Family-owned and operated for over 100 years, Columbia has earned acclaim for its old-world charm and award-winning Spanish/Cuban cuisine and wine ... More
Columbia Restaurant - St Augustine
Family-owned and operated for over 100 years, Columbia has earned acclaim for its old-world charm and award-winning Spanish/Cuban cuisine and wine list. 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(R), 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 Torres, Montecillo or Campillo. Relax in our courtyard or Mediterranean-style dining rooms, filled with hundreds of hand-painted tiles and Spanish-style fountains. 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.
My wife and I, along with 80 fellow travelers from Idlewild Baptist Church stopped here on our way to a five-day excursion of Charleston, SC, and Savannah, Ga. We were never so disappointed in our collective lives than what this restaurant had to offer in way of service, food, and general hospitality.
We were all herded like cattle upstairs, given a limited choice of menu items, charged a 17% service fee for indifferent waiter/waitressing, and served food that was an afterthought.
McDonalds, Burger King, Wendy's, or any number of fast food establishments would have proved more suitable than this much-touted, hole-in-the-wall. Ponce de Leon himself would have chosen to establish the first European colony in the U.S. elsewhere if he had known that the Columbia Restaurant was coming to town.
Tried to order grouper but they were out, then tried red snapper but they did not have any. Finally had to create a dish with mahi-mahi. Crowded table placement made us move when someone from the next table got up. All this for a pricey meal that really was not that good. They do have a nice gift shop.
Our waitress was the most inefficient one we have ever had. She only had a few tables and could not seem to handle that. We had no bread until she brought our drinks, which took 15 minutes. Our black bean soup arrived bearly warm. My wife's dish was a seafood medley cooked in parchment and was so over cooked the waitress could hardle get the parchment off. It was dry and unappetising. When she told the waitress about it the waitress said she would tell the chef and that was the last we heard. My dish was acceptable, but not up to what I expected of this restaurant.
We had gone to the Columbia in Sarasota when we lived there and stopped after several less than desirable meals. I now have crossed any of the Columbia restaurants off my list. We had better meals at TGI Fridays and better servers.
My advice is DON'T WASTE YOUR MONEY AT ANY COLUMBIA RESTAURANTS. They are living off their reputation of many years ago.
A very nice restaurante. The menu has quite a number of choice w some old some new choices, a number of regional spanish dishes & some cuban dishes. Paella is authentic. Sangria A+... they make it right next to your table if 2 or 3 of your party order it... Smell like a floral bouquet of scents. Atmosphere where I sat in the spanish style courtyard area was elegant in an old fashion way. Reminds me of old elegant hollywood movies... w everything painted in classical white They could have brought the check sooner, but it was busy when I was there and I certainly didn't mind sitting there longer & other than that service was professional. It is not inexpensive but I would definitely recommend it for fine dining when visiting St. Augustine. The courtyard feels like your outside when it's actually a hugh skylight... top of the courtyard is covered in glass... Is nice when it may be too chilly to dine outside or when it's really hot in the summer... you can feel like your outside but have climate control. Will definitely return when I visit the area.
My family and I had dinner at the Columbia and they did not think much of their food and mine was one of the worst meals that I have ever paid for! The Red Snapper tasted rotten and aged. Sorry just informing others of my experience with the Columbia.
Every year we go to St. Augustine and eat at Columbia Restaurant. It is my suggestion to go for lunch, it is cheaper, you do not have to wait as long and they have the same menu at lunch as they do for dinner.
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