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“Very Nice”

Columbia Restaurant
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Ranked #11 of 2,430 Restaurants in Tampa
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $15 - $40
Cuisines: Cuban, Spanish
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Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings, Romantic, Local cuisine, Large groups, Special occasions
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Dinner, Lunch, Delivery, Reservations
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 112 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.
Reviewed January 29, 2014

Very nice place to eat . A bit busy as we were there Gasparilla weekend but worth the wait . Enjoyed our meal in smaller dining area . Had Calamari for an appetizer , very good . The main course was a shaved steak entree with onions and seaoning . Was delicious . Warm bread was a nice touch . Our meals and drinks came in at just over $60 . Service was good , especially cosidering the crowds . Will eat here again next time we're in area .

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Thank jimmyd1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,276 - 3,280 of 4,493 reviews

Reviewed January 28, 2014

Hubby and I were planning a trip to Sarasota to shop but weather and I-75 traffic problems changed our minds. We did some shopping at Nordstrom Rack then headed to Columbia. It was around 5:30 pm. We waited only a few minutes, seated in Red Room (never eaten in this room before). We were seated for some time before a server appeared. He was nice but very slow. Thank goodness the female server also saw to our refills and checked on us. We had the 1905 Salad. It was delicious as always. The Cuban Bread was hot and yummy. Hubby had bowl of Cuban Bean Soup, I had Tapas Queso Fundido. I would have had other Tapas also to share, but anything fried is fried in same oil as shellfish (allergy). The server did save me on that, told him of allergy, and ordered Pollo al Ajillo, which said sautéed in olive oil. He checked, not sautéed but fried in same oil. Bummer. Anyway, wanted room for dessert. After slowly getting around to clearing table and taking our dessert orders, ( hubby asked for description of the Godiva Chocolate Cake) and he ordered that. I ordered Flan and Cafe con Leche. Waiter returned with coffee, then shortly after buzzed by and dropped off my Flan and we did not see him again for several minutes. He came back, we told him - no cake- he apologized but took him more than 6 minutes to return with it. My coffee was getting cold as I did not want to partake of my dessert before he got his. Our room had filled up by then and the entire restaurant was full! So happy to see that on a somewhat rainy Monday night.

Thank Palmsinparadise
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 26, 2014

The Columbia has updated the Flamenco dancing show with some good and bad changes. The music retains traditional elements, but now includes some more updated pieces which will appeal to the 50 and under crowd. The dancers are very good. The choreography has moved toward a more modern dance interpretation of the traditional flamenco style dancing that uses castanets and elements of tap dancing and the end result is energizing as was the traditional dance. They could use the castanets and hair comb/mantilla look more to greater effect - the dancers just have hair buns. Unfortunately the costumes ruin the effect of the show. The traditional layered dresses indicative this dance style are gone and replaced with unisuits with scarves around the waist. Very unusual and not very attractive. This was the biggest detractor commented on by older and younger guests in the crowd. I would still recommend the show if you want entertainment, but do not expect the flamenco dancers and show that used to be the norm.

Thank TampaTrips
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 25, 2014

My family and I were in the neighborhood after going to a large Expo and decided after seeing it on the show; Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives- to give it a try. It was a lot fancier than what I anticipated but not to the point of turning around while wearing jeans! We were seated immediately. I was a little afraid we may not have brought enough money after seeing the servers, waiters, and hostess's uniforms. It was all good. The menu consists of items that could fill any hungry or not so hungry. We had the original Cuban, as well as a Turkey club served on freshly baked Cuban bread. They also brought out a mini loaf of Cuban bread for each patron. The sandwiches came with plantain chips.(member of the banana family that are eaten after cooked, not so good raw). As most menus, you can choose from a variety of hot items as well as a salad that has everything but the kitchen sink in it. The only criticism, we happened to have the one waiter that didn't appear to like his job or people he was serving. Due to the other friendly wait staff, we got over it. A very nice visit, definitely would come again.

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Thank crolynn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 24, 2014

I go to Tampa often and this is one of the places I visit every time. I love the food and there's always a buzz of folks inside to watch the dance show. The food is great and Spanish inspired with a local flare. Portions are large and I have not had anything bad on the menu. The staff is great and they have a vibrant bar area. If you are in the area it's a must do.

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

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