Columbia Restaurant - Sarasota
Columbia Restaurant - Sarasota

Columbia Restaurant - Sarasota

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://columbiarestaurant.com/
  • Phone: 9413883987
  • Hours of Operation:
    Lunch Daily: 11:00am - 4:00pm; Dinner: Sunday - Thursday: 4:00pm - 10:00pm, Friday - Saturday: 4:00pm - 11:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Diners Club,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Spanish, Cuban
  • Executive Chef: Jesus Padilla Jr.
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking Area, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Smoking Area, Takeout, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Catering: We offer off-site catering, please call us for details to make your special event memorable with one of our “Super Paellas.
  • Private Party Facilities: The Columbia Restaurant in Sarasota on St. Armands Circle is the perfect venue for your special event. Our Old-World Mediterranean style dining rooms lend an atmosphere of warmth and elegance to any gathering. For a small group of 28, we offer private dining space.
  • Private Party Contact: Erika Klatyik 9413883987
  • Entertainment: After your meal, stroll along St. Armands Circle, resembling an elegant European market with bright tropical landscaping. It is home to more than 130 shops that pamper guests from all areas of the world. Sarasota is a cultural haven with stunning beaches and superb shops and galleries. Outdoor activities like golf, tennis, deep-sea fishing and boating are also nearby.
  • Special Events: Although online reservations may not be available, we are still taking reservations through the restaurant.

Getting there

  • Parking: Public Lot
  • Parking Details: Free parking on the street, or in public parking areas surrounding St. Armands Circle.
A word from Columbia Restaurant - Sarasota
Family-owned and operated for over 100 years, Columbia has earned acclaim for its old-world charm and award-winning Spanish/Cuban cuisine and wine list. Join us for century-old family recipes like Paella "a la Valenciana," Filet Mignon "Columbia," and fresh seafood specialties. Don’t miss Columbia’s Original “1905” Salad®, prepared tableside with our delicious, freshly-made dressing, a 100-year-old family recipe of fresh garlic, oregano, wine vinegar and Spanish extra virgin olive oil. Be sure to sample a fine Spanish wine like Torres, Montecillo or Campillo. Relax outdoors on our patio, or inside our Mediterranean-style dining rooms filled with hand-painted tiles and family heirlooms. We are a sister to the Columbia in Tampa's Ybor City, founded in 1905. Children's menu available. Open 365-days a year, including all holidays.
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerGreat for Lunch
  • Diners' Choice WinnerOutdoor Dining
  • Diners' Choice WinnerMost Booked
Columbia Restaurant - Sarasota reviews from OpenTable diners
127 reviews since May 2, 2014
Overall Rating4.1
  • Food4.4
    Service4.1
  • Ambiance4
    Noise LevelEnergetic
92% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
great for outdoor dining (77)great for lunch (62)special occasion (53)fit for foodies (45)neighborhood gem (43)good for groups (39)hot spot (31)scenic view (25)romantic (21)kid-friendly (21)great for brunch (17)notable wine list (13)late-night find (8)vibrant bar scene (7)Show More
  • A Tradition!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    Authentic Spanish food in a vibrant neighborhood setting. The best salad and Mojitos hands down in the Sarasota area. It is always a family favorite anticipated meal while visiting the white sandy beach of Siesta Key for over 30 years!
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic, great for lunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Completely satisfied
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    always love the experience. Never disappoints. The ambiance love watching the sidewalk show. In the middle of the action.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Weekend Lunch
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    Food was excellent as always, seated on the sidewalk tables outside and extremely hot and noisy. Would not be seated there again. Service was ok, waiter didn't really seem that interested or talkative. Not the best service I've ever had there.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Columbia St.Armands Circle
    Insgal
    Dined on 8/21/2014
    Reservation made to celebrate my husband's birthday with family in Sarasota, table was ready and the food and serve was wonderful, would definitely recommend
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Lunch at Columbia
    Kate
    Dined on 8/19/2014
    Lunch at the Sarasota Columbia is such a nice break from the daily work stress. Great food. Great location.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Spanish excellence
    JimD
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    Drinks should include either mojitos or sangria - both are excellent. Start with their fabulous "1905" salad, made at your table. That evening we then shared the Tapeo sampler of three tapas choices - ours included stuffed mushrooms, fried calamari and crab cakes on a three-tiered platter. If you like roast pork, the Columbia is the place to get it. We always look forward to dining here!
