Florida's Oldest Restaurant is Tampa's Most Special
Founded in 1905 as a small café serving Cuban coffee and sandwiches to local cigar factory workers, the family-owned-and-operated Columbia has grown into an iconic Spanish restaurant that has been visited by generations of Tampa residents and visitors.
Five generations of the Hernandez-Gonzmart family have guided the restaurant into a fabulous architectural and culinary gem of Ybor City in Tampa. Colorful tile and plasterwork evokes images of Andalusia. Spanish- and Cuban-inspired cuisine tantalizes the restaurant goer. Some recipes are generations old and are still favorites.
The bar at the Columbia turns out some mean rum drinks such as their El Floridita Daquiri and classic Mojito. The 1905 Martini was created to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Columbia. And you can never go wrong with their delicious, fruity Sangria.
The Columbia has several branches now in other areas of the Tampa Bay-Sarasota area, all with the same great food and service. But everyone should experience the romance of the original, at least once.