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What Does Columbia Love About Cafe Strudel?

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Have you ever been to Cafe Strudel? Cafe Strudel is a locally-owned restaurant that is well-known to many throughout the Midlands! They have two locations in both West Columbia and Lexington, making it easy to give them a try. Most known for their outstanding breakfast and brunch menu, we promise this kid-friendly, welcoming restaurant won’t let you down.

Cafe Strudel in West Columbia, SC

Quick Growth and Popularity throughout the Midlands

Cafe Strudel began in 1997 as a tiny, 10-table restaurant in West Columbia that quickly outgrew its space and had to move to bigger locations…more than once. After continued growth and support from the community, the owners of Cafe Strudel were able to open a second location in Lexington in 2018. Both restaurants continue to be staple cafes in Columbia. They have several popular, award-winning dishes that we can’t wait to tell you more about! 

Cafe Strudel Has an Inviting, Local Feel 

Cafe Strudel offers a family-friendly, cozy, laid-back feel. The kind of local place you can wander into on a Sunday morning in your “comfy clothes” and feel right at home. The West Columbia location includes indoor seating as well as a covered outdoor patio.

They also have an awesome self-serve coffee bar with a variety of coffee flavors, creamers, and the cutest coffee mugs. While I can’t speak from experience on the Lexington location, word around town is that it’s just as inviting!

As we’ve mentioned, Cafe Strudel is a super popular place to be. Keep in mind that there might be a wait, especially on weekend mornings. They don’t offer reservations, however, you can call ahead to have your name added to the waitlist!

Coffee bar at Cafe Strudel in West Columbia

So Many Delicious Options at Cafe Strudel 

Cafe Strudel has been one of my absolute favorite brunch restaurants for several years. You seriously cannot go wrong with anything you decide on, but the “Hangover Hashbrowns” and “Breakfast Bowl” are crowd favorites. My husband is more of an omelet guy and has never been disappointed with either of their omelets – Smoked Salmon or Smokehouse.

At our most recent visit, I strayed a bit from my normal order and gave the “Sunrise Burrito” a try, and WOW! It might just be my new go-to! My kids shared the Cinnamon Pancakes and, as always, gave them two thumbs up! 

The lunch/dinner menu at Cafe Strudel will also not leave you disappointed. They offer soup, salad, tacos, burgers, wraps, sandwiches and more! Lunch and dinner options are available every day except Sunday! 

Brunch at Cafe Strudel

Support Local Artists at Cafe Strudel 

As if you needed any more reasons to give this cafe a try, let me leave you with another fun tidbit! Cafe Strudel displays modern artwork, mostly done by artists throughout the Midlands. All artwork displayed along the walls is available for purchase. Even if you aren’t interested in taking any pieces home, they are fun to look at and change quite often! What another GREAT way to support local businesses!

Cafe Strudel
West Columbia: 300 State Street
Lexington: 309 South Lake Drive

What is your favorite thing to order at Cafe Strudel?

Enjoy a delicious brunch in Columbia, SC

Want more brunch choices?
We have you covered!

Here’s where to get a great brunch in Columbia, SC.

Columbia, SC Restaurants: where to eat out

Searching for more restaurants to try?

Be sure to check out our Columbia Restaurant Guide for ideas on kid-friendly restaurants, date night places, the best ice cream shops, and more!

Groucho’s Deli: Kids Eat Free Saturdays & What to Order

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Columbia has several great, local places to eat that have been around a long time, including Groucho’s Deli, where kids eat free on Saturdays!

The kids eat free offer is for dine-in on Saturdays after 4:00 pm (until 8:30 pm), one kids’ meal for every adult meal purchased.

Grouchos Deli in Columbia, SC

Maybe that love of kids and family time is because its owner, who founded the deli in Columbia in 1941, was an orphan. Continuing in generosity, Groucho’s offers community giveback programs and loyal customer rewards as well.

That free kids’ meal comes with a sandwich, drink, and a side. Kids’ meal options include PB&J, grilled cheese, or all-beef hotdogs, so if you have a picky eater, this place is great. For a healthier option, you can go with pretzels over chips and drinks include 100% juice, milk, and water options as well.

Kids Eat Free in Columbia, SC

If you’re looking for more places to grab a free kids meal, check out our huge list of Kids Eat Free and Cheap Deals in Columbia, SC!

So, why Groucho’s?

Groucho’s flavor is quality deli. They do not use frozen or precut meats. No restructured meat products, soy byproducts, or fillers. This is fresh food, and you can tell.

What are they most well-known for?

