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“Good Tapas Restaurant in Old St. Augustine”

Columbia Restaurant
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Ranked #45 of 596 Restaurants in St. Augustine
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $10 - $30
Cuisines: Cuban, Spanish
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Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Romantic, Large groups
Dining options: Breakfast, Dinner, Late Night, Lunch, Delivery, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Description: Family-owned and operated for over 111 years, Columbia has earned acclaim for its old-world charm and award-winning Spanish/Cuban cuisine and wine list. Join us for century-old family recipes like Paella "a la Valenciana," Filet Mignon and fresh seafood specialties. Don't miss Columbia's Original "1905" Salad(R), prepared tableside with our delicious, freshly-made dressing, a 110-year-old family recipe of fresh garlic, oregano, wine vinegar and Spanish extra virgin olive oil. Be sure to sample a fine Spanish wine like Montecillo or Campillo. Relax in our courtyard or Mediterranean-style dining rooms, filled with hundreds of hand-painted tiles and Spanish-style fountains. We are a sister to the Columbia in Tampa's Ybor City, founded in 1905. Children's menu available. Casual attire is fine, but we don't allow sleeveless shirts on men. Open 365-days a year, including all holidays. Please visit our website for the most current menu listings.
Reviewed February 26, 2013

This is large restaurant (bigger tHan it looks from the outside) located in the historic section of St. Augustine. The theme and decor is very "Spanish" as is the menu. The tapas portions are generous and the selection is good. The mussels were especially good - perhaps the best we have ever eaten. Service was friendly and, considering that it was at busy dinner-time, efficient. Overall, a highly satisfactory dining experience.

2  Thank Ivan-Mimi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,560 - 3,564 of 4,443 reviews

Reviewed February 26, 2013 via mobile

This was our second experience at Columbia. This chain of 5 restaurants specializes in Spanish cuisine with beautiful decor and marvelous food. Our appetizers, salads, and fish entrees were exquisitely prepared and the wait time was quite reasonable. But during both our visits, the waiter seemed brusque, haughty, and hurried. In all fairness, we saw waiters at other tables who were very pleasant, warm, and engaged, so maybe we just drew overworked ones. This is a fine old restaurant with terrific atmosphere, scrumptious cuisine, and great reputation that we will certainly visit again.

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Thank JohninRaleigh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 26, 2013 via mobile

The atmosphere is awesome but the service was raggedy and the food was average. We eloped to St. Augustine, made reservations advising we just got married and we got a lack luster reception. We waited 15 minutes before a server showed up....that spoiled the occasion. When the food arrived it was ok, but not the vibrant favors of Cuba as expected. Overall it was a dull experience. Don't go out of your way to eat here.

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Thank WickedInk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
guestservices1905, Public Relations Manager at Columbia Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded March 7, 2013

Congratulations on your marriage! We are happy to read that you chose to celebrate this happy occasion with us. But I am sorry to see that we made so many mistakes and ruined your special evening. We do read all comments here, and we thank you for taking the time to let us know about these issues so that we can make improvements.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 25, 2013

My wife and I visited the Columbia Restaurant for lunch last week and were once again unhappy with the service and food. It took our waiter nearly 10 minutes to come to our table and asked if we wanted a drink, we ordered a couple of Bloody Gazpachos. Again 10 minutes passed before our drinks arrived, when they did they were tasteful they were very weak.
It took the waiter 15 minutes to bring our Chopped Tomato Salad, the 1905 dressing was good but the tomatos were mushy and tasteless.
Our entree, Croquetas de Pollo arrived and they were cold in the center. We called our waiter over and he took them back and brought out another order. They too were cold. I again called the waiter over and told him that we were going to skip the entree.
A couple at the table next to us laughed and said their meal was cold also.
This is the second time we have had a poor dining experience here. The restaurant needs to get better FAST!

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1  Thank john a
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
guestservices1905, Public Relations Manager at Columbia Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded February 26, 2013

We are sorry that your meals were not prepared properly, and thank you for pointing out our mistakes. We want to make sure our guests have a wonderful experience when they dine with us. If there are problems with the meal we encourage guests to let us know while they are dining so that we can fix the problem then. The next step is as you have done, to let us know about the problems with your meal here, as we do read all comments.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 25, 2013

My sister and I went to this restaurant at the recommendation of my coworkers. Wow was it yummy! One thing I am very glad we decided to do was to make a reservation. We were there in February on a Friday, and it was packed! With our reservation, we were seated immediately.

The restaurant has beautiful decorations on the inside. Such a wonderful atmosphere.

When you are first looking at the menu, each person gets a hunk of yummy hot Cuban bread. Absolutely DELICIOUS! We ordered a pitcher of the white sangria, and I would highly recommend it. Very refreshing.

Both of us ended up ordering the pollo manchego. Drool worthy chicken breast slices breaded with cuban bread crumbs and parmesan cheese -- sun dried tomatoes on top, and the most delicious rice/veggies. I left the restaurant happy but STUFFED!

It is pricey (~$70 for two meals and the sangria), but it was a great vacation splurge. Recommended!!

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3  Thank Kelsey C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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