Close this search box.
Close this search box.

Two of Florida’s most legendary restaurants are in Tampa, according to Southern Living

A giant wine cellar. a man looks through the bottles in the shelves.
Photo via Bern's Steak House/FB

Tampa is a city of legends. Southern Living has recognized two Tampa eateries as the most legendary dining spots in Florida.

First up is The Columbia Restaurant, a storied institution in Historic Ybor City – famous for its Cuban sandwich and 1905 salad.


a diagonally cut sandwich filled with meat, cheese, pickles and tomatoes, pressed and toasted and held up in front of mosaic tiles
The original Cuban sandwich at The Columbia has enchanted diners for decades | Photo via The Columbia (Facebook)

Celebrating Florida’s oldest restaurant

Established by Spanish-Cuban immigrant Casimiro Hernandez, Sr. at the turn of the 20th century, The Columbia Restaurant began its journey as a saloon, serving strong Cuban coffee and sandwiches to the cigar workers of Ybor City. When Prohibition hit, it seamlessly transitioned into a full-fledged restaurant.

Today, The Columbia Restaurant holds the title of Florida’s oldest restaurant and is a cornerstone of Spanish and Cuban cuisine. With seven locations spread across the state, The Columbia remains a family-managed enterprise, proudly serving Floridians for over 120 years.

inside a restaurant with red velvet seats and white linen tabletops.
Inside the gorgeous Bern’s Steakhouse

An award-winning wine cellar in Tampa

The second Tampa restaurant to receive this honor is Bern’s Steakhouse. Renowned for its impressive private wine collection, which boasts over 500,000 bottles and has earned a James Beard Award, Bern’s offers a luxurious dining experience. A visit to Bern’s is not complete without spending time in the Harry Waugh Dessert Room, where guests can indulge in a selection of decadent cheeses, aged whiskeys, and house-made desserts.


Additionally, Ted Peter’s Famous Smoked Fish in neighboring St. Petersburg also received a nod from Southern Living, further highlighting the Tampa Bay area’s rich culinary heritage.


Don't miss a story 👉

Get all the best local content delivered to your inbox

👇 Don't Miss a Story 👇

Recent Stories