It is well worth one’s time to explore the city in search of unique dining establishments because the dining experience in Tampa, FL area is distinct from that of dining in other parts of Florida. The food reflects the cultural diversity that exists inside the city, which is a melting pot in and of itself. Because of the Spanish, Cuban, Italian, and other cultural influences that immigrants who shaped the history of Tampa brought with them, Tampa has a dining experience that you won’t find in other regions of the state.
In Ybor City, you can have a taste of Sicilian cuisine at Casa Santo Stephano, which is located in a structure that has been recently rebuilt and has a cozy environment. You can choose to eat on the main floor or travel upstairs for an experience that combines the indoors and outside. Upstairs, you can sit on the patio and watch the sunset.
The majority of the items that are served here are imported from family-run enterprises located in Sicily. This includes the wines that are in your glass, the cheese that is on your plate, and even the extra-virgin olive oil and the salt that is on your dish. The vibrant backsplashes, tabletops, and counters are all hand-painted by a family in Caltagirone, Sicily, and customers place their orders directly with them. The proud descendants of the founding Sicilian families in Tampa willingly provided the historic photographs that are artistically dispersed throughout the restaurant. These photographs represent many of the early Sicilian families in Tampa.
Do not pass up the opportunity to visit the Columbia Restaurant, which has been a significant part of the cultural landscape of Tampa since it first opened in 1905. This restaurant occupies an entire city block, yet despite its size, it manages to maintain a pleasant eating ambiance because to its assortment of cozy and individually styled rooms that, when combined, can accommodate up to 1,700 customers. A one-of-a-kind environment is produced by the tiled floors and walls of the old structure, as well as the balconies, chandeliers, historical photographs, and daily flamenco performances. In spite of the name of the restaurant, the cuisine served here is a fusion of Spanish and Cuban flavors.
The original Columbia Restaurant may be found in Ybor City in Tampa, Florida, and has the title of being the state’s oldest restaurant that is still in operation. It is also the restaurant with the longest continuous history as a Spanish establishment in the United States, as well as the largest Spanish restaurant in the entire world. It encompasses a total of 52,000 square feet and features 15 dining rooms with a combined total of 1,700 seats. It was opened in 1903 under the name Saloon Columbia, but in 1905 it was rebranded as the Columbia Restaurant. The Hernandez-Gonzmart family has been the proprietors of the historic site for the past five generations, and it specializes in Cuban and Spanish food.