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“A Gem in St. Augustine” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Columbia Restaurant

Columbia Restaurant
Ranked #40 of 571 Restaurants in St. Augustine
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $10 - $30
Cuisines: Spanish, Cuban
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings, Kids, Families with children, Special occasions, Romantic, Local cuisine, Large groups
Dining options: Brunch, Dinner, Lunch, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Off-Street Parking, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Parking Available, Private Dining, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
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.
Saint Johns
Level Contributor
83 reviews
60 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“A Gem in St. Augustine”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 9, 2013

If you enjoy Spanish or Cuban food.. you'll love the Columbia. It is our 'go to' place in St. Augustine .. from special occasions (we've had large groups/parties there) to a romantic dinner for two.

If it is your first time, we suggest the 1905 salad and the calamari - you can't go wrong with either of those!

And, yes, it is full of tourists (we are local) .. but, that is ok - they are there for a reason. The food is great and the historic building is beautiful! If you are spending more time in Florida.. there are several Columbia Restaurants to visit.. the one that is the original in Ybor City (Tampa) is also highly recommended.

Enjoy!

  • Visited September 2013
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank ALoJax
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
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Date | Rating
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English first
Fernandina Beach, Florida, United States
Level Contributor
54 reviews
36 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“45th Anniversary”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 8, 2013

We chose the Columbia on the personal recommendation of several people who said if you come to St Augustine you have to eat there. After we made our reservaTion we read the Tripadvisor reviews and there were quite a few negative comments. However we stuck to our plan and were NOT disappointed. Everything was wonderful - service, food, wine. We had the crab cake appetizer, the incredible 1905 salad, grouper Jimmy(awesome) and the chocolate bread pudding (indescribable). Need I say more?????

  • Visited September 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank LCL1968
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston
Level Contributor
24 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Wonderful Ambiance but a bit over rated”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 8, 2013

I made an 8:30 reservation through open table the day before our last minute day trip to St. Augustine. Overall it was a nice way to end our day even though its over rated and I wouldn't rush back.

Check in - when i asked for a nice table for two she suggested upstairs which was aweful. If your a couple avoid 3rd floor at all costs. It was full of large groups, screaming kids (at 9pm mind u) and the AC is busted so they have giant portable AC units sitting in the middle of the floor. just unacceptable at this price point. Talk about ruining ambiance (See Earlier reviews which concur with this). I can't for the life of me understand why a hostess would suggest to a couple looking for a romantic table to sit there.. Clearly they don't know what they are doing. We refused the table and insisted on a first floor one which was much much better

Service- was average and prompt but a our server was a bit snide considering it was 8:30pm. He tried to upswell us to 2 Paella dishes (our own) when one would have sufficed. We changed our order to 1 which was plenty of food for us to share with appetizer and bread and desert and drinks.

Mojitos were awesome but sangria was aweful. We had better on $5 special down on Avillas st at lunch. Don't bother, even if its made table side it's still junk. Cheap champagne and only.a splash of fruit. Not properly brewed over time to enhance the flavor. It was aweful.

Food - below average - Im Puerto Rican and love Latin foods. We had better paella in Bermuda, Barcelona and even at Cubanos in DelRay beach Fl. The chicken was tough , indelible so we picked it out. The 3 pieces of chorizo were hard as a rock and tiny, there wasn't hardly any spice flavor. It was boring and not cooked enough. But we were hungry and tired and choked it down. Not worth the $24 Tomato salad appetizer was great though.

Desert- flan was very good as was the coffee. Flan had proper texture , nicely chilled and the right caramel sauce.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank u2fan1967
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 review, September 9, 2013
We are sorry that your meals were not prepared properly, and thank you for pointing out how we could do better. 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 share all guest comments with our managers and our staff for continuous training.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Florida
Level Contributor
31 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Just love it here!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 7, 2013 via mobile

We try to come to this place every time we come to town & it never disappoints. We had a nice lunch! We shared the croquetas de langosta. We each had the fabulous 1905 salad. I had the tortilla española, which was good but could have used some onions and chorizo. My husband had the Cuban sandwich. He said it was decent. The mojito was really delicious and refreshing. Will come back as always!!

  • Visited September 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank cars1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orlando, Florida
Level Contributor
21 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Always a good meal.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 7, 2013

Good food in a great atmosphere. A must whenever we're in St. Augustine. Try the picadillo and the boliche. Stick with the sangria made tableside...well worth the extra $1.00!

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank kwschauer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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