  • STP Dipper
  • Giant Salads like “My Wife’s Salad Bowl”
  • House sauces, dressings, and dips such as Formula 45, my favorite (available by pints as well)
  • Their soups, especially potato
  • Signature pasta salad

They also have veggie options, heart-healthy options, and smaller portion options. Just check out their massive menu with great photos. You can order online for pick up or delivery. Also, they offer catering.

Groucho’s Deli Columbia, SC Locations

They have locations in:

  • Five Points (the original)
  • Sparkleberry (northeast Cola near Spring Valley)
  • West Columbia
  • Irmo
  • Lexington
  • Forest Acres (currently closed, re-opening soon).

There are other locations in Chapin, Blythewood, Camden and even more now reaching throughout the state and into North Carolina and Georgia as people discover this tasty family business.

Sparkleberry has the roomiest seating, in our experience.

So, it’s a great place to have a family dinner on the weekend, where kids eat free and parents can order whatever they want.

Columbia, SC Restaurants: where to eat out

Don’t miss any of Columbia’s delicious restaurants. Here’s our Columbia, SC Restaurant Guide.

25+ Family Meal Deals: Columbia, SC, For an Effortless Dinner Tonight

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Do you need some ideas on where to get family meal deals? Some days, we know, are busier than others and it can feel impossible to fit everything in before bedtime. Unfortunately, meal prep and cooking may be pushed to the back burner…no pun intended.

So, if you’re wondering “Where are the family meals near me?” or you’ve ever felt like you’re left scrambling for meal ideas, here is a great list of places that offer family meal deals that are quick, convenient, and budget-friendly! 

Restaurants with family meals to go in Columbia, SC

Try These Outdoor Restaurants: Columbia, SC Family Dining

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What better way to spend some time outdoors than by making a meal of it? One of my family’s favorite ways to enjoy dinner is al fresco at outdoor restaurants. Columbia, SC has some really great venues to accommodate. These restaurants not only offer an environment suitable for children, but they also have some fantastic menu options. Whether you want a place for your kids to run free, or make all the noises without disrupting a quiet dining room, if you’re wondering “where are the outdoor restaurants near me” we have just the list for you!

Restaurants with outdoor dining in Columbia, SC

Fresh Air and Quality Menus

It can be difficult to find a place that suits the whole family for a meal. Add in outdoor seating and the options become even more narrow. We wanted to give you some ideas to help navigate the already crazy lunch or dinner time scramble.

There are a few places to highlight that can give you and your family a great meal with a good view.

Columbia Restaurants with Outdoor Dining Space

Pawleys Front Porch

Pawley’s is a longtime favorite of locals. Located in the heart of the Five Points neighborhood, you’ll feel the history of the place as soon as you enter. This restaurant makes the top of the list because not only does it have a cozy porch to enjoy but it’s got a great kids menu that will satisfy most picky eaters!

The price point is family-friendly as well, and we couldn’t rave enough about their burgers if we tried! The porch is shaded and comfortable and even has fans for those extra steamy days.

827 Harden Steet, Columbia

Publico (Five Points)

Another Five Points favorite, this restaurant is a little more unique, and maybe for the above toddler-age children. While they do have an awesome, contained back seating area, they don’t have a child-specific menu. The great thing they have to offer though is TACOS! All different kinds, priced individually, so you don’t have to worry about ordering meals to split or adult entrees that may go to waste if ordered for a kid.

During the winter months, Publico puts up igloos outside to keep you warm and sheltered. These are so fun for kids and adults, and even have lights at night! We felt like we were in a private little winter wonderland! The igloos do require reservation and fill up quickly so check them out ahead of time if you’re planning a visit. During the warmer months the seating is picnic-style. They also do specials during the week so check out their website for details!

There is now a second location in the Bullstreet district that also includes outdoor dining. Their patio has fake grass on the ground, so go ahead and let the kids play under the table! Sometimes they offer live music, as well. Plus, there is also a park nearby as well as Segra Stadium for a little after-dinner play time or entertainment.

Publico Kitchen Tap: 2013 Greene Street, Columbia
Publico at Bull Street: 2180 Boyce Street, Columbia

Home Team BBQ

This one-of-a-kind BBQ joint started in Charleston, SC and we are so lucky to get added to the location list here in Columbia! Home Team has some of the best wings, BBQ, and southern sides you’ll find in the downtown area.

Although it’s not the largest patio area, they do have picnic-style dining outside, shaded and surrounded by fans. With a kid’s menu that is sure to satisfy, your whole family can dine here with no problem.

When in doubt, get the macaroni and cheese. There are also daily specials and from our experience, they’re always worth trying!