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Popa
    Popa
    Dined on 8/13/2014
    First visit to this location. Food was excellent as usual. Food was served timely and hot, however our waiter seemed like he was trying out for the theater. Also his unsolicited recommendations were simply the most expensive in each category.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good food Nice Atmosphere
    FrequentDiner
    Dined on 8/10/2014
    Went to Columbia restaurant to celebrate a special Birthday for my sister-in-law. Upon Check-in I told the young man who checked us in that it was my sister-in-laws birthday and would he let our server know. He said he would. After being seated our waitress showed up shortly. She was very good, attentive and knowledgeable about the menu. The ambiance was nice, the food was good but there was no mention to my sister-in-law about her birthday. I assumed the waitress was never informed, like I asked. I would definitely recommend this restaurant and I would go there again next time I'm in Sarasota. Just disappointed when I detect incompetence.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Lovely place
    Dineaway
    Dined on 8/10/2014
    The good was wonderful....some of best I've ever had.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Bad service
    Blborlando
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    We were an after thought for our server. She seemed annoyed to even be waiting on us.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • walked out
    al1234
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    waitied a half hour to get sat. Kept being put off. walked out. Restaurant was too busy and chaotic.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Very Popular
    CarmNYC14
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    Great spanish/cuban food. Service was outstanding. The warm cuban bread was so good you'll want to eat it all but leave room for dinner. Talk to your waiter for food recommendations they will steer you in the right direction. The empanadas were fantastic as well as the mojitos.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, late-night find, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2012VIP
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    The food was great, but the service was mediocre. Although we had a reservation, the 3 very young employees at the hostess stand stood around talking for 10 minutes before bothering to seat us. Then after geting the worst table in the restaurant (right ouside the kitchen), we asked to be moved. Midway through dinner (we were a party of 3 seated at a 4 top) a female server asked me to remove my purse and my son's iPad from the 4th chair, b/c she needed it for someone else. I said "Dont' you have other charis in the restuarant? Our stuff is on the chair. She responded "I need to take care fo this other customer and tok teh chair." Incredibly rude!
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great Lunch!!
    NorthernGirl
    Dined on 8/5/2014
    Our first trip to the Columbia Restaurant - our Tampa family love this place. We visited recently from the UK and fell in love with Sarasota and the fab food at the Columbia. Not to mention the great service and the best Sangria on the planet!! Recommend this to everyone - the menu is huge and there is definitely something for everyone!! We will be back!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Dining at the Columbia is YUM!
    2diningdames
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    The Columbia is a fabulous Cuban restaurant located in St Armand's Circle in Sarasota. The patio is my favorite place to have a meal, it opens onto the sidewalk dining area, but is still under a/c which is a big advantage in our hot Florida weather. My favorite dining choice is the Cuban sandwich accompanied by a 1905 salad that is mixed table side. My companion and I ordered full portions of each and split it between us. Plenty of food, so much so that along with the crunchy hot Cuban bread that is served, we had no room for the amazing desserts....next time! The red sangria is delicious, but try the white sangria-amazing! Our total bill for two was only $27.00! What a deal for such a delicious meal I highly recommend the Columbia!!
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • TheresaVIP
    Dined on 7/28/2014
    Wonderful dinner!! 1905 Salad is delicious every time I eat it. And the Sangrias are definitely worth getting a pitcher:)
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, great for lunch, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Too hot
    JoeMVIP
    Dined on 7/26/2014
    Food was great as always. The temperature on the restaurant was way too warm. We asked the manager if he could make it cooler. He said he would take care of it but he never went near the thermostat. It was so warm we asked for the check because it was too uncomfortable to stay for dessert and coffee.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Ask for a table on the left side!
