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Columbia Restaurant - Sarasota

4.5
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4657 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Spanish
Family-owned and operated for more than 114 years, Columbia has earned acclaim for its old-world charm and award-winning Spanish/Cuban cuisine.

Casual attire is fine, but we don’t allow sleeveless shirts on men in the dining room.

Join us for century-old family recipes like Paella "a la Valenciana," Roast Pork "a la Cubana,"and fresh seafood specialties. Don’t miss Columbia’s Original “1905” Salad®, prepared 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 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.

Support Columbia Restaurant - Sarasota during COVID-19

Safety precautions

Cleaning & Sanitizing
  • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
  • Common areas deep cleaned daily
  • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
  • Sanitizer or wipes provided for customers
  • Sealed or wrapped utensils used
Social Distancing
  • Limited number of seated diners
  • Distancing maintained in common areas
  • Extra space between tables
  • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
Personal Protective Equipment
  • Waitstaff wear masks
  • Diners must wear masks unless eating or drinking
What 4657 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.5
service
4.4
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
92% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Amarillo
19 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Fabulous waitress My friend has food allergies and the waitress went to the chef , came back, and designated all food she could have!
So thoughtful ... food is amazing!

B
vipBonz
Columbus
34 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall4food4service5ambience3

One of our favorite restaurants. But we got seated outside right next to street parking. Bummer. Other side was taken, and we had to endure 4 cars parking 12 inches from my shoulder. Server Patrik, was super and funny. Other than, we will never accept a table on that side of the restaurant again, ever, it was good. COVID wise, I give them an average, as many servers were not masked up. The good ones were!

CP
ChristineP
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall3food2service5ambience4

Exceptional service, bread, and atmosphere. Do not order the vegetarian paella. It was an over priced dish of rice and a few veggies. Everyone at the table said the food was merely “okay”. Not worth the price.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Tampa
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Muy buena la comida y la atención!!!!!

Report
J
John
Tampa
5 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall4food5service4ambience4

The tables are well spaced. The problem is with all diners arriving at the same time, some with masks and some without. The entryway to the restaurant is small and everyone was on top of one another. Would it be possible to check people in at another entrance where people could line up? I know the owners have already done a lot to make us more comfortable but I definitely won’t come again on a weekend. We love this restaurant. Don’t know if anything can be done.

C
vipChuck
Washington DC
40 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall4food4service5ambience4

We finally found the chance to go to Columbia Restaurant for dinner (w friends) and found it to be very good. It was a pleasure sitting outside and the service was excellent. The food was very, very good. Pricing should be adjusted to $$$ from the current $$. That said it was still worth it. I highly recommend this restaurant for both casual and a little dress up evening. Looking forward to going back.
Recommended dishes: pork loin, Jimmy Grouper, shrimp and any of the appetizers, all really good.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Tampa
15 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Good as always.

BD
BigDB
Tampa
11 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall3food4service1ambience5

Waiter did comprehend English. Specifically asked to leave olives out of 2dishes. Even after asking him if that was possible, he brought out 2 more dishes with Olives. Of course the food made up for wrong order delivery.
Colombian really followed distancing protocols! They also stringy enforced mask policy when seated and eating.
Having all the sliding doors open allowed for good air circulation.

Still will continue to patronize this restaurant because of the unique and delicious food offerings.

F
vipFoodie
Portland
4 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall1food1service1ambience2

Horrible service, we were ignored most of the evening, the food was awful, and the drinks took forever to receive, and the mojito tasted like plain soda water with sugar in it.
THere were four of us, and all of us had the same opinion.
I can't imagine that a restaurant that has been there for 120 years made it with food and service like this. I am hoping it was just a bad night and we all ordered the wrong thing. (although we all ordered something different)

PD
PhilD
Tampa
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service4ambience4

We made a reservation and the table was ready/waiting for us when we arrived. There did appear to be some sort of problem once we were seated. We waited for well over 10 minutes before our server came to get our drink order. Once the drink order was taken the service for the rest of the dinner was fine.

