The capital city of Palmetto State, Columbia, is famous for its scorching weather, football frenzy, flourishing art, and thriving culture. However, the ideal blend of traditional and innovative culinary makes the metropolitan hub a great place to live in.
The vibrant South Carolina town offers several dining options. Whether you consider the 150 food vendors or the restaurants in Columbia, SC, there’s no shortage of choices. Here’s our list of the top 23 places to eat in Columbia so that you can traverse the culinary heritage of Soda city.
Little Pigs Barbeque
A majority of the South Carolina food culture is based on barbecue. There have been several innovations to the classic style for the southern flavors. You must try out the Little Pigs Barbecue to taste from the best in the business.
LPB is renowned for incorporating three different styles of barbecue marinade. From ribs and pork chops to chicken wings, you will be spoilt for choices. The place is often termed as the most excellent barbecue destination in Columbia and has some honorary titles under its belt.
Address: 4927 Alpine Rd, Columbia, SC 29223, United States | Wednesday: 11:00 am to 02:00 pm, Thursday to Saturday: 11:00 am to 08:00 pm; Sunday: 11:00 am to 03:00 pm | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/h13sY9XHbTK7Ardr6 | Phone number: +18037888238
One of the most palatial restaurants in Columbia, SC, this place is the epitome of exclusive fine dining. Situated in the Veterans of Foreign War Officers’ Club, Saluda’s has been serving as a backbone for Columbia’s culinary style for over two decades.
You can expect some nuanced European flavors blended with traditional Southern dishes. Don’t forget to try the Chef Blake Fairies’ signature dishes like seared shrimp and scallops and the dry-aged rib-eye steak.
Address: 751 Saluda Ave, Columbia, SC 29205, United States | Monday to Sunday: 05:00 pm to 09:00 pm | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/Y4pCcE29cZkwoaoh7 | Phone number: +18037999500
Motor Supply Company Bistro
Featuring the zenith of South Carolina’s slow food, Motor Supply Company Bistro is a legacy of the farm-to-table movement. The name comes from the brand’s origin, as it was established in a renovated engine supply building in 1989.
The innovative dishes are created using fresh ingredients and species. You must try their molasses-brined pork dish, creole-creamed corn, and white shrimp marinated in spicy coconut sauce.
Address: 920 Gervais St, Columbia, SC 29201, United States | Tuesday to Thursday: 11:00 am to 09:00 pm, Friday to Saturday: 11:00 am to 10:00 pm; Sunday: 10:00 am to 09:00 pm | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/GpswbUvvbLar1amn8 | Phone number: +18032566687
Mr. Friendly’s New Southern Cafe
Founded in the 1980s as a sandwich shop, Mr. Friendly’s has witnessed quite a transformation since its inception. Today, it is one of the top places to eat in Columbia, SC serving sophisticated southern fare. It also features over 300 aromatic wines to complement the meat and seafood of Mr. Friendly’s.
Address: 2001 Greene St A, Columbia, SC 29205, United States | Tuesday to Thursday: 05:00 pm to 09:30 pm; Friday to Saturday: 05:00 pm to 10:00 pm | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/srTc2su5uu3eyJLo9 | Phone number: +18032547828
Pawleys Front Porch
Led by Chef Kyle Taylor, the Pawleys Front Porch is arguably one of the most exquisite burger joints in the state. The creative endeavor of Chef Taylor is apparent as the food joint is regularly nominated for awards such as innovative burgers.
As you taste the Isle of Palms burger, you experience a burst of flavors mixed with fresh and innovative spices. Keep your Sundays off for this award-winning food truck at the Soda City Market..
Address: 827 Harden St #1001, Columbia, SC 29205, United States | Sunday to Thursday: 11:00 am to 09:00 pm; Friday to Saturday: 11:00 am to 10:00 pm | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/M1nzcUg1YTX6pLh37 | Phone number: +18037718001
Pearlz Oyster Bar
This rustic restaurant and bar can turn anyone into a seafood lover irrespective of their likings and taste. What’s commendable is the fact that Pearlz Oyster is a member of the Sustainable Seafood Initiative.
Traverse into the deep-sea world with the variety of local concoctions on the menu. The signature oyster shooters, including oysters and cocktail sauce and Pearlz Black Pepper Vodka, make the experience wholesome. If you have dinner here once, you will surely come back for more.
Address: 936 Gervais St, Columbia, SC 29201, United States | Monday to Thursday: 04:00 pm to 10:00 pm; Friday to Saturday: 04:00 pm to 02:00 am; Sunday: 04:00 to 09:00 pm | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/WtGndeESYEwctnLE6 | Phone number: +18036617741
Solstice Kitchen & Wine Bar
Sparkleberry Crossing is a hub for several famous restaurants in Columbia, SC, boasting diverse cultures and cuisines. However, if you wish to have the finest American fare, you must visit the Solstice Kitchen & Wine Bar.
It sports a romantic atmosphere complemented with opulent wine. The esthetic touch of the modern chic interior merging with the warm and friendly environment makes it a holistic dining experience.
