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“Lovely setting, very attentive service”

Columbia Restaurant
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Ranked #40 of 600 Restaurants in St. Augustine
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $10 - $30
Cuisines: Cuban, Spanish
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Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Large groups, Special occasions
Dining options: Lunch, Late Night, Dinner, Breakfast, 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 July 15, 2013

The ambiance of this restaurant can't be beat. Serving plenty of traditional Cuban food, many items were specially created table-side, including fresh salads and sangria. Very relaxing lunch and prices were reasonable (around $10 for a sandwich). We also had the gaspacho which was especially delicious! All guests are served their own half-loaf of warm Cuban bread, which was a nice treat. The bread pudding is also made with the same Cuban bread and my husband truly loved it!

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1  Thank gabi_kansas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,426 - 3,430 of 4,521 reviews

Reviewed July 14, 2013

Had heard so much about this place, and wanted to experience it, but didn't want the hassle of dinner so went for early lunch. We had parked all day in the $10 visitor center lot and gone to the pirate museum and other shops so just walked down to the Columbia. The Mojilto's and Sangria were great. Most everyone in our party had salads of one kind or another. They were quite tasty everyone said. My husband did not enjoy the dressing on the chopped salad though. I had the Cuban Pork plate. It was okay, nothing really outstanding but not bad. Served with plantains, yucca, beans and rice. They all blended well together. Outstanding service.

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1  Thank Jan K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 14, 2013

Everything we tried during our two visits to the Columbia was excellent. The mojitos and sangria are enough to make us return to the restaurant, but the food was amazing as well.

1  Thank southerntravelers02
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 14, 2013

I moved here from New England in 1996. I lived many years as a Florida resident without ever experiencing a CUBAN sandwich. My family and I took a day trip to St. Augustine and we decided to go to the Columbia restaurant, Florida's oldest restaurant and home of the original cuban sandwich. I couldn't wait to try one!! We ordered & got our cubans we dug in and it hurt!!!!We should have stopped at the first bite. That cuban bread wrecked the roofs of our mouths for days and we were still feeling the aftermath:'-(.So if you are going to try their cuban, I hope the roofs of your mouths are made of steel. Seriously, beware! (My husband had cubans before and said that every one he ever had was pressed like a panini. This one was not pressed at all and he said it was the worst one he ever had) The Spanish bean soup "that made the Columbia famous" was alright. Nothing to write home about.

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1  Thank mamamiaof3a
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 July 18, 2013

I am so sorry that when you finally got to try a Cuban sandwich, yours was not pressed! We definitely do press our Cuban sandwiches, so I’m not sure why you were served ones that were not pressed. Also, we purposely cut our Cuban sandwiches diagonally so that there is a small tip at one end which allows one to take a smaller bite out of the sandwich. We will ask our chef to make sure the proper procedure is being followed to press Cuban sandwiches before they are served.

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Reviewed July 14, 2013

Our excellent waiter made up for the difficulty that we encountered in the restaurant parking lot. We had a reservation and barely made it due to waiting over 10 minutes for a parking slot to become available. Being a Holiday weekend, the restaurant was very crowded but the service was great. The food is very good but not exceptional. Overall it was a very good eating experience in a very touristic setting. I would like to revisit during a less busy period.

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Thank Stucolco
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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