D
Dee01
Central Coast
2 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent care of guests. Comfortable seating arrangements and facial and hand protection.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Miami
4 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall4food3service2ambience5

Disappointed that in that I had a gift certificate that was very old. So not in their system. But instead of them doing the leg work and making it work. They declined the use of it and told me to contact their office. Not what should have happened.

DM
DarrenM
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food! We loved the experience. The bread, the food, our hostess all excellent!

AH
AngelaH
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service2ambience5

Great food!

MW
MichaelW
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall3food2service3ambience4

Fish was over cooked, some problems communicating with server, she seamed aggressive at times

MB
MattB
1 review
Dined on October 20, 2020
Overall4food5service4ambience3

The food was excellent, as always. The service was okay. A little crowded around the entrance, where people didn't understand what a line was to get a table. The staff didn't help this situation either. They opened two doors so people were cutting in front of the line from one door to the other. It wasn't real bad, just a little haphazard. We sat near the entrance which I'd like to avoid next time. Hoping that they will rearrange the setup to avoid seating people close to all the activity near the entrance.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on October 18, 2020
Overall4food5service3ambience3

I love the sangria we ordered a pitcher as usual and it tasted terrible. I drank 1 glass and told my husband how bad it tasted to me . Well they can’t make it table side right now so you can watch how they are making it. They never stirred it! After I stirred it , it tasted much better. I feel since the Covid stuff everything is different.

SR
SueR
Naples
1 review
Dined on October 18, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience5

Always a wonderful food experience !!!
Great ambiance!!
Excellent service !!!
Winning combination!!!!

CB
CarrieB
1 review
Dined on October 18, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Friendly efficient waiting staff brought delicious bread and drinks, then tasty main courses: vegetarian black bean soup was well flavored and seafood paella had perfect combination of meat, vegetables, and seasoned rice. Large portions.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Tampa
1 review
Dined on October 17, 2020
Overall3food4service2ambience3

Colombia is normally our favorite place, last time i believe they dropped the ball a bit. Chalk it up to a bad day for the server perhaps. Otherwise will give them another try, we love Colombia.

JB
JoelynB
1 review
Dined on October 17, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We came last year, a friend recommended this restaurant. So we had to come this year. It is awesome. We both had the Paella. My first try, would have again.

CO
ChipO
Indiana
3 reviews
Dined on October 16, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience5

We love the 1815 salad and wanted a nice meal before departing for home. We had a nice table outside and our server was well versed on the slimmed down menu. Always a great meal and ambiance was perfect.

OT
OpenTable Diner
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on October 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It’s always great!!

HD
HarryD
Las Vegas
4 reviews
Dined on October 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Columbia is the best. We went back a 2nd night for Stone Crabs for our anniversary. They were delicious. Their 1905 salad is always a treat. A must visit when you are in Sarasota

S
Sheila
Tampa
8 reviews
Dined on October 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always a favorite in Sarasota. Our server Lexie was very cheerful and attentive. Paella Valenciana is a must order if you are really hungry. But on our last visit, we opted for sangria, a cup of black bean soup, a salad and a couple of tapas (stuffed mushrooms and gambas). We were very satisfied.

J
vipJdhj
Atlanta
17 reviews
Dined on October 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Given special protocols for COVID-19 the service, food, and general feel of the restaurant was very nice. The food was excellent and choices were broad despite limitations caused by special protocols.

Reservations and service were the expected high quality.

OT
OpenTable Diner
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on October 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We love the Columbia , the good and service never disappoints! We had the white sangria which is delicious also had the1905 salad , which is a must, I also enjoyed my other favorite meal the meatloaf sandwich .
This restaurant is definitely a must to go to

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on October 13, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience4

We had a very nice time and sat outside. If you are going, inside tables are not socially distanced.

s
snpindigo
1 review
Dined on October 13, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience4

what can i say but WWWWOOOOOOWWWWWWW! everyone in my party enjoyed their dinner. from appetizers to the entres - delicious

JS
JulesinSarasota
Tampa
19 reviews
Dined on October 13, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a fun meal and drinks with great service and good food. Love the bread here and the interesting and tasty ingredients.