Address: 841-4 Sparkleberry Ln, Columbia, SC 29229, United States | Timing: The timings may have changed owing to the pandemic. Please check the website www.abc.com for the latest timings | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/m1xxuqHYU4LeNgqC6 | Phone number: +18037886966
Blue Marlin Seafood
This vibrant eatery features the iconic blue hue, which reminisces the historic 1920s cottage. It is famous for offering a warm and cordial atmosphere and is arguably one of the best places to dine in Columbia.
The restaurant believes in boat-to-table food, which ensures you get freshly crafted dishes. While fishes are the star of the menu, do not miss out on the amazing homemade desserts.
Address: 1200 Lincoln St, Columbia, SC 29201, United States | Monday to Friday: 11:30 am to 10:00 pm; Saturday: 04:00 pm to 10:00 pm; Sunday: 11:00 pm to 03:00 pm | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/4KnUAEytj8wVPhWV8 | Phone number: +18037993838
A Peace of Soul
A Peace of Soul is a proud vegan kitchen. However, they are equally loved by the carnivores because of their vegan soul food. Previously known as Lamb’s Bread Cafe, the vegan kitchen serves appetizing dishes such as candied yams, mac & cheese, BBQ “spare ribs”, and curry potatoes.
Address: 2338 Main St, Columbia, SC 29201, United States | Monday to Wednesday: 11:00 am to 03:45 pm; Thursday to Saturday: 11:00 am to 05:15 pm | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/FwKVnPkrwggFWtPTA | Phone number: +18032537889
If you want to savor a classic experience in a laid-back and casual setting, you must try out BLD Diner. Open seven days a week, on offer is classic American cuisine along with some chef-special comfort dishes.
Address: 4840 Forest Dr #26, Columbia, SC 29206, United States | Monday to Saturday: 07:00 am to 09:00 pm; Sunday: 07:00 am to 03:00 pm | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/RExq4nN1zAPyrr9Q9 | Phone number: +18039313595
Barbeque is an integral part of Columbian meals. It is almost regarded as an art form taken seriously by restaurants and customers alike. If you’re also awestruck by BBQ like most people in South Carolina, check out the aromatic burst of BBQ flavors in Palmetto Pig. You must try the hushpuppies, homemade mac & cheese, and hash and rise. We also recommend banana pudding to round up your dinner.
Address: 530 Devine St, Columbia, SC 29201, United States | Tuesday to Wednesday 11:00 am to 02:30 pm, Thursday to Saturday 11:00 am to 09:00 pm | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/LXRPQU34uKHdarsk7 | Phone number: +18037332556
The War Mouth
Located in the Cottontown neighborhood, the War Mouth is famous for its beers, cola drinks, and local delicacies served with a modern twist. The slow-cooked whole-hog barbeque, smoked ribs, catfish stew, and cornbread, along with the Carolina Gold rice and hash, are some of their most-loved dishes.
Address: 1209 Franklin St, Columbia, SC 29201, United States | Tuesday to Saturday: 05:00 pm to 10:00 pm; Sunday: 11:30 pm to 02:30 pm | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/VVYkrVvherwwRK1g7 | Phone number: +18035696144
Sweet Cream Company
Can an ice cream make you blush while filling your soul? Then the Sweet Cream Company is your dream destination with the most mind-blowing desserts to satiate your cravings.
From handcrafted ice creams like olive oil and rosemary, Aunt Cathy’s zucchini bread and rose are some of the newly launched ice cream flavors. Try the ‘Cup of Awesome’ during winter — it is a unification of hot cocoa and hot coffee.
Address: 1627 Main St, Columbia, SC 29201, United States | Sunday to Thursday: 01:00 pm to 09:00 pm; Friday to Saturday: 01:00 pm to 10:00 pm | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/agMVpJ7UeZjqJmSJ8 | Phone number: +18032513311
Lula Drake Wine Parlour
If there was an award for the most fascinating restaurant in Columbia, SC, Lula Drake Wine Parlour would arguably be the top contender. It’s named after Lula Drake, who was ambitious and is a local legend in the state.
Lula Drake Wine Parlour has established itself with an opulent section of sophisticated wines, whiskey, and cola. Arguably, the most iconic eateries in Soda city, where wine enthusiasts, stoic local legends, and romantics gather to gossip while enjoying their drinks.
Address: 1635 Main St #2817, Columbia, SC 29201, United States | Tuesday to Wednesday: 05:00 pm to 10:00 pm; Thursday to Saturday: 05:00 pm to 12:00 am | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/VVYkrVvherwwRK1g7 | Phone number: +18036061968
Cool Beans Columbia SC
Caffeine practically runs in the veins of citizens in Columbia. Whether you are a college student or a working professional, the mornings begin with a brewed coffee, cola, or espresso drink. For a taste of the finest coffee in Columbia, you must experience the divine caffeine drinks of the local coffee shop, Cool Beans. Along with several brewed and espresso drinks, try the fluffy sandwiches and pastries.
