9 Restaurants in Columbia, SC You Shouldn’t Sleep On

From Southern Comfort Food to Authentic Mexican Cuisine, These Restaurants Are Serving Up the Best of the Best in Columbia, SC

Columbia is the capital city of South Carolina and as you might expect, it has plenty of great restaurants in a myriad of different styles and locations. And today I have a list of some of the best restaurants you can find in the area. I’ll give you a review of the restaurant's style, their address, a link to their website, and even a review from another customer so you can see what other patrons have had to say as well. I’ll also be sure to throw you a link anytime one of these great restaurants in Columbia accept our convenient digital GiftYa gift cards.

If you haven’t used a GiftYa before, they are pretty much a gift card that you can purchase wirelessly in just a few clicks. The nicest thing about them is that since they are all digital you never have to worry about losing them or forgetting to bring them with you when you are out looking for a great place to eat. And on top of that, the all digital format means that your phone will do all the math for you and keep track of the balance on the card for you.

But that’s enough about the GiftYa brand, let’s get right to that list of great restaurants in Columbia, South Carolina that brought you here!

1 - Midwood Smokehouse

The Best Place in Columbia to Get Great Southern Style Barbeque!

You can grab a Midwood Smokehouse gift card in just seconds by following the link!

702 Cross Hill Rd | Columbia | midwoodsmokehouse.com

If you are anywhere down south looking for some amazing food, then I am sure that you are going to want to find some fantastic southern barbeque at some point. And if that’s the case with you then you are definitely going to want to try Midwood Smokehouse. They are a barbeque and American style cuisine restaurant with several locations all over North Carolina and even one in Columbia, South Carolina.

Which means you will be able to get all sorts of classic meals like brisket, ribs, pulled pork, chicken, and all sorts of different sandwiches. And you aren’t going to be able to find more authentic southern style barbeque anywhere else. They only use hickory hardwood from the Carolinas themselves for smoking their meat and making sure it’s as mouth watering as possible by the time it hits your plate!

“Food was delicious, portions were huge, and the staff were kind. This was our first stop when visiting Columbia, and the staff helped acclimate us to the area and answered some questions we had. Highly recommend” - Yelp Review

Be sure to grab a quick and convenient digital Midwood Smokehouse gift card by following the link!

2 - Backstreets Grill

A Great Place In Columbia to Get All Kinds of American Style Cuisine

2400 Devine St | Columbia | backstreetsgrill.com

Backstreets Grill first opened their doors on July 1st 2019, and in the time they have been open, they have quickly made quite the reputation for themselves with locals and travelers alike. They have a large menu that features all sorts of classic American entrees. They have steak, burgers, chicken sandwiches, seafood, quesadillas, and even buffalo shrimp. I think just about anybody will be able to find something they will love on their menu.

And on top of that, they also run specials everyday and have a happy hour Monday through Friday from 4:30 PM - 6:30 PM so you can get plenty of great drinks at a discounted price. They also happen to be a family owned and operated business that makes their sauces in house everyday and use only the freshest ingredients for their menu. So if you want to get a great meal, while also knowing that the dollar you spend is going to support family owned businesses and support the local economy, then Backstreets Grill is going to be the spot in Columbia, SC for you!

“We have been coming to Backstreets since they opened for date nights, girls nights, family birthdays, and many football games. They have a phenomenal liquor selection, a wide variety of great food, and very friendly service. Casey and his team go above and beyond to make you feel at home. Highly recommend!” - Yelp Review

3 - 929 Kitchen & Bar

The Best Place In Columbia to Get Great Korean Food

929 Gervais St | Columbia | 929kitchen.com

If you aren’t in the mood for barbeque, but you are looking for something other than your typical American style cuisine, then you’ll want to be sure to check out 929 Kitchen & Bar. This great restaurant serves the absolute best Korean food you can find in the area. They bring an upscale Korean flare with all sorts of delicious menu options and a full-service bar and have everything from spicy squid and fried dumplings to spicy pork bellies and Korean fried chicken.

Overall I think they have a pretty great menu with plenty of depth to it. So even if you haven’t ever had Korean food before, I am sure you will be able to find something you like on their menu. And this is honestly a pretty great place to try Korean food for the first time because their entire menu is inspired by ancient Korean cooking traditions. They focus on using ingredients that are known to be associated with the Korean peninsula. Sesame oil, doenjang, ginger, garlic, pepper flakes, and soy sauce can be found in many of the classic dishes they prepare. So if you are looking for some culture, and a burst of flavor while you are in Columbia, then you will want to be sure to check out 929 Kitchen & Bar!

“Been wanting to try this place for a long while and finally had the opportunity to do so. Great atmosphere, service and, of course, the food. I've been to South Korea myself and can say that 929's food is authentic and delicious!” - Yelp Review

4 - Mr Friendly’s New Southern Cafe

The Best Cafe in Columbia for Classic Southern Style Food

2001 Greene St | Columbia | mrfriendlys.com

If you are looking for just some great southern style food while you are dining in Columbia then you’re gonna want to check out Mr Friendly’s New Southern Cafe for sure. They have all kinds of southern classics like fried chicken, fried oysters, buttermilk shrimp, crab cakes, pork tenderloin, and even succotash. And you can count on Mr Friendly’s to serve it up just as good as anybody can.

They’ve been around since the early 80s (when they were just a cookie and sandwich shop) but in the mid 90s they moved into serving southern style cuisine in a sophisticated yet casual environment. And they always use the freshest ingredients, which means their fish and seafood specials are always fresh. On top of that, they get all of their fresh ingredients from local farms and businesses. So you know that when you spend your dollar here it is going back into supporting the local economy and not some huge corporation or factory farm.

