12 Best Restaurants in Columbia, SC (2024)

If you are looking for the best restaurants in Columbia, South Carolina, you’re in luck! Columbia(also known as soda city)is a city buzzing with activity. This city offerseverything, fromvibrant retail shops to historic landmarks and numerous eateries to explore.

Whether you are looking for a perfect restaurantto host a business lunch or have a romantic outingto celebrate your wedding anniversary, you can find it here. You will also tastealmost any food, from sushi, pasta, pizza, steak, oysters, or even a vegan dish.

We’ve put together this list of the best restaurants in Columbia to help you choose a perfect restaurant. Here are some of the best restaurants you should consider:

Saluda’s Restaurant

$$$ | (803) 799-9500 | WEBSITE

Saluda’s restaurant is one of the upscale restaurants in Columbia where you will get to taste one of the best dishes. Walk inside, and the cozy environment will wow you. The white linen and crystal glassware all give this restaurantan upscale look.

They offer classically prepared dishes, from Shrimp and grits, Filet Mignon, Oysters, Seared scallops, Pasta du Jour, and Sweet Tea Pork Chop. Their seasonal dishes blend succulent meats and fresh ingredients to prepare mouth-watering Southern cuisines with Italian and French influences.

This restaurant is a perfect spot where tourists, business owners, and professionals meetfor a pint to celebrate new achievements. Prices range from $5, $20, $35, $45, to $120.

Halls Chophouse Columbia

$$$$ | (803) 563-5066 | WEBSITE

Halls Chophouse Columbia is a popular steakhouse that serves fresh beef and locally sourced seafood. You can bring your date to get to know each other over a drink and good food. They will add candles to light the romantic mood.

The wait staff will attend to you as soon as you walk in and ensure you have a whale of a time. This restaurant accepts walk-ins, but it’s always advisableto reserve a table.

They are famous for serving the best Steak and Fries, Whiskey Bread Pudding, Shrimp and Grits, Chocolate Cake, She Crab Soup, Fried Calamari, and Prime Steak Tartare.

Prices range from $6, $18, $25, $45, $100.

Cola’s Restaurant

$$ | (803) 451-0051 | WEBSITE

Cola’s restaurant is an upmarket spot that offers American cuisine and good wine. The food is always delicious, and the atmosphere is relaxing.

They are famous for serving the best Shrimp and Grits, Pan Seared Crab Cakes, Whole Crispy Flounder, Scallops, Fried Pork Chop, Braised Beef, and Chicken Parmigiana. If you are health conscious, they also have healthy options for you. While at it, try out their co*cktails or tastetheir large selection of bottled beers.

Once you taste the food, you will patronize the place again. You have an option to order a takeaway or dine in.

Prices range $7, $17, $35, $45, and $120.

Motor Supply Company Bistro

$$ | (803) 256-6687 | WEBSITE

Motor Supply Company Bistro specializes in authentic cuisines you can’t find elsewhere. Their chef uses classical French culinary techniques to prepare delicious American, Asian, and healthy dishes. Every ingredient they use is fresh from the local farms.

Some dishes you can order here include Ashley Farm’s Duck Duo, Joyce’s Farm Grilled Chicken, Wild Caught SC Shrimp & Grit, Meatloaf, and Duck Breast. The co*cktails are always incredible, and the beer will quench your thirst.

Prices range from $6, $15, $25, $40, to $100.

Blue Marlin

$$ | (803) 799-3838 | WEBSITE

Blue Marlin is famous for serving excellent seafood dishes prepared from organically sourced fish. They also feature various dishes with the Cajun and Creole influence of the Louisiana Delta.

Southern dishes include Salmon Pontchartrain, Key Lime Pie, Spectacular Shrimp and Grits, Center Cut Filet, Charleston Crab Cake, and Pecan Dusted Calamari. They have outdoor seating where you can sit and enjoy food and Happy-hour drinks.

The wait staff is there to offer you an outstanding service. The team will be attentive and helpful without hovering over you. Interestingly, there is a wheelchair-accessible car park and entrance.

Prices range from $8, $18, $38, $45, to $100.

California Dreaming

$$ | (803) 254-6767 | WEBSITE

California Dreaming is a spectacular spot in Columbia that serves delicious steak, seafood, Nachos, sandwiches, and pasta. The food is always prepared to perfection, Shrimp Tacos, and the portions are plentiful.

The atmosphere of this restaurant is always relaxing. You can come here to do lunch or dinner.Even more interesting, California Dreaming is one of few restaurants in Columbia with a Braille menu.

They are famous for serving the best She Crab Soup, Seafood Nachos, Baked Potato Soup, Soup House Salad, and Blackened Chicken Pasta. There is a bar on-site where you can order drinks. Prices start at $6, $12, $24, $42, to $120.

Oyster Bar Columbia

$$ | (803) 799-4484 | WEBSITE

Oyster Bar Columbia is one of the most famous oyster restaurants. What makes them unique is that they shuck the oysters right in front of you. If you’re in Columbia and crave low-country seafood, you should check them out.

