HOME > Chowhound > Southeast >


Columbia, SC

We are going to be in Columbia for a wedding in a few weeks, and are looking to fill in a few meals. What we would like recommendations on is lunch on Sunday, possibly barbeque. We are certified KCBS judges, so that would be fun.
Also, something for a late breakfast/early lunch on Monday. We will be flying out of Charlotte, so possibly something in that direction, but not too far out as one of the people will be staying in Columbia.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. You have to try Maurice's Piggy Park BBQ. I don't much like his politics, but his BBQ is wonderful!

    1. Be aware that Que here is nothing like KC. That part of SC has mustard based sauce.

      If racist memorabilia offends you skip Maurice's. I like Little Pigs better.

      Little Pigs
      115 Bountyland Rd, Seneca, SC 29672

      3 Replies
      1. re: Sue in Mt P

        Sue, I'd say skip Maurice's regardless of his politics. I think there's much better Q to be had, and would agree that Little Pigs is great.

        I've not been to Columbia in a while, but with regard to breakfast, we always really enjoyed The Original Pancake House in Trenholm Plaza on Forest Drive.

        1. re: Suzy Q

          The Original Pancake House is pretty good for a nationwide chain restaurant, but I imagine the original poster might be more interested in places unique to Columbia or South Carolina.

          1. re: north2south

            The OP asked for breakfast recommendations. OPH is (or at least, used to be) one of the best breakfast places in Columbia. Feel free to add any local establishments that have great breakfast - I'm going to be back in Columbia in a few weeks and would love new places to try as well.

      2. I second Little Pigs for BBQ. See http://www.littlepigs.biz for details. In my opinion it is the best traditional BBQ around, and you get several different kinds of bbq offered on the buffet. They are open Sunday for a few hours around lunchtime. Then on Monday you could have lunch outside in Five Points at The Gourmet Shop.

        An alternative plan, though, would be to go to Motor Supply Co. on Sunday. They do an excellent brunch (see sample menu here: http://www.motorsupplycobistro.com/1_... ). Then for an early lunch on Monday you could go to Doc's BBQ, which is pretty good (and one of the few good BBQ places open on a Monday).

        4 Replies
        1. re: north2south

          Both good plans, n2s!

          Also, 116 State St. is open Sunday brunch but closed Monday http://116state.com/
          And DiPrato's is open Sunday brunch and Monday http://www.dipratos.com/

          1. re: north2south

            After our early morning flight in from NY, they are having a luncheon for the bride at Motor Supply Co, so glad you recommend it.

            1. re: north2south

              Nix Motor Supply in the Vista. Way over priced, but the owners want it that way to keep out the Great Unwashed. It is a snob place for Columbia money to dine at. Like: "let's do lunch at MS, Cupcakes. See you there honey." I have been three times just to make sure I wasn't there on an off-day. On each ocassion we were kept waiting for a very long time before we were seated. The maitre' d on all three occasions was not polite. Every time we have been there they were out of a few items on the main entree as well as the appetizers. Go figure. And please don't look up. The ceiling is dirty and in ghastly need of repair. Sorry, shabby but arrogant only works at the beach! And good luck with the hand-written menu. I have graded 12th grade essay papers that were easier to read. If you really like to drop some coin and sit around with other people, who like to sniff their corks, then this place is for you.

              1. re: MajorC

                I have to disagree with MajorC. While Motor Supply is hardly my favorite place in town, for lunch it is quite good and really a deal, considering the care and ingredients that go into their meals (not to mention the prime real estate). While I've had some "eh" experiences at dinner, my lunches there have been great.

                Their lunch menu changes daily but with some regular items rotating in. If the timing is right, try their meatball sub, which is probably the third best meatball sub I've had at a restaurant (the best was hand made by Roberto Donna when he started a "to go" casual lunch grill in the back room of Galileo in DC; another great one is from Carmine's in Williamsburg, VA). Service has been fine for me at Motor Supply. As for being out of a few items, that is really annoying, but I suppose it is a risk one takes when dining at a restaurant that serves food made from fresh ingredients and cannot pull everything out of the deep freezer.

                As for sniffing corks, well, there's really no excuse for that.

            2. I love Maurice's BBQ! My favorite in the state!

              Lizzard's Thicket has always been my favorite for Sunday-after-church.

              Love Motor Supply Company.

              6 Replies
              1. re: BlueHerons

                Thanks all, keep the suggestions coming. We may, however, go to Little Pigs on Sunday. We were looking for more of a lunch place than brunch. I did read about Maurice's politics, and I am not into seeing white supremacist literature that I hear they have. Also, maybe should have mentioned that we are from NY, so although DiPrato's sounded nice, they are calling it a NY style deli.

                1. re: robinsilver

                  Mr. Friendly's is open for lunch on Mondays, too, and is (despite the name) quite good. See http://www.mrfriendlys.com/MrFriendly...

                  1. re: north2south

                    Thanks, Mr Friendys looks very good, so I sent it to my sister-in-law. She wants to surprise my brother-in-law because it is his birthday. I love shrimp and grits, by the way.

