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“Muy buen!!”

Columbia Restaurant
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Ranked #11 of 2,399 Restaurants in Tampa
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $15 - $40
Cuisines: Cuban, Spanish
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Large groups, Business meetings, Romantic, Special occasions
Dining options: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Late Night, 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.
Orlando, Florida
Level Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Muy buen!!”
Reviewed June 8, 2014 via mobile

Great restaurant! You HAVE to see the Flamenco dance show. It's not amazing like Cirque Du Soleil, but it is definitely worth the price. The food and portions are great. My wife and I attended for our 5th anniversary. Make sure you make a reservation and make sure you come hungry.

Helpful?
Thank Deestheman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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4,309 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Greek first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
Ocala, Florida
Level Contributor
45 reviews
25 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“So happy the original Columbia was a great as we remembered!”
Reviewed June 6, 2014

In the last month, we have had reason to travel to Tampa twice and decided for the first (and planned) trip to visit the original Columbia restaurant in Ybor City. We had first been there about 30 years ago and then again about 20 years ago, enjoying both visits immensely, but not traveling to this area again since then.

While the Ybor City area has changed quite a bit since our last visit, thankfully, the Columbia retains its unique look and combination of Spanish, Cuban and local flavors that have made it so popular for more than 100 years. I have had the opportunity to travel and study in Spain 3 times and was thrilled to see that the historic atmosphere and food has been maintained as the basis for the menu with some updates to accommodate changing and contemporary palates.

The empanadas were delicious, my husband's albondigas (meatballs) had him sopping up every bit of sauce with the delicious bread, and our yummy gazpacho brought back memories of small town Spain for both of us. Finishing off that first lunch with warm churros and 3 dipping sauces (chocolate, caramel and guava) ended that meal with a bang!

Discovering that we had forgotten a part for my husband's new desk purchased on the first trip at the nearby IKEA, we made the 90 minute trek back down I-75 to retrieve a $30 support piece again two weeks later. Balancing out that aggravation was the chance to share another lunch at Columbia, just a few blocks away. Different lunch choices (garbanzo/chorizo soup, deviled crab croquettes, and chorizo espanola) did not disappoint and we of course ended the meal with those yummy churros again! My spouse also enjoyed the Estrella Damm lager from Spain. Prices are reasonable and service is excellent...the authentic atmosphere cannot be beat.

Now that we are only 90 minutes away, we hope this is not our last visit to the Columbia for another 20 years or so.....hmm... is there something else we need at IKEA for our new house in Florida???
Bien hecho, Columbia!

  • Visited May 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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Helpful?
1 Thank DiamondDiva60
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St. Petersburg, FL
Level Contributor
60 reviews
48 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Maybe it was an off night”
Reviewed June 6, 2014

We heard so many great things and read lots of wonderful reviews, but except for the terrific waiter, David, our meals were average. The place is beautiful and historic and they put on a good show. We had a reservation but that didn't save us from waiting in the HOT little reception area for half an hour. The place was packed! I guess it was a lot of graduation celebrations. Our food was nothing special and maybe we just chose the wrong things. The food was way too salty and otherwise blah. Kind of disappointing after all the hype. We probably should have sent the food back, but it was just too crowded. And it wasn't cheap. Maybe it was just the wrong night to go.

  • Visited June 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
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Helpful?
Thank Isi1234
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, June 10, 2014
Thank you for taking the time to let us know about your visit. We apologize that despite having a reservation, you still had to wait. We will share your comments with our chef to make sure that our recipes are being prepared properly. We never want to let our guests down, and we appreciate you letting us know how we can do a better job.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
22 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Good Eating!”
Reviewed June 3, 2014

From the start, the salad, is unique and awesome. I liked the history that went along with most of the dishes that have not changed since the original owner. Prices are fair and the menu is extensive enough to satisfy even the picky eater.

  • Visited May 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank dmc40
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dahlonega, Georgia
Level Contributor
33 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Flamenco dancers and amazing Spanish food”
Reviewed June 2, 2014

We reserved a table next to the dance floor to get the best views of the dancers. Luckily we dropped a hint that we were on our honeymoon and the staff came through perfectly. The white Sangria was simply the best tasting alcoholic beverage I have ever tasted. Refreshing and delicately floral with a resounding hit relaxing champagne, and gran marnier. Dinner was fabulous and dessert even better as the restaurant comped us their wonderous flan with a congrats card as well! Just an amazing experience and again, a wonderful start to our honeymoon. Thank you!!!!

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
Thank Christopher B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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