    FoodieMama
    Dined on 7/24/2014
    My husband and I went here with another couple on a Thursday night in mid July. I am glad we made reservations, as there was a 2 hour wait for those who didn't. We were seated next to a closed windowed area with a nice view of St. Armand's. We loved our waiter, our sangria (made for us at the table), and our food; We, however, did not love the heat. We fanned ourselves with the menus, but after our orders were taken (and our menus) we were all dripping with sweat. The heat from the kitchen was sweltering! We quickly switched from sangria to ice water just to cool down. I visited the restroom on the other side of the restaurant (to avoid passing out) and it was at least 10 degrees cooler. Great restaurant, but needs fans near the kitchen!
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, romantic, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 7/23/2014
    Always put this at the top of my list when on St. Armands
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Excellent!
    masume
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    The food and service were excellent. The settings and ambiance was fantastic as well. We will be back and have recommended it to several friends.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • How disappointing
    Cayasmom
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    We are from tampa and expected the same experience at the Sarasota location. Alas, not to be...from. flies in the dining room, sales people from a nearby retailer ( fox.y lady) coming table side to show you their wares, it was not the classy experience I had hoped for. The mojo chicken sandwich was bland, the Cuban soggy, and truly unappetizing. How sad:(
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • NoFoodieButHardToPlease
    Dined on 7/18/2014
    All the Columbia restaurants are clean, well decorated, and offer a unique dining experience. I love the cloth table linens, well dressed and attentive wait staff, and the overall atmosphere. The menu is limited, but everything on it is authentic and delicious. It is our favorite restaurant in Sarasota. can't wait to try the one in St Augustine.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • first time here
    Sabrina
    Dined on 7/16/2014
    We have been in Sarasota for a year and this was the first time we went to Columbia- but it will not be the last! The menu was great, the food was delicious, and there was something for everyone on the menu. The place was jammed even for the summer and I can see why. I had the black bean soup which was to die for, and the 1910 salad - which is prepared table side and big enough for a large party to share. We want to try so many other things on the menu, we will have to make this one of our go- places to dine.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Disappointed
    Meridian
    Dined on 7/12/2014
    Pros: Prompt - We made a reservation and were seated promptly. Tapas - We had the Stuffed Mushrooms and the Pork Ribs. They were excellent. Sangria - We bought a pitcher of the Red and it was delicious. Steaks - My wife had the Filet and my son had the NY Strip. Both were well prepared. Waiter - He was funny, informative and attentive. Cons: Seating - Some of the most uncomfortable seats I've ever spent an hour and a half on. Temperature - The right side of the restaurant was very hot. The left side was nice and cool. Paella - I and my friends ordered the Paella A la Valenciana. It was quite oily, salty and bland. There was little variation in taste from pork to chicken to shrimp. None of us finished and we regretted not ordering steaks.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Excellent
    Greateating
    Dined on 7/7/2014
    Excellent food Even a salad is always a special treat
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, late-night find, scenic view, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great Fun Food Ambience
    GrammyMusicProducer1
    Dined on 7/5/2014
    Like OLD Cuba or as one would imagine Cuba. The food was very good, the waiter did a great job. The Pork Cubano was excellent as were the Cuban bread, fresh butter. The dessert was chocolate cake and too big for one person. I like Tampa the original but this is much closer to where I spend time. Worth the money.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Pew1
    Dined on 6/27/2014
    Fair food. Tapas excellent though Cuban and black bean soup missed. Mojitos too sweet/lack seltzer. Bread perfect
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • They forgot my Mom's Birthday
    Lola
    Dined on 6/22/2014
    I made this reservation explaining that this was my Mom's 70th birthday lunch. I expected them to do something (bring out a special dessert or something), but instead, they completely ignored it. My Mom was very disappointed which broke my heart.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Kelly
    Dined on 6/21/2014
    One of my favorite restaurants of all time. I've been to all three and consider myself lucky to live in Sarasota, close to the Columbia!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Always enjoyable
    AWilliams
    Dined on 6/21/2014
    A visit to this restaurant is always a treat with great food and that special Columbia atmosphere. We love the 1905 salad!