700 Harden Street, Columbia

Breweries With Outdoor Seating: Family-friendly

Although a brewery might not be your GO-TO when looking for family dining, Columbia has some really awesome family-friendly breweries that happen to have outstanding menus! While they may not include a kid-specific menu, what they do have to offer might be a good compromise. Space to run free!

Each of the breweries listed below offers some truly delicious menu options and ample open space for the little ones to burn off some energy. Every time my family visits one of these there are so many other families there as well, so if you’ve got a little social butterfly this is a great place to relax and watch them make some friends.

Check out the list and peak their menus on their websites :
Steel Hands:  2350 Foreman Street, Cayce
Savage Craft: 430 Center Street, West Columbia
River Rat: 1231 Shop Road, Columbia
Hunter-Gatherer Brewery: 1402 Jim Hamilton Boulevard, Columbia & 900 Main Street, Columbia

Date Night Outdoor Retaurants: Columbia, C

I feel like I wouldn’t be doing our city justice if I didn’t mention some of these other amazing restaurants! While they are not necessarily kid friendly they are some of the true highlights of our downtown and should definitely be added to a date night list for parents. So if you’re looking for a Kid FREE night in the town check out this list of amazing outdoor options :

25+ Restaurants Where Kids Eat Free (or Cheap): Columbia, SC

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Are you on the hunt for restaurants where kids eat free in Columbia, SC? Look no further! Whether you’re looking for freebies, general deals, or sweet discounts, we’ve got a comprehensive list of restaurants to cover it all. 

Kids Eat Free in Columbia, SC

We know taking your family out to eat can get quite pricey, not to mention chaotic. So, we made this easy and called each of the listed restaurants below to get their promotions confirmed. However, please keep in mind that these promotions can change rapidly so it’s always a good idea to triple-check before you go. 


Time for Brunch? Columbia, SC’s Premier Brunch Destinations

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Are you looking for a great brunch spot in Columbia, SC? Whether you’re a local or just visiting, Columbia has a variety of options to satisfy your brunch cravings. From classic breakfast fare to unique twists on traditional dishes, this guide is organized by location, making it easy for you to find the perfect brunch spot in your area.

Explore the brunch offerings in Downtown Columbia, Five Points, and West Columbia, and discover new favorites along the way.

Enjoy a delicious brunch in Columbia, SC

Brunch in Downtown Columbia & The Vista

Market on Main

A sophisticated brunch destination featuring truffle frites, alongside an array of salads, gourmet burgers, and breakfast-style sandwiches

Market on Main
1320 Main Street #150
Columbia, SC, 29201

My family loves going to Market on Main for brunch! It’s so fun to sit outside and listen to music while we dine. Some of my favorite dishes are their Truffle Frites, Griddled Banana Bread, Brunch Bowl and the Wagyu Burger! And I never leave without having one of their famous Bloody Mary’s! 

Kelly J.

The Toasty Hot Spot

A family-owned brunch spot offering a variety of sandwiches and breakfast-style items.

The Toasty Hot Spot
1305 Lady Street
Columbia, SC, 29201


A delightful brunch restaurant, offering a diverse menu including granola and yogurt bowls, tartines, bowls, and sandwiches.

709 Gervais Street 
Columbia, SC, 29201

Crepes & Croissants

A French-style brunch restaurant with a selection of sweet and savory crepes, along with croissant sandwiches, pastries, and coffee.

Crepes & Croissants
1465 Sumter Street
Columbia, SC, 29201

Motor Supply Company Bistro

Motor Supply Company Bistro offers a sustainable farm-to-table dining experience with house-butchered meats, locally sourced produce, and South Carolina seafood. Reservations are recommended.

Motor Supply Company Bistro
920 Gervais Street
Columbia, SC, 29201

Sandwich Depot

Sandwich Depot lives up to their name, serving a variety of sandwiches with their breakfast and lunch, which are served all-day

Sandwich Depot
1211 Taylor Street
Columbia, SC, 29201

Spotted Salamander Cafe and Catering

This restaurant offers Southern dishes featuring a rotating menu of seasonal and unique produce and meats, along with daily freshly baked treats.

Spotted Salamander Cafe and Catering
1531 Richland Street
Columbia, SC, 29201


This Italian-style deli would fit right in up in NYC. They offer signature sandwiches, and a special brunch menu on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 am to 2 pm. It includes all the traditional brunch favorites like pancakes and French Toast, plus eggs and dishes with a unique flare like the Monte Cristo French Toast Sandwich.

342 Pickens Street
Columbia, SC 29205

 I like Di Prato’s because of all the classic southern staples they have on the menu. My favorite thing to order is the pimento cheese!

Patrick S.

Brunch in Five Points & Shandon

The Gourmet Shop

A classic Columbia brunch spot with outdoor seating and a variety of sandwiches, bakery items, lunch, and breakfast options.

