Are you wondering about the bowling, dining, and desserts at The Grand on Main in Columbia, SC? If you have any bowling enthusiasts in your family and you’re looking for a new place to score some strikes or you’re looking for that unique boutique dining spot for a date night or to meet friends, you’ve come to the right place. The Grand on Main houses a large, full-service restaurant, quaint bowling alley, and a top-secret dessert lounge, The Robinson Room – don’t worry we’ll share ALL the details!
Bring your kids or bring your date, either way, The Grand on Main in Columbia, SC is the boutique-style bowling alley, restaurant, and dessert bar that you’ve got to try!
Are you in search of delicious, mouth-watering barbecue in Columbia, SC? You’re in luck! This city is home to a number of excellent BBQ joints that are sure to satisfy all of your cravings. Whether you’re a local or just passing through, be sure to check out one of the fantastic restaurants we have below!
BBQ – A Southern Classic
BBQ is a great southern meal that pairs suspiciously well with a large glass of sweet tea and great southern hospitality! One of my personal favorite things about BBQ is all the sides – mac and cheese, fried okra, mashed potatoes, you name it! Don’t forget the banana pudding. Feeling hungry yet?
So whether you’re a fan of classic BBQ sauce, mustard-based sauce, on chicken, brisket, or pulled pork, may your barbecue platter always be filled with delicious barbecue sandwiches, your favorite sides, and maybe a little tomato pie.
Where Can I Find Good BBQ in Columbia, SC?
Keep in mind that these are just a few of the many excellent barbecue restaurants throughout the Midlands:
1. The War Mouth
The War Mouth is a local favorite where you can get not only great barbecue but also unique drinks and cocktails! They are most famous for their whole-hog barbecue – be sure to give it a try while you’re there. Word around town is that they’ve also got some of the best old-fashioned hash and deviled eggs! Address: 1209 Franklin Street, Columbia Phone: 803.569.6144
2. Little Pigs Barbecue
Little Pigs Barbecue has been in Columbia since the 1980’s! This BBQ buffet is known for its pulled pork, brisket, and ribs, all of which are slow-cooked over hickory wood giving an authentic flavor. Their sides, especially the mac and cheese, are also top-notch! Address: 4927 Alpine Road, Columbia Phone: 803.788.8238
3. Doc’s BBQ & Southern Buffet
Conveniently located just a few blocks away from the State Fairgrounds and near the interstate, Doc’s BBQ is a must-try! Doc’s serves traditional BBQ, seasonal sides, desserts, and even has the choice of a delicious southern buffet with all the fixin’s. Address: 1601 Shop Road, Columbia Phone: 803.799.1532
4. Palmetto Pig
The Palmetto Pig is another great option for BBQ in Columbia. They smoke all their meats over hickory and oak and are most popular for their pulled pork and BBQ chicken. The sauces here are also delicious! Address: 530 Devine Street, Columbia Phone: 803.733.2556
5. Railwood BBQ
Railwood BBQ is a local, neighborhood restaurant with some of the best BBQ in Columbia! They’ve got a variety of BBQ sandwiches, large plates, and of course, plenty of mouthwatering sides. One awesome thing to note about Railwood is that they have vegan options on their menu! Address: 2001 Hampton Street, Columbia Phone: 803.708.5801
6. Maurice’s Piggie Park BBQ
Maurice’s Piggie Park BBQ is a Columbia, SC-based chain restaurant that has been in business for more than 60 years. They’re known for their mustard-based sauce and a huge variety of sides. While you’re there, be sure to give their famous hash and rice a try! Address: Several locations throughout Columbia
7. Home Team BBQ
Home Team BBQ can be found in Five Points, the heart of downtown Columbia. At this restaurant, you will find tacos, combo platters, sandwiches, and all the classic BBQ meats. My family frequently visits here and one of my favorite things on the menu is the smoked chicken wings! Address: 700 Harden Street, Columbia Phone: 803.724.3900
8. Hite’s Bar-B-Que
Cooked over a pit of both oak and hickory wood, the BBQ at Hite’s is all that it’s cracked up to be! This restaurant has been locally owned and operated since the late 1950’s. They serve all the BBQ classics and are also open for take-out. Address: 240 Dreher Road, West Columbia Phone: 803.794.4120
9. Midwood Smokehouse
You won’t want to miss out on Midwood Smokehouse! Here you will find classic BBQ plates, combo platters, Tex-Mex tacos, and more! They’ve even got a gluten-friendly menu! Address: 702 Cross Hill Road, Columbia Phone: 803.764.1231
Where is your family’s favorite place to enjoy BBQ?
Find More Great Things to Eat in Columbia, SC
Find Your Favorite Restaurants: The Best Dining in Columbia, SC
The Grand on Main: Columbia’s Boutique Bowling & Restaurant Experience
9 of the Best BBQ Restaurants in Columbia, SC
23+ Romantic Date Night Restaurants & Dessert Bars: Columbia, SC
10+ Places Where You Can Buy Local Fresh Eggs: Columbia, SC
20+ Local Favorites for the Best Pizza in Columbia, SC
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!
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.
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 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!
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 SakiTumi
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!
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!
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
Our Favorite Date Night Romantic Restaurants in West Columbia, SC
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.
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.
Bodhi Thai serves gourmet Thai dishes with an upscale feel and an elevated dining space. This one is popular for date night in Lexington!
Address: 126 East Main Street, Lexington Bodhi Thai
20. Bone Appetite
Bone Appetite is new in Lexington, SC. It offers a special occasion atmosphere with food as beautiful as it is delicious. The menu offers entrees like lamb chops, snapper, and steak, plus salads, appetizers and more.
Saluda’s Restaurant offers an elegant and intimate atmosphere with delicious food and drinks and attentive service ensuring your date night is romantic. Their menu includes steak, seafood, and Southern cuisine with Italian and French flair. Items may vary seasonally as they use fresh local produce, choice meats, and globally sourced ingredients. They have two private rooms available to accomodate large parties as well. Reservations recommended so be sure to plan ahead for your special night.
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!
23. 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!
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.
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.
Are you searching for where to get the best pizza in Columbia, SC? We have found some fantastic locally-owned pizza joints that offer woodfire ovens, a variety of pizza styles, and some that even have vegan and gluten-free options! Whether you’re looking to meet up with friends, take your family out for a relaxed meal, or even just try someplace new, we’ve got you covered on this list of amazing pizza options in the Columbia area.
Do you need some ideas on where to get family meal deals in Columbia, SC? 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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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?
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.
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.
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?
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)
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.
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!
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.
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.
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
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.
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 :
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.
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
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!
The Toasty Hot Spot
A family-owned brunch spot offering a variety of sandwiches and breakfast-style items.
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.
DiPrato’s 342 Pickens Street Columbia, SC 29205 803.779.0606
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!
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.
Cafe Strudel 300 State Street West Columbia, SC, 29169 803.794.6634
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.
The Hideout in WeCo
A local café offering counter service, indoor, and outdoor seating serving cafe-style breakfast and lunch options
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.