We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Excellent”
Review of Columbia

Columbia
Reserve with OpenTable
Columbia is not available for your requested time. Choose another time, or search restaurants with availability.
The time you selected has already passed.
Ranked #12 of 697 Restaurants in Clearwater
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $10 - $30
Cuisines: Cuban, Spanish
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Romantic, Business meetings, Local cuisine, Special occasions, Large groups
Dining options: Lunch, Late Night, Dinner, Breakfast, Delivery, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Description: Waterfront dining at its finest! Family-owned & operated for more than 112 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 Original 1905(R) Salad, named "One of America's Top 10 Best Salads" by 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. Casual attire is fine, but we don't allow sleeveless shirts on men. 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.
Clearwater, Florida
2 reviews
“Excellent”
Reviewed March 13, 2013

We ate dinner with a group of 5 girlfriends. Food was good, service was great, atmosphere was great. We ate the paella, 1905 salad and a few tapas. All were good. Paella was good and filled with yummy seafood. Overall an excellent dinning experience for myself and a group of girlfriends.

  • Visited March 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Onge210
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

1,948 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    1,210
    472
    174
    55
    37
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Went back for seconds!”
Reviewed March 12, 2013

Food and atmosphere is amazing; ate there twice in a four day stay! I will be trying to replicate some of their dishes back home.

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
Thank Lori S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Clifton Park, New York
Level 5 Contributor
59 reviews
49 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Just Average”
Reviewed March 12, 2013

Had dinner at the Columbia after hearing quite a bit about it from some local residents. I was expecting great things when we entered but ended up somewhat disappointed. This place is pretty much a tourist restaurant that makes you think you are eating great food when actually its just average. I started with their "famous" black bean soup using a recipe that was passed down for generations. The soup is served over white rice and to be honest, it appeared like they took a can of black beans and poured it over the rice. The beans and rice weren't even really hot temperature wise. Our server kept telling us she was going to bring us fresh bread and when we asked where it was at one point, she told us it was still in the oven becasue it was frozen. I had a snapper dish for dinner that had a nice tasting souce with it but the fish was over cooked and ended up on the tough side. Our party of four had a couple of drinks each and the bill was $160 before the tip. This place is overpriced for the quality of the food. You are paying for the view.

  • Visited March 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Frank11000
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, March 14, 2013
I am so sorry that we let you down so badly. We pride ourselves on serving a great meal, but this did not happen on your visit, and we did not make a good first impression on you. There is no excuse for this, and we thank you for pointing out our many mistakes so we can share your comments with our chef and make sure that these mistakes are corrected.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St. Petersburg, Florida
Level 4 Contributor
42 reviews
34 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“1905 Salad, Standards, Training and Attention are Must Haves”
Reviewed March 10, 2013

I've always loved the Columbia and it is a "go-to" for taking visitors, however as the old Times food reporter Ruth Gray used to say, it is becoming a Pinellasized palate poster child (eg mediocre is still acceptable and profitable - especially for tourists). So sad. The atmosphere is fabulous but super echoey due to the high ceilings. Not a big deal. Yes it is tourist season but many things could be done to have made this experience better. Our young server Adam had to be asked for ice water three times. Our second pitcher of Sangria came as desert. The large parties (10-12 people) appeared to get more experienced servers however a bottle of wine crashed to the tile floor behind us as the server was doing her tableside sangria show. Glass just missed me. The 1905 salad is a show stopper and a must have. Always has been. So glad that has not changed as well as the fabulous bread. Unfortunately two in our party ordered the paella which was announced to take 30 minutes - no big deal. But the other two of us had Dimaggio/Monroe and the Gambas Churrasco combo. I'm no expert but the ticket apparently all went in at the same time. Perfect paella but the other two dishes were obviously under a lamp since the earth was cooling. Dry and unappetizing looking. Al Ajillo was way over salted and not served sizzling. Come to think of it last time I went to Columbia at St Pete pier, the garlic was so burned that the dish was bitter. Where is the training???? A restaurant like this should have some control over the kitchen and be able to secure top notch servers. It is sad to see an institution resting on its laurels. This is not McDonalds. Service and attention should be much higher than mediocre. Recommendation: order salad, bread and Paella and lower your service expectations..especially on a busy night. I hope they read this and make some adjustments! I miss the old Columbia.

  • Visited March 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank BGBurgChick
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, March 14, 2013
We always like to hear from our long time guests. But I am sorry to hear that we let you down on this visit. Having to remind your waiter to refill your drinks, and then serving entrees that were not hot is not the way to earn your continued business. We are owned and operated by 4th and 5th generation members of the founding family. The Columbia Sand Key is a sister to Columbia Ybor City, Florida’s oldest restaurant, celebrating our 108th anniversary this year. We are sorry that we did not take good care of you, and thank you for letting us know so we can make improvements.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Indian Rocks Beach, Florida
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Cuban.”
Reviewed March 7, 2013 via mobile

Excellent. Formal yet super laid back. Definitely has Caribbean feel and FOOD. Always love it here. Fresh and zesty, the '1905 Salad' is a gastronomical DeLighT<3

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank TammyTyme
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Columbia also viewed

 

Been to Columbia? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing