Columbia Restaurant - Ybor City

4.6
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9534 Reviews
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$31 to $50
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Spanish
The Columbia is Florida’s Oldest RestaurantSM, founded in Tampa's historic Ybor City in 1905. Family-owned and operated for more than 114 years, the restaurant has earned acclaim for old-world charm as well as for its award-winning Spanish/Cuban cuisine and wine list. Open 365 days a year, including all holidays and serving lunch and dinner daily. Casual attire is fine, but we don’t allow sleeveless shirts on men. Experience the Fire of Flamenco! Monday through Thursday, with reservation times for the show at 6 p.m., 6:30 p.m., or 7 p.m. for the 7:30 show. Friday and Saturday reservation times for the show are 5:30 p.m., 6 p.m. or 6:30 p.m. for the 7 p.m. show and at 8:30 p.m. or 9 p.m. for the 9:30 p.m. show. There are no shows on Sunday. There is an $8 cover charge per person for the show. Reservations for dinner and the show are required. Please call the restaurant to check availability for reservations.
What 9534 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.5
service
4.6
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Moderate
93% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
Tampa
9 reviews
Dined a day ago
Overall4food4service5ambience5

The black bean cakes are AMAZING! The shrimp I had was a bit salty for me, but that’s probably just my preference. We’ve never had a bad meal from the Columbia!

BJ
1 review
Dined a day ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our waitress was excellent and recommended a number of food items that we enjoyed.

OT
Greensboro
2 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful food, great service! The 1905 salad is amazing as is the sangria. Will definitely be back!

OT
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Awesome, awesome, awesome dinner and show!

LL
Miami
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Andrew was an awesome server. Good great, beautiful building. Speedy service.

SI
Tampa
52 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall3food3service3ambience4

Sad to say this experience was not " up-to-par" I'm accustom to here. Food, service , noise level. Better luck next time.

OT
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful service! Food was delicious. Love the atmosphere.

AS
Tampa
14 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Again, an excellent meal and time at the Columbia.

MB
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our experience was wonderful. Better than I ever anticipated. The food was unbelievably good and our server was outstanding and made our experience extremely enjoyable

T
Houston
4 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

An excellent restaurant!

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OT
Dallas
2 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Been here multiple times. Always a great time with outstanding food and drinks. Perfect for any engagement.

GG
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great. Haven't been there in years. Recommend to anyone that wants great food

DD
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent as always. The service was impeccable, the food outstanding the ambiance serene. We never leave hungry or wanting for more. Thank you Richard and all your wonderful staff for always making us feel like family.

OT
Tampa
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall2food4service1ambience5

This was our first visit to Columbia. We were having a little bon voyage dinner for our dear friend from China. The food was defent. Our waiter, made the evening a little less enjoyable. He was pleasant enough at first but upsold us a much more expensive bottle of wine. About halfway through our meal he disappeared for about half an hour. When he got back he was much less cordial, possibly because we had to ask the manager if he had seen our server as we were finished dinner and wanted to order dessert. Overall, we would be willing to try again but his poor service and underhandedness would be a big deterrent.

MS
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall3food3service3ambience5

Hoping for a wonderful Sunday lunch, turned out not to be. Took 20 minutes to get service after being seated. The food took such a long time, the waitress brought seasoned shrimp to the table, stating it was from the chef with his apologies. Unfortunately the shrimp were not edible, soft and no flavor. There were five of us at the table, two enjoyed the lunch. Sorry Columbia, fool me once !

T
New York Area
29 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall4food5service1ambience5

BUT if you hit at a busy time, expect long waits at the door and at the table. We had a 1:00 reservation, registered with the hostess at 12:35, got seated at about 1:15, and waited a long time to order, then another long time after ordering our food. Lunch took us about three hours total--and we're not slow eaters.

Columbia has a few marvelous dishes. Their combination of a Cuban sandwich and a 1905 salad is excellent, and our Cuban friend who ordered the large combination plate gave it the highest praise.

Our waiter gave us smiling service but did not explain the wait times.

Then Columbia got confused and told Open Table that we had not shown up.

M
New York Area
17 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall3food5service1ambience5

It was a very busy Saturday night in Tampa. Had an 8:30 reservation. Table was seated then the disaster server came over. I didn’t catch her name. We were seated upstairs in the corner and for 2 people was neglected most of the night so much so the manager had to bring the next order of drinks. This was not the typical experience. The waitress had a bad attitude and really did not want to be there. Also the computers crashed and she had to ask what we ordered again and she still brought the wrong meal. The only time we could find her was when the bill came and she waited at the table for payment. Talk about awkward. Anyways not the best showing tonight. Will take a break from Columbia for a while. Time to get back to basics. Thanks

OT
Tampa
1 review
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Outstanding food. Noise level was pretty loud as we were seated in the bar area. Highly recommend and would request to be seated in a different area next time.

LG
Orlando
9 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall3food4service1ambience4

We have been to this location numerous times, so we have seen great service in the past.
This trip left us trying to decide if we will go back again and give them another chance as this is the third time we have had a bad experience with the wait staff.
The waiter we had was unresponsive, didn't pay attention to his tables or customers, luckily the bussing staff was trying to cover for his lack of skills, but they were frustrated as well.
The food is always consistent and prepared as expected, but the wait staff has been failing over the last year. Seems like training is either non existent, or they are just hiring to fill positions regardless of skill.
Very unfortunate for a restaurant of this caliber.

