Restaurant Review: Gluten Free at Columbia Restaurant in Ybor City

I swear this is my last gluten free food post on Tampa, but if you require a gluten free diet, you know how helpful finding something like this online can be. So, here we go!

When I travel for work,  we’re usually scouting out venues and restaurants to use for events or to recommend to conference attendees. We headed to Columbia Restaurant in Historic Ybor City after we heard about all the history and the great Flamenco show. I did a quick Google search and saw they had a gluten free menu. Jackpot! I relaxed and enjoyed the ride there.

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I wish I’d have taken pictures of the inside of this location (they have a few other locations), but it was amazing. The walls are full of history- stories of people who have worked there more than 30 years, tons of family photos and numerous awards. The restaurant opened in 1905 and it’s Florida’s oldest restaurant, as well as the largest Spanish restaurant in the world. When I say it’s huge, I mean it! I’d highly recommend getting there a little early just to take a peek around the waiting area.

I’d also highly recommend the Flamenco show, which is only available at the Ybor City location. They have two evening shows every day but Sunday and it’s only $6 extra. There’s a huge room just for the show and the servers work to get most things taken care of beforehand so they aren’t interrupting your entertainment.

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The only reason I would say to skip the Flamenco show is if you want uninterrupted talking time during your meal. The show is noisy, but definitely not so loud it’s annoying. You can still talk but it takes some work to hear people. Just stuff your face and watch the show!

Speaking of stuffing your face, the gluten free menu is pretty large. Ask for a copy at the restaurant and you’ll see they also have a few other allergens listed, including tree nuts. I wasn’t too hungry, so I just went with chicken and veggies. It was great, but everyone raves about the paella so I’m sure you can’t go wrong there either.

ChickenAnd last but not least, if you’re a fan of wine, this is the place for you. They have a 265-page wine list that will keep you quite busy. The list itself has received honors and awards.

I’ll wrap this up simply by saying you should go if you’re in the area. I can’t speak to the other locations, but the original was just amazing- from service to food and entertainment. It would be a neat place to celebrate something or surprise someone with something a little different.

And now I am hungry…

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