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  • Columbia Restaurant - Sarasota

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Columbia Restaurant - Sarasota
Columbia Restaurant - Sarasota

Columbia Restaurant - Sarasota Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://columbiarestaurant.com
  • Email: colsara@columbiarestaurant.com
  • Phone: (941) 388-3987
  • 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 (941) 388-3987
  • 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 & Promotions: 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.Continued
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerGreat for Lunch
  • Diners' Choice WinnerOutdoor Dining
  • Diners' Choice WinnerMost Booked
Diner Reviews
  • "The signature salad is a favorite and the cuban sandwich. I love the Columbia and go each time I visit Florida. "
    Dined on 4/16/2014
  • "Perhaps it always was this way, but my nostalgia got the best of me. We returned to Columbia's after a 15 years, remembering it as charming (including the wait staff), with reliable Cuban recipes, the warm hospitality you would expect from attentive servers from Cuba, and well-prepared, and fairly-priced, good tasting food. What we found was, in fact, just the opposite -- hurry-you-out-the-door service void of grace and charm, markedly terrible food, loud, touristy ambience, and prices that make you swallow twice. A quick look: I had the LuLu Mae salad and found the lettuce swimming in water. My wife had the Tortilla Espanola and found it to be a total joke - omelet on the outside, big chunks of tasteless potatoes inside. Run away from this"
    Dined on 4/15/2014
  • "Our waitrees that night was so pleasant and answered all of our questions regarding the menu which she was very knowledagle of. She was excellent waitress and I would love to have her again when we return to this restaurant. The atmosphere of this restaurant was very pleasant and vibrant. So full of life."
    Dined on 3/29/2014
  • "Really nice place to have a drink either lunch or dinner. Have eaten their several times. I last ordered paella and was disappointed. It is not true paella, more like jambalaya. It was good, but not authentic."
    Dined on 4/12/2014
  • "The TAPAS plates are reasonable and range from about 8 to 14.00 and the entrees will go up to about 21-25.00. I missed having the 1/2 sandwich and 1/2 salad and this looked very popular and good. Many people ordered this. I had the Snapper over rice and it was adequate, but nothing spectacular, but I will go back to try a few more items. The shrimp scampi , I think it was, that my mother had was great. My wife had the eggplant and enjoyed it very much too. We will be back. Make reservations if you need to be there a certain time since it is very busy. Also, book ahead since it is had to get in the reservations on short notice. Seating indoors is very good and you can see outside easily & we sat outside to watch the people."
    Dined on 4/12/2014
  • "We were in the area for our vacation and met 2 other couples for dinner. The food was very good but the service was disappointing. Two people in our party asked for water and never received it. The server never asked if we wanted more drinks which we would have ordered. Two people in our party have health issues that cause them to need lots of liquid to swallow food. Their tea and water glasses were refilled only after asking the server. He also messed up two orders so one person did not get what they ordered. Since we've heard great things about this place, we will definitely give them another chance. One note of caution-women, the tiled floor is very slick. Be selective with shoes you wear. If you fall, should file an accident report."
    Dined on 4/8/2014
  • "If you like Spanish food, Columbia's the place. And, now that they take reservations, there's no need to wait in line. The 1905 salad is a must along with the white sangria which you can now order by the glass. I have never had a bad meal here."
    Dined on 4/7/2014
  • "So glad one of the locals recommended this as it did not disappoint. Love that they take reservations. Server suggested the white bean soup over the black bean and it was delicious. Sangria was great. House salad is a must."
    Dined on 3/28/2014
  • "You can count on Columbia for a good meal. Always busy, but consistently good food and service. The 1905 salad is a "must" - just get the small portion with your meal. Lots of great choices, too."
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "As a local who enjoys Latin food I enjoyed the food and the ambiance of Columbia. The 1905 salad( a legend there) and the fresh hot bread were the highlight of my lunch there and they make fabulous Sangrias! I'll be back to try the Paella : )"
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "Overall service and food was good. The waitress was funny and made good suggestions. The noise in the resturant is busy and generally very loud. However, service was good and the food was very tastey. The sangia is great too."
    Dined on 4/2/2014
  • "Loved our dinner at Columbia. Tapas were outstanding, wine and sangria wonderful and amazing steaks. Loved atmosphere -- great presence on the circle at St Armands."
    Dined on 3/30/2014
  • "The St. Armand's Circle Columbia Restaurant had our reservation ready, which I appreciated since the restaurant was packed with other diners. The portions for the Lula Mae salad were huge, and my friends each had the soup/salad combo, which had a nice sized salad, as well. The pitcher of Sangria made the luncheon more festive, for sure. All the food was delicious, and the service was good, despite how busy our waitress was. There is abundant staff, so no diner is left unattended. I think the Columbia's years of experience show in their professionalism, courtesy, and food. I even spent some money at the gift shop on a Sangria pitcher of my own!"
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "Great food and great tradition for our family every year!!!"
    Dined on 3/21/2014
  • "We ate here twice and I tried the original Columbia salad and Black Bean soup and they were OK, but the Mussels y Chorizo using the Cuban bread to soak up the broth, awesome!"
    Dined on 3/28/2014
  • "Every bite was perfect, and the wait staff was just wonderful."
