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“Good Food in a Historic Spot”

California Dreaming Restaurant & Bar
Ranked #9 of 978 Restaurants in Columbia
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$5 - US$25
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Child-friendly, Groups
Dining options: Lunch, After-hours, Dinner, Breakfast, Reservations
Description: 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.
Savannah, Georgia
Level 6 Contributor
180 reviews
76 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
“Good Food in a Historic Spot”
Reviewed 24 August 2014

My Dad travels to Columbia for business, and he's always raved about this spot, so I decided to check it out for myself. It was a busy night, but I was seated at a nice booth after a brief wait and my food came out pretty quickly. For starters, I had the side salad and both it and the accompanying croissant were delicious. After that, I had the seafood nachos and they were also great. The portion was so enormous that I'm not sure I even had half! I enjoyed myself here and I'd definitely go back.

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank capitolcollector2009
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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767 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
“Not clean bad service”
Reviewed 4 August 2014 via mobile

I am 35 years old and grew up in Columbia. Many of my family and friends have eaten here and sing there praises. My grandmother turned 79 today so we decided to surprise her with a late lunch at this restaurant. When we were seated our table cloth was filthy!! I was so angry because the hostess actually laid menus and utensils on a clearly dirty table. I went to the manager. He was quick to get help and have the table cloths replaced. The silly hostess brought an even dirtier one. The manager said a few words to her and got us new ones. The second issue was the tiny plates were covered in food. One had melted cheese one the other plate had honey mustard. My 4 year old daughter was grossed out and asked for a napkin to place her roll on.
At this point we spoke to the manager again. We explained how disappointed we were in the cleanliness and service of this place. He apologized again assisted our waitress the rest of the time.
I will most likely never go back. The food was plated beautifully but the taste was not that great. I can only imagine what the kitchen looks like if the tables have visible spills and stains.

Thank Yolanda S. L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Glen Rock, New Jersey
Level 6 Contributor
197 reviews
129 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
“Great for students and parents”
Reviewed 29 July 2014

Within easy walking distance of USC this place feels like being in another area. The large windows look out on a grassy knoll while the 2 bars keep the place lively. Food was decent and not overpriced. Good pulled pork sandwich. I will be back.

Visited July 2014
Thank Traveler P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 6 Contributor
182 reviews
136 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
“Time for a new shirt?”
Reviewed 28 July 2014 via mobile

This will be a unique review. We had dinner here while visiting USC. The atmosphere was fine, the food was fine, the place was busy on a Sunday night which should say something.

I have to comment on our waiter. The shirt he was wearing was white, long sleeved, buttoned down. Dressy. And stained. Very stained. Everywhere. It was disgusting. I'm sure it was clean (maybe) but there were stains on the sleeves, on the front, on the sides, everywhere. Time for a new shirt? Let me just say that someone with this sense of personal cleanliness is not someone I wanted handling my food. Management had to see this??? You show up to work like this you get sent home - or get fired! I won't say the waiters name but there was an actor whose last name was Hoffman who had the same first name.

Visited July 2014
1 Thank Bankguy1961
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CA_Centraarchy, Public Relations Manager at California Dreaming Restaurant & Bar, responded to this review, 29 July 2014
We don’t always succeed, and we appreciate your feedback. Thanks for visiting.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Columbia, SC
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Wonderful Food”
Reviewed 27 July 2014

We recently at dinner at California Dreaming in Columbia. Service was excellent, food was good, restaurant was clean. Manager even came by to check and make sure that everything was okay. The atmosphere is great also (this used to be an old train station that was refurnished). I highly recommend this restaurant.

  • Visited July 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Tamms
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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