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.

“Like visiting an old friend”

Columbia Restaurant
Ranked #43 of 583 Restaurants in St. Augustine
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $10 - $30
Cuisines: Spanish, Cuban
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Kids, Business meetings, Local cuisine, Families with children, Romantic, Large groups
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Brunch, 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.
Albany, NY
Level Contributor
169 reviews
83 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
“Like visiting an old friend”
Reviewed March 7, 2010

We were suprised to find a Columbia Restaurant in old St Augustine, and delighted we did. It was like visiting an old friend. The staff, especially Heather our waitress very both professional and friendly. Our meal, the daily special, swordfish, was great especially when enhanced by a table made 1909 salad and a glass of Sangria. They have a private parking lot, $6 fee,which is good in this crowded portion of Old Town.

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

4,199 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    2,242
    1,079
    489
    247
    142
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Connecticut
Level Contributor
54 reviews
35 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Quite disappointing”
Reviewed February 27, 2010

Our meal was in February 2010. We have previously enjoyed cuban/spanish foods on many ocassions in Europe. We ordered the Paella "A la Valencia" and the Paella "Marinera". Seafood and chicken were "way" overcooked --- rubbery. Spices were quite mediocre, as it the dish had been "dumbed down" for US tastes. Service was acceptable, atmosphere was quite nice. Too bad the food didn't live up to the venue.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank WWKelly
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, March 5, 2010
One of the biggest disappointments is going out to eat…and not enjoying your meal. At The Columbia, we have very specific recipes that have been handed down for several generations, beginning with our founder, Casimiro Hernandez Sr., to his family members of the 4th and 5th generation who still run our restaurant. Our food has won many awards for its flavor. In your case, it sounds like someone was not following our recipe, and for that I apologize, as you received a meal that you did not enjoy.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orlando, FL
Level Contributor
34 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
“Not like the other Columbias”
Reviewed February 26, 2010

We chose this restaurant because of our experience with the others in the chain around the state. It did not live up to our expectations. Nothing seemed unique or special like we had come to expect at Columbias (not the paella, house sangria nor the 1905 salad). Everything seemed bland. The one thing that was the same as the other Coumbias was the price (also the service and decor.) I don't mind paying more for a really good meal, but the food has to be something special. Service and decor alone won't do in my book. I recommend that you find a locally owned small restaurant business for good Spanish/Cuban food. Skip this Columbia in St Augustine.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Sloshgator
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, March 5, 2010
At The Columbia, we have very specific recipes that have been handed down for several generations, beginning with our founder, Casimiro Hernandez Sr., to his family members of the 4th and 5th generation who still run our restaurant. Our food has won many awards for its flavor. In your case, it sounds like someone was not following our recipe, and for that I apologize, as you received a meal that you did not enjoy. I see that you live in Orlando, and I do hope that you will give The Columbia another chance to serve a great meal and experience.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
orange park, florida
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Did not make it inside the restaurant!”
Reviewed February 26, 2010

I parked inside the parking lot behind the restaurant and was ambushed by a man on a yellow bicycle who loudly asked me if I would be parking there. He had NO identification on as an employee or parking lot attendent and therefore, I asked him "do you work here?" He then began to yell at me and say that I was berating him and continued to argue with me. I told him "fine I will pay to park" and handed him the money, so instead of saying "THANK YOU" and giving me a ticket, he continued to attempt to argue and raise his voice very close to my face about parking and this really upset me so much. So I took my money back and asked his name, he said "I don't have to tell you anything". Nevertheless, I went inside and to tell the manager. This guy had already run inside to tattle on me as if I did something wrong. So that was my trip to this restaurant. In my profession, we wear name badges or some kind of identification during our shift so that everyone knows we work there. This guy has absolutely NO customer service skills or tact in speaking to customers. If I had were his boss and had been witness to this, he would be fired. He absolutely ruined my mood and spoiled my entire evening. This was my FIRST impression of this restaurant and I will NOT be dining there.

    • Atmosphere
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank KatnJax
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, March 11, 2010
You never get a 2nd chance to make a 1st impression. I am sorry to read that you never had a chance to eat at our Columbia Restaurant because you had such a terrible 1st impression of us…without ever entering the restaurant! We are looking into who was working in our parking lot during the time period you indicated. We will be speaking to the person who treated you so rudely, and will let this person know that this is unacceptable behavior toward anyone.

We hope that you will come back and get a chance to dine with us.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Florida
1 review
“The bathrooms could be nice if they were clean”
Reviewed February 15, 2010

The reason I think the bathrooms are good is it has great water pressure in the sinks. The soap smells great. The tiles are very pretty. The towels were made to feel like real cloth. Last but not least the counter was granite.The reasons I really didn't like it is because the roofs were white but some parts were covered in moldy looking stuff.The trash cans were filled to the top and kicked over. Despite the bad things I would still recommend this resturaunt to you.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank KrazedKitty
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, February 17, 2010
Thank you for letting us know about the restrooms. I will make sure our management team enforces the maintenance schedule that we have in place for ensuring clean restrooms.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Columbia Restaurant also viewed

 

Been to Columbia Restaurant? 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