Top 10 Locally Owned and Operated Restaurants to visit in Columbia, South Carolina

best restaurants in columbia sc

Whether you are a new resident or just passing through, Columbia, South Carolina, offers a bevy of dining experiences that reflect the heart and soul of its local culture. Here’s a list of the top 10 locally owned and operated restaurants you must visit to savor the true flavors of Columbia:

1. Motor Supply Co. Bistro: Nestled in the historic Congaree Vista district, this bistro takes pride in its ever-changing menu featuring contemporary American cuisine with a twist of French, Italian, and Asian influences, all made from locally sourced ingredients.

2. Blue Marlin: A staple in the Vista, Blue Marlin serves up signature Lowcountry dishes like shrimp and grits and fresh seafood that pay homage to the rich culinary traditions of the South.

3. Cola’s Restaurant: – Occupying a 1930s-era cola bottling company, Cola’s provides a unique ambiance with its exposed brick and wood trusses, serving American cuisine with a focus on fresh and local ingredients.

4. DiPrato’s Delicatessen: This cozy deli is a favorite for its pimento cheese, plentiful sandwich choices, and delightful patio seating – perfect for a relaxed lunch.

5. Mr. Friendly’s New Southern Cafe: With a modern take on southern classics, this friendly spot is known for its creative fish preparations and a warm atmosphere.

6. The War Mouth: Specializing traditional in Southern cooking with a hip vibe, The War Mouth serves up hearty plates in a rustic setting, complete with a selection of craft beers and cocktails.

7. Lula Drake: A charming wine parlour with a historical edge, Lula Drake offers a curated selection of wines paired with European-inspired small plates in an intimate, vintage setting.

8. Bourbon: A whiskey lover’s paradise, Bourbon boasts a Cajun-Creole flair and an extensive selection of bourbon and whiskey, alongside a menu that complements the spirits perfectly.

9. Drip: Both the Main Street and Five Points locations provide a hip coffee shop experience with excellent coffee, sandwiches, and pastries that are ideal for breakfast or a midday snack.

10. Publico Kitchen & Tap: A fun and lively spot in the Five Points neighborhood, Publico offers Latin-Asian fusion dishes, a variety of tacos, and a vast beer selection in a trendy, casual environment.

Dining at these locally owned gems not only supports the local economy but also gives you a taste of Columbia’s diverse and delicious food scene. Each restaurant offers a unique flavor and atmosphere, capturing the essence of the city’s dynamic culinary landscape.


City of Columbia