Featured Restaurants in Columbia SC

CUISINE CATEGORIES:

Featured Bites & Sights - African

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African

Asanka Kitchen

Northeast: 10203 Two Notch Rd., 803-851-0111. Tue-Sat 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Yes! Columbia has a Ghanaian restaurant. West African favorites include jollof rice, waakye, soups and stews. $

Harambe Ethiopian Restaurant

Five Points: 2006 Senate St., 803-764-5510. Mon 6 p.m.-1:30 a.m.; Tue-Wed 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-1:30 a.m.; Sun noon-10 p.m. Wonderful stews, veggies and curries are served atop injera, a sourdough flatbread made from teff, a North African grain. A warm and inviting restaurant with a large bar, too. $

Featured Bites & Sights - American/Southern

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American/Southern 

Burger Tavern 77

burgertavern77.com. Shandon/Rosewood: 2631 Devine St., 803-667-9608. Sun-Thu 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-10 p.m. So. Many. Burger. Options. But chicken, too, and salads and more. ¢-$

California Dreaming

californiadreaming.rest. Downtown: 401 S. Main St., 803-254-6767. Sun-Thu 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Located in a historic railroad station, California Dreaming has been popular ever since it opened in 1984. Serves large salads, burgers, sandwiches, seafood, pasta, chicken and steaks. Excellent mixed drinks, and the honey croissants always are a hit. ¢-$

Carolina Ale House

carolinaalehouse.com. Harbison/Irmo: 277 Columbiana Dr., 803-407-6996. Mon-Sun 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Vista: 708 Lady St., 803-227-7150. Mon-Sun 11 a.m.-2 a.m. North Carolina-based franchise offers salads, pizzas, appetizers, signature sandwiches and all manner of chicken, steaks, barbecue and ribs and seafood entrees. More than 30 beers on tap and 40 or so bottle selections. Vista location features popular rooftop bar. ¢-$

Compton’s Kitchen

comptonskitchen.com. West Columbia/Cayce: 1118 B Ave., 803-791-0750. Mon-Fri 6 a.m.-2:30 p.m.; Sat 6 a.m.-noon. With most everything made from scratch, you can’t go wrong at this classic Southern meat-and-three. Lunch menu changes daily, with offerings including fried chicken, fish, pork chops, livers and gizzards and more, plus plenty of classic and healthy sides. Hearty breakfast menu, too. ¢

Drake’s Duck-In

drakesduckin.com. Downtown: 1544 Main St., 803-799-9290. Mon-Wed 8 a.m.-6 p.m., Thu-Sat 8 a.m.-7 p.m. Not by any means a fancy place, but home to a damn fine chicken sandwich. Breakfast, fried chicken, burgers, fried bologna sandwiches, more. ¢

The Market Restaurant

facebook.com/pg/themarketrestaurantsc. West Columbia/Cayce: 3483 Charleston Hwy., 803-509-5641. Sun-Sat 7 a.m.-3 p.m. Located at the South Carolina State Farmers Market, this restaurant serves breakfast and lunch made with fresh produce from the market itself. ¢-$

Eggs Up Grill

eggsupgrill.com. Shandon/Rosewood: 2930 Devine St., 803-661-9174. Mon-Sun 6 a.m.-2 p.m. lexington: 205 Columbia Ave., 803-490-2028. Mon-Sun 6 a.m.-2 p.m. Northeast: 961 Roberts Branch Pkwy., 803-626-1695. Mon-Sun 6 a.m.-2 p.m. Forest Acres: 4711 Forest Dr. 803-820-0742. Mon-Sun 6 a.m.-2 p.m. A South Carolina chain devoted to breakfast foods, from waffles to omelets to loaded home-fry platters, plus lunch foods like burgers, sandwiches and wraps. All hail breakfast! ¢

Flight Deck

flightdeckrestaurant.net. Lexington: 109-A Old Chapin Rd., 803-957-5990. Mon-Thu 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Family-owned restaurant with an extensive collection of WWII-themed memorabilia and photographs. Menu ranges from burgers and sandwiches to ribs, pizza and Greek specialties. Blue-plate special includes one meat, two veggies, dessert and a drink. ¢

Food Gallery

facebook.com/foodgallerycolumbia. North Columbia: 3702 River Drive, 803-771-0790. Mon-Sat 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sun 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Soul food favorites from ox tails to fried turkey wings to mac and cheese. $

The Grand

thegrandonmain.com. Downtown: 1621 Main St., 803-726-2323. Mon-Thu 11 a.m.-12 a.m.; Fri 11 a.m.-2 a.m.; Sat 9 a.m.- 2 a.m.; Sun 9 a.m.-12 a.m. It’s a boutique bowling alley, bar and restaurant all in one. High end bar food — think Southwestern Loaded Waffle Fries — meets classy entrees like pork osso buco. $-$$

