About Columbia Restaurant - Sarasota

411 Saint Armands Circle
Sarasota, FL 34236
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Family-owned and operated for more than 110 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

Cuisines:
Spanish, Cuban

Hours of Operation:
Lunch Daily: 11:00am - 4:00pm; Dinner: Sunday - Thursday: 4:00pm - 10:00pm, Friday - Saturday: 4:00pm - 11:00pm

Dress Code:
Casual Dress

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(941) 388-3987

Website:
http://columbiarestaurant.com/

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.

Parking Details:
Free parking on the street, or in public parking areas surrounding St. Armands Circle.

Executive Chef:
Jesus Padilla Jr.

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.

Private Party Contact:
Erika Klatyik: 9413883987x

Additional:
Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking Area, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Smoking Area, Takeout, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Special Events & Promotions:
Although online reservations may not be available, we are still taking reservations through the restaurant.

Restaurant Photos

Promotions

Mother's Day Menus & Specials

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Details
Serving from our regular dinner menu all day, along with Mother's Day features.

Columbia Restaurant - Sarasota Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.4

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.4

service

4.4

ambience

4.3

noise

Moderate

95% would recommend it to a friend

Loved For

Great for Lunch
Tampa / Central Florida West
Great for Lunch
Sarasota / Bradenton
Outdoor Dining
Sarasota / Bradenton
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great for outdoor dining (182)
great for lunch (157)
fit for foodies (114)
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good for groups (98)
neighborhood gem (96)
special occasion (95)
hot spot (84)
scenic view (46)
romantic (40)
kid-friendly (36)
great for brunch (32)
notable wine list (24)
vibrant bar scene (17)
late-night find (15)
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Dine Date
1383 reviews
Loading Reviews ...
food4
ambience2
service2
value3

Disappointed

Dined 4 days ago

Unfortunately, on this visit, we were seated in the furthest dining section and in the back of the small room. As a result, we were sort of in left field and the service suffered -- not up to Columbia standards. We should not have accepted that table. We lost out on the ambiance of St. Armand's.

Tags: romantic, scenic view
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

The finale to our annual family reunion

Dined 6 days ago

Annually we visit Columbia for a formal dinner prior to heading back home. Although we are not Cuban-American, this is our choice of good old home food. I was stationed in Puerto Rico for eight years with the Navy and grew to love the food there. There is a close similarity to that food so Columbia brings back many pleasant memories.

Tags: great for brunch, fit for foodies, special occasion
food2
ambience3
service1

Unique menu. Unfortunately it all was a ...

Dined 7 days ago

Unique menu. Unfortunately it all was a disappointment taste wise.

food3
ambience5
service2
value2

Over energetic server

Dined on April 25, 2016

We didn't have a chance to sit down in our chairs and our server was trying to take our order. While I was talking to my husband on what I thought looked good (i.e. the 1905 salad), the next thing I know, the server had the salad at our table. I actually was thinking of getting the salad as a meal with the shrimp but I never got the chance to actually place my order. Our server was extremely friendly but did not give the time or the chance to review the menu and place our order. Felt very rushed.

Tags: great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
food2
ambience5
service4

This is a beautiful location but the foo ...

Dined on April 24, 2016

This is a beautiful location but the food was not as good as it has been in the past. Neither plantains or yucca was flavorful and the rice was so-so.

food2
ambience2
service2

Paella was like mush. Tapas was ok. No ...

vip
Dined on April 23, 2016

Paella was like mush. Tapas was ok. Nothing special. Service was dreadful.

food5
ambience5
service3
value5

Love the 1905 salad with shrimp and red sangria

Dined on April 23, 2016

Drove 1.5 hrs to celebrate my birthday here. Worth the trip!

Tags: kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Delicious

vip
Dined on April 22, 2016

The food was great with the 1905 salad being one of our favorite salads of any restaurant. Great overall menu of Cuban food!