TB
TracyB
New York Area
1 review
Dined on October 13, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience3

Our server was outstanding, friendly and personable, believe his name was Mark. Food was excellent and all staff we came in contact with was great.
However sitting next to the kitchen area was very noisy. But overall would go back again and again just a different table!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Phoenix
4 reviews
Dined on October 13, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our favorite place to eat on St Armand’s ❤️ The food is incredible, the staff is friendly and just an overall wonderful place to spend an afternoon/evening!

AM
AliM
Tampa
2 reviews
Dined on October 11, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience3

Our server Jessica K was outstanding with her service and knowledge of the food and drinks that are offered at this restaurant as well as attentive to our needs. We definitely will return

JC
JoeC
Charleston
11 reviews
Dined on October 10, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was absolutely delicious and the service was great!

W
Wendy
Naples
1 review
Dined on October 10, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a fabulous dining experience with a pitcher of mojitos, great service, friendly atmosphere and lively ambiance.

G
vipGoody
Baltimore
19 reviews
Dined on October 9, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Food was excellent as always. We had a very good server.

RK
RobinK
1 review
Dined on October 8, 2020
Overall3food5service1ambience4

We always make a trip to the Columbia when in town, as it is one of our favorite restaurants. I will start with the positives -- as always the food was excellent. I've never had a bad meal here, and have always loved whatever I have ordered. Great food and impeccable service is what keeps us coming back time after time.

However, our recent dining experience left a lot to be desired. The waitress was short with my father when taking his in order. In fairness he does not project well and can be hard to hear due to his Parkinson's; however, she was snippy with him. My husband never received the salad that he ordered. After we finished eating, we sat for 10-15 minutes before the waitress came by. At that point my mom asked for her check as my dad wasn't feeling well. It took the waitress another 10 minutes before she came back and then when my mom said they really needed to leave because my dad wasn't feeling well, she grabbed the credit card out of my mom's hand. My husband and I were ordering some dessert to take home with us and we ended up sitting by ourselves for 5-10 minutes waiting for it and our bill to come. When she finally returned, the bag with the dessert was on its side until she saw us and then she straightened it up. While this experience is not what we normally experience, we were extremely disappointed.

I would still highly recommend the Columbia, as this is the first time we ever had a bad experience. However, if this was the first time we had ever eaten there, we would not come back again. This time I will chalk it up to a one time bad experience.

RH
RHondaD
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on October 8, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience5

Sarasota and St Armands Circle is synonnymous with the iconic Columbia Restaurant. A staple here for as long as I can remember. From the days when the calypso salsa bands would play and people would dance all night long, to the now, more mediterranean style of dining, nothing says palm trees and trade wind breeze like the Columbia. The 1905 salad is must have if you love garlic and olives and my all time favorite, the Palomillo Steak is a sure win. The paella, stuffed shrimp and the Cuban sandwich are all wonderful and savory. Whatever you do, don't forget to order the Sangria!

JB
JanaB
Philadelphia
6 reviews
Dined on October 7, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Everything was great. The Spanish wine list is extensive.

DM
DanielM
Las Vegas
1 review
Dined on October 6, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was phenomenal. Highly suggest the ropa vieja and a mojito. Service was great and they had a variety of menu choices and specials for the night.

FAQs

Columbia Restaurant - Sarasota offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (941) 388-3987.

Columbia Restaurant - Sarasota is rated 4.5 stars by 4657 OpenTable diners.

Columbia Restaurant - Sarasota does offer gift cards which you can purchase here https://mgd.mercury-gift.com/columbiarestaurant.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.

Tweets by Columbia Restaurant - Sarasota