Since 1969, restaurant, hotel, travel & other witty reviews by a handpicked, worldwide team of discerning professionals—and your views, too.

Recipes are family treasures in this historic Cuban restaurant.


Lunch & Dinner daily

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Operations may be disrupted due to COVID-19. Be sure to contact the restaurant to find out its current status and offerings.

Columbia Restaurant Restaurant Review

: Dependable Columbia claims to be Florida's oldest restaurant, with its first café opened in 1905 in nearby Ybor City, where it served Spanish cuisine to cigar factory workers transplanted from Cuba. The Central Florida location is one of six now scattered around the state, all decorated with historic memorabilia and heavy, dark tables and chairs. Nearly all the recipes are family treasures, and though they're famous for the black bean soup, we prefer the Spanish bean soup, a meal in a bowl with garbanzos, smoked ham, chorizo and potatoes in ham stock. And don't pass up the 1905 salad, a generous serving of lettuce, ham, Swiss cheese, olives, tomatoes, Romano cheese and homemade garlic dressing---good for sharing. Entrées include seafood paella, garlicky roast pork and ropa vieja (shredded beef in tomato-pepper sauce). There's a modest wine list, but instead try the imported sangría made with brandy, or the house version with fresh citrus juices. We also recommend the dense and creamy flan.

Oyster Wine Pairing

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GAYOT's Wine & Spirits Editor presents the
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The charm of Provence right on your table.

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Proper Hotel Santa Monica RooftopThe view is not the only reason to dine at Calabra in Santa Monica, CA.

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