Tampa >Food & Dining > Columbia Restaurant
2117 E 7TH Ave, Tampa, FL | Directions 3360527.959884 -82.435150
Monday To Thursday From 11:00 AM To 10:00 PM Friday To Saturday From 11:00 AM To 11:00 PM Sunday From 12:00 PM To 09:00 PM
Neighborhoods: Historic Ybor, Northeast
Spanish, not Mexican – I loved the food, service and decor. Advice - order and entree for lunch instead of a tapa. More food for the same price! the gaspacho was perfect, as was sangria. For a nearly empty restaurant, we were not seated for almost 10 minutes! The free bread was WONDERFUL! I want to go back.
its alright – I had the paella and it was delicious. it was pricey but a very beautiful spot. I would recommend it more as a lunch place if you want to save a little money and be in a more relaxed atmosphere- its great to go there for lunch and then walk around ybor.
Maybe next time – My wife and I were recommended The Columbia from family members in Tampa. The house special filet mignon the size of a child's fist came cooked in bourbon and it tasted just like that, a shot of bourbon in every bite. This most expensive cut of meat on the menu was so rubbery, my wife had to ask for a steak knife which barely got the job done. The house special paella was nothing to write home about and i did ended up doing just that, bringing most of it home. Make sure you get a good nites rest before you see the show(add. $6 pp) because if you've seen one flamenco show, you've seen them all. The restaurant is beautiful and service was ok. Highly recommend trying somewhere else.
I coulda saved a ton o' money!!! – Recently I traveled to Spain, from every guidebook came "you must try the paella in Spain". So, listening to that advice I went to Marbella Spain (which I highly reccomend) and asked the hotel staff where the best paella anywhere can be found, Everyone I asked pointed us to the same restaurant. We get there, I ordered Paella Mixda. Halfway through the meal, I'm approached by the owner (knowing I was an American tourist) asking how the meal was....My reply, "Well, there's this great place in my hometown called The columbia, and frankly................." He didn't want to hear the rest. hahaha This is a very true story.
The queen of Tampa's Spanish and Cuban restaurants since 1905 and a tourist attraction in its own right. – The Scene
The state's oldest restaurant, owned by the Gonzmarts (the same Tampa family that has operated it since 1905), the Columbia anchors a whole block of Ybor City. Its gorgeous building exudes a dignified splendor, glistening with colorful, hand-painted Spanish tile and flounced stone fretwork. Locals and tourists alike flock here to enjoy a relaxed ambience, terrific food and flashy flamenco shows.
An impressive array of traditional Spanish and Cuban dishes. Start with sangria, Spanish red wine garnished with fruit, and move onto "champinones al jerez," mushrooms sauteed in olive oil, garlic and sherry. Follow with red snapper Alicante, the mild white fish baked with onion, green pepper, garlic and wine, accompanied by yellow rice. For dessert, choose traditional Spanish flan, a smooth custard baked in a delectable caramel sauce. Finish with the local beverage of choice: coffe con leche, steamed milk and coffee made from slightly burned beans that give the drink its unique taste.
Knocks my socks off still – How to describe the beloved Columbia? My husband took me there for Homecoming dinner when we were 16 and just started dating... had our wedding reception there with over a hundred guests 8 years later. Still love to go there... the atmosphere is incredible...food astounding... service terrific. Our favorite is the Chicken and Shrimp Barcelona, which we served at our reception. The sangria, 1905 salad and tapas (appetizers) are wonderful. Don't miss the fried plantains, and try the creme catalana for dessert. Sadly, we moved a thousand miles away, now we have to use the Columbia cookbook and try to copy the dishes. The Columbia will forever be in our hearts. THE place in Tampa to go!
Flamenco, arriba! – This is by far my favorite Tampa restaurant; I think I'll go there tonight. I wish I could make gazpacho the way they do - both that & the 1905 salad are prepared tableside, as is the fantabulous sangria (you get to keep the bull from the wine bottle). Then move on to the Ropa Vieja, or something else for you creative types (I stick to what I like). Definitely try to catch the Flamenco show - always exciting & new. There is often live music in their bar as well - which features a great atmosphere & people-watching views of the street.
This one beats all other Columbias (was very disappointed with St. Augustine)!
Tampa defined... – If you had three hours to introduce someone to Tampa, Florida, the Columbia would be the place to go. From the historic significance, location, decor, and most of all, the great food, it is Tampa defined in a nutshell.
Try the 1905 salad, and follow it with a half of a Cuban with a cup of Spanish Bean soup. After eating the Cuban, whenever you visit a Subway or Blimpie thereafter you will either cry, cuss, or use the word 'blasphemy' to describe them. No other sandwich comes close.
a pleasant surprise – the quality of the food was very good. the interior of the building was authentic and well kept. there is also a show offered, but we left before it started.
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