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Columbia

Fodorite Reviews

Average Rating:  

Columbia Review

Make a date for some of the best Latin cuisine in Tampa. A fixture since 1905, this magnificent structure with an old-world air and spacious dining rooms takes up an entire city block and seems to feed the entire city—locals as well as visitors—throughout the week, but especially on weekends. The paella, bursting with seafood, chicken, and pork, is arguably the best in Florida, and the 1905 salad—with ham, olives, cheese, and garlic—is legendary. The menu has Cuban classics such as boliche criollo (tender eye of round stuffed with chorizo), ropa vieja (shredded beef with onions, peppers, and tomatoes), and arroz con pollo (chicken with yellow rice). Don't miss the flamenco dancing show every night but Sunday. This place is also known for its sangria. If you can, walk around the building and check out the elaborate, antique decor along every inch of the interior.

Updated: 04-24-2014

Fodorite Reviews

Average Rating:  
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    Cuban Food?

    I don't know what restaurant the other poster was talking about it being exquisite Cuban Food. Just like "La Teresita" it could not be any further from authentic Cuban Food. Yes am from Cuban parents and grew up on it. The only place outside of a Cuban house in Tampa that serves good Cuban Food is Arco Iris on Columbus

    by Crypto2457, 5/16/07
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    Terrible Waste

    While the building is beautiful, the dining is a joke. I concur that it's not even a good tourist-trap meal. We dropped $25 on paella that never saw the inside of an oven: the rice came from a yellow bag and was mushy and swimming in metallic, bag-flavored broth. The waiter expressed abject and appropriate shame. On the menu, it says that you have to wait half an hour for the authentic paella. So we left feeling like the butts of a joke as well. Not a warm memory, that.

    by Trent2, 7/27/07
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    The Columbia and La Teresita

    I was surprised to see two of my most favorite restaurants slammed by another reviewer in the same review. I grew up in Tampa and my family and I have been eating at La Teresita since it came to being about 30 years ago. I can admit that it has seen better days. But still one of the best bargains in the city. As for the Columbia, you must go to the one in Ybor City. I don’t live in Tampa anymore but I was there this last summer and I had a great meal. The food is Cuban with a heavy influence from Spain. The atmosphere is really something to see. Make sure you roam around all of the rooms. The service was a bit relaxed but extremely friendly. Tampa has its share of good places to eat. But I don’t go to Tampa without fitting both of these places into my schedule.

    by Quinte, 10/21/07
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    Resting on its Laurels

    This restaurant is way past its prime. While the building still looks fabulous, the food is lousy and the service is barely OK. The flamenco show is fun, if contrived.

    by Trigold, 6/24/08

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