Columbia Restaurant - St. Augustine

4.4
6836 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 in our courtyard or Mediterranean-style dining rooms, filled with hundreds of hand-painted tiles and Spanish-style fountains.

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.

Specials

Mother's Day Menus & Specials

Serving from our regular dinner menu all day, along with Mother's Day features.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

What 6836 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.4
service
4.5
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
90% of people would recommend it to a friend
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HN
Atlantic City
3 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The atmosphere was so cool. It was like stepping into another world. The white sangria was dangerously good. The food was so amazing, it reminded me of my Cuban grandfather’s cooking. We brought our 1 year old son, and our server was so accommodating and sweet to him. What a wonderful way to celebrate Easter and start off our vacation. We would definitely visit again!

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SP
Richmond
2 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 3food 2service 1ambience 4

We were so excited to try this restaurant because we saw great reviews, but sadly we didn’t enjoy it. Our waitress was awful. Took our order, never brought out our drinks, we just had them removed from the bill and the food was just ok. Maybe the service brought down everything else, but didn’t live up to the hype.

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OT
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Was in st Augustine for the Santana concert. When there you just have to dine at Columbia!!!!!!! Food is incredible

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OT
Jacksonville
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 3food 5service 1ambience 5

Had reservations and was taken right in for Easter dinner. Took 10 mins to get water and then longer for bread. Drinks continually ran out. It was 1.5 hours from the time we sat until dinner was served. I have been here on many occasions and never had a problem until now.

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GY
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was excellent. Service was great. It made for a great Easter day. Would definitely go back again.

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JD
Jacksonville
3 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Make reservations because there is generally a wait. As usual, the service was fast, friendly, and timely. We got two appetizers, Empanadas which were very good but slightly over cooked and Queso something, which was also very good. Our stuffed Salmon and Ropa vieja , likewise were very good. We love this restaurant and go as often as possible. Always consistently excellent!

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T
Indiana
4 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful food as well as a beautiful restaurant. Never disappointed when I eat at a Columbia Restaurant.

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r
Charlotte
13 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Easy to make reservation on Open Table. We were seated right away. Table and room were very nice. Waiter did a great job. Warm bread to start the meal was a treat . Sweet tea is not available. Our entrees were excellent .

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p
Tampa
13 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 4

Always a good choice to dine in this restaurant, I love the food , ambiance and drinks, unfortunately we didn't have a good experience with our server who brought the wrong sangria first and then crabmeat croquettes instead of lobster as ordered-no apologies-, other than that Columbia is an excellent choice.

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D
Orlando
4 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 1food 1service 2ambience 4

We have been to many Columbia restaurants , multiple times, ( Celebration, Sarasota, Ybor City, St. Augustine, Clearwater ) unfortunately this was our last visit to any of them, we've given them time and time again chances to make it right, My dish, which I ordered again tonight was awful. Waitress was so so, the hostess needs to look up and smile at customers. My husband ordered the same dish since he tried mine last time and liked it better than his. The minute I tried it, I knew something was wrong, it had a burnt , sharp taste that was very unusual. I don't like to send food back, but this time, I sincerely couldn't eat it. Waitress came back and said the "chef" would make us two new dishes if we wanted to wait, had nothing better to do, so we waited, to be honest it was ok, not good at all, my husband would not send it back nor say anything again, we are scared of the "chef" . I was born in Cuba and this was quite a disappointment, no more, I can't see myself spending money on this company when we've had issues again and again with staff and now food. The last time we went to Celebration, their waitress was upset because our ( 23 year old son ) didn't have his id, since he couldn't drink, we didn't either, so that ticked her off. Less tip you see. But we are one for all and all for one. She was downhill from then on, even lied to us about the bread when we requested another round, she said it would take 6 minutes and when her assistant came we asked him too and he ran to the kitchen and brought it right out, proving to us that she lied and was just a very unprofessional bitter woman. So we forgave and kept going to Columbia but tonight was our last goodb

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PH
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We are repeat diners at Columbia. The old saying is that you get what you pay for. That is always true here. I'm a huge fan of their 1905 salad and any of their paella dishes. The staff is always friendly and ready to answer any questions. They are well trained about the menu and are more than happy to help. We will definitely go back.
We have also dined at the Columbia Restaurant in Celebration, FL and the original one in Ybor City, FL. True to the company's quality standards, all 3 have been wonderful.

