Columbia Restaurant - Ybor City

4.6
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9109 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 9109 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
4.7
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Moderate
91% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
Tampa
6 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Alfonso made our experience at The Columbia exceptional. He was very professional, made us feel as if we were family! This is why we continue to return to The Columbia.

CL
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 1food 1service 2ambience 3

Had reservation for 8:30 on Saturday. Appetizers were quick, but had to wait an hour after finishing them to see our main courses. These were not served until 10:15pm. When food came, the Bambino NY strip (one of their signature dishes - a $48 steak) was leather-hard and over-salted. My son took only one bite. My wife’s and my daughter’s filet mignons ($36 a piece) were equally salty and inedible. I ordered the ropa vieja, which they forgot. They eventually brought it, slopped on a small appetizer-sized plate. I paid the $160 check (not counting the tip) but left three whole steaks and a ropa vieja on the table. I basically paid $160 for one chorizo sausage, 6 mini croquettes, a small dish of melted cheese, and 3 sodas. By the way, we are Spanish/Cuban from South Florida. We eat this food daily. This is a tourist-geared, Disney-like version of Cuban food, and poorly executed. More attention is paid to the appearance of the place, the decorations, music, and architecture than to the food. If what you want is a photo-op and a checkmark on your “been-there” list, then by all means go eat at Columbia. Just don’t expect to have a good meal, and be ready for buyer’s remorse.

s
Tampa
6 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We were seated within five minutes of our reservation scheduled time. The server was attentive all night and provided the requested drinks in a timely manner. Our party of four had placed an order for two appetizers and four entrees, and the time between them being delivered was perfect. The meals were delicious, flavorful, correctly spiced, and most importantly the perfect temperature. The cocktails tasted like it needed more alcohol, but they were fine.

If you are visiting Tampa, I strongly suggest you visit this establishment. If you live in Tampa, frequent it.

CA
Tampa
2 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Absolutely loved it . Always heard about the Columbia Restaurant and I am happy my wife , my daughter and myself experience it. I personally can not wait to go back and try more items off the menu. Not your true Spanish Restaurant but a fusion of American and Spanish since they been there for over 100 years. I personally am going to tell everyone I know to check it out as I drove over an hour form Weeki Wachee.
Excellent and a wonderful treat with the table side service , what a wonderful Birthday .

B
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Birthday
The food was very good.

SO
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

The Sangria and 1905 salad and Cuban bread were delicious. The Cuban sandwich was a disappointment

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

It was like having dinner at a Museum. Beautiful place, the service was amazing and the food was superb.

JM
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 2

Food was salty. I only ate the meat and not the rice and beans. My daughter only ate the meat as well as she did not like the yellow rice. Rushed to order because the show would be starting soon. The show was mediocre. Will not be returning.

DI
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Jonny was our waiter and he was an absolute sweetheart. Food was delicious..

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

The food was good but the table was really uncomfortable. The plates did not fit well, not even the menus. We had made reservations and would think would have gotten a good spot in the restaurant but instead we were placed in this uncomfortable table next to where the staff was placing orders.

Too expensive to be sitting in such tiny table that is suppose to fit 4 people.

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

Columbia has great food. The service was phenomenal. Atmosphere was awesome. I definitely would go there again.

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

The flamenco show is amazing! Even my kids loved it..

CF
Baltimore
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My family and I loved the relaxed feel of this place – like a comfortable dining room in our family's home. I definitely would return to try more dishes. The Mahi Mahi and the Ropa Vieja were amazing as were the sangria made tableside and the churros for desert . Service was well-timed and friendly.

C
Tampa
16 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food and service is always excellent! We enjoy the music in the bar area and everyone there is always so nice to us.

R
Miami
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent as always

NA
Tampa
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 5

The restaurant over all its wonderful the waiter however got two of our orders wrong but we did not make a fuss we'd just ate what he brought us, witch was very good, we all enjoyed our dinner, Nancy Vance

LS
New York Area
1 review
Dined on September 11, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 3ambience 1

I've always liked Columbia, but was disappointed this time. I told them it was an 80th birthday and reqested the patio room when making a reservation, and they confirmed it. When we arrived, they put us next to a noisy bar, at a tiny table, in probably the only poor spot in the place. One ordered the special desert, and waited 20 minutes and the water said it was still frozen and couldn't be served. After we left, we got accused of being a "no show" by Open Table! Other times, they always acknowledged the special occasion; this time there was nothing. Other times, a manager would come by the table to see how things are. Not this time. This time we were disappointed, especially when it was a birthday. Maybe we'll go back, but I'll do some work before to make sure we will be seated where we want to be, especially considering the fact that the other four rooms we've been in are great, as has been the food and service. This might have just been a fluke but it was a management failure that should not have happened.