Grill Marks

grillmarks.com. Vista: 711 Gervais St., 803-661-8932. Mon-Thu 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sun 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Fancy burgers, fancy shakes (with or without booze) and a Vista-swank atmosphere. $

The Happy Café

thehappycafeonforest.com. Forest Acres: 4525 Forest Dr., 803-787-8411. Mon-Fri 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; Sat 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Housemade tomato pie, chicken salad and other downhome deli favorites, plus a variety of desserts including a beloved caramel cake. $

Just Us Café

West Columbia/Cayce: 1208 Knox Abbott Dr., 803-791-5162. Tue-Sun 6 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Corned beef hash, omelets, pancakes and other classic breakfast foods in a diner-style atmosphere. Also serves hot country lunches, sandwiches and more. ¢

Kiki’s Chicken and Waffles

kikischickenandwaffles.com. Northeast: 7001 Parklane Rd., 803-699-5422. Mon-Thu 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri 11 a.m.-12 a.m.; Sat 9:30 a.m.-12 a.m.; Sun 9:30 a.m.-7 p.m. Harbison/Irmo: 1260 Bower Pkwy., 803-834-5816. Mon-Fri 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sat 9:30 a.m.-12 a.m.; Sun 9:30 a.m.-7 p.m. Chicken and waffles! And not just any old iteration of this soul food classic — Kiki’s offers a red velvet waffle if you’re feeling fancy. Also offers shrimp and grits and various soul food classics. Bonus trivia: Both Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton have eaten here. ¢

Kingsman Restaurant

thekingsmanrestaurant.com. West Columbia/Cayce: 936 Axtell Dr. (Parkland Shopping Center), 803-796-8622. Mon-Wed 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Thurs-Sat 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Lexington: 924-C East Main St., 803-957-0863. Mon-Sat 11 a.m.-10 p.m. This longtime Cayce favorite offers everything from fried appetizers, sandwiches, burgers, pizza and wings to salads, lasagna and even liver and onions. Known for its grilled rib eye, which is one of the city’s best. Serves liquor. Busy lunch, lots of atmosphere. Lexington location — The Kingsman Que and Brew — serves all the favorites in a larger space. ¢-$

Liberty on the Lake

libertytaproom.com. Harbison/Irmo: 1602 Marina Rd., 803-667-9715. Sun-Thu 11 a.m.-10 p.m. (kitchen closes at 9 p.m.); Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-11 p.m. (Kitchen closes at 10 p.m.) With sweeping, scenic views of Lake Murray from its multiple decks, Liberty on the Lake is a gorgeous place to knock back a few beers and some tasty, fresh-caught fish or a burger. Some of the same great salads, sandwiches and apps you’ll find at the Liberty in the heart of Columbia. $

Liberty Tap Room & Grill

libertytaproom.com. Vista: 828 Gervais St., 803-461-4677. Mon-Thu 11 a.m.-12 a.m. (Kitchen closes at 10 p.m.); Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-2 a.m. (Kitchen closes at 11 p.m.); Sun 10 a.m.-12 a.m. (Kitchen closes at 10 p.m.). Liberty begins with sturdy American fare but doesn’t end there. It’s known for its delicious salads, and you’ll also find an array of appetizers, soups and colorful entrees. $

Lizard’s Thicket

lizardsthicket.com. Downtown: 818 Elmwood Ave., 803-779-6407. Blythewood: 711-1 University Village Dr., 803-451-8400. Forest Acres: 3147 Forest Dr., 803-787-8781. Garners Ferry/Southeast: 7938 Garners Ferry Rd., 803-647-0095. Garners Ferry/Southeast: 402 Beltline Blvd., 803-738-0006. Harbison/Irmo: 7569 St. Andrews Rd., 803-732-1225. Lexington: 621 W Main St., 803-951-3555. Lexington: 4616 Augusta Rd., 803-785-5560. Northeast: 10170 Two Notch Rd., 803-419-5662. Northeast: 7620 Two Notch Rd., 803-788-3088. St. Andrews/Dutch Square: 1824 Broad River Rd., 803-798-6427. West Columbia/Cayce: 2240 Airport Blvd., 803-796-7820. West Columbia/Cayce: 501 Knox Abbott Dr., 803-791-0314. West Columbia/Cayce: 2234 Sunset Blvd., 803-794-0923. Mon-Sun 6 a.m.-9 p.m. Meat loaf, fried chicken, mac and cheese, fried okra. Good lord, what more could you want? A true local institution that thrives on the meat-and-veggies formula. This is what Southern cooking is all about. ¢

Mack’s Cash Grocery

Downtown: 1809 Laurel St., 803-779-9858. Mon-Fri 6 a.m.-3:45 p.m. Hole-in-the-wall burger joint, usually known as Mack’s on Laurel, is beloved by locals. Thin, juicy burgers and a low-key vibe make this a treasure. ¢

