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“Whenever you visit Tampa, visit Columbiana !!”

Columbia Restaurant
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Ranked #12 of 2,405 Restaurants in Tampa
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $15 - $40
Cuisines: Cuban, Spanish
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Large groups, Business meetings, Special occasions, Local cuisine
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Breakfast, 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.
United States
Level 5 Contributor
49 reviews
27 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Whenever you visit Tampa, visit Columbiana !!”
Reviewed February 7, 2014

The food was great, a romantic atmosphere,loved the genuine Colombian flavor the restaurant had to offer. The flamenco dancing was absolutely beautiful and this was my first time seeing live flamenco. The drinks were GREAT!! and I would definitely try this all again !

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Alishia G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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4,366 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
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English first
shanghai
Level 6 Contributor
605 reviews
264 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 244 helpful votes
“seriously disappointing”
Reviewed February 7, 2014

I wanted to like this place, we were going with friends who live nearby expecting to have a good meal and, knowing how hard the restaurant business is, I was impressed by this being in the same family for so many years. I've also done a lot of restaurant reviews and I don't think I've often if ever, given such a low rating.
This was a serious culinary disappointment, for all 5 of us. Not just one meal being at odds with the rest. My starter of Piquillo Peppers was ok, average but edible. The Arroz con Pollo "Valenciana” was terrible. It was what tasted like a boiled piece of chicken dumped on top of a mess of overdone rice. It had no flavour and was absolutely nothing like the description on the menu which would lead you to expect a meld of great flavours. I left most of it, actually most of our table left a great deal of their meals but at no time were we asked how things were and when taking the plates away no comment was made about the amounts left which may have given some clue as to our enjoyment. Additionally this was an expensive experience for a meal that was seriously sub standard along with service which was to match from arrival to leaving.

  • Visited February 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank toniShanghai
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 12, 2014
We only have one chance to make a great impression, and I am sorry to read that we let you down. Thank you for letting us know how we can make improvements.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hesperia, California
Level 4 Contributor
19 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“BEYOND THE BEST”
Reviewed February 7, 2014

We recently travelled toTampa, Florida for a family vacation cruise, I had researched a few sites, one being TripAdvisor and as usual I was well informed by my TripAdvisor family. The Coumbia Restaurant (original) in Ybor City was the BEST. Our Excellent Server was Kali and she went all out explaining the different dishes on the menu. My daughter had the Cubano Sandwich, which was excellently prepared. I had the Ropa vieja and it was by far the absolute best I've ever had in my life. My husband had the Mahi Mahi and it was done very well. Our appetizer was Gambas al Ajillo (shrimp in a garlic sauce) which I recommend do not split amongst yourselves and order one for each person because they were simply put, Heaven! We were so impressed with the Tampa area, we'll be back. Congratulations to The Columbia Restaurant for a job well done.

  • Visited January 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank CapitanaSpanky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
The Villages, Florida
Level 6 Contributor
114 reviews
61 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“A must do restaurant!”
Reviewed February 6, 2014

I have gone to The Columbia Restaurant many times in the past 20 years and I'm never disappointed. And this time was no exception! I had their special 1917 salad and a bowl of black bean soup. Very special.

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
Thank Fred N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Raleigh, North Carolina
Level 5 Contributor
49 reviews
25 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
“Over-Hyped”
Reviewed February 6, 2014

The robots at the reservation desk chided us for being early (we were not early). Hostess made no attempt to engage us as she sprinted to through the various rooms to the very back of the restaurant and seated us at at table right near a bar used for refilling water and coke glasses by the waiters and in full view of the kitchen door. We asked to be seated elsewhere (there were plenty of empty tables) and Ms. Congeniality would not oblige. Should have left, but we were curious to see how the food was. I ordered two tapas....that were not "small" at all, and just okay (mushroom dish and calamari). Far too much food, one dish would have been fine. Husband ordered a veal dish which he sent back because it was tough. If i were to go back, I would sit at the main bar, order one of their really nice Spanish reds, the chopped 1905 salad and the Cuban bread. That's all you need. Everything else we had was just average.

  • Visited February 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank TravelGirl30iw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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