cigar stores); it’s also one of the last vestiges of a bygone era, when a significant chunk of cigar manufacturing was done by small factories called chinchales. While many of the stores in Ybor City offer the nationally distributed brands that smokers are familiar with, they also give visitors a chance to try cigars they might never find back home.

There are only so many hours in a day, though. If you’re visiting Ybor City for the first time, make these stores (and factories) your high-priority stops on 7th Avenue.

King Corona Cigars

On any given morning, you’ll find that Ybor City starts its day at King Corona.

Among 7th Avenue humidors, King Corona’s is among those that most closely resemble the ones you have in your town. Aside from nationally distributed brand, though, they also carry a few of their own blends, which are well worth trying.

What draws so many people here early in the morning, though, is the ample seating and great coffee and breakfast sandwich menu.

Later in the day, you’ll be able to get tapas, beer and wine here, but the store’s position at the far West end of Ybor’s cigar-heavy stretch make it a prime place to start your stogie tour.

Watch a video interview with King Corona owner Don Barco.

Tabanero Cigars

Tampa has a long Cuban tradition. Part of that tradition is Cuban-style espresso. Lots of it. So if you’re doing Tampa like a Tampan, it shouldn’t be a big deal that your next stop for coffee is less than a block down the road.

Tabanero Cigars only sells its own blends, and the best thing about smoking here is that it’s one of the few truly immersive cigar factory-lounge combinations you’ll ever come across. They’ve got more rolling tables on-site than anybody else on this strip, and there are cigars aging from the floor to the high ceilings in parts of the store. There’s something really special — especially for cigar lovers — about enjoying your smoke against the backdrop of so many smells and sounds that remind you you’re lighting up at the source.

Long Ash Cigars

In every sense, Long Ash is one of the younger cigar companies on 7th Avenue. The store hasn’t been around as long as many others, but the cigars are damn good, and that’s due to the relatively young ownership’s commitment to old-world methods and quality standards.

All their cigars are rolled on-site using tobacco that’s also stored just beyond the lounge area.

Despite that commitment to traditional manufacturing, this place feels way fresher and cooler than your typical cigar lounge, so even the youngest traveler should feel right at home. They’ve also got craft beers and and are working on expanding their bar offerings to include hard liquor, so it’s a great place to start the evening portion of your romp through Ybor City.

Watch a video interview with Long Ash Cigars owner Michael Cincunegui.

Take a slight detour for the Ybor City Museum

Just a block north of 7th Avenue, you'll find the Ybor City Museum. Even if you're not a cigar smoker, a visit to this museum will help put the unique character of Ybor City in its proper context. The permanent exhibit includes cigar factory artifacts and several houses that were part of Vicente Martinez Ybor's fledgling town way back when.