Traditional Spanish Plates at The Columbia Restaurant in Celebration

Monday, November 14th, 2016

When visiting Orlando, there is so much to see and do beyond the theme parks. With beautiful weather all year round, its nice for our visitors to get out and about and enjoy what Orlando has to offer.

If you venture away from the I Drive area, there are so many charming towns and neighborhoods that you can spend your afternoon exploring. Whether you enjoy the small town feel of Winter Garden, the artistic ambiance of Winter Park, or something else, you’re sure to discover the beauty that Orlando has to offer!

Twenty minutes from the Vista Cay Resort is one of our absolute favorites, the lovely town of Celebration, which was developed by The Walt Disney Company. It is home to one of our favorite restaurants, The Columbia.

The Columbia Restaurant is a Florida tradition. Established in Tampa in 1905, the Columbia has been family owned and operated ever since, making it the oldest restaurant in Florida. Stop in to the Celebration location to enjoy authentic Spanish and Latin cuisine, and soak up the amazing atmosphere of this historic Florida restaurant!

When you step into The Columbia, you’ll be amazed by the décor and atmosphere of the restaurant. Acoustic Spanish music is piped through speakers, while large chandeliers light the room, displaying the Spanish pottery and portraits. On Friday and Saturday, enjoy live music in the Tapas Bar. Enjoy your meal in the dining room, or take advantage of their beautiful lakeside patio.

The food and service at The Columbia are phenomenal. Your table will be treated to some traditional Cuban bread, toasted to perfection. If you decide to begin with a cocktail, we recommend the most traditional, the mojito. Crafted in a tall glass with ice, the mojito is flavorful and refreshing with fresh mint and sugarcane.

One of The Columbia’s most legendary items is their signature “1905 Salad” named after the year the restaurant was established. Tossed tableside, the salad consists of iceberg lettuce, ham, Swiss cheese, tomato, olives, Romano cheese and The Columbia’s own garlic dressing. This is delicious and beautifully presented! Not to be missed!

To get a taste of a few different menu items, our staff enjoyed “El Combo de Cuba”. The roast pork was so tender that you could use your fork to cut it! Served with an empanada that was delightful, plantains, rice and beans, this meal does not disappoint. To finish off your meal, we recommend The Columbia’s homemade bread pudding. Made with the same Cuban bread you were served earlier, the bread pudding is infused and topped with a white chocolate rum sauce that is absolutely to die for.

If your meal wasn’t enough to transport you to Havana, be sure to stop by the gift shop on your way out! Take home some cigars, a hand painted sangria pitcher, or The Columbia’s 1905 Salad Dressing!

Once you’ve finished your meal, you might enjoy spending an afternoon outdoors in lovely Celebration. Take a stroll around the lake and browse the shops downtown before returning to your comfy Vista Cay home away from home 🙂

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