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“First Visit 1993, Second Visit 2012, Both Perfect” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Columbia Restaurant

The Columbia Restaurant
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Ranked #12 of 2,356 Restaurants in Tampa
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $10 - $30
Cuisines: Spanish, Cuban
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Bar scene, Kids, Business meetings, Special occasions, Romantic, Large groups, Local cuisine
Dining options: Dinner, Brunch, 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, Valet Parking, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Dining style: Casual Dining
Neighborhood: Historic Ybor
Cross street: 21st street
Description: Open 365-days a year, including all holidays. Serving lunch and dinner daily. Reservations accepted. Children's menu available. In addition to award-winning Spanish/Cuban cuisine, Columbia Restaurant in Ybor City features Flamenco dance performances nightly, Monday - Saturday. There is no show on Sunday. The Café offers live jazz Tuesday through Saturday. The Hernandez Gonzmart family has been making restaurant history since 1905 when they opened their landmark Columbia Restaurant in Tampa's Historic Ybor City, which today is Florida's Oldest RestaurantSM. Today, 4th & 5th generation family members work hard to preserve the family's legacy that their great-grandfather Casimiro Hernandez, Sr. created over 111 years ago when he opened the Columbia as a corner café frequented by local cigar workers. Casual attire is fine, but we don't allow sleeveless shirts on men. Our guests enjoy many of the same century-old family recipes that have made the Columbia famous like Paella "a la Valenciana," Snapper "Alicante" Pompano en Papillot, The Original Cuban Sandwich, and Filet Mignon "Columbia". Don't miss Columbia's Original "1905" Salad(R), prepared tableside with our delicious, freshly-made dressing, a family recipe of fresh garlic, oregano, wine vinegar and Spanish extra virgin olive oil. Enjoy an ice cold pitcher of Sangria or Mojitos, or sample a fine Spanish wine like Montecillo or Campillo from our award-winning wine list.
Frankfort, Indiana
Level Contributor
52 reviews
36 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“First Visit 1993, Second Visit 2012, Both Perfect”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 6, 2012 via mobile

I visited the Columbia in Ybor City with a work acquaintance several years ago, and it was a delightful experience. I didn't really recollect any specifics about the visit other than that I loved it. My husband and I stopped in Tampa recently to visit my nephew. I knew he would love the flamenco dancers! He did. And we all loved the food and the ambience and being treated like royalty. My nephew had been to the Columbia at the pier in St Pete, but he said it is a completely different feel. It is a casual beach feel. No dancers. Still excellent food. This was great, though. Parking is right across the street, so my husband had no problem, even with his mobility issues.

    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank lorisuemiller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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4,079 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
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  • Spanish first
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  • Any
English first
Orlando, Florida, United States
Level Contributor
14 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Historic and delicious”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 6, 2012

If you happen to get to Tampa, The Columbia HAS to be on your itinerary. Founded in 1905 (I know this because the 1905 salad is worth the trip on it's own).... Really cool building, great show....and the merluza ala russa, paella, snapper, and the aforementioned 1905 salad are crazy good. Definitely check it out.

  • Visited November 2012
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Steve W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
33 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Business dinner”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 6, 2012

Always enjoy eating here when traveling to Tampa for work. Had dinner with 10 colleagues and the food and service was excellent. Everyone was very happy with their dinners and the experience. Will definitely come back again.

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
Thank Danny R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tampa, Florida
1 review
“Lunch”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 4, 2012

In town for business tried The Columbia for lunch due to the previous reviews. Sat at bar, the arroz con pollo was good, service not very good,

  • Visited December 2012
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Mike J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tampa, Florida
Level Contributor
66 reviews
59 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“felt like home”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 4, 2012

Had the paella! cooked well and flavorful! T?he sangria was fruity to say the least! Haven't been there in 3 years and I won'rt wait to go back that long again!

Visited May 2012
Helpful?
Thank Marc A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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