The Gourmet Shop
724 Saluda Avenue
Columbia SC, 29205

The Devine Cinnamon Roll Deli

A charming spot with a wide variety of breakfast and lunch menu items, including an assortment of unique cinnamon roll flavors.

The Devine Cinnamon Roll Deli
2617 Devine Street
Columbia, SC, 29223

Rosewood Market

A food market with a deli featuring a diverse menu featuring daily specials, and a variety of brunch items, catering to all appetites and dietary preferences, 

Rosewood Market Deli
2803 Rosewood Drive
Columbia, SC, 29205


A dog-friendly restaurant in Five Points offering fresh and local food made from scratch.

2013 Greene Street
Columbia, SC, 29205

Henry’s Restaurant

Homey restaurant offers indoor and outdoor seating with brunch options. They also have a location in West Columbia!

Henry’s Restaurant
111 Sparkleberry Crossing, Suite 1
Columbia, SC, 29229

Brunch in Irmo & West Columbia

Cafe Strudel

A popular spot for brunch with a creative menu featuring dishes like shrimp & grits and crab cakes.

Here’s our Kidding Around Review of Cafe Strudel.

Cafe Strudel
300 State Street
West Columbia, SC, 29169

I love going to Cafe Strudel for brunch! I almost always order the “Hangover Hashbrowns”. And you can’t beat the self-service coffee bar or freshly squeezed orange juice! Along with the delicious menu, I also love the location. After brunch my family and I like to head over to the WeCo Riverwalk or to some of the antique shops and boutiques just around the corner.

Kayla S.
Brunch at Cafe Strudel

The Hideout in WeCo

A local café offering counter service, indoor, and outdoor seating serving cafe-style breakfast and lunch options

The Hideout in WeCo
118 State Street
West Columbia, SC, 29169

The Original Brunches

A restaurant featuring traditional brunch-style foods, such as omelets, biscuits, and sandwiches.

The Original Brunches
2245 Leaphart Road
West Columbia, SC, 29169

Compton’s Kitchen

A restaurant in West Columbia with special kid-friendly options, and all-day breakfast offerings.

Compton’s Kitchen
1118 B Avenue
West Columbia, SC, 29169

The Bistreaux by Fleur de Licious

A Cajun & Creole-style restaurant offering classic New Orleans-style breakfast and lunch options, with special events throughout the year.

Fleur de Licious
2700 Broad River Road
Columbia, SC, 29210

Chayz Lounge

An upscale “Jazz Bistro” with classic brunch selections, salads, and signature menu options.

Chayz Lounge
607 Meeting Street
West Columbia, SC, 29169

When it comes to satisfying your brunch cravings in Columbia, you’ll have an abundance of choices to indulge in. But don’t just take our word for it! Check out each restaurant’s website for menus and hours, and then embark on your own culinary exploration.

Tell us! Have you tried any of these fantastic brunch spots? We’d love to hear about your experiences! Share your thoughts and recommendations in the comments below.

Columbia, SC Restaurants: where to eat out

The best restaurants in Columbia are right here.

The Premier Guide to Restaurants in Columbia, SC

Try Some of the Best Burgers in Town: Chubby’s Burgers & Brewhouse of Blythewood, SC

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Are you wondering if Chubby’s Burgers & Brewhouse in Blythewood, SC should be on your to-do list? Chubby’s is a local, kid-friendly restaurant that is well known for its delicious burgers and Sunday brunch. They even offer some fantastic weekly specials that we can’t wait to tell you all about! 

Looking for more family-friendly restaurants around Columbia? Be sure to check out our list of favorites! 

Chubby's Burgers
Photo Credit: Chubby’s Burgers & Brewhouse

Your New Go-To, Locally-Owned Restaurant 

I have heard so many great things about Chubby’s Burgers & Brewhouse for quite some time now. When my family and I finally got the chance to check it out, we were so excited and quickly decided it’d be one of our new go-to places. Chubby’s offers a very laid-back, local, and welcoming atmosphere and what’s even better is that it’s the PERFECT place to take kiddos of all ages.

Bring the Kids to Chubby’s Burgers and Brewhouse

Did you know that every Wednesday is “kids eat free night” at Chubby’s Burgers? Yep, FREE! But, that’s not the only reason we consider Chubby’s a kid-friendly restaurant. Chubby’s also has an arcade room and pool room just off the main eating area. While the pool room can often be a popular place for adults hanging out at the bar area, the arcade is the perfect place to keep those hungry kiddos occupied until the food comes. 