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Very good but
    TheDenver
    Dined on 6/19/2014
    We always make it appoint to dine here when in town due to the quality of service, the great food and the location..... Noise level is a little to high sometimes....
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Attentive Service - Good Food
    Selectiveater
    Dined on 6/18/2014
    Shibhone (spelling? Gaelic not my specialty) did an outstanding job - knowledgeable about the menu and extremely kind - the food was good - a great lunch overall.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • ModelT
    Dined on 6/15/2014
    Our reservation was honored and we were seated immediately, even though we were a few minutes early and the restaurant was packed. Service and food was very good.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Something for everyone!
    laydeebug
    Dined on 6/14/2014
    Our group of friends has a nice time for lunch at Columbia. The sangria and the warm Cuban bread are wonderful! I would go back to try more of items from their extensive menu : )
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Pleasantly Surprised
    mountainmom
    Dined on 6/9/2014
    Upon reading recent reviews online (poor service), I was hesitant to go back to the Columbia. We ventured forth with trepidation, but happy to say pleasantly surprised by the cordial (if hurried) service given to us by Nicoletta. She was very friendly and efficient, with no attitude at all. My only disappointment was with getting "splashed" by her while she was preparing our 1905 salad. She was obviously in a very big hurry and both liquid and lettuce were flying around. The food was good, but not great. I've had better at previous visits. As always the location is good for people watching; mojitos aren't to be missed.
    Special Features:
    scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food!.....but...
    diner1
    Dined on 6/8/2014
    The food was outstanding! However, I was disappointed with the service and comfort. When I placed this reservation I mentioned it was our 30th wedding anniversary in the additional information. I thought someone may have considered the information and congratulated us, but no one did and I wondered why I added this to our reservation. Our waitress never came back to the table after serving our meal until we were finished (I couldn't even find her when I needed my water filled during the meal!) The bathroom was dirty and trash was overflowing. Even though we were inside with the fans on, it was uncomfortably hot. The food was absolutely wonderful, but I was dissapointed that we chose this restaurant to celebrate a very important event.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Always impressed
    H8SmlFood
    Dined on 6/2/2014
    Whenever wvacatiin in the area, we make a point to eat a Columbia. Ate early so noise/crowd wasn't a factor. The Chacho Filet is excellent. The Grouper Jimmy is simple and delicious. The White Chocolate Bread Pudding is one of the best desserts I've ever eaten! Always enjoy our experience here.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Birthday lunch
    sagent301
    Dined on 6/1/2014
    We had a reservation for a birthday lunch celebration with visiting children in town - 4 people. Waited about 10 minutes - given a table just inside the main dining room - not the best table since it was a special time. Waited a while for our waiter - asked if they could fix our wobbly table, but it never was. Our food arrived within a reasonable time - their "known for" salad was excellent - as always - rest of our meal was quite good. Had to ask again for a second drink, but it finally did arrive. Busy when we first arrived, but thinned out as we continued our meal. Will always go back here and will recommend to others - it's a very nice restaurant and the food is always good. Cuban sandwiches are one of the best in town.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Dave/Carol
    Dave
    Dined on 5/31/2014
    We had such a great time for this special dinner. We drove to Sarasota for the weekend and Columbia was a highlight of our weekend. Joseph, our waiter, was very good being an experienced restauranteur. The meal, wine, and service was spectacular.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, scenic view, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Friend Charmer
    Gastronome
    Dined on 5/28/2014
    Our evening dinner with another couple was superb. Our waiter was friendly, knowledgeable, and prompt. Each of us really enjoyed the entree we picked. Our friends from out of town were impressed with the experience. The menu and food quality were comparable to that in the Columbia's charter restaurant in Ybor City in Tampa, which is always excellent. Overall it was a memorable experience.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.