Got an idea for a holiday? Send it to us

Submit Now

859 Shares
859 Shares
SatMar 18

National Sloppy Joe Day – March 18, 2023

National Sloppy Joe Day, celebrated every year on March 18, is a holiday that is dedicated to the greatest sandwich of all time, the sloppy Joe. The sandwich has been around for approximately 95 years now, playing a key role in fast-food restaurants and kitchen tables.

The day aims to explore the wholesomeness of an extraordinary sandwich that has transformed the way people look at sandwiches. The sloppy Joe has garnered global appeal with its base recipe featuring onions, ground beef, and tomato sauce, and depending on what part of the world you are in, delicious varieties are made available from infusing other local ingredients.

History of National Sloppy Joe Day

There have been several claims to the origin of the sloppy Joe. One claim states that the sandwich made its debut in 1920, Havana, Cuba. A bartender called José Abel Otero. José created and successfully sold a simple sandwich based on a Cuban dish of shredded beef, tomato sauce, and spices called Ropa Vieja.

He also sold iced seafood, which would often melt and get the bar floor wet and sloppy. Since José was known for the sandwich and wet bar floors, customers linked the two and called him ‘sloppy Joe.’ Ironically, the name stuck to both him and the sandwich.

Some years later, Nobel prize winner and popular writer, Ernest Hemingway, who was a patron of the Havana bar, suggested a friend, Joe Russel, who had just set up a
the restaurant in Key West, Florida, serves the sandwich but rebrands it as the ‘Havana sandwich.’

Another origin story dictates that the Joe may have been a variation of the very common ‘loose meat’ sandwiches of the 1930s. At a Cafe in Sioux City, a cook named Joe added some tomato sauce to the loose meat, giving birth to the goodness known as the sloppy Joe.

In 1969, Hunt’s, a ketchup maker, introduced the ‘Manwich,’ which made a more convenient way to prepare the sloppy Joe. The Manwich was a can containing the sloppy Joe sauce and was promoted as more than just a sandwich.

National Sloppy Joe Day timeline

The 1920s
Sloppy in Havana

The sandwich, Ropa Vieja, is served.

1941
Sloppy in a Movie

‘Sloppy Joe’ makes an appearance in the movie “Citizen Kane.”

The 1960s
Widespread Recognition

Sloppy Joes become a household name.

1969
A Sauce for a Sandwich

The ‘Manwich’ is released.

National Sloppy Joe Day FAQs

What is the difference between the Manwich and sloppy Joe?

Manwich is a brand name for sloppy Joes in cans. Created by Hunt’s in the 1960s, it contains the sauce used in sloppy Joes. These names are used interchangeably to describe either sandwiches.

What is the difference between a sloppy Joe and a hamburger?

A sloppy Joe sandwich has ground beef fillings, while a hamburger has solid beef steak in it.

How do you make a sloppy Joe at home?

You can check that online or on YouTube. We do know that sloppy Joe recipes can be tweaked and modified to fit your taste and fantasies.

How to Celebrate National Sloppy Joe Day

  1. Make your sloppy Joes

    Go sloppy by making these delicious sandwiches in your house. You can tweak the recipe and enjoy it with your family.

  2. Go out for sloppy Joes

    Celebrate this holiday by trying out a unique sloppy Joe in an eatery. Just in case your D.I.Y. sloppy Joe is a flop, or you just don't want to cook, go-to food places that serve this awesome sandwich.

  3. Host a sloppy contest

    Have fun with friends and family! Throw a sloppy Joe contest and crown the person who makes the tastiest sandwich.

5 Facts About The Sloppy Joe

  1. It goes by many names

    Sloppy Joes are also called yum-yum, slush burger, dynamite, Manwich, and barbecue.

  2. Meet Joe's sister, Jane

    Though they are the same thing, the sloppy Jane is considered the healthier version of sloppy Joe.

  3. More than beef

    The ground beef filling can be replaced with chicken, chuck roast, and turkey.

  4. Open to vegans

    The sloppy Joe recipe is also modified to suit vegans.

  5. For a tight budget

    Sloppy Joes were first created for those with small food budgets.

Why We Love National Sloppy Joe Day

  1. We love the distinct taste of a sloppy Joe

    Sloppy Joes have a unique taste. It is addictive, and most of us just can't get enough of them. We celebrate this holiday to share our love for the sandwich.

  2. We experiment

    We try sloppy Joes with different toppings that we love. We can explore the craziest fillings and have fun.

  3. We make memories

    This day is another chance to celebrate good food and make memories with our friends and family. We take pictures and albums that will serve as reminders.

National Sloppy Joe Day dates

YearDateDay
2023March 18Saturday
2024March 18Monday
2025March 18Tuesday
2026March 18Wednesday
2027March 18Thursday

Want to sponsor this holiday?

Holidays Straight to Your Inbox

Every day is a holiday!
Receive fresh holidays directly to your inbox.