Columbia Restaurant - Sarasota

4.5
2982 reviews
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$30 and under
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Spanish
Family-owned and operated for more than 113 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

Specials

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

Open Christmas Eve, serving from our regular menu.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Christmas features include roasted pork or roast turkey for $22.95. Our regular dinner menu also is available all day. We open at 11 a.m.

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Open New Year’s Eve.

Monday, December 31, 2018

What 2982 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.4
service
4.4
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
92% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
2
1
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OT
Philadelphia
9 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 4

Soup (not gespacho) arrived cool. Had to be sent back. Absence of linen tablecloth in otherwise upscale restaurant unexpected.

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E
New England
9 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 1ambience 5

Service was very poor . We ordered drinks and waited over 20 minutes and then our drinks appetizers and entrees came all at once. The waiter kept disappearing. We finally had to ask for the manager to address the poor ser4vice. The manager took our bar tab off the bill to compensate us for this. We have been to the Columbia many times before this and was this only time the service was poor.

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OT
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

I asked in my reservation for a birthday dessert for my husband but it was overlooked

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AB
Tampa
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 2food 4service 3ambience 1

Cocktails watered down, worst mojito ever. Have been here many times, never had any issues. Will be going to Ybor City from now on

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A
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 2food 1service 2ambience 4

Columbia is a victim of its own success. I booked for 3 people for 7pm, but the wait was still 30 mins. It was SO loud, we had to shout. The waiters all appeared stressed and rushed and out server didn't have much time to engage with us and despite asking repeatedly for glasses of water, none were provided.
The food was unremarkable and nothing stood out apart from the bread pudding which a friend had recommended. We should have popped in for dessert later in the evening and spared ourselves the hassle of dinner. A pity, it could have been so much better

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OT
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

My husband & I went to the location in Sarasota for lunch yesterday. We sat at the bar. The bar was filthy, bread crumbs from previous customers were never cleaned up. The floor throughout the restaurant that we could see from the bar was dirty. But the kicker was, one of the servers asked the bartender for deodorant. While she was rummaging through her purse for it, her hairbrush fell out of her purse and INTO the ice bin!!!! She quickly picked it up and put it back in her purse and continued to use that ice bin for making drinks!!! To top that off, her boyfriend rubbed the deodorant all over his bare hands and then rubbed his hands on his neck, under his armpits and clothes! It was disgusting. We USED to eat at the Columbia often.

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L
Minneapolis
9 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 4

Had a reservation showed up 15 minutes early told no problem just a little wait. We wanted the main room which had three open tables. While we waited people came in with no reservation and we seated in that room instead of us. The whole time we were there a table sat open that they said was reserved for someone else?? I spoke to hostess staff of three several times and they just ignored me, really. They would just not respond and ask to help next in line. Eventually After no clear answer about others being seated instead of us and one open table that no one ever showed up for advised we were leaving and to cancel our reservation.

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SJ
Naples
18 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always fun when shopping St Armand's. Busy, noisy, during art show but food came out without delay. Columbia Ybor is more consistent and elegant but this location fun.

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MW
New York Area
13 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Norbert is outstanding!

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JH
Naples
8 reviews
Dined on November 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Just love the Columbia! We lived in Miami for a very long time and miss our Cuban food. It's so nice to have a little taste of home just an hour away. Our server, Artan, was from Kosovo. He was extremely attentive and knowledgeable. The food is always great and their wines are good. Some of the interior is open to St. Armand's Circle, but there is a quiet dining area as well. Tell them where you want to be when you make your reservation.

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AN
Indiana
2 reviews
Dined on November 7, 2018
Overall 2food 1service 3ambience 3

We’re a repeat customer. In the past the quality of food was fairly good. Unfortunately on our last visit the steak in the steal soltada was grizzly; the crab cake fishy; and the sangria had too much sugar and lacked alcohol. As always the 1905 salad was very good. We had a very good waitress! Don’t think we’ll be back in the near future. Sarasota has too many good restaurants!

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JZ
1 review
Dined on November 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Authentic Spanish restaurantI’m saying On St Armand’s in Circle
Never had a bad meal

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S
Tampa
33 reviews
Dined on November 5, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Outstanding experience. Bread, salad, entree were all terrific. Open air seating made for a memorable evening.

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SR
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on November 5, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Have brought family and friends often. They never disappoint!

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R
Tampa
4 reviews
Dined on November 5, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

I love the Gazpacho, salad and bread. I have been to Columbia many times and it is always a favorite. This time, we went for dinner and my sea bass was so salty that it was inedible. When the waiter asked if I liked my dinner, I told him it was too salty and he said that was too bad.

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F
Tampa
62 reviews
Dined on November 4, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

We dined with a friend as we are leaving the area soon. We had soup, 1402 salad, a chicken appetizer, the delicious Cuban bread, and a combo dinner. We also had a pitcher of Sangria. Our waiter was very good and helpful. If you have never been here, it is a must and if you are returning it is a joy.

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MA
1 review
Dined on November 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We were a party of six, four being from out of town. Drinks and food were very good. Our waiter was fun, made us laugh a lot.
This is a great restaurant to take your out of town guests to.

