A Comprehensive Guide to the Restaurants in Columbia, SC

Restaurants in Columbia, SC

Are you visiting Columbia, SC, and looking for a delightful dining experience? Look no further! Columbia is a vibrant city with a diverse culinary scene, catering to various tastes and preferences. Let’s discuss whether you are a food enthusiast or seeking a cozy spot to enjoy a meal.


Columbia, the capital city of South Carolina, boasts a rich culinary heritage that reflects its diverse culture. With a mix of traditional Southern cuisine and a thriving food scene, the city offers many options for locals and visitors alike. Let’s explore some of the top restaurants in Columbia, SC, where you can satisfy your cravings and indulge in culinary delights.

Best Restaurants in Columbia, SC

The Devine Cinnamon Roll Deli 

The Devine Cinnamon Roll Deli is a delightful bakery and deli 

that specializes in crafting heavenly cinnamon rolls. Located in the heart of town, this charming restaurant greets visitors with the warm aroma of freshly baked pastries. Their cinnamon rolls are divine, featuring a perfect balance of soft dough, aromatic spices, and a generous drizzle of sweet icing. With various flavors and toppings, this little gem is a go-to spot for cinnamon roll enthusiasts and breakfast lovers alike.

Alodia’s Cucina Italiana

Alodia’s Cucina Italiana is a renowned Italian restaurant known for its authentic and mouthwatering cuisine. This family-owned establishment is nestled in a cozy corner and offers a warm and inviting atmosphere. The menu celebrates traditional Italian dishes prepared with love and care. From classic pasta dishes to wood-fired pizzas and delectable seafood options, every bite at Alodia’s transports you to the heart of Italy. Alodia’s is a true haven for Italian food enthusiasts, with impeccable service and a wide selection of wines.

Alodia's Cucina Italiana  in Columbia, SC

DI Prato’s 

DI Prato’s is a charming bistro-style restaurant that captures the essence of rustic Italian dining. Located in a quaint setting, this hidden gem surprises guests with its warm ambiance and friendly staff. The menu showcases a delightful selection of Italian-inspired dishes from locally sourced ingredients. From handmade pasta to wood-fired pizzas and flavorful antipasti, DI Prato presents a fusion of traditional and innovative flavors that satisfy every palate. Whether craving a hearty meal or a romantic dinner, DI Prato promises a memorable culinary experience.

Real Mexico Restaurant Y Tienda

Real Mexico Restaurant Y Tienda is a vibrant Mexican eatery that immerses diners in Mexican cuisine’s rich and lively flavors. Step into this colorful establishment, and you’ll be greeted with friendly faces and an inviting atmosphere. The menu boasts a range of Mexican specialties, including tacos, enchiladas, fajitas, and more. Each dish is prepared with authentic ingredients and traditional cooking techniques, ensuring an explosion of flavors in every bite. Complemented by a lively ambience and a selection of refreshing margaritas, Real Mexico Restaurant Y Tienda offers an authentic taste of Mexico.

Real Mexico Restaurant Y Tienda in Columbia, SC

Mr. Friendly’s New Southern

Mr. Friendly’s New Southern is a beloved restaurant serving a delightful blend of traditional Southern cuisine with a modern twist. Situated in a charming location, this eatery exudes Southern hospitality and charm. The menu features a variety of Southern comfort dishes made from locally sourced ingredients, including fried chicken, shrimp and grits, and collard greens. With an emphasis on fresh flavors and culinary creativity, Mr Friendly’s New Southern delivers a memorable dining experience that captures the essence of Southern hospitality.

Midwood Smokehouse 

Midwood Smokehouse is a barbecue haven that lures patrons with its enticing aroma of smoked meats and flavorful sauces. This casual and lively restaurant takes barbecue seriously, offering a wide range of slow-smoked meats such as pulled pork, brisket, ribs, and chicken. The menu showcases a fusion of traditional Southern barbecue with contemporary influences, resulting in mouthwatering combinations and unique flavors. With a relaxed atmosphere, friendly staff, and a selection of craft beers, Midwood Smokehouse is the go-to destination for barbecue enthusiasts and lovers of comfort food.

Midwood Smokehouse 
 in Columbia, SC

Cola’s Restaurant

Cola’s Restaurant is an iconic dining establishment serving Columbia’s residents and visitors for decades. Housed in a historic building, this restaurant exudes old-world charm and sophistication. The menu reflects a fusion of Southern and contemporary American cuisine, featuring dishes prepared with fresh, locally sourced ingredients. 

Characteristics of Restaurants in Columbia, SC

Southern Delights

Restaurants in Columbia, SC is known for its exceptional Southern cuisine. Head to “The Grits & Gravy” for authentic Southern comfort food. From fluffy biscuits and gravy to mouthwatering fried chicken, this cozy eatery captures the essence of Southern hospitality on every plate.

If you’re in the mood for barbecue, “Smokehouse BBQ” is a must-visit. This local favorite serves up tender, slow-cooked meats infused with smoky flavors and accompanied by classic Southern sides like mac and cheese and collard greens.

International Flavors

Restaurants in Columbia, SC offers an impressive selection of global cuisines for those craving international flavors. “Taste of India” transports you to the vibrant streets of India with its aromatic spices and flavorful curries. Indulge in dishes like butter chicken, biryani, and freshly baked naan for an authentic experience.

