24 – Columbia

Take a trip to Columbia by visiting this beautifully famous and historic restaurant in Ybor City. The restaurant has delicious Spanish and Cuban food and has been family-owned over five generations for 113 years. They have flamenco performances for an extra $6 from Monday-Saturday. Your best bet is to make a reservation because they are almost always busy, especially during dinner and at show times. The restaurant has gorgeous interior and exterior designs that make it feel like you’re actually in South America.


It’s safe to say that this restaurant is the most popular in Ybor City and probably high up on the list for Tampa as well. You can’t get much closer to Spanish and Cuban delicacies here in America than you get at Columbia. Their extended wine list is something to look at as well as their famous cuban sandwich and Paella a la Valenciana. Anything you order from their menu will be delicious.


If you go on their website, columbiarestaurant.com, you can access some of their famous recipes that they have used since the very beginning. You can also see the list of awards they have won like being named to the Nation’s Restaurant News Fine Dining Hall of Fame and the 2001-2002 MassMutual National Family Business of the Year.

The restaurant has several different rooms with all different types of artwork and designs. The Don Quixote Room has Quixote themed art and tiles that were collected by the second generation owner Casimiro Hernandez, Jr. The Patio Room has a colorful mosaic-tiled fountain with a statue called “Love and the Dolphin”. This statue is a replica of a sculpture that was found in the ruins of Pompeii. Cesar Gonzmart had this statue built in Italy in 1937 to put in the restaurant.


The Columbia restaurant also holds historic pieces of art, but several of them have been moved to the former Columbia Centennial Museum which is now used for private parties. If you ever decide to try the delicious food, take in the beautiful views, and watch the entertaining flamenco performances that Columbia has to offer, I hope you enjoy your experience and take a lot of gorgeous pictures in front of the many amazing backgrounds that the restaurant has to offer!


Author: wanderlusttampabay

A University of Tampa student with a strong desire to explore the underrated locations of Tampa Bay.

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