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“This should be rated in the top three!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Columbia

1241 Gulf Blvd., Clearwater, FL 33767
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Ranked #13 of 591 Restaurants in Clearwater
Price range: $10 - $30
Cuisines: Cuban, Spanish
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Romance, Large groups, Doing business, Local cuisine, Special occasions, Entertaining clients
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Delivery, Late Night, Dessert
Dining style: Casual Dining
Description: Waterfront dining at its finest! Family-owned & operated for over 100 years, Columbia has earned acclaim for its old-world charm & award-winning Spanish/Cuban cuisine & wine list. Join us for century-old family recipes like Paella "a la Valenciana," Filet Mignon "Columbia," & fresh seafood specialties. Sample a fine Spanish wine like Torres, Montecillo or Campillo. Don't miss our world-famous "1905" SaladTM, named “One of America’s Top 10 Best Salads” by the Salad Guy – Wiley Mullins in USA Today -- The only restaurant in Florida to be named. Whether you choose a table looking out onto the radiant blue waters of the Intracoastal Waterway from the Mediterranean dining room, or experience the casual atmosphere from our outdoor deck on the water, you can enjoy the cuisine that has consistently been voted Tampa Bay's Favorite. We are a sister to the Columbia in Tampa's Ybor City, founded in 1905. Children's menu available. Open 365-days a year, including all holidays.
Hendersonville, North Carolina, United States
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
41 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“This should be rated in the top three!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 26, 2013

This restaurant is so fabulous that our little family of four is looking at real estate in the area!!!

Columbia was my choice for my birthday lunch on December 19th. Sister, my husband and I dined on the deck, overlooking the beautiful ICW. Our server, Max, had mastered the art of customer service and treated us as though we were his only table, even though his other tables were receiving the royal treatment, too. The menu had quite the selection of Cuban/Spanish dishes and drinks. Two must haves are the 1905 house salad and the pitcher of Sangaria; I am having withdrawal from lack of the salad.

We had such an incredible lunch and experience with Max that we returned on the 21st with Sister's husband for his birthday. Just when we thought the food could not be better, were we ever surprised with our choices of salad, steak, snapper and grouper. Max was our server, by request.

Husband & I left on the 23rd but managed to get in one more lunch at Columbia in the Tampa airport. Sister & husband returned to the Clearwater location for dinner.

  • Visited December 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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743 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Memphis, Tennessee
Top Contributor
67 reviews 67 reviews
40 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Terrific Menu, Excellent View, Good Cuisine”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 25, 2013 via mobile

A very large and detailed menu starts the evening off with a challenge, though a pleasant one. The house specialty salads are impressive both in terms of quality and magnitude. We decided to share the 3-Tapas special with 2 seafood and 1non-seafood selection. The seafood was excellent. The spinach and garbanzo beans, although well seasoned, we're undercooked. Service was just fine.

Visited December 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
13 reviews 13 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Great, great place.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 24, 2013

It was an absolute surprise this place. We had walked past earlier in the day and when it's shut the bar through the window just looks like a well stocked American bar. We decided to pop over for a quick lunch, straight from the beach, still dusted in sand. To our surprise, the waiter took us through the restaurant and it can only be described as looking like a fine dining restaurant in a colonial style, needless to say we felt slightly underdressed! We were seated on the patio at our request which was busy and had a good atmosphere- not at any point we were we treated differently due to being beach bums! We selected the trio of tapas- what a great choice, we had calamari, lobster flatbread and chicken croquettes- all being beautifully tasty and fresh. My personal favourite was the white Rioja they had at $8 a glass- a real treat this side of the pond! Our server made the meal though, his name was Max. Very knowledgeable about the products and didn't rush us at any point- definitely worth a trip. Will visit again- hopefully soon!

  • Visited December 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
Top Contributor
269 reviews 269 reviews
96 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 105 cities Reviews in 105 cities
157 helpful votes 157 helpful votes
“A wonderful dining experience at Columbia!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 23, 2013

The best dining experience we had during our recent trip to Florida was at Columbia Restaurant. There are several of these Cuban themed restaurants around the Tampa Bay area, but we ate at the one in Clearwater Beach (Sand Key).

The restaurant is situated on the Intracoastal Waterway and waterside dining is an option. We ate in the elegant spacious dining room, with beautiful Spanish tiles on the walls and lovely Mediterranean decor. The waiters and waitresses took wonderful care of us. So good was the food that we had dinner here twice during our five night stay in Clearwater Beach.

We started with soup both nights, one night having the delicious Cuban Black Bean Soup, served with raw onion on top, a soup so thick you could eat it with a fork. The second night we enjoyed the restaurant's famous Spanish Bean Soup, a richly flavored concoction of garbanzo beans, ham, chorizo sausage and potatoes.

For main course I'd really recommend the wonderful Shrimp Supreme. Fresh shrimp from the Gulf of Mexico, wrapped with thin bacon, seasoned and fried. How can you not enjoy that wonderful combination of shrimp and bacon? Served with a vegetable and yellow rice, but I'd recommend you try the "Good Rice" (yes, that's what it's called).

Another night we tried the mahi mahi, which was good although a little dry. Shrimp Supreme was definitely the better choice. There are large selection of seafood, chicken, beef and vegetarian that I think almost any tastes would be pleased here.

We were so full after our meal we couldn't eat desert, although that key lime pie looked awfully tempting. In any event, visit Columbia Restaurant when in the Tampa area. Don't think you'll be disappointed!

  • Visited December 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lexington, Kentucky
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
“Unfortunate Choice”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 20, 2013

We were underwhelmed by our experience at Columbia. We arrived about 9pm and sat in the bar. After traveling all day, we wanted to relax with a few tapas and an adult beverage. We were told the retaurant served until 10pm, but the bartender was already breaking down the bar, the waitstaff was closing the sliding glass doors and we felt our service was 'the bums rush'. The food was average and we will not be returning when next in the area.

  • Visited December 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
guestservices1905, Public Relations Manager at Columbia, responded to this review, December 27, 2013
We only have one chance to make a good first impression, and I am sorry that we ruined your visit by making you feel rushed. Thank you for letting us know about this so we can remind our managers that this is not acceptable.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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