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KB
Jacksonville
8 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Great restaurant great food very busy so servers didn’t get back as often as needed One of my favorite places to eat

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GR
Orlando
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We were celebrating my dad’s birthday. Staff did a great job with service and helping us recognize my dad’s special day.

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BT
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had walked past the Columbia Restaurant many times during our recent stay in St. Augustine and thought it was a "cute" little place that we would eventually visit. But, when we finally actually dined there for lunch one day, we were blown away by the size and beauty that greeted us inside! What a gorgeous place...and it is huge! The decor and ambiance is off the charts! I felt transported to another time and place! Every detail was spot on! The menu and service was equally impressive as well. We fully intend to return to the Columbia Restaurant for dinner the next time we are in St. Augustine! Definitely a "must do"!

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KA
Jacksonville
2 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We never go to St. Augustine without going to The Columbia at least once. Love, love, love all of it. Recommend always having a reservation.

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OT
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

Sat at table for 1/2 hr before being waited on. Short staffed.

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H
Jacksonville
9 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Birthday for my wife. Excellent service and food

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B
Tampa
1 review
Dined on April 16, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

There are many other local restaurants in St. Augustine that I would select over Columbia Restaurant. We are from Tampa, so we have been to Columbia before, so whoever reads this should take that into consideration. The restaurant itself was very pretty - outside and in, but it was fairly noisy and the food was just ok.

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AP
Miami
1 review
Dined on April 16, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

Some food was not very hot. Fish was only warm. The ambience was not of the kind we have experienced on previous occasions.

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c
Chicago
1 review
Dined on April 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Columbia was recommended by a friend and it did not disappoint. Food was fantastic. Tracy, our server was fabulous!

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LS
Charleston
12 reviews
Dined on April 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We love eating at The Columbia is Ybor City, so when we found out there was one in St. Augustine, we had to go. The food was just as amazing and delicious as ever. The service was great (except we had reservations for 7:30, we arrived at 7:15, we were not seated until 7:45). The meal was worth every penny! Our children also ate everything on their plates. And, of course, we topped off our meal (we both had seafood) with a delicious chocolate dessert and Cafe con Leche. Yum! Will definitely be back.

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N
1 review
Dined on April 15, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 4

Lovely setting, but... Waited well over an hour between soup/salad and entrée. Server disappeared for a very long time. Could hear shouting from the kitchen. Sea Bass was not Chilean. However "1905" Salad was very good. Next time I would order one of the favorite specialties, but there won't be a next time.

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OT
Jacksonville
1 review
Dined on April 15, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

The food was awesome! We will definitely return with a group!

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CH
Grand Rapids
1 review
Dined on April 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My Brother and Sister-in-law were visiting and the remembered last year how much they loved it so we went again. We just live everything about the experience there.

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AZ
Phoenix
81 reviews
Dined on April 14, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Good Latin food at a fair price. Great variety but certainly not gourmet food. Paella was tasty but not as good as one would expect when its one of the house's specialties

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CC
New York Area
1 review
Dined on April 14, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 3

We traveled to St. Augustine for the weekend and couldn’t wait to eat at the Columbia for my Mom’s 70th Birthday. We arrived early for our reservation and I told the hostess that we were celebrating a very special day - my Mom’s 70th. We were then seated in the back of the restaurant beside a wedding party and as we walked up, a woman was sitting beside our table changing a baby’s diaper. RIGHT THERR AT THE TABLE. There were crayons all over the floor and children running around. Meanwhile, I had noticed other parts of the restaurant that looked calmer and nicer, one of which had nice white tablecloths and were upstairs. Even though we made a reservation and we were a small party of 3, we were seated in the back with families and children. I chose not to request another table as I didn’t want to upset my mother or make her feel uncomfortable. The saving grace was our server, Sean, who was great. The sangria was awesome, the 1905 salad was amazing and the paella was delicious. Although we had a nice time and enjoyed our food, the $200 price tag seemed a little steep for the lack of ambiance and we left feeling a little disappointed. Probably would eat here for lunch and save the nice dinners for another place.