Main Street Public House

mainstreetpublichouse.com. Downtown: 1556 Main St., 803-834-3409. Mon-Sun 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and 4-10 p.m. Downtown hangout offers a well-stocked bar and assorted eats — salads, sandwiches, steaks, pastas and more. The pizzas are a good bet. $

Mathias Sandwich Shop

mathiassandwich.com. Harbison/Irmo: 7235 St. Andrews Rd., 803-781-4002. Mon-Fri 7 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sat 7 a.m.-4 p.m. Founded in 1946, this sandwich shop is one of the early homes of the pimento burger. Serves breakfast and lunch. ¢

Michael’s Café and Catering

michaelscafecatering.com. Downtown: 1620 Main St., 803-726-2230. Mon-Sun 8 a.m.-10 p.m. Located in a renovated Main Street building, Michael’s serves up deli favorites and downhome classics: pimento cheese, lasagna, salads, sandwiches. Also serves breakfast — grab those coveted sidewalk tables for a nice morning chat over coffee. ¢-$

Midlands’

marriott.com/hotels/hotel-information/restaurant/caemh-columbia-marriott. Downtown: 1200 Hampton St., 803-771-7000. Sun-Sat 6:30 a.m.-10 p.m. This restaurant’s nice, casual feel is something you might come to expect during your time at the Marriott Hotel. Features New Southern classics like shrimp and grits. Stop by for breakfast, lunch or dinner after a long day (or night) in downtown Columbia. $

Momma Rabbit’s

facebook.com/MommaRabbits. Lexington: 5082 Sunset Blvd., 803-356-1330. Tue-Fri 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and 5:30-9 p.m.; Sat 10 a.m.-2 p.m. and 5:30-9 p.m.; Sun 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Fresh soups, salads and sandwiches, plus prepared suppers to take home. Also offers a catering service. $

The Mousetrap

mousetrapsodacity.com. Forest Acres: 2711 Middleburg Plaza, 803-708-2592. Mon-Thu 11 a.m-9 p.m.; Fri 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sat 5-10 p.m. Located in the back of an office park, this bar’s revamped menu puts a modern spin on traditional Southern favorites. $

Original Pancake House

originalpancakehousencsc.com. Forest Acres: 4840 Forest Dr. (Trenholm Plaza), 803-782-6742. Mon-Fri 6:30 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sat-Sun 7 a.m.-9 p.m. Pancakes as you like them. Offering a full menu including cinnamon-glazed apple pancakes, dutch babys, freshly squeezed juices, homemade fruit syrups and more. And if you’re not in the mood for pancakes, try the meat-lovers omelet. The lines are long for a reason; get there before church lets out and you’ll be in good shape. ¢

Pawleys Front Porch

pawleysfrontporch.com. Five Points: 827 Harden St., 803-771-8001. Mon-Thu 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Fancy a fried egg, apple-cured ham, pineapple or a pair of onion rings stuffed between a half-pound patty and a ciabatta bun? Crowds have been lining up outside Pawleys Front Porch ever since its fantastic burgers were featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Divesback in 2010. $

Ray’s Diner

raysdiner.net. Northeast: 3110 Two Notch Rd., 803-661-8175. Mon-Sat 7 a.m.-3 p.m.; Sun 8 a.m.-3 p.m. The downhome breakfast joint and meat-and-three lunch you’ve been looking for. ¢

The Root Cellar

therootcellarsc.com. Lexington: 420 Columbia Ave.; 803-359-5436. Sun-Thu 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Fresh Southern ingredients form the backbone of this carefully curated menu, with classic dishes like fried chicken livers and meatloaf given a modern flair. Salads and sandwiches, too. ¢-$

Roy’s Grille

roysgrillesc.com. Lexington: 711 W Main St., 803-359-0994. Mon-Fri 6:30 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sat 7:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Situated inside an Exxon station, this hidden gem barely takes up any space. The grill serves a variety of food including barbecue, which is smoked out back; a variety of breakfast sandwiches, many of which come with their house-smoked bacon; and fish and grits, served every morning. ¢

The War Mouth

thewarmouth.com. Downtown: 1209 Franklin St., 803-569-6144. Tue-Sat 11:30 a.m.-12 a.m. Sunday brunch 12 p.m.-3 p.m. South Carolina food done right, from chicken bog to mustard-fried venison to deviled eggs, with a fine dining flair but no pretensions. The barbecue is out of this world, and there’s a big comfy bar with nice cocktails. $

