“A Florida tradition since 1905”
The Columbia Restaurant - a Florida tradition since 1905. Named an All-American Icon by Nation's Restaurant News, one of only fifty restaurants in the U.S. chosen for this honor. Earned the "Distinguished Restaurants of North America (DiRoNA) Award of Excellence" -- One of the most prestigious awards in the fine dining industry. An anonymous, independent 75-point inspection of the property is conducted to review the quality of the food, wine, service, physical property and décor. Founded in 1905 by Cuban immigrant Casimiro Hernandez, Sr., the Columbia Restaurant is Florida’s oldest restaurant and the world’s largest Spanish restaurant. 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.
This restaurant is by far my favorite restaurant in all of Tampa. The Columbia restaurants are a chain, and can be found across Florida including in St.Augustine, but the YBOR CITY Columbia's is the eldest restaurant. The staff are extremely friendly and are there to celebrate special occasions with you or just serve you a delicious meal. No matter where you sit in this restaurant you get to experience the beauty in the restaurants architecture. On top of this prices are not too high and during the week Columbias will have Flamenco dancers perform. I highly recommend.
HUGE restaurant! Make sure you ask to walk around and enjoy the decor. There are some speakeasy features that are cool.
We ate on the "patio". It was the open atrium area where the flamenco dancers originally performed. We ordered a few tapas for the table-crab cakes, short ribs, & calamari - and they were all fabulous. I ordered the Pompano Pijuan and it was scrumptious. The dessert we tried was a White Chocolate bread pudding with chocolate shavings. It was a surprise from the traditional bread pudding with rum/raisin, but I loved it!!
I was so impressed by this incredible building which has the soul of a bygone era. Bowtie and tuxedo clad waiters and a number of different rooms for those that prefer the bar to a restaurant. The style is formal without feeling stuffy and I was totally comfortable in my shorts. The mojito was the highlight and I thoroughly enjoyed my Cuban and salad. Overall, a huge win. I'll for sure be back.
Make a reservation if you can to avoid long waits. The Flamenco shows are fun but cost a little extra. I adore the old-school atmosphere, and the food is amazing. The bread, the coffee, the cocktails... it all makes for an awesome experience.
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- Mon - Thu: 11:00 am - 10:00 pm
- Fri, Sat: 11:00 am - 11:00 pm
- Sun: 12:00 pm - 9:00 pm
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