Columbia Restaurant - Ybor City

4.6
7643 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 113 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 Saturday! We offer 1 show, Monday – Thursday, with reservations at 6 p.m., 6:30 p.m., or 7 p.m. for the 7:30 show.

On Friday and Saturday, we offer two shows. Reservations 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.

Reservations for dinner and the show are required. Please call the restaurant to check availability for reservations.

Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Spanish, Cuban
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Hours of operation
Lunch: Monday-Saturday: 11 a.m. - 4 p.m., Sunday: 11:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.; Dinner: Monday-Thursday: 4-10 p.m., Friday-Saturday: 4-11 p.m., Sunday: 4-9 p.m.
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Phone number
(813) 248-4961
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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
Geraldo Bayona
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Private party facilities
From groups of 10-400, we offer private dining areas to host your banquet, business lunch, rehearsal dinner, wedding reception, party or group event. Choose from our banquet menu, or let us customize your menu for that special occasion. We have on-site event planners to handle all the details.
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Private party contact
Caroline O: (813) 248-4961
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Catering
We can help you with all your off-site catering needs. We offer a full line of catering options, including food, beverage and service. Our staff will coordinate all rental equipment, setup and service.
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
21st Street
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Parking details
Free parking on the street or in one of our two private lots either directly across the street from the restaurant or directly behind the building. We also offer valet parking nightly after 5 p.m.
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Entertainment
The Fire of Flamenco six nights a week: Enjoy a 40-minute Spanish-style Flamenco show that includes dinner for an additional $8 per person for the entertainment. Call 813-248-4963 to confirm availability and to reserve.

Also, the Dick Rivers Jazz Band plays in the cafe Tuesday through Saturday 8 p.m. to midnight.
Additional
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cafe, Dancing, Entertainment, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking, Private Room, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Specials

Thanksgiving Dinner Special Menus & Offers

Roast turkey with Columbia stuffing. Other sides include sautéed carrots and string beans, sweet potato casserole, whipped potatoes, homemade cranberry sauce and giblet gravy. $23 for adults, $6 for children under 10. The regular dinner menu also is available all day.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

What 7643 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
4.5
food
4.5
service
4.6
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
91% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
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Columbus
8 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Had a great time made reservations and was glad on Friday night it was busy. Had the chicken and pallea both were great with 1905 salad

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OT
New Orleans
2 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Outstanding service, ambiance and food. Lovely presentation. A bit pricey but it is a tourist destination so high price was expected. We will be back!

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J
Tampa
1 review
Dined on October 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always an amazing experience at this restaurant. Have been three times in the last month and craving it again! Highly recommend especially for people visiting Tampa. It's a MUST.

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WH
Tampa
3 reviews
Dined on October 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our latest dining experience at the Columbia Restaurant in Ybor City was excellent! In fact, over the years we have never been disappointed at this restaurant.

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DB
Orlando
2 reviews
Dined on October 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 4

The food was authentic and very good! A real treat!

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OT
Seattle
1 review
Dined on October 7, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 4

Given the reviews I was really looking forward to eating here. The ambiance is definitely uplifting and energetic. In the evening the lights are dimmer and there are candles lit up on the table. The food on the other hand was underwhelming which was not what I was expecting. We ordered the sirloin medium rare and there was little to no seasoning on it. We had to ask for salt(it wasn’t on our table) and add some pepper to it to bring the flavor to life a little bit. We also ordered the Marilyn Monroe dish which is a mix of meats with rice in a wine sauce. Again, underwhelming. I think the overall experience of going there is great. If I’m ever in the area again I would give it one more shot with a different menu option.

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S
Tampa
3 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Okay but way to much noise

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MS
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 4

We like to go to the Columbia for the atmosphere and the wine list. Also the bread pudding! Last two times we were there we were both a bit disappointed with our main course. I would not rave about the food here. The bill was not outrageous, so it's not a big deal. If we ever go again, we'll just order from the Tapas section and go straight to dessert. Fun location in Ybor city, great service, nice big wine selection, and did I mention the bread pudding??