Tags: great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, hot spot
food2
ambience1
service3
value2

Nothing special

Dined on April 17, 2016

I made an advance reservation, which seems to be pointless at this restaurant. Upon checking in, we were asked to wait. As we waited, all of the open tables in good locations went to walk-in guests who were on a separate waiting list. After 15 minutes I went back to remind them of our reservation and we were seated at a poor table near the restrooms. The food was okay; mine was better than my date's. For well over $100 for two, it was not worth the money. Weeknights may be a better experience.

food5
ambience3
service1

This was our second time at Columbia. We ...

Dined on April 16, 2016

This was our second time at Columbia. We waited about 15 minutes beyond our reservation time. The same thing happened at our last visit, so I'm guessing this is typical, at least on the weekends. We were seated at a table near the entrance, so there was a lot of traffic. The table was actually set for 4, and there were only 2 in our party. Our waiter greeted us and cleared the other place settings; he seemed annoyed (maybe because they sat 2 people at a 4 top?), which continued throughout our visit. My husband asked if he could order a chicken entree without artichokes (the menu stated that the entree took extra time to prepare, so we assumed it was prepared fresh and this would not be a problem). The waiter replied, "I have no idea," and stared at us blankly, then added, "no one's asked me that before." There was silence for a few seconds, and he never offered to ask someone. Finally my husband said, "I guess I'll order something else." The waiter just seemed annoyed that he had to speak with us at all. On a positive note, the chicken entree my husband ordered was delicious; he also had a side Caesar salad. I ordered the chicken croquette tapas and a full size 1905 salad; both delicious. The waiter also seemed annoyed by my order, but the total cost was the same as an entree, so I'm not sure why. And, we shared a pitcher of red sangria, which was excellent. Overall, the food was as good as we remembered during our first visit; however, the service was not. We'll definitely go back for the food and hope for a different waiter. We may also try a weeknight in hope of less crowds.

food5
ambience5
service5

Excellent food and experience. The 1905 ...

Dined on April 12, 2016

Excellent food and experience. The 1905 salad can't be missed.

food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Always wonderful

Dined on April 10, 2016

Our dining experience was wonderful as usual. We always start off with a pitcher of Sangria. We like the red best. One of us had a great roasted chicken dish, another had a melt in your mouth filet and I had a salmon dish that was out of this world. The service is always excellent and I recommend Columbia 100%.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, hot spot
food3
ambience5
service3
value2

Shrimp Supreme dissappointing

Dined on April 10, 2016

This is usually one of our favorite restaurants, but this time, the food left me disappointed. The shrimp supreme was over breaded and did not fit the menu description. It was much too salty so I took all of the breading off and just ate the shrimp which were over-cooked. Even the yellow rice was too salty and other diners at the table said the same for their food.

Tags: scenic view
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Had their salad and black bean soup. Go ...

Dined on April 7, 2016

Had their salad and black bean soup. Good food and a nice relaxed atmosphere.

Tags: good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, scenic view
food4
ambience3
service3

Good Cuban Food

Dined on April 6, 2016

Good Cuban Food

food3
ambience4
service4
value4

The 1905 salad was good as always.

Dined on April 5, 2016

It is a good place to get a traditional mohito. Enjoyed the 1905 salad but I was disappointed by their lobster cakes. The sauce was over powering, and the cakes were mushy.

Tags: great for lunch
food1
ambience4
service1
value2

Bad waitress equals bad meal

Dined on April 3, 2016

My family has been eating at the Columbia for over 30 years, and now that I live out of state, I still eat there at the start and end of every visit to SRQ. The waiter or waitress makes all the difference, especially when you are ordering a 1905 salad, and our waitress for this visit was the worst I have ever experienced at the Coumbia. Our salad needed more of everything. It did not have enough dressing, lemon juice, etc. Our drinks were never refilled, our daughter's meal did not come with the rest of the food, so when we asked about it, it took so long she must have forgot to put it in, but not even an apology or acknowledgement. We were never asked how our food was, and overall our experience was subpar. So, if you find yourself in Cindy's section, I would highly recommend you ask for another server!

