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Jun 19, 2008 08:39 AM

Best dinner in downtown Columbia, S.C.?

I'm looking for one good dinner on a Saturday night in Columbia, S.C. Probably be in or around the Five Points area, but I'd go to the Vista area as well. It's been years since I've been there, so I'm looking forward to exploring, but a few suggestions for a dinner would be much appreciated.

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  1. Best bets:

    Motor Supply in the Vista
    Mr. Friendly's or Garibaldi's in 5 points


    6 Replies
    1. re: atruebluedevil

      Garibaldi's is still around? Wow.

      Mr. Friendly's dinner menu online uses the word "famous" seven times on a single page. That's hilarious.

      I've never been to Motor Supply - could have opened after I left, maybe we'll try that. I remember Columbia having a fair share of interesting and independent businesses when I left about ten years ago. Hopefully it's still doing well.

      1. re: ElSapo

        I think Motor Supply has been open almost 20 years and has been my favorite in Columbia since it opened.

        1. re: ElSapo

          I second Motor Supply and Mr. Friendly's. When we lived in Cola, Motor Supply was one of our favorite restaurants. They changed the menu daily and always had interesting dishes. My wife is a vegetarian and there always was a well thought-out entree for her. The Vista's cool and hopefully that brew pub is still open nearby.
          The sad thing is that we moved from Columbia in 2000, and the offerings in the central city still haven't changed that much. Is Hunter Gatherer still open? I mourn the loss, however, of my favorite watering hole, Garrett's in Five Points.

          1. re: ElSapo

            That is funny - I never noticed that before. Yeah, Garibaldi's is still kickin' it - not that many changes to the menu & all the old favorites are still there, like the fried flounder. Motor Supply is one of my favorites anytime - just went yesterday for lunch right after I posted the above, and had a great lunch as usual. The chef is a friend of a friend and has very high standards. They also serve a good brunch. Hope you have a good time and good eats while you are here.

            1. re: atruebluedevil

              Maybe we'll try Motor Supply. Seems to have some supporters on here.

              I grew up in Irmo and went to school in Columbia until 1999. Left shortly after and have not really been back since. Obviously it's a special area for me, so my memory may be biased, but I remember it as having a lot of independent coffee shops and restaurants. Columbia was never a big city, but it certainly had potential.

              Most of my time was spent in Five Points, so I didn't know the Vista as well as a student. But I have fond memories of Goatfeathers in Five Points and a place called Norah's in the Vista for dessert/drinks. I think I had dinner at Garibaldi's one night. There was a place on the corner, upstairs - Saludas? Savannahas? Is it still around?

              The coffee shop, Immaculate Consumption, was across from my apartment (as was the already-mentioned Hunter Gatherer, later reopened as something else, I think).

              Senate St. in West Columbia had a couple of good coffee shops as well. Did the Sherlock Holmes Pub ever reopen?

              Fun times...

              1. re: ElSapo

                A few updates - thankfully, Hunter Gatherer is still going strong. Now they are also open on Mondays - and it's smoke free that night only (for now). Immaculate Consumption is still there as well - food is up and down and service can be maddingly slow and/or spaced out. Vista Brewing is no more. Nonnah's is still open in the Vista and good for dessert. I think you mean State St. over in West Columbia ... Cafe Strudel is a good funky place for a casual meal, good dessert or coffee - it's mobbed for breakfast and brunch on the weekends. House Coffee is next door - it has changed names, but it's a good spot for some joe too. Saluda's is still around but I would NOT recommend it. It was once good, but has changed hands and gone WAY downhill. Goatfeathers is still around - dark and funky as it always has been.
                Have a good trip!