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m
Miami
13 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

This was our second visit to this lively restaurant. The food is very good and the service was outstanding.
The waiting area is hot and crowded. We had five o'clock reservations and were not seated until 5:30. The area we sat in was quiet but everywhere else is very loud. I would recommend this restaurant but go during the week when it is less crowded.

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RS
Orlando
2 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2018
Overall 1food 3service 2ambience 1

I've been to the Columbia in St. Augustine a half-dozen times, and loved it. This, however, was nothing like that. The food was fine, but the bread wasn't good and the butter was bland. Portion sizes were also smaller than St. Augustine. The main issues, though, were with the space itself and how it was handled.

We had a reservation, but we were forced to wait about 15 minutes in a boiling hot, massively overcrowded entryway—there isn't even a proper space for people to wait or any way for us to wait outside of that area (they don't call you, text you, or give you a pager). As someone near me said at one point: "This has to be a fire hazard." Literally there were 50 or 60 people in a tiny area that could maybe comfortably fit 10 in addition to the staff they had working there at the front.

We were then seated at a fine table in a fine room (fine, not good). That was okay, but then they seated a huge party of teenagers RIGHT BESIDE US. They were horribly loud. Dinner was miserable. Service was scant. Our night wasn't worth $5, let alone $90. I'm not sure we'll ever go back to any Columbia, but we sure won't go back to this one.

Also, the "gift shop" is downright pathetic. I always thought the Columbia was a nice restaurant, but after visiting this location, I now consider it trash.

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P
Miami
39 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food and service was excellent. We live in Ft. Lauderdale and couldn’t wait to eat at Columbia, and wasn’t disappointed.

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OT
Tampa
1 review
Dined on October 6, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Very crowded today but our server was prompt and courteous. The salad is the best!

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LR
1 review
Dined on October 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Columbia is my favorite restaurant! However, during our lunch on Saturday, there was a wedding reception on the other side of the wall, and the DJ was loud on the microphone. It took away a little of the ambience, for us, but becaause I love the food, I still enjoyed my time there.

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T
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on October 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Outstanding as always. Been coming here since 1984

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JK
1 review
Dined on October 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had an amazing, unique night out while visiting Tampa. So glad we found this place! Authentic, delicious food and our server was awesome!

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OV
Phoenix
3 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a great experience at Columbia in Ybor City. Service, ambience, and the food were great! We would highly recommend this establishment and will return to it on our next visit to the area

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SS
Tampa
1 review
Dined on October 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Serice and show was fantastic, the food was amazing

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RB
Tampa
1 review
Dined on October 5, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

Very nice, fun environment, beautiful building designs and decors, felt like I visited a different place, country, without even living my hometown. Loved the flamenco show.

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CB
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on October 5, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 5

Because of a late lunch we weren’t super hun

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t
Las Vegas
18 reviews
Dined on October 5, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

La Columbia is the oldest, continuously operating restaurant in FL. Beautiful decor, it is genuinely a Spanish restaurant, both in appearance and cuisine. I highly recommend it!

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M
Tampa
8 reviews
Dined on October 5, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Always enjoy the soup and salad there. Great atmosphere.

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NO
1 review
Dined on October 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Wait staff “old time professional” which is greatly appreciated. The 1905 salad is highly recommended and abundant. The sea bass is fresh and tasteful. Recommend reservations. Great meal.

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AC
Miami
2 reviews
Dined on October 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love going there whenever I’m in town! Great food great service!

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C
Pittsburgh
11 reviews
Dined on October 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

The seafood pasta dish is even better than the paella counterpart. Make sure to reserve in advance. I visit whenever in Tampa. Carl from Pittsburgh

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CW
Tampa
1 review
Dined on October 3, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

We went here for a birthday. It was very memorable. We saw the show while having dinner. You do need to call the restaurant directly to reserve the show with dinner. Our table was toward the back so it was a little difficult to see the dancers from head to toe. You might be able to ask for a table close to the stage. Our service was excellent and the sangria is delicious. My food was average to good. I would definitely return. It’s a true Tampa experience.