Kids playing arcade games at Chubby's Burgers

We took full advantage of the arcade during our recent trip and my 4-year-old had a blast playing pinball and racing. From the arcade room, you can see the majority of the seating within the restaurant so we knew exactly when our food was ready. We all know taking hungry kids out to dinner can turn sour quickly, but at Chubby’s it’s a win-win for everyone. 

Discover more Restaurants in Columbia Where Kids Eat Free!

Weekly Specials at Chubby’s Burgers & Brewhouse

Tuesday – Half-priced appetizers
Wednesday – Kids eat FREE
Thursday – Half-priced appetizers
Friday – Live music 
Sunday- Brunch 11 am to 2 pm, then Kids eat free 3 pm to 8 pm

The Chubby’s weekly specials change often, be sure to follow along on the Chubby’s Facebook page for updates! 

A burger at Chubby's Burgers & Brews in Blythewood, SC
Photo Credit: Chubby’s Burgers & Brewhouse

Food Review: Chubby’s Burgers are Amazing

At our recent visit, my husband ordered the “Southern Charm” burger complete with fried green tomatoes and the house pimento cheese. I couldn’t help but steal a few bites for myself because it was SO. GOOD. 10/10 recommend! We also shared the onion rings which were equally delish and another must-try item would be the sweet potato fries! Truth be told, I really don’t think you could go wrong ordering any of their burgers. However, if burgers aren’t your thing, they also serve salads, club sandwiches, BLT’s, chicken sandwiches, and more! Oh, and I can’t forget to mention that they’ve also got more than 20 beers on tap!

Chubby’s Burgers & Brewhouse
420 McNulty Street, Blythewood

Monday – Closed
Tuesday – Thursday: 11 am – 9 pm
Friday – Saturday: 11 am – 11 pm
Sunday: 11 am – 2 pm and 3 pm – 8 pm

What do you love about Chubby’s Burgers & Brewhouse?

Our Favorite Kid-Friendly Restaurants in Columbia, SC

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Are you looking for kid-friendly restaurants in Columbia, SC? Whether you’re looking for a family-friendly place to grab breakfast or even enjoy a sit-down dinner, we’ve got you covered! The Kidding Around Team has lots of experience with kids in restaurants. We’ve been there and seen just about all there is to see. On this list we included the truly kid-friendly spots. These are family restaurants that include built-in ice cream or dessert shops, arcade games, and endless kid-friendly meals, and we’re thinking this list will have the perfect spot for you! 

Need more restaurant ideas? Discover some of the best date night, BBQ, pizza, and dessert restaurants – we’ve got it all!

Messy Hands, Hungry Bellies, Let’s Eat! 

Taking the whole family out to eat can sometimes be a bit stressful. Will there be high chairs? Outside areas to sit or walk antsy legs? Or how about every parent with young children’s worst nightmare…white tablecloths? Have no fear! We’ve got a great list of family and kid-friendly restaurants all around Columbia. And good news for you, no, there won’t be any white tablecloths! 

Where to Eat Out With Kids in Columbia, SC

Great Kid-Friendly Restaurants in Columbia, SC:
Burgers, Wings, and Sandwiches
Mexican Food
Family Friendly Breweries


Day Trip Guide: 10+ Things to Do in Aiken, SC, Plus Dining!

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Are you looking for a day trip destination in South Carolina that offers a mix of outdoor adventure, delicious food, and charming attractions? You’ll find all of this with the abundant things to do in Aiken, SC!

This historic city is a great place to spend a day exploring. Aiken is known for its stunning horse farms, but it also boasts a thriving downtown area filled with local shops, museums, and restaurants. Whether you’re in the mood for a scenic hike, visiting a gopher tortoise, enjoying a delicious meal at a great restaurant, or a bit of all of the above, Aiken has something for everyone.

Read on for our guide to food, parks, and cultural attractions in Aiken, SC.

Where to Eat: Great Restaurants in Aiken, SC


This cozy bistro offers a menu of classic Southern American dishes. Make sure to save room for dessert, as they have a delicious dessert menu.

Malia’s Restaurant:
120 Laurens Street South West
Aiken, SC, 29801

The Willcox

For a fine dining experience, make a reservation at The Willcox. This elegant restaurant is located in a historic hotel and offers a menu of refined Southern cuisine.

The Willcox:
100 Colleton Avenue South West
Aiken, SC, 29801

New Moon Cafe

New Moon Cafe is a cozy eatery located in downtown Aiken. The menu features classic cafe-style food made from fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Guests can enjoy their meals inside the dining room or outside on the patio.

New Moon Cafe:
116 Laurens Street North West
Aiken, SC, 29801


MacK’s in Aiken, SC is a beloved local institution known for its delicious and satisfying sandwiches. The casual and friendly atmosphere of the restaurant makes it the perfect spot for a quick lunch or a leisurely meal with friends and family.