Address: 1217 College St, Columbia, SC 29201, United States | Monday to Friday: 07:00 am to 10:00 pm; Saturday to Sunday: 09:00 am to 10:00 pm | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/F3fvMy8q98e1U4NM7 | Phone number: +18037794277
The Grand on Main
Just like its name, the Grand is sumptuous in its ambiance and can keep you busy all day with its various offerings. Inspired by a Vaudeville Theatre & House, which operated till 1914, the Grand still has the essence of the Grand Theatre sign. Experience one of the finest Southern cuisines and engaging events like the profuse Grand theatre, bowling, and classic brewery.
Address: 1621 Main St, Columbia, SC 29201, United States | Monday to Friday: 11:00 am to 12:00 am; Saturday: 09:00 am to 02:00 am; Sunday: 09:00 am to 12:00 am | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/6KR8p6m8CyhsJ4PZ7 | Phone number: +18037262323
Harambe Ethiopian Restaurant
‘Harambe’ in Swahili literally translates to “All pull together”, thus making both the service and the cuisine here as unique as its country of origin. Authentic Ethiopian aroma and music will welcome you into the restaurant, the walls of which are ornate with the art and the history of the ancient civilization. Get lost in the culture or dive deep into the flavors — either way, you will remember this experience forever.
Address: 2006 Senate St, Columbia, SC 29205, United States | Tuesday to Saturday: 11:00 am to 10:00 pm; Sunday: 12:00 pm to 09:00 pm | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/RK5PEH3Z2FUGZguw7 | Phone number: +18037645510
In the heart of the Mainstreet in Columbia, The Whig is a retro-themed restaurant and award-winning dive bar with one of the most well-crafted menus in South Carolina. The nibbles menu includes specialties like tater tots, southern-style chipotle BBQ burger, black-eyed pea burger, and local delicacies. Enjoy all of this and more with an endless list of premium wines, cola, and whiskey.
Address: 1200 Main St, Columbia, SC 29201, United States | Monday to Sunday: 04:00 pm to 02:00 am | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/HkU8NAT4PRZVhzs67 | Phone number: +18039318852
Located near the historic Brennen Building, Bourbon is a luxurious Cajun-creole restaurant and opulent whiskey bar that boasts the longest whiskey list in South Carolina.
As the name suggests, you can expect soul-filling crafted cocktails, bourbon, whiskey along with the Louisiana Bayou flavors, making it a divine experience for wine enthusiasts.
Address: 1214 Main St, Columbia, SC 29201, United States | Tuesday to Saturday: 04:30 pm to 02:00 am | Google Map Location: https://g.page/bourboncolumbia?share | Phone number: +18034031404
Sun Ming Chinese
Located in the Irmo community, Sun Ming Chinese is the mainspring of Chinese food in South Carolina. It is loved for its amazing dinner menu, brilliant service, cozy atmosphere, and cordial staff. The Sun Ming is known for its modern take on classic dishes crafted using garden-fresh ingredients.
Address: 7509 St Andrews Rd, Irmo, SC 29063, United States | Sunday to Thursday: 11:30 am to 09:30 pm; Friday to Saturday: 11:30 pm to 10:30 pm | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/xyCZcpe7REVg39sH8 | Phone number: +18037324488
Bob and Anna Williams established Lizard’s Thicket in the Market Street of Soda City. The restaurant has a rich history of over four decades. Currently, it operates in 14 locations, including Florence and the Midlands of South Carolina.
The Williams family still runs the business, and they are dedicated to offering authentic and classic home cooking that has been cherished for generations.
Address: 1036 Market St, Columbia, SC 29201, United States | Monday to Friday: 08:30 am to 04:00 pm | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/56Xew9RJ4DmE4i7MA | Phone number: +18037995016
This place is the beacon of hotly seasoned seafood cooking in Columbia. From garlic shrimp, fish and shrimp basket to oyster basket, shrimp taco, and lobster tail — you get the best of the bests here. A sumptuous meal here is worth cherishing a lifetime.
Address: 3902-f 2 Notch Rd, Columbia, SC 29204, United States | Wednesday to Thursday: 02:00 pm to 08:00 pm; Friday to Saturday: 02:00 pm to 09:00 pm | Google Map Location: https://g.page/mrseafood?share | Phone number: +18038516688
Being a Yummi brand, you would expect the Yummi Crab to offer gourmet food in Columbia, along with a fun and engaging atmosphere. Their goal is to offer an immersive experience through which you can traverse the world of stories and jokes enjoying a succulent crab leg.
Address: 150 Forum Dr, Columbia, SC 29223, United States | Sunday to Thursday: 12:00 pm to 10:00 pm; Friday to Saturday: 12:00 pm to 10:30 pm | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/YAarviAvW3pAZBW47 | Phone number: +18038346982
The above list of the top 23 places to eat and restaurants in Columbia ranges from humble and cozy dining landscapes to elegant fine-dine options. Go on and dig in for some lip-smacking experience.