food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Fun Restaurant With Great Classic Cuban Cuisine

vip
Dined on April 1, 2016

I've been wanting to go to Columbia Restaurant on St. Armand's Circle for months - and finally got there! Excellent food, great atmosphere and great staff. My husband ordered a Cuban Sandwich, and I had the half Cuban Sandwich and half 1905 Salad - that was a great choice and I recommend it. I also had a Cafe Con Leche which was good too. We were there for lunch and I'd love to go back for brunch, lunch and dinner. Columbia is now on my list when I go to Sarasota. FYI we parked at Valet Parking for the Circle at Cafe L'Europe - recommended by the restaurant. It was $5 and then we tipped the valet. I felt like a VIP as Columbia is just 2 doors down from the valet.

Tags: great for brunch, kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5

Our waiter, Darian was excellent

Dined on March 30, 2016

Our waiter, Darian was excellent

food1
ambience1
service3

Really just awful. Tourist trap.

vip
Dined on March 26, 2016

Really just awful. Tourist trap.

food3
ambience4
service4
value4

Food and service were good

vip
Dined on March 25, 2016

Have gone here many times. The house salad ( 1905 ) was not as fresh as usual but still tasty Our other entree ( chicken and rice ) was very good as were crab legs. All in all , not as satisfying as we have had in the past but still very good

Tags: kid-friendly, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, hot spot
food5
ambience5
service5

Great atmosphere for having a great time ...

vip
Dined on March 22, 2016

Great atmosphere for having a great time with old friends

food4
ambience4
service5
value4

Nothing beats the 1905 salad!

Dined on March 22, 2016

Service was great, salad was amazing...my lunch entrée was not as flavorful as usual, but otherwise, I love Columbia.

Tags: fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Still Great!

Dined on March 21, 2016

We have eaten at the Columbia on numerous occasions and the experience has always been excellent. On a busy evening our reservation for 6 people was still honored on time. The food came as ordered. What can you say about the 1905 Salad that hasn't already been said? The bread pudding desert was also a delight. We will return again.

Tags: fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
food5
ambience5
service5

Our half roast chicken was delicious. We ...

vip
Dined on March 20, 2016

Our half roast chicken was delicious. We ordered a pitcher of white Sangria and drank every drop...excellent. Really enjoy eating at Columbia!

food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Columbia Restaurant

Dined on March 18, 2016

We love Columbia Restaurant and have dined at several of their locations. Everything about each one is consistent - WONDERFUL. One of our favorite things is the white Sangria which is prepared tableside. Their signature 1905 salad is also a must have and we love the mussels too. Be warned though the paella is enough for 2 to share if you have tapas first

Tags: kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, great for lunch
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

1905 Salad

Dined on March 17, 2016

As usual the 1905 Salad was great. The service wasexcellent.

Tags: fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
food5
ambience3
service5
value4

The food was extraordinary and our serve ...

Dined on March 16, 2016

The food was extraordinary and our server was very knowledgeable and helpful in regard to our selections of both the food and wine. A couple of small complaints: the restaurant said that it would not be able to honor the reservation time-we were seated approximately 20 minutes after the time of our reservation. Also, were offered only outdoor, near-sidewalk seating even though it appeared that other options may have been available at the time.

Tags: fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

2016 Florida Trip

Dined on March 16, 2016

We found this gem last March when we went to st armonds circle on a suggested trip. We went in to Columbias and fell in love! The hot sauce is AMAZING! I literally buy it online and I get it shipped to my house (PA). We didn't try the 1905 salad the last time, but we did try it this time and it was awesome! I also tried the famous sangria. Yummy! I got the white sparkling sangria. It was sweet and went down fast! :) we ended our meal with the key lime pie! So good!!! I enjoy coming every year to Columbias and we make it a tradition to make sure we go at least once! The servers are top notch and very professional. I can't wait until my next Florida trip, but for now I will just have to keep ordering their hot sauces, vinegars and olives online and pretend I'm in Sarasota!

Tags: fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, scenic view, neighborhood gem, hot spot
food4
ambience4
service5
value4

The Columbia Restaurant was great as usu ...