And on top of all their great food they also have a wine list with over 300 options for you to choose from and plenty of locally brewed beers. So if you want some great food and some great drinks to accompany it, then Mr Friendly’s New Southern Cafe is going to be just the place in Columbia, SC for you!

“Our favorite restaurant in Columbia, SC. The food is to die for ... service is always excellent and very reasonably priced. Be sure to make a reservation.” - Yelp Review

5 - Carolina Ale House

The Best Sports Bar in the Area to Get Amazing Food and Drinks While You Watch the Big Game!

Grab yourself a Carolina Ale House gift card from GiftYa by following this link!

277 Columbiana Dr | Columbia | carolinaalehouse.com

If the kind of restaurant you are looking for while you are in Columbia is one where you can get good food, cold beer, and watch the big game, then Carolina Ale House is going to be the spot for you. They have tons of appetizers, burgers, sandwiches, fried food, salads, sides, wings, and wraps for you to choose from.

Their menu is honestly pretty expansive for a sports bar so I would recommend you take a look at it yourself if there is something in particular you are hoping they will have. And if you aren’t trying to spend your night dining in the restaurant and are just hoping to get something delicious that you can eat at home, then you are in luck because they offer delivery and curbside pickup. You can even order everything you want online in just a few minutes!

“Food was really good and the service was great! Definitely recommend eating here and they are open/serving food late too!” - Yelp Review

You can get a Carolina Ale House gift card in just seconds when you use this link!

6 - Olive Garden

A Popular Italian Restaurant Chain With A Location In Columbia

Get yourself a quick and convenient digital Olive Garden gift card instantly when you use this link!

Olive Garden GiftYa

274 Harbison Blvd | Columbia | olivegarden.com

Olive Garden is a popular chain of Italian restaurants with locations all over the country. And while I wouldn’t say that they serve up the absolutely most authentic Italian food that you can find, you can get a great dinner of pasta, salad, breadsticks, or seafood with great portions at a pretty reasonable price. So if you are looking to get a filling meal of Italian style cuisine at an affordable price while you are out dining in Columbia then I definitely think they are worth stopping at!

“We had a great meal. Everything was delicious. The waitress did a great job taking care of us . This Olive garden is one the best. We will definitely be back.” - Yelp Review

You can grab an Olive Garden gift card from GiftYa in just seconds when you use this link!

7 - Dave & Buster’s

A Great Place In Columbia for A Fun Night Out With Friends

Grab a Dave & Buster’s gift card to prepare for your next big night out by using the link!

Dave & Buster's GiftYa

100 Columbiana Cir | Columbia | daveandbusters.com

Dave & Buster’s is a great place if you are hoping to have some hot pub style food, some cold drinks, and a night of fun with your friends or family. They are a bar/American cuisine style restaurant that also happens to be an arcade. And they have hundreds of locations all over the country so you know that people are enjoying themselves when they stop in at Dave & Buster’s.

“Great atmosphere always!!! This place was jumpin and the food......the food....OMG!!!! Let's just say, there's no disappointment. The drinks speak for themselves.” - Yelp Review

If you are planning a trip to Dave & Buster’s be sure to grab yourself a quick and convenient Dave & Buster's digital gift card!

8 - Longhorn Steakhouse

A Popular Steakhouse Chain With A Location In Columbia

You can get a Longhorn Steakhouse gift card in just a few seconds when you use this link!

Longhorn Steakhouse GiftYa

2760 Decker Blvd | Columbia | longhornsteakhouse.com

If you are hoping to get a steak dinner while you are in Columbia, but you don’t want to break the bank and shell out the money for one of those over the top and stuffy steakhouses, then Longhorn Steakhouse is going to be a great option for you. They primarily are a steakhouse, but they also have plenty of other great American style entrees you can choose from.

They have salads, chicken, and plenty of seafood that you can enjoy. So I think they make a really great option for any dining party where some members are looking specifically for a steak dinner, but other people in the party are hoping to find something else to eat.

“Absolutely a five star restaurant.  Bone in rib eye is the best. Nice quite restaurant. Love the salad. To be honest I love every dish on there menu.” - Yelp Review

If you want to grab a convenient Longhorn Steakhouse gift card for yourself or a loved one, you can instantly when you follow the link!

9 - Moe’s Southwest Grill

A Great Place to Get Texican Style Cuisine Right in Columbia

Grab yourself a digitalMoe’s Southwest Grill gift card by following the link!

Moe's Southwest Grill GiftYa

2130 N Beltline Blvd | Columbia | moes.com

If barbeque, steak, or Korean cuisine aren’t what you are looking for, then I hope Moe’s Southwest Grill will have what you are looking for. As the name might suggest, Moe’s Southwest Grill is going to have plenty of great Mexican/Texican style cuisine. So you can get plenty of salads, chips and dips, burritos, tacos, and quesadillas. And you can order it all online and get it delivered if you are hoping to have a relaxing meal at home and not have to go out on the town to find a great dinner!

“Shocking enough. I just had lunch here for the first time. Easy process. Tasty food. Glad I came. I'll definitely be back. Thanks” - Yelp Review

Get a Moe’s Southwest Grill gift card in just seconds by using the link!

And that concludes my list of some of the great restaurants you can find around Columbia, South Carolina. I tried to get a mix of different options on the list today so that way there would be something for everybody. So hopefully this list at least helped you narrow down your search for the perfect restaurant for you in Columbia!

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Trae Bodge

Trae Bodge is the shopping expert here at GiftYa. Trae helps people find the best deals and ideas on popular new items to purchase.

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