159 Laurens Street North West
Aiken, SC, 29801

Natural Attractions: Things to Do in Aiken, SC

Hitchcock Woods

One of the most popular hiking spots in Aiken is Hitchcock Woods. This 2,100-acre forest is home to more than 70 miles of trails. These trails are well-maintained, and visitors can enjoy a variety of hiking options, including easy strolls and more challenging hikes.

Along the way, you will see beautiful trees, flowers, and wildlife, and you can take in the tranquility of the forest. Although leashed dogs are generally welcome, visitors should be aware that during the Aiken Hounds Hunt Season (October 15th through March 15th), visitors are not permitted to bring dogs on Tuesdays from 1:30 pm – 5:00 pm and Saturdays from 8:30 am – 12:00 pm.

Hitchcock Woods
Admission: Free


  • 1700 Dibble Road, Aiken, SC, 29801
  • 1770 Dibble Road, Aiken, SC, 29801
  • 263 Rubin’s Cottage Lane, Aiken, SC, 29801
  • 444 South Boundary Avenue South West, Aiken, SC, 29801
  • 670 Coker Spring Road South West, Aiken, SC, 29801
  • 540 Berrie Road South West, Aiken, SC, 29801
  • 1120 Clark Road South West, Aiken, SC, 29801


Aiken State Park

Aiken State Park

This beautiful park is located about 20 minutes from downtown Aiken and offers a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking, canoeing, and fishing. The park offers canoe rentals, access to the Edisto River, and has several campsites perfect for RV or rustic camping. Leashed pets are welcome in the park.

Aiken State Park


  • $3 adults 
  • $1.50 SC seniors
  • $1 for children aged 6-15
  • Free for ages 5 & younger

1145 State Park Road
Windsor, SC, 29856

Hopelands Gardens

Another great spot for a leisurely hike is Hopelands Gardens. This beautiful park features more than 14 acres of gardens, fountains, and walking paths. The paths are well-maintained and easy to navigate, making it a perfect spot for families with young children or for those who just want to take a relaxing stroll.

Along the way, you will see beautiful flowers, trees, and even a pond. The park is also the venue for special events, such as concerts, story times, and yoga classes!

Hopelands Gardens

Admission: Free

135 Dupree Plaza
Aiken, SC, 29801

Aiken Gopher Tortoise Heritage Preserve

The Aiken Gopher Tortoise Heritage Preserve is a unique natural area where visitors can observe and learn about the threatened gopher tortoise and its habitat. The preserve features hiking trails that wind through longleaf pine forests, sandhills, and other unique habitats that are home to a variety of plant and animal species. Along the trails, visitors can also see several gopher tortoise burrows and learn about the important role they play in the ecosystem. 

Aiken Gopher Tortoise Heritage Preserve

Admission: Free

State Highway 212
Williston, SC, 29853

Cultural Attractions

Aiken County Historical Museum

The Aiken County Historical Museum is located in a restored 1930s winter colony mansion, and it provides a glimpse into the area’s history. The museum features exhibits on Aiken’s history, including the area’s Native American roots, the winter colony era, and the city’s equestrian heritage. Visitors can also view a collection of historic clothing, antique furniture, and historic artifacts. The museum is open from Tuesday to Saturday, from 10 am to 5 pm.

Aiken County Historical Museum

Admission: Free

433 Newberry Street SouthWest
Aiken, SC, 29801

Aiken Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame and Museum

This museum, located inside Hopelands Gardens, celebrates Aiken’s thoroughbred racing history and has exhibits on Aiken’s thoroughbred racing history, including the famous Aiken Trials, which kicks off the Aiken Triple Crown.

Visitors can learn about famous horses and trainers and view racing artifacts. The museum also hosts special events and temporary exhibits, making every visit unique. The museum is open Sunday and Tuesday through Friday from 2 pm until 5 pm. On Saturdays, it is open from 10 am until 5 pm and it is closed on Mondays.

Aiken Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame and Museum:

Admission: Free

135 Dupree Place
Aiken, SC 29801

Aiken Center for the Arts

The Aiken Center for the Arts is a non-profit arts organization that provides arts education and exhibits throughout the city. The center hosts art exhibits throughout the year, featuring works by local and regional artists. Visitors can also participate in art classes and workshops, including painting, drawing, pottery, and music. The center is open from Monday to Saturday, from 10 am to 5 pm.