International Flavors

If you’re in the mood for sushi and Japanese delicacies, “Sakura Sushi & Grill” is the place to be. From perfectly rolled sushi rolls to sizzling hibachi grills, this restaurant combines skillful craftsmanship with delectable flavors.

Casual Eateries

Looking for a laid-back dining experience? Restaurants in Columbia, SC has plenty of casual eateries that offer delicious food in a relaxed atmosphere. “The Burger Joint” is a local favorite, serving juicy, gourmet burgers with mouthwatering toppings. Pair your burger with crispy fries and enjoy a satisfying meal.

For a taste of Mexico, visit “El Taqueria.” This lively taqueria serves authentic street-style tacos filled with flavorful meats and topped with fresh salsa and guacamole. Remember to try their tangy margaritas for the perfect accompaniment.

Fine Dining Experiences

Suppose you’re celebrating a special occasion or want an upscale dining experience. In that case, Columbia has several fine dining establishments that will exceed your expectations. “The Blue Marlin” offers a refined seafood-focused menu featuring shrimp and grits, fresh oysters, and perfectly seared scallops. With its elegant ambiance and impeccable service, this restaurant provides an unforgettable dining experience.

Vegetarian and Vegan Options

For those following a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, Columbia has a range of restaurants that cater to your dietary preferences. “Good Life Cafe” is a popular spot that offers a variety of plant-based dishes made with fresh, organic ingredients. From nourishing Buddha bowls to flavorful veggie burgers, you’ll find plenty of options to satisfy your cravings.

Vegetarian and Vegan Options

Seafood Specialties

Being situated near the coast, Columbia also boasts excellent seafood options. “Pearlz Oyster Bar” is a seafood lover’s paradise, serving an impressive selection of oysters, clams, shrimp, and other coastal delicacies. The vibrant atmosphere and expertly crafted seafood dishes make it a destination for seafood enthusiasts.

Family-Friendly Restaurants

Suppose you’re dining out with your family. In that case, Columbia has several family-friendly restaurants where kids and adults can enjoy a memorable meal. “Zoe’s Kitchen” offers a kid-friendly menu with grilled chicken pitas, hummus, and fresh salads. The relaxed atmosphere and wholesome food make it a great choice for family outings.

Hidden Gems

Columbia is home to numerous hidden culinary gems waiting to be discovered. “The War Mouth” is a hidden gem that offers a unique fusion of Southern and Asian flavors. Every bite is a delightful surprise, from their famous ramen bowls to mouthwatering pork belly dishes.

Fusion Cuisine

Suppose you’re in the mood for something different. In that case, Columbia’s fusion restaurants will take your taste buds on an exciting culinary journey. “Publico Kitchen & Tap” combines Latin American and Southern influences to create a menu that’s both creative and delicious. Try their fusion tacos or indulge in their flavorful ceviche for a true fusion experience.

Brunch Spots

Weekend brunches are a beloved tradition in Columbia, and there’s no shortage of fantastic brunch spots. “DiPrato’s Delicatessen” offers a brunch menu filled with classic favorites like eggs Benedict, fluffy pancakes, and gourmet sandwiches. Pair your meal with a refreshing mimosa or a steaming cup of coffee to start your day.

Brunch Spots

Craft Beer and Gastropubs

For beer enthusiasts, Columbia has a thriving craft beer scene. “Hunter-Gatherer Brewery & Ale House” is a popular gastropub that serves a wide selection of handcrafted beers and offers a delectable menu of elevated pub fare. From juicy burgers to crispy fish and chips, you can enjoy great beer and delicious food all in one place.

Outdoor Dining

Columbia’s pleasant weather makes outdoor dining a delightful option for visitors and locals alike. “River Rat Brewery” provides a spacious outdoor patio where you can savor craft beers while enjoying scenic views of the Congaree River. Food trucks often make appearances, offering a variety of cuisines to complement your beer-tasting experience.

Dessert Destinations

No meal is complete without a sweet ending, and Columbia has some fantastic dessert destinations to satisfy your sweet tooth. “Nonnah’s” is a charming dessert cafĂ© known for its delectable cakes, pies, and pastries. Indulge in a slice of their famous caramel cake or enjoy a warm apple pie topped with a scoop of homemade ice cream.

Dessert Destinations


Columbia, SC, is a culinary treasure trove, offering diverse dining experiences for every palate. This city has everything from traditional Southern delights to international flavors, casual eateries to fine dining establishments. Whether you’re a resident or a visitor, exploring the restaurants in Columbia will undoubtedly leave you with a satisfied and memorable dining experience.


What are the most popular restaurants in Columbia?

  1. Motor Supply Company Bistro
  2. Terra
  3. Lula Drake Wine Parlour
  4. The War Mouth
  5. Halls Chophouse
  6. Bourbon
  7. Rosso Trattoria Italia
  8. The Oak Table
  9. Cola’s Restaurant
  10. Hampton Street Vineyard

What are the best restaurants in Columbia that deliver?

  1. Blue Marlin
  2. The Devine Cinnamon Roll Deli
  3. Real Mexico
  4. Camon Japanese Restaurant
  5. M Grille
  6. D’s Wings
  7. Pizza Joint
  8. Pita Pit
  9. Thirsty Fellow Pizzeria & Pub
  10. Pasta Fresca


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