Dined on March 15, 2016

The Columbia Restaurant was great as usual. Out waiter, Damian was excellent.

Tags: great for lunch
food4
ambience3
service3
value3

conniejane

Dined on March 14, 2016

The Sangria is a must. From the soups to the famous "1905 salad", to the fresh seafood entrees, this is Spanish/Cuban food at it's best.

Tags: kid-friendly, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, great for lunch
food5
ambience4
service3
value4

Great Food

vip
Dined on March 12, 2016

As always the black bean soup was extraordinary. The food is always great at the Columbia. Exceptional menu and hard to make an entree choice.

Tags: fit for foodies, hot spot
food3
ambience3
service3

After reading Columbia's website about t ...

vip
Dined on March 11, 2016

After reading Columbia's website about the Spanish olive oil used (I have a soy allergy) and the reviews, this sounded like a great place. However, the hostess was not customer focused or welcoming. You give her your name and she barely acknowledged you. No further info was given. We got seated within 5 min of our reservation. The server was friendly and knowledgeable about the menu. After ordering, we found out that ALL of the great smelling food had soybean oil in it, as the olive oil is cut with it. I was relegated to the snapper or plain filet - definitely not what I came for. My husband did say that his dish was good and flavorful. My filet was prepared nicely. It was just a disappointment not to be able to have their specialties. Their version of working with food allergies is: don't eat it and we won't make a special order.

food5
ambience5
service5

Great place! Fun place to go, our food w ...

Dined on March 11, 2016

Great place! Fun place to go, our food was excellent & even though very busy their staff was friendly & attentive. Need reservations!!

food5
ambience5
service5

Server Daniel was helpful and attentive. ...

vip
Dined on March 10, 2016

Server Daniel was helpful and attentive. Food and ambiance are terrific.

food5
ambience5
service5

Took our grandson and his fiance to cele ...

Dined on March 10, 2016

Took our grandson and his fiance to celebrate their engagement. Service was, as usual, impeccable, food was delicious. We enjoyed their exceptional and famous salad, and shared several of their unique tapas (all were very good) finishing with the white chocolate pudding. Great experience - highly recommended.

food3
ambience3
service5
value4

Make a reservation

vip
Dined on March 9, 2016

We had never made a reservation before when going to the Columbia reservation, but we did this time because we did not want to wait, and wait you will, if you want dinner after 6 PM and do not make a reservation. This is a very popular place! Fabulous Sangria, made tableside; indoor or outdoor seating; excellent variety of Spanish and Cuban food. (My scallop tapas dish was superb, but the stuffed mushrooms had too much bread crumbs on them!)

Tags: great for outdoor dining
food4
ambience4
service5
value5

Very good experience

Dined on March 8, 2016

This restaurant came recommended from a family member. We made reservations a few months in advance and was supprised when we showed up a little early and they seated us right then. The food was excellent, my only complaint was that it was very noisy. Other than that a good time.

Tags: great for outdoor dining, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot
food5
ambience3
service3
value3

Great salad, very tight space

Dined on March 7, 2016

The 1905 salad is excellent! That's the reason I go. But the tables were place so closely together that the wait staff had a difficult time getting from table to table. Wait staff bumped into me about a dozen times during lunch because it was so hard to squeeze between the table.

Tags: great for outdoor dining, great for lunch
food5
ambience3
service5
value4

A Classic choice.

Dined on March 3, 2016

The Columbia always serves delicious and classic dishes. They have one of the most extensive menus with seafood choices in the area, something for everyone. My husband had the Pompano en croute and loved it. My seafood cannelloni was delicious. I feel their prices are reasonable for what they offer. For me, dining out, especially for seafood as I am a fisherman, comes with great expectations. I hope to get a fish dish that I wouldn't make for myself, a treat. I definitely find it at the Columbia. Our server was very attentive and helpful. It is a bit noisy for conversation if members of your party are quiet talkers. Love the open air feel with restaurant open to the street. Was comfortable even on a cool evening.

Tags: great for outdoor dining, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot

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