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“Nice location with good view. Great for lunch.”

Columbia Cafe - Riverwalk Tampa
Ranked #26 of 2,461 Restaurants in Tampa
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $10 - $20
Cuisines: Cuban, Spanish
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Breakfast, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Description: Enjoy waterfront drinks, tapas and our delicious Spanish/Cuban cuisine at the Columbia Cafe in the Tampa Bay History Center on the Tampa Riverwalk. The Cafe proudly serves locally brewed craft beers on tap. We offer a full bar, and serve lunch and dinner daily. Live music Friday and Saturday nights on our outdoor, canopy covered waterfront patio bar. Located next to the Amalie Arena, and walking distance along the Tampa Riverwalk from the Marriott Waterside Hotel, Embassy Suites, the Florida Aquarium and the Tampa Convention Center. Casual attire is fine, but we don't allow sleeveless shirts on men. Guests can dine inside at a scaled-down version of the original mahogany bar at our sister restaurant, the Columbia in Tampa's historic Ybor City, built more than a century ago in 1905 by the Brunswick Company. If you're boating, we invite you to dock at Garrison Channel outside the Tampa Bay History Center at one of eight tie-ups.
Reviewed April 1, 2013

Café style menu. It is located inside the Natural History Center. Can be weird when you're enjoying cocktails and a group of elementary students is touring by. Nice bar, but again it's inside the museum. Maybe try to sit outside. Food is good, nothing out of this world, but tasty. The service the day we went was terrible. Drinks were SUPER SLOW in coming. A few dishes got messed up. One in our group was so upset, he ended up not eating his food when it finally arrived after a long wait. Anyway, it you're looking for a nice lunch spot you should go here, just hope the staff and bartender are having a good day.

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Thank caseywest99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
guestservices1905, Public Relations Manager at Columbia Cafe - Riverwalk Tampa, responded to this reviewResponded April 4, 2013

Thank you for letting us know about your experience. We strive to provide outstanding service, and clearly your server needs a refresher course. We thank you for taking the time to let us know how we can improve, and apologize that you were left waiting so many times. We will read your letter at an employee meeting to remind our servers of why it is so important to pay attention to our guest’s needs throughout the meal. I just want to note that we are located at Tampa Bay History Center, not the Natural History Center.

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489 - 493 of 556 reviews

Reviewed March 30, 2013

We decided to go to the Columbia Cafe by default because all the sports bars were too packed the night of the Lightning game. It is a nice place on the water. View is excellent. Service was good. Food was also very good but not "exciting". The queso fundido appetizer was pretty good, except for the price, meaning we expected more from both taste and quantity perspectives. At half the price it would have been worth it. The carafe of Sangria de Cava sangria prepared table side was well worth the price, containing sparkling wine, triple sec, brandy, simple syrup and lots of fruit. Spanish black bean soup was very good after we kicked up a notch with the Columbia hot sauce. We had the small version of the 1905 salad, and it was also very good for a side salad, with cheese and meat and a tangy dressing. The Cuban sandwich we shared had all the right stuff, i.e., Spanish pork, ham, salami, Swiss cheese, pickles and mustard on toasted and pressed Cuban bread, but unfortunately we had to send the first one back because it came out rather cold instead of hot pressed like it should be. The waitress apologized and quickly replaced it with a fresh, hot one. All in all it was a good meal experience. We ate indoors by the window with a great view of the water. Outdoor seating looked equally as appealing.

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Thank Couples_Memory
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 30, 2013

We love this place. You have to pay a few bucks to park, but the location is worth it. It's in the back of the history museum. Tall windows inside on the second level let you overlook the water. We prefer sitting outside with a pitcher of white sangria. Atmosphere is very nice. There never over crowded.

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Thank TampaSunlover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 29, 2013 via mobile

After some time at the Tampa Aquarium, we were looking for an outside restaurant to enjoy the beautiful weather, so we walked along the river and stopped in at the Columbia Cafe and boy are we thankful we did! We enjoyed a very leisurely lunch, starting with empanadas and sangria! It was all delicious! Then, soup for us all, black bean and Spanish soup were ordered and enjoyed! The server was very attentive to our needs, especially my boys special requests of no raw onions on the soup! :) Lunch itself was very tasty, chicken and rice, Cuban sandwiches, and Mojo chicken- delicious!! We saved room for coffee and dessert - you should too!!! The coffee was smooth and the bread pudding almost divine!! I am glad we got the opportunity to enjoy the great outside ambiance and food! Next time we visit Tampa we are planning on trying out the orginal Columbia restaurant in Ybor City and hope it is just as lovely of an experience!

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Thank Millytravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 22, 2013

Coming here is truly an experience! The food is delicious with a wide variety of choices! The service staff is friendly and caters to your every need! The Flamenco Dancers are graceful and energetic! You can't help but absolutely enjoy yourself! Highly recommend this restaurant!

Thank IreneADD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
guestservices1905, Public Relations Manager at Columbia Cafe - Riverwalk Tampa, responded to this reviewResponded March 28, 2013

Thank you for sharing your experience with us. We are please to see that you enjoyed your meal and our Flamenco dance show. I just want to note that your comments are about our flagship Columbia Restaurant, located in Tampa’s historic Ybor City, which is a different location than our Columbia Café on the Tampa Riverwalk. Our Flamenco show is only offered at Columbia Ybor City.

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