National Sloppy Joe Day

Cheerful child with messy face and hands, wearing a colorful apron, surrounded by ingredients and a saucepan full of Sloppy Joes..
National sloppy joe day illustration

Hey there! Are you ready to get sloppy? Well, hold on to your bibs because it's National Sloppy Joe Day!

When is Sloppy Joe Day?

It's national sloppy joe day on the 18th March.

What's the Sloppy Joe Story?

Picture this: it's the early 20th century, and a cook named Joe at Floyd Angell's café in Sioux City, Iowa is whipping up a sandwich that would soon become everyone's favorite messy delight. This sandwich was filled with deliciously seasoned ground beef and various toppings, all packed between two soft hamburger buns. But, instead of being finely ground, Joe decided to leave the meat a bit 'sloppy,' giving birth to what we now know as the Sloppy Joe!

This delectable mound of meaty awesomeness quickly gained popularity and spread like wildfire across the United States. People couldn't resist the messy delight of sinking their teeth into a Sloppy Joe. It became a staple at school cafeterias, picnics, and backyard barbecues.

Ordinary Meat Meets Extraordinary Flavor

The beauty of the Sloppy Joe lies in its versatility. While the classic recipe includes ground beef, onions, tomato sauce or ketchup, and various seasonings, creative minds have taken it to another level. You can find Sloppy Joes with added ingredients like bell peppers, jalapeños, and even bacon to give it an extra kick.

But let's not forget the buns! The soft hamburger buns are the unsung heroes of the Sloppy Joe. They absorb all the saucy goodness, preventing your hands from getting too messy while providing the perfect vehicle for delivering that flavor-packed bite.

Celebrate National Sloppy Joe Day!

Now that you know the story behind this iconic sandwich, it's time to celebrate National Sloppy Joe Day with a big juicy bite! Whip up your own Sloppy Joes at home, host a Sloppy Joe cook-off with friends and family, or visit your favorite local diner to indulge in their scrumptious version.

Grab a napkin, dive in, and let the flavors explode in your mouth. Just remember, embracing the mess is part of the Sloppy Joe experience!

History behind the term 'Sloppy Joe'


The Birth of Loose Meat Sandwiches

In the year 1930, the concept of the sloppy joe began to take shape. It originated in Sioux City, Iowa, at a restaurant called Ye Olde Tavern, owned by a man named Floyd Angell. Angell first introduced this beloved sandwich as a loose meat sandwich. It consisted of seasoned ground beef served on a bun. The loose meat sandwich gained popularity due to its affordability and delicious taste.


Renamed to 'Sloppy Joe'

In 1933, the loose meat sandwich received a new name and identity. It was coined 'Sloppy Joe' by a cook named Joe, who worked at a cafeteria in Key West, Florida. Joe added tomato sauce to the original loose meat sandwich recipe, creating a more messy and saucy version. The patrons of the cafeteria loved this new rendition, and the name 'Sloppy Joe' stuck around to become synonymous with this tasty creation.


A Sloppy Joe by Any Other Name

The term 'sloppy joe' gradually spread throughout the United States as more and more establishments started serving this delectable sandwich. However, it's important to note that different regions have their own variations and names for similar dishes. In some parts of the country, it is known as a 'barbecue sandwich' or a 'loose hamburger.' Despite the regional differences, the allure of the 'sloppy joe' remained strong as the years went by.


Sloppy Joe Spreads Worldwide

During the 1970s, the popularity of the 'sloppy joe' skyrocketed and it began to spread beyond the borders of the United States. It found its way onto the menus of many international fast-food chains, and even made appearances in school lunches across the globe. The versatility of the 'sloppy joe' allowed for various adaptations and customizations, making it a hit with people of all ages and cultures.


A Staple on Menus and in Pop Culture

Today, the 'sloppy joe' continues to be a beloved sandwich in many homes, restaurants, and diners worldwide. It has become a staple on menus, with countless variations incorporating different ingredients and flavors. Moreover, the 'sloppy joe' has made its mark on pop culture, appearing in movies, TV shows, and even inspiring its own catchy jingles. It remains a comfort food classic that brings people together over its delightful messiness.

Did you know?

Did you know that the term 'Sloppy Joe' originated in the 1930s as a derogatory term for a messy person? Fortunately, the sandwich made the name infamous in a delicious way!


food fun

First identified

16th March 2015

Most mentioned on

18th March 2016

Total mentions


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