They are famous for serving the tastiest raw and steamed oysters, Shrimp, scallops, and beet. You can stop by on a Friday evening with friends and have a good time. You will get to meet university students, tourists, and young professionals.

Prices range from $4, $11, $21, $35, $55, to $120.

Cantina 76

$$ | (803) 764-1769 | WEBSITE

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Cantina 76 (@cantina76)

Cantina 76 is another place you should check out in Columbia. They offer fresh Mexican-inspired cuisine and signature margaritas. The dining experience you will get here is casual, fast, and upbeat, which is what most young professionals and students love.

This restaurant is also a frequent hangout for couples, young professionals, and business owners. Most people come here for a quick lunch or late-night meals and drinks. Once you taste the food, you will also become a regular.

They serve Capital City Oysters, Oyster Shooters, Shrimp and Grits, Cajun Crawfish, steamed Shrimp, Skin Potato Skins, and Raw Oysters. They also offer premium tequilas, beer, and “skinny” margaritas.

Prices range from $4, $10, $18, $25, to $80.

The Melting Pot

$$$ | (803) 731-8500 | WEBSITE

The Melting Pot offers heated pots of cheese, chocolate, or broth for dipping and cooking. This restaurant is the perfect place to have romantic dining with your spouse or significant other.

It is an LGBTQ-friendly restaurant that offers Happy-hour drinks as well. They also have a kid’s menu if you want to spoil your kids.

Your special someone won’t forget that date. You can have anything to Cheese Fondue, Wisconsin Cheddar, Soup, Strawberry Feta Salad, Shrimp Salmon, or Tuna from red wine and chocolate.

Prices range from $2, $12, $35, $40, to $90.

Cowboy Brazilian Steakhouse

$$$ | (803) 728-0887 | WEBSITE

This restaurant is an upmarket Brazilian Steakhouse where you will get to taste a variety of sliced tableside meats and a salad bar. It is one of few award-winning steakhouses in Columbia.

To make sure that you enjoy your steak, they have a full bar that serves fine wines, creative co*cktails, and ordinary Brazilian mixed drinks. The food is always fresh and tasty!

Servers and meat carvers are always super friendly towards patrons. Popular dishes include lamb, Turtle Cheesecake, Flan, Key Lime Pie, Grilled Pineapple, and Creme brûlée. They have outdoor seating where you can sit and enjoy your drink.

Prices range from $5, $15, $21, $42, to $100.

Hendrix Restaurant

$$ | (803) 834-5132 | WEBSITE

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Hendrix (@hendrixcola)

Hendrix Restaurant is another popular haunt for Columbia locals. They are famous for offering delicious Shrimp and Grits, co*cktails, Brussel Sprouts, Mussels, Scallops, Vegan Paella, Huevos Rancheros, and Deviled Eggs.

The laid-back atmosphere makes it a perfect restaurant to consider for a Friday night out with a group of friends. You will have a great time! They have a great wine list, beer, and co*cktail.

Prices range from $10, $18, $32, $50, to $100.

1801 Grille

$$ | (803) 777-1801 | WEBSITE

1801 Grill is one of the best spots where you will tastefarm-to-fork American cuisine. They serve some of the best Brick Oven Wild Bison, Pimento Cheese Burger, Blackened Red Fish, Fried Green Tomatoes, Classic Ceasar Salad, Chicken and Waffles, Bacon Mac, and Cheese, and Burger and Fries.

They have healthy options for health-conscious individuals.

Feel free to bring kids, as they have great amenities for them. Prices range from $6, $13, $30, $65, up to $122.

Final Thoughts

Lastly, if you are new to Columbia, you need to check outthis city’s great restaurants. There are many mouth-watering menus of southern-inspired dishes that you can taste—our advice: alwaysmake you reserve your table before dropping by. And most importantly, before visiting any restaurants, make sure you compareprices.

12 Best Restaurants in Columbia, SC (1)

12 Best Restaurants in Columbia, SC (2)


Related Posts:

  • 14 Best Seafood Restaurants in Columbia, SC
  • 18 Best Restaurants in Darlington, SC
  • 14 Best Seafood Restaurants in Charleston, SC
  • 15 Best Restaurants in Blythewood, SC [2023 Updated]
  • 10 Best Breakfast Restaurants in Myrtle Beach [2023 Updated]
12 Best Restaurants in Columbia, SC (2024)


What is Columbia SC known for food? ›

Here are some iconic foods to try when visiting the capital city of Columbia.
  • California Dreaming. Iconic eat: California Dreaming Salad. ...
  • Groucho's Deli. Iconic eat: STP Dipper. ...
  • LaBrasca's Pizza. Iconic eat: Cheese salad. ...
  • Mr. Friendly's New Southern Cafe. ...
  • Maurice's Piggie Park. ...
  • Rockaway's Athletic Club. ...
  • Sandy's Famous Hot Dogs.

What is Columbia South Carolina best known for? ›

As the second-most populous city in the state and home to the University of South Carolina, Columbia harbors a variety of vibrant shopping, dining and entertainment districts to explore, as well as many notable historic landmarks from the Civil War era.