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E
Tampa
2 reviews
Dined on November 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Always delicious! Gets a little loud, but worth it!

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M
Tampa
14 reviews
Dined on November 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Good service and good food! We really enjoyed our evening!

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L
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on November 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food. Great location. Our waiter, A.J. Was knowledgeable, efficient, and friendly. One of ou favorite places to dine.

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OT
Atlanta
2 reviews
Dined on November 3, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Visiting friends

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CS
Naples
1 review
Dined on November 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

When the weather is as wonderful as it was when we visited, it is worth a little extra wait to request outdoor seating!

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PL
Tampa
3 reviews
Dined on November 3, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

A wide range of delicious Spanish/Cuban food, including superb gazpacho, and a good wine list. The half-bottle option is a benefit when only one member of a party wants wine.

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OT
Atlantic City
11 reviews
Dined on November 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great restaurant, delicious food, I just dont like the constant interruption by the waitress who continually asked if we needed anything. 5 times of asking was over the top.

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R
New England
19 reviews
Dined on October 31, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Had a great meal. Enjoyed food and mojitos. Service was good. Restaurant was busy.

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CG
Naples
8 reviews
Dined on October 31, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We were able to move our reservation up which was wonderful. Our service was excellent. The restaurant was very crowded but our service was still very individual. The food has awesome flavors and was served hot. The Sangria was great as was the special Colombia beer.

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JC
Naples
10 reviews
Dined on October 31, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Halloween eve on St Armand’s is noisy and very crowded but having ringside seats for the festivities was fun. With the crowds inside and on the street, service was a little slow but understandable and the entertainment kept us occupied. The Mariscos entre was fantastic. Caesar salad was soggy and disappointing. We’ll go back and try a less frenetic night.

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SM
New England
12 reviews
Dined on October 31, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 3

Unfortunately 4 out of 6 fish entrees were overdone and very dry.

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SS
Tampa
11 reviews
Dined on October 31, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We went on Halloween and had the broiled grouper. It was delicious. It was extra noisy because of the crowds at St Armand’s so that was unusual for this restaurant. Great place to eat Thank goodness I made reservations through open table because their was an hour wait for everyone else. I was immediately taken to my table.

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OT
Naples
1 review
Dined on October 31, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 2

Ok not great

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DB
Tampa
1 review
Dined on October 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I'm not sure much how they could improve it! Both the Sarasota and the Ybor locations have become our birthday go-to restaurants, along with special treat places as well. Great staff, great food, and the incredible St. Armand's Circle ambience. Definitely a "don't miss" stop!

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c
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on October 28, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

We are logos, this is a tourist trap restaurant on the circle of Saint almonds. My husband and I wanted to get out Amongst people . The service is too quick, the food is mediocre, the cocktail was not craft as well Dash way too sweet for a bourbon old-fashioned. But the whole experience is fun and enjoyable if you don’t expect more than mediocre. We ordered the seafood paella pretty chill. It turned out to be two very small portions and having had paella in other restaurants, it did not ring has one of the best. It was advertised as being made fresh and would take up to 40 minutes, ours was out in front of us in less than 20. It appeared to be that the race was made, possibly even a boxed rice, and then they peppered the top with some shrimp scallops clams and mussels. We asked for no it was advertised as being made fresh and will take up to 40 minutes, ours was out in front of us in less than 20. It appeared to be that the rice was made, possibly even a boxed rice, and then they peppered the top with some shrimp scallops clams and mussels. We asked for no call Morrow calamari. Again, it was not terrible it just wasn’t excellent and if you’re looking just for a fun active environment while you eat This type of food, then this would be the place. Also, as we experienced in other restaurants, the tourists are at the beach all day throw some type of talk on with their sneakers or dirty flip-flops and come into these restaurants at the dinner hour with tired cranky children & In the meantime there are people like my husband and myself who have showered and dressed in clean clothing and want a more fine dining experience.

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MO
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on October 28, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

As usual everything was alright. Only problem was my request for table by window was not available. Always ask for that location

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RH
Dallas
14 reviews
Dined on October 27, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 5

Had a fun dinner with friends at this Tapas/Spanish restaurant which opened in 1905! Plenty of variety for both food and drinks. Sangrias were great. Tried several different tapas - the lobster, beef empanadas and Cuban sandwich were quite tasty.

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PR
1 review
Dined on October 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

One of my favorite restaurants in Sarasota and this time everything was great as always.

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RS
Chicago
23 reviews
Dined on October 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The Colombia never disappoints. Food is always delicious. I absolutely love their fish dishes.

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CD
1 review
Dined on October 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food. Nice place, sit inside it outside. Visit every time I am in town.

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C
Cincinnati
2 reviews
Dined on October 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

It was wonderful. Thank you so much.

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BD
Tampa
1 review
Dined on October 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Totally enjoyable, can’t praise it enough

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d
Indiana
9 reviews
Dined on October 21, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

We met other family members at Columbia for a late lunch on a Sunday. The circle was very busy & I was glad we had reservations for dining. The food was good and the service efficient (although our server had a sad attitude - not sure if she was having issues that day, but she wasn't happy to be there).

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