Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Southeast >
Jan 18, 2014 12:36 PM

Restaurants in Columbia, SC

I am staying in Columbia, SC for several months while in training. Any recommendations for good food nearby? As a professional eater, I'm interested in all cuisines in a range of prices. I'm willing to shell out for good eats but also love hole-in-the wall joints. Thanks!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Gervais and Vine in the vista is one of my favorites (small plates and wine, very casual). What part of Columbia are you staying and will you be traveling on the weekends?

      1. We're here in soda-city (more on that later).

        where are you? Do you have a car?
        What kind of training? (not nosy but which meals are you free for ?) Are you able to cook wherever you are? thats the connection to Soda City and other local markets.
        A little more info will help us help you.

        4 Replies
        1. re: kariin

          Staying near Ft Jackson but I am very willing to travel for food (I have a car). The hotel provides some free food but it's not very high quality so I usually skip it. I also have a small kitchenette in the room so I can cook a bit. So far I have found some decent to good places but nothing that has blown me away. Inakaya has been one of my favorites so far.

          1. re: jeb263

            OK on Friday or Saturday make a road Trip to Sweatmans BBQ between Holly Hill and Eutawville SC. Just over an hour away. Go early so get the best food.

            Dukes BBQ in Orangeburg would also be a good trip.

            1hour and 45 minutes away is Greenville SC. Lots of places to eat.

            I 77 will take you straight to Charlotte do some research.

            1. re: jeb263

              i like inakaya too..i always have the best time there..sitting at the sushi bar sharing karatamba with Ryo and letting him feed us..

              you might also enjoy:

              Terra..upscale..valet parking..if you go ask for Donna to serve you..laid knowledgable regarding the menu..

              BBQ..J.D Hite' West and sat. only...get the rib may be the only thing you find in Columbia that blows you away..make sure you specify "no loin" when you order..take out only..go early..or order ahead by phone...

              Mai Thai..also in West by some very nice Thai folks.. very popular..i like the stuffed chicken wings..the tom yum soup..and the Mai Thai duck..but thats just's all good..

              Noah's Antica Pizzeria..on the other side of town from where you are..hard to find..set back off the road in a nondescript group of shops..could be worth the trouble though..i like his Pizza Noah, pancetta and blueberries..woaa, it's killer..


              and there's a Korean place on Decker Blvd. .. Korea Garden.. close to Fort Jackson..2318 Decker Blvd. excellent kim chi jji gae..and spicy pork (daeji bulgogi)

              hope this helps..

              1. re: jeb263

                Near one of the Fort Jackson entrances is Julia's German Stammisch which serves as-big-as-your-head, delicious crispy schnitzel and incredible desserts by Julia herself during dinner time. Cash only.

                Over in the Two Notch area is Little Pigs BBQ, which is a great buffet with all sorts of classic SC sides including hash and collards along mustard bbq. Best in town for sure, very popular during lunch time. I usually recommend this to people new to the area since it gives a good example of the region's country eatin'.

                Oak Table, Motor Supply Bistro and Terra are the three places to look into for locally sourced dishes. Oak and Motor have terrific brunches as well. Terra for sure is one of the town's premier destinations, but Motor and Oak definitely supply the food and cocktails if that's your thing.

                Rosso Trattoria Italia is fantastic as well for locally sourced fine Italian cuisine, and Original Pancake house is nearby for breakfast if you are in for some affordable diner eatin/.

                For dives, Egg Roll Chen may be fast food Chinese, but it has a small dedicated menu to some Taiwanese street food including Yen Su Jee, a crispy chicken dish covered in spices. Very popular with Chinese locals. Drip in Five Points and downtown offers the best coffee in town and some good sandwiches for the midday, all on locally made bread. The Whig is good if you want a really dive-y bar. Tucked underground it has a decent list of beers along with good late night bar eating including gouda mac and cheese and pizza fries along with a solid burger. For some Indian, Bombay Grille has a unique selection of Northern Indian dishes that you don't normally see on top of favorites, as well as Delhi palace which has good traditional fare. Spice Junction is far but has an even more eclectic list of Indian dishes on its buffet and far and away the best naan in town. For a bowl of decent ramen, the Vista (just outside of downtown) has Menkoi. The noodles are good and the spicy ramen is just right for a cold week like this one.

                There is certainly more, but these are my favorites that come to mind. Enjoy your stay!

            2. The original comment has been removed
              1. My husband and I recently traveled to Columbia for the SCARAB gaming convention. We had an enjoyable lunch at Bangkok Restaurant. What stood out most to us was that each dish was brought to the table as soon as it was prepared. Everything was piping hot; no one in the restaurant was waiting for their full party to have everyone's order before digging in. I had the Moo Satay chicken which was melt in your mouth tender with wonderful spices and a creamy peanut sauce. My husband enjoyed their Bangkok Noodle Bowl with fish balls. The aroma of the herbs and fresh lime juice brought the dish to life. The clear broth, noodles and fish balls maintained a delicate balance with no one ingrediant overpowering the other. Please take a look at our blog for more details and pictures.