How many restaurants are in Columbia SC? ›

When you search for Columbia (using the box in the bottom left), the map zooms to the greater Columbia metro. It gives the total number of restaurants pictured in this area + their average chaininess score — 1,405 restaurants, with a chaininess score of 1,533.

What is the most highest restaurant? ›

mosphere at Burj Khalifa. Sitting 442m above ground on level 122 of the Burj Khalifa and overlooking all of Downtown Dubai's most iconic sights, At. mosphere is the highest restaurant in the world.

What is the number one food in South Carolina? ›

When we talk about the best food in South Carolina, we've got to include shrimp and grits. Shrimp and grits is a Charleston, SC specialty that draws many-a-visitor to our coastal areas.

What is the most famous food in South Carolina? ›

Shrimp & Grits

Undoubtedly one of South Carolina's most iconic dishes, shrimp and grits, once a budget-friendly Lowcountry staple, has become a menu darling across the state. Starting with sweet, wild-caught South Carolina shrimp, chefs spin the recipe in countless ways.

What is Columbia unique for? ›

Columbia University is the home of the Pulitzer Prize, an award for achievements in newspaper, magazine and online journalism, literature, and musical composition.

Which side of Columbia SC is the best? ›

5 Best Neighborhoods to Live in Columbia, SC
  • The Vista. The Vista is a Columbia neighborhood that is situated on the banks of the Congaree River. ...
  • Lexington. Lexington is a suburb located just to the west of Columbia and 10 miles from its downtown. ...
  • Downtown. ...
  • Cayce. ...
  • Five Points. ...
  • Related links.
Jun 20, 2022

Why is Columbia so famous? ›

What Is Colombia Known For? Colombia is famous for its aromatic Arabica coffee, superior quality emeralds, and exotic fruits. The Latin American country is also known for having a knack for throwing the best parties and its passionate people.

What food is South Carolina known for? ›

Here are seven Southern dishes you simply must try.
  • Frogmore Stew. Frogmore Stew is a staple dish in the Lowcountry of South Carolina. ...
  • Shrimp and Grits. Shrimp and grits has been a South Carolina specialty for generations. ...
  • Oyster Roasts. ...
  • Barbecue. ...
  • Peaches. ...
  • Boiled Peanuts.

What restaurant has the most branches? ›

Top 10 restaurant chains with highest number of branches world wide
RankRestaurantNumber of branches
6 more rows
May 31, 2023

What major city has the most restaurants? ›

Share All sharing options for: Here Are the Most Restaurant- and Bar-Dense US Cities
  • 1: San Francisco, CA, 39.3.
  • 2: Fairfield County, CT, 27.6.
  • 3: Long Island, NY, 26.5.
  • 4: New York, NY-NJ, 25.3.
  • 5: Seattle, WA, 24.9.
  • 6: San Jose, CA, 24.8.
  • 7: Orange County, CA, 24.8.
  • 8: Providence, RI-MA, 24.3.
Aug 1, 2012

What is the only 7 star restaurant in the world? ›

Head to Al Iwan restaurant at Burj Al Arab, dubbed to be "the world's only 7-star hotel". Enjoy a high-class buffet lunch or dinner of authentic Arabian dishes while you take in the sea and city views of Dubai.

What is the most eaten restaurant in America? ›

McDonald's is the number one restaurant chain in America based on both sales and number of locations, and it has over 36,000 restaurants in over 100 different countries.

What is America's most outstanding restaurant? ›

Chai Pani, a restaurant in North Carolina, US, was named the most outstanding restaurant in America at the 2022 James Beard Awards announced earlier this week.

What food do you eat in Columbia? ›

The food in Colombia is strongly influenced by local ingredients and the cultural traditions of its ethnic groups, but common ingredients include rice, maize, potato, cassava, and various legumes. Beef, chicken, pork, and goat are commonly consumed proteins as are different types of fish and seafood.

What is the South Carolina state food? ›

List of U.S. state foods
StateFood typeFood name
South CarolinaState fruitPeach
State snack foodBoiled peanuts
State vegetableCollard greens
State picnic cuisineBarbecue
125 more rows

What is the official food of South Carolina? ›

Barbecue was designated as the official State Picnic Cuisine by Act Number 231 of 2014. South Carolina is "The Birthplace of Barbecue".

What is the national food of South Carolina? ›

For many South Carolinians, boiling peanuts is a family tradition. South Carolina designated the boiled peanut as the official state snack in 2006, but we've been devouring them for much longer than that. Taking green peanuts and boiling them in a briny broth is a state tradition rooted in West African culture.


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Ouida Strosin DO

Last Updated:

Views: 6588

Rating: 4.6 / 5 (56 voted)

Reviews: 95% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Ouida Strosin DO

Birthday: 1995-04-27

Address: Suite 927 930 Kilback Radial, Candidaville, TN 87795

Phone: +8561498978366

Job: Legacy Manufacturing Specialist

Hobby: Singing, Mountain biking, Water sports, Water sports, Taxidermy, Polo, Pet

Introduction: My name is Ouida Strosin DO, I am a precious, combative, spotless, modern, spotless, beautiful, precious person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.