Aiken Center for the Arts

Admission: Free – Workshop Pricing Varies

122 Laurens Street, South West
Aiken, SC 29801

Aiken, SC, offers a wide range of activities for visitors of all ages and interests. Whether you’re a history buff, outdoor enthusiast, or art lover, there’s something here for everyone. I hope this article has given you a taste of what Aiken has to offer, and we’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.

Have you visited Aiken, SC before? What was your favorite thing to do? Do you have any tips or recommendations for first-time visitors? 

16 Romantic Date Night Restaurants and Dessert Bars in Columbia, SC

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Thinking about planning a nice date night dinner for you and your significant other in Columbia, SC? Date nights are an important part of every relationship, but sometimes feel like they don’t happen nearly enough. Whether you’re looking for a restaurant that offers full entrees or maybe just a cozy place to order some drinks, small plates, or tasty desserts, we’ve found the perfect romantic date night restaurant for you!

We’ve got options for romantic restaurants in downtown Columbia, West Columbia, and even Northeast Columbia – so maybe try someplace new, travel a little further than you normally would, and enjoy some special one-on-one time. Cheers!

Date night restaurants in Columbia, SC

Which Restaurant Should I Go To For Date Night in Columbia, SC?

In Columbia, SC you will find many great restaurants with romantic, laid-back atmospheres, delicious food, and excellent service that are sure to make your date night extra special. Each of these restaurants offers something unique to make your time spent with your significant other well worth it. These are just a few date night-friendly restaurants that our city has to offer. 

*It is always a great idea to make reservations well in advance, especially on weekends or when celebrating a holiday. With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching, these restaurants will undoubtedly fill up fast! 

The Best Restaurants in Columbia, SC for Date Night 

1. Gervais & Vine

This modern Mediterranean restaurant is a great date night option! Gervais & Vine is a tapas bar that offers a cozy atmosphere with both indoor and outdoor dining. They have a large cocktail and wine list as well as tapas such as seared scallops, baked brie, charcuterie, and more.

Address: 620 Gervais Street, Columbia 
Gervais & Vine

2. Lula Drake Wine Parlour

Lula Drake is a very unique restaurant that showcases so much history and vintage-inspired decor. Their menu is made up of several small plate options that pair very well with the wine and beer lists. Depending on how hungry you are, this might be a fantastic place to go to start off, or even finish, your date night.

Lula Drake Wine Bar, Columbia, SC

Lula Drake is a favorite of one of our KACOLA writers.

She shared with our readers all the things she loves and what to expect when you visit!

Here’s our Kidding Around review of Lula Drake Wine Parlour.

Address: 1635 Main Street, Columbia 
Lula Drake Wine Parlour 

3. SakiTumi 

Found in the popular Vista area of Columbia, SakiTumi is a Japanese restaurant that offers a variety of sushi and sashimi options. It has a very romantic, yet high-energy atmosphere. Every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday they offer great specials:

  • Tuesdays from 5 pm to 10 pm
    • Nemo-Vino Night – $34 for 1 premium bottle of wine, 1 specialty sushi roll, and 1 classic sushi roll
  • Wednesdays from 5 pm to 10 pm
    • S&M Night – ½ priced sushi and martinis 
  • Saturdays from 5 pm to 10 pm
    • ½ priced saki

Address: 807 Gervais Street, Suite 103, Columbia 

4. The Gourmet Shop 

Found in Five Points, this charming, quaint bistro offers a variety of sandwiches, soups, and salads that are mouthwatering good! They are only open for brunch and lunch dining options. Along with serving delicious foods, The Gourmet Shop also features a store with things such as wine, beer, fine cheeses, glassware, cutlery, chocolates, and so much more!

Address: 724 Saluda Avenue, Columbia  
The Gourmet Shop

5. Hunter Gatherer Alehouse 

Hunter Gatherer is well-known to locals as a place to go for delicious food and drinks. This restaurant has a laid-back atmosphere perfect for hanging out with your significant other or meeting up with friends. They’ve got several beers on tap, sandwiches, salads, and plenty of entrees to choose from. When you’re there be sure to try out the sausage balls!

Address: 900 Main Street, Columbia 
Hunter-Gatherer Alehouse 

6. Motor Supply Co. Bistro

This bistro is located in an awesome historic building in the heart of Columbia’s Vista district. The ever-changing menu features contemporary American cuisine with a focus on locally-sourced ingredients. They also have a wide selection of craft beers and wines. My husband and I recently went here for a birthday celebration and really enjoyed everything we had to eat. The meat and cheese board was a great choice as an appetizer! Added Bonus: They even have complimentary valet parking, which as you know is a HUGE benefit for any downtown restaurant!