                    1. re: robinsilver

                      Thanks to all, I think it will be Little Pigs for lunch on Sunday, then Mr. Friendly's for an early lunch on Monday, then off to Charlotte for our flight. It seems like we should make it to the airport in around 1 1/2 hours, does that sound right? I can't believe that there is no way to fly not-stop back to NY except for a 7 am flight in the morning. Decided that the drive was better than changing planes and having the extra flight.

                      1. re: robinsilver

                        Sounds good. My only advice would be to not eat breakfast on Sunday morning :)

                        1. re: north2south

                          LOL, have a friend from Altanta who's son lives in Columbia. She might come up that weekend and have breakfast with me Sunday. I'll just stay away from The Original Pancake House, because then I really couldn't fit in lunch. Maybe it will have to be Starbucks.

              2. Cafe Strudel just across the river in West Columbia has excellent breakfast; I think the Hangover Hashbrowns were featured in Southern Living a few years ago. Beer selection's good, too.

                If you wanted to look for something closer to the interstate, Smoke has some great barbeque and other usual (cornbread, black-eyed peas, cobbler) and unusual (salt & pepper smoked wings and fried green beans) buffet items.

                Cafe Strudel
                118 State St, West Columbia, SC 29169

                1. Just for anyone who runs across this...Hudson's BBQ is the best I've had near Columbia. I know they have a location in west Columbia but I've only been to the Lexington location off 378. There's plenty of selection from brisket, sausage, BBQ chicken, pulled&sliced pork, and BBQ hash. The sides are what really set it apart. Super fresh..great beans. Classic southern style mac and cheese. Huge portions. I was a big regular for the 2 years a lived in cola. Check it out!

                  1 Reply
                  1. ...another post for anyone who runs across this: DOC'S BARBEQUE on Shop Road, out by the football stadium. Flipping DELICIOUS. Owned by one of the best caterers in town, the lunch buffet is killer, and inexpensive. One nice thing about Doc's is they have two kinds of bbq--a mustard and a tomato/pepper/vinegar. Both Q's are available lightly sauced on the buffet and you can add more sauce to taste. The veggies on the buffet are so damn good, and the fried chicken might be the best in town. The only downside to this place is that my tummy's not big enough to eat as much as I'd like! Do save room for the chocolate cobbler dessert. SO good.

                    Doc's Barbeque
                    1601 Shop Rd, Columbia, SC 29201

                    9 Replies
                    1. re: scbelle

                      Doc's is pretty good.

                      Little Pigs is better.

                      For a trip back in time, go to takeout-only J.D. Hite and Son on Dreher Rd. in West Columbia. There is a little picnic table over by their little pond, but otherwise, take it and go. They'll happily let you back to see the pits, too, if you ask nicely.

                      1. re: UrDaddy

                        It's always a good idea to be nice to the pitmasters!

                      2. re: scbelle

                        I agree scbelle...DOCS is the best barbeque around! everything on the buffet is wonderful and we go at least once a week. While little pigs is ok..DOCs is one of a kind..best fried chicken in Columbia! and I agree with not having enough room to eat as much as u want!

                        1. re: Hawnmami

                          I have not had little pigs going to try them out but DOCS is frigging awesome definatly one of the best places I have been to in this town.

                          1. re: Zukers

                            just went to Little pig they are Ok, they have more stuff on the buffet and their desserts was the best thing there. You could do a lot worse in this town for food.

                            docs is still way better imo.

                          2. re: Hawnmami

                            I agree that Doc's trumps Little Pigs. Both are great but I agree that the fried chicken pushes Doc's over the edge (I honestly usually eat fried chicken instead of much of the pulled pork anyway.)

                            1. re: elynbeth

                              Disagree ... but to each his own!

                              I'd rather go to Little Pigs any day.

                              1. re: UrDaddy

                                I also rather go to Little Pigs, but I think both Docs and Pig have their strengths. If you like fried chicken and vinegar barbecue, I do think Docs edges Little Pigs out (if anyone wants to make the long journey in West Columbia though, Shealy's may top Docs in both categories). Doc's also had a pretty good smoked chicken, which I think was on wednesdays that is worth visiting for.

                                Pig's mustard is the best in town though, and I think their overall buffet is better then Docs by a lot. The sides are well done and they have a wider variety that is fairly good all-around. Pig's hash is also pretty tasty, I'm not a fan of Doc's thick version.

                                1. re: ForagingFoodie

                                  Just to clarify, Shealy's is in Leesville, about 30 miles from West Columbia. It's an institution, and it's worth a trip, but their mustard-based barbecue isn't the best. That being said, their fried chicken is out of this world, and their buffet overall is spectacular.

                        2. All of the BBQ is good in Columbia, but my favorite is Palmetto Pig on Devine Street. Check the website for hours of operation. Skip Lizard's Thicket -- Columbia has far too many other interesting local places. I agree with the comment about 116 State. Also Terra (next door) is very good. Blue Marlin is consistently good (on Gervais). Mediterranean Tea Room Tea Room on Devine is local and good. I agree with the other person who recommended Mr. Friendly's. For a healthy quick lunch, try the Rosewood Market Deli -- always good but very informal. . . .

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: capitalguy

                            I know this isn't BBQ but hullers black forest is awesome German food. If you like unique good food check em out!