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WP
1 review
Dined on October 2, 2018
Overall 2food 5service 3ambience 5

My wait was over one hour past my reservation time.

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NL
Miami
19 reviews
Dined on October 2, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 1ambience 3

I have always liked Columbia however when you make a reservation for a specific time, you should not have to wait a hour and 15 minutes after that time to be seated. Restaurants get busy, but this was unacceptable and the food and service was terribly off. Hoping it was a one time experience.

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M
New England
125 reviews
Dined on October 2, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 3

My reservation for 15 was booked two weeks in advance, waiting 45 minutes in a very warm lobby for the table to be ready we finally sat down at 7:45, ordered promptly and got our food around 9:15pm. The signature salad was anything but signature, maybe it was amazing in 1905 (it's namesake) but by today's standards it failed to impress.

I wouldn't say I know very much about Cuban food, but they managed to screw up a Cuban sandwich pretty well and my dinner was similar to a salt block that I cow tends to lick on. The service truly tried their best, but they were rushed and stressed and of the 15 people who dined with me, only 2 said they enjoyed the dinner. It was awful and we couldn't get out of their fast enough.

Maybe expansion and the tourist trap nature of this restaurant is diluting quality because it came highly recommended, yet I'll never go to any of their locations again.

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OT
1 review
Dined on October 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

First time, loved our waitress, food was fabulous!

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B
Chicago
58 reviews
Dined on October 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Have been dining here for decades ... simply superior !!!

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NS
Las Vegas
1 review
Dined on September 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Third time here and the food and drinks just keep getting better. Never left hungry.

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KC
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on September 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food and loved the old world style ambiance! Ask for Damon—awesome, attentive waiter!

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Naples
1 review
Dined on September 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

What a wonderful meal! Fantastic staff, beautiful setting, and absolutely delicious food. You can’t go wrong with anything on the menu.

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CS
1 review
Dined on September 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Very historic cuban/Spanish restaurant with beautiful tiles and art. Varied menu. The food was excellent - we had the 1905 salad, gazpacho, cuban, sea bass and crab cakes, flan, and sangria. The gift shop was also nice with a surprising variety of items. Several parking lots available.l

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OT
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on September 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

While the servers are attentive and accurate, they never seem to smile or have any personality. This is consistent with every time we visit. We have been to this restaurant dozens of times.

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JS
Tampa
1 review
Dined on September 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My father has been ringing me here since the late 70s and it's still amazing it's always to die for. Now I drive 45 minutes to get here

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L
1 review
Dined on September 29, 2018
Overall 2food 4service 4ambience 1

Columbia has been our go to for celebrations. We went most recently to celebrate my birthday and made reservations about 2 weeks before. My husband even called and spoke with them to confirm. Sadly, no one bothered to tell us that most of the restaurant would be occupied by a large group so we were seated in the bar. It was soooooo noisy that we really had a difficult time conversing with family directly across the table and I had a headache when we left. The food was great as always but I sure wish someone would have told us we would be seated in the bar. I'm sure we would have rescheduled!

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JT
Tampa
1 review
Dined on September 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

We have been to the Columbia many times and have always had great food and service. This visit was no exception. This visit I had the Stuffed Piquillo Peppers for the first time and they were outstanding. As always, I had the 1905 salad, which is the best salad that I have had anywhere. We had a wonderful meal and I look forward to returning on my next trip to Tampa.

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SS
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 4

There was water dripping from the ceiling. Terrible service! Food was greasy oily mess. Definitely a tourist trap!

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TV
1 review
Dined on September 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We have been coming to the original Columbia for quite a few years. Can always count on short wait when reservations are made and always can count on great service. Your food is very good and we appreciate the historical building.

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