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K
1 review
Dined on April 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best Columbia I’ve been to. Had a great lunch. June, our server, was exceptional!

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DD
1 review
Dined on April 13, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 1ambience 4

Our server was unhelpful and made several trips to and from her tables causing major delays for everyone. Instead of hitting her 3 tables all at once, she'd visit and serve one at a time causing the others to wait and wait.

After asking for a beer with my meal (a $50 steak! Not worth it by the way.) Our server did not know the beer menu. She mentioned a couple (I wanted a Cuban beer or something like that). I asked for a sample to determine if it'd go with a steak (because she clearly had no clue) after a while she brought back a sample. I tasted it and determined probably wouldn't be the best option. I wanted a brown or a red -- she offered Yeungling and one other. She never checked on me whether that beer would work or not and importantly never offered a drink menu.

This was a surprise birthday dinner for my wife, just the two of us, and I feel like our service impacted our experience.

Our server needs some basic up training so she can look after the needs of her visitors and not work so hard. You don't need to make 3 trips to service 3 tables!

I hope this review reaches the restaurant.

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LR
Atlanta
2 reviews
Dined on April 13, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

Food was delicious, drinks were weak .

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a
Charleston
28 reviews
Dined on April 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious like always. When we go to St. Augustine, Columbia Restaurant is a must

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p
Tampa
7 reviews
Dined on April 13, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 2

it was HOT and the staff are OVERWORKED and seemed so TIRED - it was like Disney World.
'rude Americans' (not us) but, you could tell the staff have been dealing with PUSHY people all day
we had to try to 'bring them up' and be super patient! line in the bathroom was out the door; bathroom stall broken, and garbage cans in bathroom overflowing.
food ok but, everything so busy and HOT

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S
Grand Rapids
2 reviews
Dined on April 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing as always!!!

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JC
1 review
Dined on April 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

When we first tried this restaurant on 4/8/19, the food was phenomenal, but we the service was subpar. It’s difficult to dine out with a little one, and we felt as though we were a burden to our waiter. We decided to give it another shot on 4/12/19 and had an exceptional experience. Carlos went out of his was to accommodate us and he anticipated all of our needs. He offered our baby girl fresh fruit while we awaited her food and she loved it. Our drinks never went empty, and we could tell we were treated with the same respect as those around us despite having a young child in our midst. The food was exceptional on both occasions, but Carlos made all the difference in our overall dining experience. We love the atmosphere of this restaurant, and hope that any family who comes here is treated with the same respect Carlos provided us with.

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HR
1 review
Dined on April 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fabulous experience ! Fabulous service ! Delicious food !

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RS
1 review
Dined on April 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My second time at this location a top-notch restaurant had some amazing bread pudding

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JM
1 review
Dined on April 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a wonderful meal and had fantastic service!

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VS
Atlanta
2 reviews
Dined on April 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 4

Just as good as the other Columbia venues we have dined at.

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v
Orlando
3 reviews
Dined on April 11, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

The waitress was very friendly. The Cuban sandwiches were not hot, and the waitress was quick to make it right. The other food was hot and enjoyable.

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HT
Miami
3 reviews
Dined on April 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Visiting Saint Augustine for the first time. Long day sight-seeing, walking, looking and finding our way around. The Colombia restaurant was a great place to end the long day with a wonderful meal. We had the evenings special, a grouper with avocado and mango and it was delicious. Friendly and attentive service too.

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LJ
Wilmington
3 reviews
Dined on April 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

4/10/2019
Great food as usual. We were a party of 10 but the restaurant accommodated us easily and Alex was such a wonderful server.

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