SS
San Diego
76 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This is one of the funnest restaurants I have been to. The decor harkens to a different era. The food is terrific. I loved how the menu allows one to experience multiple different things by ordering small portions. Service was very good though a little slow give how busy the restaurant is.

G
Tampa
2 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our reservation was for 4 at 1 pm and we were seated within 5 minutes. The place was packed. Out waitress had a phenomenal memory as she took orders from us 4, a table of 20 and a couple of other tables without so much as touching a pen or pencil. Her name was Emily. Our food was delicious, hot and the service superb. Definitely our favorite restaurant in Ybor City.

FL
Tampa
25 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

We had Lunch here at The Columbia with my two friends, both whom have never been here before. Truly historical this restaurant is. So much history here. Shared the history with them and they loved it. Service was great by both Servers. Drinks, food, dessert, check, all timed perfectly. Food Excellent! 1905 Salad is always a hit! Cubans, always excellent. Black Beans, the best anywhere. Sangria, is always a must here and oh so good!! Such a great way to spend a Saturday Lunch with Friends.🙂👍

AG
1 review
Dined on January 10, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Very large place that is staffed well. Handicapped. Had some difficulty entering and maneuvering inside. Area seated, despite reservation was obviously “ bleacher” section. Visible from our tiny chairs were larger padded seats.
The food was incredible!! A solid 5! Our waitress a solid 5. Plan on returning with family to experience the show

TR
Tampa
3 reviews
Dined on January 10, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The Columbia is always a great dining experience, no matter the location.

CT
Orlando
1 review
Dined on January 10, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Carlos our waiter was very helpful to my elderly mother, which was greatly appreciated.

j
Chicago
9 reviews
Dined on January 10, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Historical ambience abounds w beautiful gift store and colorful tiles. I enjoyed the Cuban pork entree, shrimp tapas, and best flan I ever had. Tasty Palace cocktail w cava, cointreau, orange bitters:yum! Great attentive service, free parking.

BK
1 review
Dined on January 10, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

As always, the food was excellent, our waiter was very helpful, in recommending food and drink selections.

MM
Tampa
1 review
Dined on January 9, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent food, service and ambiance, We had a great meal and enjoyed everything!

C
1 review
Dined on January 8, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience5

I love everything about the Columbia Restaurant from the beautiful art tiles outside the building to everything inside. We were fortunate to be able to have a table next to the piano and guitar players in the bar area, who are both wonderful musicians with lovely voices. As always, the food was beyond delicious. My one complaint was with the waiter trying to upsell us everything. I ordered a half bottle of a Sauvignon Blanc was $16 and he immediately told me what the sommelier recommends when asked which about $12.50 a glass. Even when I told him I had previously had the wine I ordered he was pushing to get me a taste of the other asking if I wanted a full bottle. I, of course, said no - just bring me the half bottle I selected. I gave him our complete food order, the 1905 salad for each and one of the fish dishes for each and said we were hungry. It was getting to 8:00pm. He then wanted us to order a tapas appetizer so the salad would come more quickly. Besides making no sense, we are two females who wound up each bringing home half of our dinners. I live in Tampa, and while I don’t come to Ybor that often, I am usually there a few times a year. I have never had a waiter be so pushy about basically trying to upsell us. I did leave my usual 20% gratuity even though I did not think his service warranted it. And if I were to be seated at a table he was serving again I would ask to be moved that’s how offensive I found his pushy behavior.

T
1 review
Dined on January 5, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Perfect for the occassion....the food was far better than previous visits...the service was superb....great time thank you

a
Tampa
20 reviews
Dined on January 5, 2020
Overall1food1service1ambience2

We had a 4:30pm reservation for my mom's 75th birthday. Despite having a(n) (early) reservation, we had to wait about 20 minutes to be seated. We ordered as soon as our server arrived at the table, yet we did not receive food until 6pm and 3 of our meals, including 2 fish entrees, were luke warm at best. The red snapper was like rubber. The manager did remove the fish entrees from the bill but our experience was not good.

HN
Tampa
4 reviews
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Had to wait in lobby to be seated 15 minutes after reservation time, but that is typical there.
Food was also very good which is typical also. A favorite.

JB
Philadelphia
3 reviews
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall5food5service3ambience5

Fabulous food at a reasonable price. My only complaint was the wait to get drinks/ bread.

AD
Tampa
5 reviews
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We always enjoy coming to the Ybor City location. Also like shopping at their store next door.

R
Tampa
29 reviews
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Awesome! Food and service are top shelf. Plan to go again very soon. 1905 salad and bread are exceptional.

AM
Miami
7 reviews
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Columbia Restaurant is a very nice quaint restaurant. The food was very tasty as well as the sangria. The service was excellent as well.

OT
Tampa
1 review
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

We always get the 1905 salad. While we didn’t say anything, the portion size was way smaller than usual. We live this salad and the restaurant. Have you reduced your portion sizes or did we just get way less than usual? Very disappointed but still tasted great!

H
Miami
10 reviews
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall1food1service2ambience2

If you have reservation the walk in where seated before us they make us wait until close our time.
The food was not as expected . We have visit several Columbia including this one the food ration have change the service very slow the only great thing was the Mojitos the best Mojitos ever but for the rest we don’t know what has happened.

P
New York Area
1 review
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience3

Very good food. Churros were amazing. Only downside is the bathrooms were very small and dirty. Could use a bathroom renovation.

OT
Orlando
4 reviews
Dined on January 3, 2020
Overall4food5service2ambience3

We had an 8pm reservation we were not seated till close to 8:40. If you couldn't seat tables at the requested time don't take the reservations. Food is very good.

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