Address: 920 Gervais Street, Columbia 
Motor Supply Co. Bistro

7. Bourbon

This modern-style restaurant is centrally located on Main Street in downtown Columbia. The menu features a variety of different meat styles, an extensive bourbon, whiskey, and cocktail selection, and cajun-creole cuisines – making it THE perfect spot for a special date night! Bourbon does not accept reservations so it is best to get there early. Keep in mind that after 5 pm, parking is FREE in the back parking lot!

Address: 1214 Main Street, Columbia 

8. Smoked 

Smoked in one of Columbia’s newer restaurants, but lacks none of the greatness! They have several large menus for brunch, lunch, and dinner serving a variety of oyster bar options, steak flights, ravioli, salad, and so much more! Smoked also offers great cocktails, a large wine list, and a beautiful outdoor patio area.

Address: 1643 Main Street, Columbia 

9. Cola’s

A local favorite and Columbia staple, Cola’s is a must! The 1930’s building was once used as a Cola bottling plant and still contains all of the brick, vintage charm. This restaurant specializes in steak & seafood with raw bar options and an extensive wine list. When the weather is nice, 2 large garage doors will be opened to allow tables to enjoy views of the SC Statehouse and the surrounding city.

Address: 1215 Assembly Street, Columbia 

10. Villa Tronco 

Villa Tronco is the oldest restaurant in the whole state, so they must be doing something right! On their menu you will find seafood, pasta, pizza, delicious desserts, and more. Over 80 years later, they continue to use family recipes from the original owners.

Address: 1213 Blanding Street, Columbia 
Villa Tronco

Our Favorite Date Night Romantic Restaurants in West Columbia, SC 

11. Terra

This farm-to-table restaurant offers a unique dining experience with a frequently changing menu.  They have a lovely shaded patio, making it the perfect place to go and enjoy some fresh air and great company when the weather is nice! Terra has a very intimate atmosphere that would be perfect for a couple looking for a quiet, romantic night out.

Address: 100 State Street, West Columbia 

12. Black Rooster 

Black Rooster is a French-inspired restaurant that sits right near the foot of the Gervais Street bridge. Here you will find delicious cuisines from escargots to a Nashville Hot Chicken sandwich and everything in between. One other great thing to note about Black Rooster is the amazing rooftop bar! Here, you will have great views of not only West Columbia, but also downtown, and parts of the river.

Address: 201 Meeting Street, West Columbia 
Black Rooster 

Northeast Columbia Date Night Restaurant Ideas

13. Travinia’s Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar

Travinia’s offers a great atmosphere and delicious Italian-style cuisine. They have delicious italian classics, flatbreads, soups, and more. Travinia’s also offers a large gluten-free menu!

Address: 101 Sparkleberry Crossing Road, Columbia
Travinia’s Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar

Best Dessert Restaurants in Columbia, SC 

What better way to end a nice date night than a dessert bar? No matter what type of dessert you’re in the mood for, Columbia has a spot that will satisfy your sweet tooth. Whether you’re looking for a classic dessert, a unique twist on a favorite, or something new to try, these restaurants are sure to have something that will satisfy all of your cravings! 

14. Kiminsky’s Dessert Cafe

Kiminsky’s has SO MANY sweet treats to choose from! They’ve got cake by the slice, gourmet cheesecake, pies, brownies, and more. This dessert bar is also well-known for its dessert martinis and signature cocktails. From “spiked” coffee and adult milkshakes to cookies and cake, Kaminsky’s is sure to have something to cure your after-dinner sweet tooth!

Address: 930 Gervais Street, Columbia 
Kiminsky’s Dessert Cafe

15. Sweet Cream Company

This ice cream shop offers handcrafted, small-batch ice cream made with locally sourced ingredients. They have a rotating selection of flavors, but the salted caramel and honey lavender are a few local favorites! Along with ice cream they also serve coffee, artisan sodas, and gourmet hot chocolate.

Address: 1627 Main Street, Columbia
Sweet Cream Company

16. The Robinson Room 

This awesome dessert restaurant can be found on the lower level of The Grand, a boutique bowling alley and restaurant. The Robinson Room is a swanky dessert and cocktail bar and features some really unique creations! The atmosphere is quaint and romantic, making it a great spot to continue on your night out with your loved one.

Address: 1621 Main Street, Columbia, SC 
The Robinson Room

Best Coffee for Date Night in Columbia, SC

Maybe your idea of the perfect date night begins or ends at a local coffee shop with a nice, warm cup of joe. If that’s the case check out our list of 23+ standout coffee shops all around Columbia such as Drip, The Hideout, Cool Beans, Oliver Gospel Roastery, and MANY more!

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Unique date night ideas: Columbia, SC

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Unique Date Ideas in Columbia, SC