OT
Tampa
1 review
Dined on September 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great atmosphere and amazing food!

SM
1 review
Dined on September 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing restaurant with amazing history. We would highly recommend

OT
Tampa
1 review
Dined on September 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We liked it very much

DF
1 review
Dined on September 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food at historic restaurant. 1905 salad always hits the spot.

KM
Orlando
7 reviews
Dined on September 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Long wait. Great food. Great service. Great story. Free Tesla chargers a definite plus.

JM
Orlando
1 review
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

The staff were professional and responsive to customer needs or request.

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our server was very knowledgeable & had some good suggestions. Food was over the top excellent. A little noisy though.

KC
1 review
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall 3food 1service 3ambience 3

Used to have great food, what we had was not even close to great. Took my mother for her birthday, she did t even get what she ordered, and they didn’t fix it. Won’t be going back, too much for less than average

k
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 1ambience 2

I was SO excited about going to The Columbia. Made reservations a week early, counted down the days. I had been there once previously and it was great! This visit was the opposite.

We arrived 30 minutes early and were surprised that they were able to seat us so quickly. Our waiter seemed mixed enough, but after he visited us once we never saw him again.

The food orders came (delicious!) but the service was awful, like they were trying to ignore us.

At the end we asked for 2 to go boxes and our waiter placed them on our table for us to put our food in. (Really no big deal if you are at Olive Garden, but when we pay $30+ per entree I expect more service).

I do not think we will ever go back. Carmine’s is great, just a few blocks away, fantastic food and service.

MP
Tampa
8 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

We loved it! Randy, our server, was exceptional! He was very attentive to our requests. We are so thankful for giving us a great table near the window. Thank you so much! The white sangria Randy mentioned was amazing as well. We hoped to have just a little more but we were too full to ask for another glass. We will be back!

OT
Tampa
5 reviews
Dined on September 4, 2019
Overall 5food 1service 1ambience 4

Food was very bland.

FL
Tampa
3 reviews
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great as usual.

M
Tulsa
11 reviews
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

Extremely loud but very busy.
We come to Florida twice a year and always eat at Columbia either in Ybor City or Clearwater location. Last couple of times the Cuban has had very little meat and just too dry to eat. Barely ate any of it. The bread and 1905 salad were ok and the Old Fashioned was great. Loved this restaurant for years and hope this criticism will be taken constructively and improvements can be made so we can continue to enjoy for years to come.

1
Cincinnati
7 reviews
Dined on August 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food, the history, the music, the dancers, the drinks, the atmosphere, all top notch. There is an obvious reason this establishment has been successful for over 114 years. They are masterful at what they do. It simply deserves respect and thanks.

OT
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on August 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was phenomenal I will definitely be coming back next time I’m in town.

y
Chicago
7 reviews
Dined on August 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Outstanding. Loved the show!!

WW
Tampa
2 reviews
Dined on August 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The Columbia Restaurant never fails to offer the best food in Florida. It's unique and delicious dishes are a tradition with our family for special occasions. This occasion was my birthday, and our great server, Terry, wished me a happy birthday, presented a card to me, and a delicious flan for dessert...on behalf of The Columbia Restaurant. What a classy restaurant!

JG
Tampa
3 reviews
Dined on August 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It’s was my birthday, we had a wonderful time the food and drinks was excellent service was fantastic. Also we enjoy the show. We will definitely go back.

DS
Tampa
1 review
Dined on August 26, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

Always a treat to enjoy a meal at the Columbia . Found the service not up to par the last two times I visited the restaurant. Overall a great experience though.

DA
1 review
Dined on August 25, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 1ambience 4

I have gone to the Columbia Restaurant for years and years. The waiter was the worst I have ever experience there. He could not recall who ordered what to deliver. I got a soup I din’t order. I requested a 1905 salad without tomato’s. It came with tomato’s. Several other items were slightly incorrect. Very out of character for The Columbia.

JM
1 review
Dined on August 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Just knowing that the restaurant was born in 1905 does it for me. Love the decor and atmosphere. The food is delicious and plentiful.

G
1 review
Dined on August 25, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

We have been coming to Columbia since our children were small and our daughter is now 52.
We celebrated our other daughters 50th there on Sunday. We wasn't disappointed. We was missing my husband he passed away in may. He loved that place.

OT
Phoenix
1 review
Dined on August 24, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Food was good, felt a little
Dry as sitting under a heat lamp
To long. Beyond that it was only one plate. The service was great and attentive, but not overbearing. The show was exactly what I was looking for. Highly recommend this restaurant.

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