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For 2
Date
Today
Time
7:00 PM
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Booked 101 times today

Columbia Restaurant - Sarasota

4.5
2476 reviews
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$30 and under
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Spanish
Top Tags:
  • Authentic
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Worth the Drive
Family-owned and operated for more than 112 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," 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 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.
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Spanish, Cuban
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Hours of operation
Lunch Daily: 11:00am - 4:00pm; Dinner: Sunday - Thursday: 4:00pm - 10:00pm, Friday - Saturday: 4:00pm - 11:00pm
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Phone number
(941) 388-3987
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Payment options
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Jesus Padilla Jr.
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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 groups of of up to 40, we offer private dining space.
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Private party contact
Erika K: (941) 388-3987
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Neighborhood
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Parking details
Free parking on the street, or in public parking areas surrounding St. Armands Circle.
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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.
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Special events & promotions
Although online reservations may not be available, we are still taking reservations through the restaurant.
Additional
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 2476 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5  based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.4
service
4.3
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
93% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OpenTable Diner (Tampa)
5.0  Dined 2 days ago

Always a pleasure to eat in this restaurant. Quality of food and service is excellent. Only down side is the tables are very close and hard to get around as well as being a little noisy. Saying that I love coming here and we bring all our friends when they visit.

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jaygon29 (New York Area)
3.0  Dined 3 days ago

I had a 5pm reservation to have dinner with 3 clients who are baseball players on the Orioles and Pirates. Columbia was perfect for all guys because of the location and it being spanish food, whichever is sometimes hard to come by. Our server, Jason, was a bit odd and didn’t seem happy to be taking care of us. I told him we were waiting on 1 more person, but would order drinks and tapas in the meantime. Our5th guest was running a little later than expected so we told him we’d just go ahead and start ordering. So we did. When our final guest arrived he ordered and all our food came out at the same time so that was good. But the food was pretty mediocre. I had the ropa vieja with rice. The meat was super saucy and the rice was bland. Also, most places serve this dish with black beans, here it’s just the meat, rice, and a few peas and carrots thrown over it. We got our bill, paid, and were talking a little while as some of us finished our drinks, but then the waiters started hovering us and just standing in the background waiting for us to get up and whispering to each other about us. I’m very observant and watch everything that goes on around me. The minute they saw we were starting to get up, they charged towards the table to clean it up and didn’t even let us finish clearing the area before doing so. Anyhow, I don’t think I’ll be bringing clients here again. Not my cup of tea!

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OpenTable Diner (Tampa)
4.0  Dined 3 days ago

I just love the table side salad. The place is noisy but I love trying new foods.

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notgoodenough (Miami)
3.0  Dined 3 days ago

I met my rarely seen family members for a get together here expecting good food and drink. Neither happened. There were a crazy number of people waiting to get in and the food was subpar. I had been here for dinner a few times and it was way better. What happened on February 20 around 1:15?
So disappointing...

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OpenTable Diner 
5.0  Dined 3 days ago

Me gustó muchísimo! Comida deliciosa ,servicio excelente y un precio justo.

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OpenTable Diner (Chicago)
3.0  Dined 3 days ago

They were very busy on a Holiday Monday at 8pm. We waited about 40 mins to be seated. After that everything was smooth. The waitress was on her game (Dawn) great job! The food was excellent, we ordered the 1905 salad, the black beans and rice and the empanadas and chorizo .. everything was so delicious and fresh!

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vipOpenTable Diner (Philadelphia)
4.0  Dined 4 days ago

A fun place. Decent good. Large selection. Well run restaurant. Good value. It is one of our places we make certain to take guests

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OpenTable Diner (Cincinnati)
4.0  Dined 4 days ago

Our family has been going for 40 years
It is our go to place when people come from our of town
Crowded, noisy but that is all part of the experience

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OpenTable Diner (New York Area)
5.0  Dined 4 days ago

We’ve been to Columbia several times, always an excellent meal!

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JuliaR 
3.0  Dined 5 days ago

I have been to almost all of the Columbia restaurants from Tampa to Sarasota. I have been going to the Sarasota location since I was a child, but it had been a few years. It’s always been a little bit noisy, but it seemed like they jammed way too many tables in now. It was actually very difficult to have a conversation with the person sitting right next to me because it was so loud.
The service also suffered because our waitress had so many tables. We got one water refill during our whole time there and that we had to ask for. Another waiter hit our friend in the head with a tray trying to squeeze through the tables.
Out of our group of six, two people did not care for their entrées. One of those dishes was a breaded and fried shrimp dish that was just greasy and heavy. The other person, I think it was just a matter of personal taste. All those who got the signature salad raved about it and another friend who had the Cuban sandwich and gazpacho said they were great. My picture is of the ropa vieja. The meat was good but the rice was absolutely flavorless and I found this overpriced for what it was. The sangria was delicious as always.

