Columbia Restaurant - Sarasota

4.5
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4001 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. 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 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 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.
What 4001 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
4.4
service
4.4
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
93% of people would recommend it to a friend
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MM
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food and drink is always exceptional at Columbia on St Armand Circle in Sarasota

AR
Chicago
13 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Good food and service. Two of us split three Tapas and took some home. Very nice place - will return.

OT
Tampa
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent food and service

DA
Indiana
2 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

What a charming restaurant. Our waiter, Angel, did a great job. He was attentive without hovering and we ate a leisurely lunch. The white sparkling sangria was refreshing. We had the 1905 salad made at the table and shared a variety of tapas. The noise level was loud but it was joyful noise of diners truly enjoying their meals.

JR
Cleveland
2 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall4food3service4ambience4

Been there many times. First time ever the food was extra salty

A
St. Louis
6 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Great food! Just a little too loud - but a packed restaurant

b
Orlando
19 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful food service and experience

OT
Tampa
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent!

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VM
Des Moines
2 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful!! We now know why people stand in line to get in! Everything was fabulous!.

KY
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

yes, loved it - the waitress was awesome as well! I would just suggest the floor was slippery - an accident waiting to happen. The food was great - much as remembered! this is the best Columbia!

DS
San Francisco
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Awesome place, my 2nd time there! The food was excellent, highly recommended

OT
Tampa
2 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The Colombian continues to do it consistently better than most. I think it is a staffing issue. Many of the other restaurants seem to struggle to ramp up servers and kitchen staff during season, consequently the waiting time is excessive. Also Columbians staff seems either more experienced or possibly trained better. Overall it is one of the family favorites. I would be remiss if I did not mention we had a bad night a year or so ago at the Colombian, however I think it was a case of a bad rogue server. I no longer see that server working at the Columbian. It’s not about the mistakes we make in life, but it is about what we do about them. Keep up the good work Columbian.

H
Tampa
15 reviews
Dined on January 18, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent as usual!

NI
1 review
Dined on January 18, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Each time we have gone to one of their locations, we have a stellar experience. The food, the wait staff, the ambiance are all excellent. Reservations are suggested during the high season. Gift shop allows you to bring a little bit of the Columbia Restaurant home with you.

SB
1 review
Dined on January 18, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The service and food was excellent. We arrived about 20 minutes before our reservation and they were able to seat us right then. The server was able to answer all our questions about the menu and was prompt with our food and drinks. I would definitely go again.

KK
1 review
Dined on January 18, 2020
Overall1food1service1ambience3

Been there many times and this time was disappointing. Cold food. Rude service. Just not a good experience

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on January 16, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

So many delicious menu items, it’s hard to choose. Everything we had was amazing. Can’t wait to go back and try another.

KC
New England
4 reviews
Dined on January 16, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent Service absolutely Delicious Food! We had the most attentive extremely Friendly Waiter his name is Norbert
We had such an enjoyable experience would definitely recommend this Restaurant!

KF
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on January 16, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Good food. You must make a reservation since the snowbirds are in Sarasota now.

R
1 review
Dined on January 16, 2020
Overall2food5service2ambience1

I was treating our six guests to a thank you meal but it was ruined because of the following:
We were allocated a table next to two party tables who were rowdy & took the service away from our table. As this reservation was made well in advance this was grossly unfair & inappropriate.The food order was incorrect for the starter. It was given to one of our guests along with her starter as her main. It was served with onions when we requested tomatoes & the tomatoes came out 10 minutes later. Water was requested on numerous occasions & our requests were ignored. We eventually had to ask other waiters to support our table. I would also suggest a porcelain finger wash bowl being offered when serving shelled fish.
Unfortunately the service & ambience didn’t do justice to the quality of the food.
The drinks compared to other restaurants were expensive.

B
Cincinnati
12 reviews
Dined on January 16, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Love all of the Columbia restaurants. Old Florida at its best.

OT
Louisville
1 review
Dined on January 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our server, Caty, was informative, knowledgeable and entertaining that made our meal one of the best ever!!

s
New England
3 reviews
Dined on January 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Absolutely authentic Cuisine.

JV
1 review
Dined on January 15, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Very enjoyable evening! Benjamin our server was friendly, attentive and knowledgeable! The only dislike of food was the chorizo.... more like jerky not sausage! Would not order anything with their “chorizo” in it. Also for higher end restaurant, the chairs were very uncomfortable.... small and flimsy! Perhaps Columbia Restaurant doesn’t want their customers to linger too long!😬

WM
St. Louis
26 reviews
Dined on January 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Ryn was very attentive and personable. Food was great too.

CM
Naples
19 reviews
Dined on January 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Columbia is always a good place to go. Food is consistent .

H
Orlando
10 reviews
Dined on January 13, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent food and service.

OT
Philadelphia
29 reviews
Dined on January 13, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Excellent service !

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OT
1 review
Dined on January 13, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent service and food my wife and I truly enjoyed the muscles Tapas and Paella.

PR
Richmond
216 reviews
Dined on January 13, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful lunch. We had the specisl columbia salad and cuban sandwich meal. Fantastic!

OT
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on January 12, 2020
Overall2food2service1ambience3

Adequate not great

DS
Cincinnati
6 reviews
Dined on January 12, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

1905 salad is the best, with a pitcher of sangria!

R
Tampa
17 reviews
Dined on January 12, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Got seated no waiting !! Server was on it very friendly!! Love the salad and sandwiches are really fresh and good👍one of my favorite places

HG
New York Area
1 review
Dined on January 12, 2020
Overall2food2service5ambience4

We have been to Columbia Restaurant a couple of times - usually just to indulge in a late snack or their delicious bread pudding. This time, we brought a friend visiting from up north and had hoped to treat her to a great lunch. It ended up being very so-so. Mainly due to the food! How disappointing.

Our waiter, Patrick, was fabulous. He was what earned the star rating. The food was such a bummer. The scallop tapas were cooked to death - with the bread crumbs nearly burned and the scallops the consistency of shoe rubber. (Not that I often eat shoe rubber.) We sent them back. The crab cakes were good but had so much sauce drizzled on them, they lost the flavor competition. Their signature salad saved the day.

We were so excited to share the bread pudding and it came out looking nice but when we bit into it, it was cold! Gone are the days of that nice crispy edge they got from warming it. It still tasted good but a total let-down from the past experience of it.

Sadly, we're going to leave this place to the tourists from now on and stick to better quality restaurants.

AH
Louisville
4 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall1food1service3ambience5

The food here was so bad. The paella which is supposed to be their specialty was awful. The meat was ALL overcooked and rubbery. The rice was mushy. It was not seasoned at all. Both my husband and I were so terribly disappointed as this came highly recommended. The service was ok but it was just average. We were only checked on occasionally and she didn’t even notice that I didn’t eat any of my entree. I won’t be recommending anyone to come here nor will we be back!

SR
Tampa
1 review
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our favorite restaurant in Florida. I’ve been going for the last 35 years, and will continue to do so.

P
Tampa
1 review
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience5

On arrival the hostess was very busy and quite short with me. She ultimately seated us very quickly however. Patrick our server was from Hungary and a total delight. If you know what to order the food is always very good. And the weather was perfect as we sat on the balcony.

E
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Love the salad prepared at your table. Very crowded, so be sure to reserve a table.

SW
Baltimore
1 review
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience2

great 1905 salad....get it every time! Bread pudding was wonderful, server was from Columbia, very good!

T
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great service & delicious food. Maitre D came to our table to check on us. Overall a great experience.

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