    Dined on 3/28/2014
  • "For good tasty Spanish food at St Armand's it's a fun place to go. Almost always busy they honor reservations. The food is tasty and they are not afraid to use spice when appropriate. It's a scene"
    Dined on 3/26/2014
  • "Great anniversary dinner. Steak Bambino was amazing. Zaslo, the waiter was very good. Can't wait to return !!!"
    Dined on 3/26/2014
  • "Service was get in and out. The server brought the wrong meal to one of our guests. The food was just ok and the sangria was watered down wine with a cherry and orange slice thrown in. We had reservations so a table was ready but it is loud, over priced and over rated. Would not go there again."
    Dined on 3/19/2014
  • "We were all impressed with our dinner selections and the sangria was top notch. It was worth the trip off the siesta key beach"
    Dined on 3/25/2014
  • "Their salad is amazing. That is what we ALWAYS have there. A little sangria (white is my favorite) and a huge salad - can't ask for anything more! We are locals and it is my favorite place to walk to for a light meal anytime."
    Dined on 3/23/2014
  • "We have dined at this place every time we are in Sarasota. The food is always very good and the service is excellent for such a BUSY place. There are reasons a restaurant stays in business and this place could write the book."
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "Great place to meet friends for out of town. Really appreciate that you can make reservations. The surrounding area is great for an after meal stroll. Service was a little rushed."
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "I live in Maryland and look forward to my yearly visit to the Columbia. The food is wonderful, the wait staff friendly and attentive and the white sangria is amazing. Don't change a thing!"
    Dined on 3/18/2014
  • "Not often you find service of this level. Very understanding"
    Dined on 3/18/2014
  • "Great place to eat and enjoy time with the family."
    Dined on 3/18/2014
  • "My lowered rating: We were treated poorly for seating & prior arrangement to surprise my daughter with birthday dessert. (Special Occasion). I checked again regarding dessert with Mitch & blonde hostess, rather than bringing issue to the vigilant manager's attention or embarrass my daughter and not having a surprise become obvious. I'm disappointed in the immature cavalier treatment of that evening's Host and Hostess who abused an opportunity to serve patrons well."
    Dined on 3/17/2014
  • "Their special salad is fantastic and portions are large!"
    Dined on 3/16/2014
  • "Although this is a large restaurant in a tourist area, the food and service were excellent."
    Dined on 3/16/2014
  • "Our reservation was for 8:00 pm. Finally got seated at 8:30. Food came at 9:45. This is an old time Sarasota favorite.. I've been coming here for 30 years. But I am afraid to bring visitors from up north here. Yeah its a St. Armands institution but the food has become mediocre and service has gotten progressively worse."
    Dined on 3/12/2014
  • "This place came highly recommended to us but we were not very impressed. Though the atmosphere is great, it is very crowded and noisy, not what we were looking for, though admittedly, the whole neighborhood is a fun scene and this could fit right in depending on what you're looking for. The sangria and tapas were very good but the main meal and salads were disappointing. Our waiter was great- personable and attentive and the people watching was fun. We wondered if an earlier dinner or lunch would be a better bet at this very busy spot."
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "Great place to dine when visiting Sarasota. Try their delicious, famous 1905 salad and Cuban sandwich!"
    Dined on 3/17/2014
  • "1905 salad is my favorite. All ingredients are authentic and 1905 salad is to die for."
    Dined on 3/14/2014
  • "We went to the restaurant because we were told we "just has to". We had a group of 8 and a reservation for 8pm. Nothing to complain about - table was ready when promised, service was quick, food was very good - just nothing to write home about. Most likely would recommend just for the experience and the history but wouldn't be quick to return - too much else to try in the area."
    Dined on 3/13/2014
  • "Reservations are a great idea when dining in this Resturant. Tapas items were tasty, delicious fish, variety of alcoholic beverages Deserts were very good. Nice Florida vibe."
    Dined on 3/12/2014
  • "Have eaten here every time I am in the area. and have never been disappointed. Staff is knowledgeable and friendly even though it can be very busy. Reservations in prime season a must."
    Dined on 2/17/2014
  • "Love the food, the ambiance at the table, and the wait staff. But the hostess provides an unwelcome reception. If you go, beware of the reception and take written proof of your reservation."
    Dined on 3/11/2014
  • "A popular place to eat: glad we had a reservation - even at lunchtime during the Sarasota season. Wide-ranging, imaginative menu, friendly, attentive service. Reasonable prices."
    Dined on 3/13/2014
  • "Was thrilled in re-visiting this long time favorite that it is still as great as remembered. The food was as succulent as ever, with many of the choices unique to the Columbia. The service was impeccable--staff very friendly and accommodating. The atmosphere was wonderful, because the sunny weather allowed us to dine on the outdoor patio. The prices didn't break the bank and offered excellent value for the Columbia "experience". Would highly recommend a pitcher of the Sangria Cava if you dine there."
    Dined on 3/9/2014
  • "We went for a birthday celebration with a 6:30 reservation. It took us until 7:00 just to get drinks. There were 6 of us so not an outrageous sized party by any means. It is incredibly loud which does not bother me either however it would not be a good idea for a "romantic evening." The spanish bean soup is the best part of the meal for sure. The other food was hit or miss. One person got a filet and it was delicious. The paella was incredibly fishy tasting and I would not have been able to stomach more than one bite. The real kicker is that it took 3 hours to eat dinner."
    Dined on 3/7/2014