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Bagellady (Charleston)
5.0  Dined 5 days ago

Always a favorite stop when we're in Longboat Key. The most delicious famous house salad. But everything is delicious! And we had the best white Sangria we ever tasted.

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OpenTable Diner (Miami)
5.0  Dined 5 days ago

Family lunch with Grandma was great! Lovely service by Julia, outstanding food, even had churros for dessert!

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Jmarie (New England)
5.0  Dined 6 days ago

We totally enjoyed everything about this restaurant. This is our third time visiting and we think it just gets better and better! We had the tapas special with lobster croquettes, empanadas, and shrimp in garlic and oil. They were served on a tower! My favorite was the lobster, but they were all wonderful. For my entre I had shrimp baked with yellow rice and vegetables. It was such a large portion that I took most of it home. It was so flavorful, the shrimp was tender and the rice was well seasoned. My husband had veal with asparagus, crab and lobster with a sauce to die for. He ate every bit of it and didn't want to mess up his palate by trying mine (He had most of it for lunch today). The waitstaff was great, made wonderful suggestions. We sat outside and even though it is on a sidewalk, it was fenced in and felt very intimate. We will be back absolutely!!

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AuntieBarbara (Chicago)
5.0  Dined 6 days ago

When in St. Armand's Circle we always visit Columbia. We like the Cuban food choices, pitchers of sangria, attentive servers, and open atmosphere. The bread is served crispy on the outside, warm and soft on the inside. Creamy butter is yummy. The Cuban sandwich is delicious! Try the house salad which is tossed at tableside. The menu includes chicken, fish, and vegetable options. Located in the Circle, parking can be hard to find. There is a free parking lot down the street around the corner. I would also recommend reservations as the wait can be long at popular times of the evening crowd.

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OpenTable Diner (New England)
5.0  Dined 6 days ago

Great ambience and very interesting dishes very professional server. Need to be patient with kitchen. Mojito pitchers were great

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vipStephenK (New England)
4.0  Dined 6 days ago

The house specialty "1905" salad was definitely delicious. But after reading so many glowing reviews we were disappointed that the rest of our lunch was pretty average. The Cuban sandwich and gazpacho, for instance, just didn't seem to have that much flavor. Maybe it was just us, or maybe we didn't choose well. Service was great, though.

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ChickS (Tampa)
5.0  Dined 6 days ago

With two under-three year olds with us our party of six was seated in what appeared to be a private room. It was noon and the restaurant was very busy with a line waiting out the door, but they were ready for us. We were not alone, our rambunctiousness bothered few people, the noise level everywhere was high. The party of eight that was with us most of the meal was also having a GOOD time. The server was incredibly professional while also able to join in our fun. The food was excellent and arrived promptly and was piping hot. Our experience was wonderful, a celebration of the end of a vacation. Like Douglas MacArthur and the Terminator, we will be back!

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OpenTable Diner (Miami)
4.0  Dined 6 days ago

As always the Columbia didn’t disappoint. The 1905 salad and bread alone are reasons to go! The table side sangria (the cava is my favorite) are light, refreshing and not to be missed. If you are looking for a quiet, romantic dinner out, this is not the place for you. The hustle and energetic atmosphere is part of the Columbia’s flare! The food and service are spot on and I highly recommend no visit to Sarasota is complete without eating at the Columbia!

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AnthonyE 
5.0  Dined 6 days ago

Great place , great atmosphere, great food. Highly recommend

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Gerry (New England)
4.0  Dined 7 days ago

I had been to the Columbia in St Augustine's and was looking forward to the one in Sarasota. Made a 6 pm reservation and was seated within 10 minutes of the reservation time. Service was poor. Our waiter took his time showing up. We ordered drinks and it took a while for them to show up. Waiter was slow taking our order and was overall inattentive. I ordered the veal and it came overcooked and rubbery. took ten minutes to get my waiter so I could send it back. The next one wasn't much better. My friends chicken was overdone as well. My friends rice was sticky and clumpy when it should have been creamy. I think because the place is so busy, they precook some of the garnish. We had finished our meals and waited for at least 10 minutes for the waiter to clear the dishes even though he walked by several times. Had to tell him we wanted coffee. Waited again. Had to ask him to bring the check. My wife went to their gift store looked around purchased a ceramic and came back to the table before the waiter came back with the check. Needless to say he didn't get much of a tip.

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