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“Disappointed!” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Columbia Restaurant Cafe -Tampa International Airport

Columbia Restaurant Cafe -Tampa International Airport
4100 George J Bean Inbound Parkway, Tampa International Airport, Concourse E Serving Delta and Air Canada, Tampa, FL 33607 (Formerly Columbia Restaurant Cafe)
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Ranked #43 of 2,001 Restaurants in Tampa
Cuisines: Spanish
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Description: Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served daily, offering family recipes that have made the Columbia famous for over a century, like the Original Tampa Cuban Sandwich (recently proclaimed by Tampa's City Council as the City's "Signature Sandwich"), steaming hot bowls of Spanish Bean Soup and Black Bean Soup, and the too good to miss, Original "1905" Salad,™ named "One of the 10 Best Salads to Make a Meal Out Of" by USA Today. Other menu favorites include Miranda's Ybor City Devil Crab Croquettes, Chicken and Yellow Rice "Ybor" and Picadillo "Criollo." Breakfast choices include Eggs Malagueña, Tortilla Española, Torreja's and the Ybor City standard breakfast of Café con Leche and Cuban toast. The original Columbia Restaurant was founded in Tampa's Historic Ybor City in 1905 by Cuban immigrant Casimiro Hernandez, Sr. It began as a 60-seat corner café known for its Cuban coffee and authentic Cuban sandwiches, frequented by the local cigar workers. Today The Columbia is Florida's oldest restaurant. Inside the Columbia Restaurant Café at Tampa International Airport, customers can dine at a scaled version of the original Brunswick bar, built over a century ago at Columbia Ybor City. A full bar is available, along with selections from the Columbia's private label wines from Spain, California & Argentina and Columbia's private label spirits including Don Casimiro Classic Silver Rum, Screaming Richard Tequila and Chacho Bourbon. Miscellaneous: Full Bar Children's Menu Serving Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner daily.
Estevan, Canada
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Disappointed!”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2013 via mobile

This was my first time trying Colombian food and I was not impressed. The waitress even recommended the dishes seeing as we'd never had Colombian food. She was also very pushy with the extras..

    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
guestservices1905, Public Relations Manager at Columbia Restaurant Cafe -Tampa International Airport, responded to this review, February 26, 2013
We are sorry to read that you did not enjoy your first visit with us. I just want to note that we are The Columbia, spelled differently than the country of Colombia. Our menu items are a blend of both of our family heritages, Spanish and Cuban -- showcasing many traditional foods as well as many items that are creations by each of the five generations who have owned and operated the Columbia since 1905.
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75 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Tampa, Florida
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
29 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“make reservations for the weekend!!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 9, 2013

I made reservations for a party of six for a Friday night, as soon as I walked in and gave the hostess my name we were seated which was very good. the waiter was busy given a Friday night and the restaurant being busy but really it wasn't a problem. The waiter came in 5 minutes to take our drink order which was fine since we were waiting for the rest of our party to arrive. Although the waiter wasn't that attentive due to how busy it was I had a great time and the food was great and delivered to our table in a reasonable fashion. I will be back, its a beautiful restaurant with great food!

  • Visited February 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 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.
guestservices1905, Public Relations Manager at Columbia Restaurant Cafe -Tampa International Airport, responded to this review, February 14, 2013
We are happy to read that you enjoyed your meal with us. I want to note that I believe you meant to post this review for our Columbia Ybor City location, as we don’t take reservations at our Columbia Tampa International Airport location. Our Columbia Ybor City restaurant is a beautiful restaurant indeed, with 15 different dining rooms, and has the honor of being Florida’s Oldest Restaurant.
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Chicagoland
Top Contributor
235 reviews 235 reviews
174 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 78 cities Reviews in 78 cities
90 helpful votes 90 helpful votes
“A MUST GO IF IN TAMPA”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2013

We went here several times in the past. We could not get in this time so we went to the RIver Walk Location in Tampa. I still like this place the best.

Get the Cava Sangria made with fresh fruit. EVERYTHING on the menu is good.

  • Visited January 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.
Missoula
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“Great food!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2013

I don't really expect to find really good food at an airport restaurant but this was the exception! Great salad and black bean soup! And I left feeling like I'd even eaten something that was good for me! Even better, they have the recipe for both on their website, so I'll probably try making them at home.

Next time in Tampa I'll probably try to go down to their main restaurant and check it out.

  • Visited January 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Medford,MA
Top Contributor
76 reviews 76 reviews
39 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
52 helpful votes 52 helpful votes
“Beautiful historic restaurant, decent food”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2013

Columbia is a historic restaurant that is a lovely place for lunch or dinner. It is large, there are several main dining rooms and a convivial bar-cafe room. Lots of pretty ceramic tiles, very good service. The cuisine is Cuban and overall, while this restaurant is obviously wildly popular, the food is good if not exciting. Portions are average, not generous. Spicing is subtle, the food isn't 'gutsy' as it might be in some more humble Cuban places, at least based on my one time experience. I ordered a very good mahi mahi special that was topped with a salsa. Very nice quality grilled fish. The yellow rice and plaintains that accompanied the fish were average. My husband's roast pork was very good quality meat, two small slices, with white rice, some black beans and boiled yucca. Again, the rice and beans lacked the oomph of a sofrito or something to add a little flavor. I know Cuban cuisine is not wildly spicy but it can be very flavorful... we also had an excellent tapas dish of sauteed potatoes with chorizo. That had some oomph from a bit of garlic and the chorizo. We were split on the famous house salad... I thought it was way too overdressed and the salad was based on iceberg lettuce with a few shreds of ham and cheese, a couple of green olives. I didn't love it. Others might.

Overall, Columbia is a good choice for a pleasant lunch or dinner. They have a very extensive wine cellar, several beers, sangria, an extensive menu. Service is good. The atmosphere is very nice, reminiscent of Spain. I would go again. But I think I'd also search out some of the small neighborhood places for good Cuban food.

Visited January 2013
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guestservices1905, Public Relations Manager at Columbia Restaurant Cafe -Tampa International Airport, responded to this review, January 24, 2013
We are pleased to read that you and your husband enjoyed your visit and meals with us at Columbia Restaurant in Tampa’s historic Ybor City, Florida’s oldest restaurant. I just want to note that your comments have been placed in the section for our Columbia Restaurant Café at Tampa International Airport, which is a different location.
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