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California Dreaming Restaurant & Bar

Certificate of Excellence
££ - £££
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401 South Main Street, Columbia, SC 29201-4147
+1 803-254-6767
11:00 - 22:00
Open now
All hours
Sun - Thu 11:00 - 22:00
Fri - Sat 11:00 - 23:00
More Info
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667 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 664: English reviews
Victoria, Canada
Level Contributor
114 reviews
50 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

I highly recommend dining at this location. I can't remember for sure what it was called, but three of us had what I think was the house salad and it was absolutely amazing. Order with the house dressing. Delicious!! Even the side portion size was very generous. The honey croissants that come with the salad--incredible! We also ordered a breaded... More 

Thank Coreena W
Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
15 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

A large group of family met at California Dreaming for lunch Thanksgiving Day. We had to wait about 20 minutes past our reservation -- the place was swamped with diners. But the meal was well worth it! I am not a fan of eating holiday meals out because I am invariably disappointed, but not this time. The food tasted home-cooked;... More 

Thank seaotter76
Level Contributor
41 reviews
30 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Overall, this is a good place to eat. I have been here several times. It's kind of pricey if you are looking to dine on a budget. A lot of people use it for birthdays, graduation dinners, anniversaries, and special events. Further, its busy starting on Thursday through Saturday. Generally during the week you can get a quick table as... More 

Thank Barry K
Columbia, South Carolina
Level Contributor
10 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

A friend took me here for my birthday dinner it was a busy Friday night and our service reflected that everything was over season on my friends seafood platter the first time the shrimp was brought out the breading wasn't even cooked all the way through the second batch had the same issue. I had a shrimp pasta in alfredo... More 

Thank Della L
Columbia, South Carolina
Level Contributor
17 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Just got back from our office Thanksgiving Lunch. We went to California Dreaming. There were 15 of us, so it was a large group. There were a number of other large groups there. Service was quick. (Other staff members rushed to aid our waitress getting the food out.) Food was good. Our group enjoyed the meal. It did get loud... More 

Thank smitty237
Level Contributor
34 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Thus is where to experience food, drink, history all in a fun & unique atmosphere. The food is superb

Thank Sharon K
Harleysville, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

My prime rib was done to perfection & had the best flavor of any prime rib I've ever eaten! Beautiful restaurant as well.

Thank Dinah H
Augusta, Georgia
Level Contributor
26 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Whenever I took my clients to lunch from SCANA They always wanted to go to California Dreaming in the old train station, I always started with the she crab soup And from there the seafood platter I never had a bad meal there my wife and my Pastor loves them too

Thank j3spalding
Columbus, Ohio
Level Contributor
91 reviews
72 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

It's hard to believe that this restaurant was once a train station. If you get a chance, wander around the first floor and look at all of the beautiful architecture (especially all of the dark wood) and also the framed letters and documents from when this was a train station. It is a huge restaurant! We were seated in a... More 

Las Salinas, Nicaragua
Level Contributor
75 reviews
41 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

Ive been coming here for well over 20 years. I've never been disappointed. The food is always great.

1 Thank Sassytravler95

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Restaurant Details

Rating summary
  • Food
    4 of 5 bubbles
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
    4 of 5 bubbles
Average prices
US$5 - US$25
American, Bar, Pub, Gluten Free Options
Lunch, Dinner, After-hours
Restaurant features
Outdoor Seating, Free Wifi, Takeout, Reservations, Private Dining, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Television, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Accepts Discover
Good for
Bar Scene, Child-friendly, Groups, Local cuisine, Special Occasion Dining, Kids, Business meetings, Romantic
Open Hours
11:00 - 22:00
11:00 - 22:00
11:00 - 22:00
11:00 - 22:00
11:00 - 22:00
11:00 - 23:00
11:00 - 23:00
Location and Contact Information
  • Address: 401 South Main Street, Columbia, SC 29201-4147
  • Location: United States  >  South Carolina (SC)  >  Columbia
  • Phone Number: +1 803-254-6767
Voted “Best Salad” 12 years running, by Free Times and Columbia Metropolitan, “Best Date Spot, Best Overall Restaurant and Best Place to Take your Parents” by USC’s The Daily Gamecock. Enjoy giant-sized fare from the California Dreaming kitchen; start with the Barbecue Chicken Nachos, then slow-cooked Prime Rib or a hearty pasta dish. The restaurant also features late night bar bites; large party carry-out and catering; live music and seasonal patio dining. The historic landmark building, Union Station, is located steps away from USC.

Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of California Dreaming Restaurant & Bar and other visitors
4 questions
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Greenville, South Carolina
over a year ago
Charlotte, North Carolina
over a year ago

See all questions (4)

Questions? Get answers from California Dreaming Restaurant & Bar staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do you have gluten-free options?
  • Is there a dress code?
  • Do you allow dogs on the outdoor patio?