A Food Lover’s Guide to Columbia, SC

Feeling hungry? Start your Columbia gastronomic tour today with our article as your perfect guide. We have collected only the best places, so do not hesitate and discover them all!

The Melting Pot

Start exploring the culinary treasures of Columbia, SC, by paying a visit to the magnificent Melting Pot restaurant. Here friendly and attentive assistants introduce you to the fondue culture through a rich main course menu and a wide range of desserts. Imagine a fine romantic dinner, which starts with a bubbling hot pot of artisan cheese with some seasonal servings – that is the experience you gain in this restaurant. The main course features different kinds of fondue with delicious seafood, fresh salads, and succulent steaks. The meals include such cheeses:

  • Aged Cheddar;
  • Emmentaler;
  • Parmesan;
  • Butterkäse;
  • Gruyère;
  • Fontina.

Enter the gorgeous world of fondue in the Melting Pot, which you can find at Colonial Life Boulevard, 13 minutes from CAE Airport.

Scott Benny’s

If you seek food trucks and street eats, then you should look for Scott Beny’s service. Who knew that South Carolina State University graduate with a $3,000 hot dog cart would become a successful dining institution owner? Scott Whipper’s goal was to fulfill his and his father’s dream – to open a brick-and-mortar restaurant, and even though his father passed away, he did not give up. Nowadays, you can come to Scott Benny’s and try their best street food options, including fantastic Scott’s Pork Steak, nourishing Roast Beef Wrap/Sandwich, and tasty tacos. Visit this restaurant and take inspiration from its owner’s story while appreciating marvelous street dishes!

Mr Friendly’s New Southern Cafe

It is time to treat yourself to some Southern delights in a cafe whose history started in 1995. This food institution provides visitors with high-level meals yet maintains the atmosphere casual and comfy for everyone to enjoy their dinner. The products they use for dishes arrive from the best purveyors and local farms because Mr. Friendly’s motto says: “Great food, Great service, and Great wine!” Speaking of wine, inside the cafe, you can choose from no less than 300 selections, the majority being native brands. So do not hesitate and jump in to have lunch from 11:30 am to 2:00 pm on weekdays (Monday excluded).

The Baked Bear

Sometimes we need sweet tooth satisfaction to cheer up or celebrate a particular occasion. What can bring better delight on a hot summer day than ice cream from The Baked Bear? If you wish to create the dessert of your dreams, then arrive here to try custom ice cream sandwiches that suit your preferences. It is simple:

  • Choose top and bottom (chocolate chip, funfetti, gooey butter cake, etc.);
  • Select ice cream (bear batter, mint chip, blackberry crumble, and more);
  • Pick your topping (Nutella, whipped cream, or even hot caramel);
  • Wait a bit. Done! Enjoy your ice cream!

Restaurant 151 at The Bleckley

Gain the best dining experience from the chef with 30 years of professional cooking. Richard Farr is native to Andersone and came back to his homeland after decades of training and working for Coast Bar and Grill, 39 Rue de Jean, and Virginia’s On King. Nowadays, his kitchen serves exceptional meals which belong to Low Country cuisine, using South Carolina fresh products only, so do not miss this restaurant! Organize friend’s gathering, book a van rental for a road trip, and complement your gastronomic journey with one of their best seasonal dinner offers:

  • BBQ Atlantic Salmon;
  • Shrimp & Grits;
  • Lobster Tempura;
  • Black Angus NY Strip;
  • Grilled Chicken Pasta.

Arrive at the Restaurant 151 to find South Carolina-inspired offers, great wines, and an elegant atmosphere.

Duke’s Pad Thai Street Food and Noodle Bar

Whenever your soul begs for some Asian food specialties, it is time to have a satisfying meal in Duke’s Pad Thai. Its history is inspirational and heartwarming, starting with two founders Chris and Noi Souvanna, who were courageous to share their family recipes with the world. Their labor transformed into a popular restaurant, which client love for:

  • A huge menu featuring stir fry, Duke’s salads, street eat, Duke’s tacos, and cups of soup;
  • Great prices and fulfilling portions;
  • Soul quenching taste of every dish;
  • Cozy, family-friendly atmosphere with comfortable seating and tables;
  • Best gluten-free options, meals with different levels of spiciness, and vegan offers.

Enter the vast world of Asian cuisine straight after arriving at CAE Airport and booking Columbia SC van rentals at a low price. Only 11 minutes on the road, and you are there – enjoying your perfect relaxing meal.


Imagine a comfy delicatessen where you can treat yourself to a delicious brunch – that is about DiPrato’s. It is famous for the highest-standard serving of pimiento cheese, popular in Colombia. The menu is pure gold for lunch lovers because it provides patrons with mouth-watering offerings:

  • Signature sandwiches with salads to your taste;
  • Salads with fresh ingredients, including iceberg lettuce, Kalamata olives, candied pecans, and more;
  • Hot panini options (up to 5!), which will amaze you with the exceptional taste of marinated chicken breast, fresh mozzarella, or fresh basil leaves;
  • Pita chips – delicately baked pieces of pita bread.

With cheap van rentals in Columbia, SC, you can arrive at DiPrato’s from CAE in no time and forget about all the hustle and bustle by taking a bite of your perfect panini or delicious signature sandwich.


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