Yesterdays Restaurant and Tavern

yesterdayssc.com. Five Points: 2030 Devine St., 803-799-0196. Mon-Thu 11:15 a.m.-12 a.m.; Fri 11:15 a.m.-1 a.m.; Sat 10 a.m.-1 a.m.; Sun 10 a.m.-12 a.m. A landmark since 1978. People flock here not just for a glimpse of a guy in a bathtub but also to fill up on the heartiest fare in town, including meatloaf, broiled salmon, Lowcountry shrimp and grits and, of course, country fried steak. Just about everything comes with veggies, too. ¢

Featured Bites & Sights - Asian

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Asian

Duke’s Pad Thai

dukespadthai.com. West Columbia/Cayce: 904 Knox Abbott Dr., 803-661-6455. Mon-Sun 11 a.m.-9 p.m. This “street food and noodle bar” offers pan-Asian flavors galore, from ramen to pho to Thai-style chicken basil. The street foods include shrimp dumplings and Thai sausages on a stick. Popular spot; we recommend calling in your order ahead of time. $

JJ Tea House

facebook.com/JJTeaHouseColumbia. Downtown: 601 Main St., Suite D, 803-834-6666. Sun-Mon 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Serving up Taiwanese street food near campus, JJ Tea House is a cozy little spot. Dumplings, noodle soups, fried rice and chicken wings, Taiwanese sausage, fried fish — and lots of bubble teas. ¢

M Kitchen

yourmkitchen.com. Harbison/Irmo: 340 Columbiana Dr., 803-764-1285. Sun-Thu 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11:30 a.m.-10:30 p.m. A wide range of Asian favorites, from the healthy to the decadent. Nice modern space with elegant bar, all convenient to Columbiana Centre. $

M Vista

miyos.com. Vista: 701-C Lady St., 803-255-8878. Sun-Thu 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m. Just like the other Miyo’s locations, M Vista features upscale Chinese cuisine and sushi with a twist: M Vista focuses on healthy ingredients and portions and cooks with organic ingredients. Besides stir-fries, noodle soups and special sushi rolls, there’s a well-stocked bar. Company also has a space for private events nearby. ¢-$

Miyo’s

miyos.com. Harbison/Irmo: 1220 E-2 Bower Pkwy., 803-781-7788. Sun-Thu 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11:30 a.m.-10:30 p.m. Forest Acres: 3250 Forest Dr., 803-743-9996. Sun-Thu 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11:30 a.m.-10:30 p.m.; Sun 11:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Lexington: 5594 Sunset Blvd., 803-957-9888. Sun-Thu 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11:30 a.m.-10:30 p.m. Winner of many Best of Columbia awards for its Shanghai and Sichuan cuisine. Features both traditional and innovative dishes served in a comfortable, elegant atmosphere. Also features a sushi bar. ¢-$$

Featured Bites & Sights - BBQ/Wings/Ribs

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BBQ/Wings/Ribs

Big-T Bar-B-Que

bigtbbq.com. Gadsden: 2520 Congaree Rd., 803-353-0488. Wed-Sat 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Garners Ferry/Southeast: 7535 Garners Ferry Rd., 803-776-7132. Mon-Wed 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Thu-Sat 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Northeast: 1061 Sparkleberry Ln., 803-788-4295. Mon-Sat 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Big T’s turns out some of the best barbecue in town. Pit-cooked pulled pork is the standout, served with hot or mild, slightly sweet mustard-based sauce. The sides are first-rate. Friendly people, generous portions. Top it all off with some homemade chocolate cake. ¢

Bone-In Barbeque

boneinbarbeque.com. Downtown: 2180 Boyce St., 803-728-7512. Tue-Fri 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. and 4-9 p.m.; Sat 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m. and 4-9 p.m.; Sun 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m. The first restaurant to open at BullStreet, this Chef Scott Hall project builds on his successful barbecue truck of years past, topped off with a craft cocktail program. Salads, barbecue plates, charcuterie and much more — right next to Segra Park, where the Columbia Fireflies play.

Carolina Western Pub

carolinawesternpub.com. Vista: 920 Lady St., 803-401-5379. Sun-Wed 11 a.m.-12 a.m.; Thu-Sat 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Country music venue and down-home restaurant in the Vista.

D’s Restaurant and Bar

Dswings.com. West Columbia/Cayce: 920 Axtell Dr., 803-791-4486. Mon-Thu 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-11 p.m. A neighborhood favorite west of the river, D’s is both a great bar and a great restaurant. Scores of wing flavors — the house hot wing is a unique experience — plus bar apps, salads, sandwiches and desserts. ¢-$

Doc’s Barbeque and Southern Buffet

docsbarbeque.com. Garners Ferry/Southeast: 601 Shop Rd., 803-799-1532. Mon-Sat 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Barbecue buffet with famed fried chicken. Also features delicious catfish bites. Order off the menu for tailgating or simply to take home some quality barbecue. ¢

Home Team BBQ

hometeambbq.com. Five Points: 700 Harden St. Mon-Sun 11 a.m.-2 a.m. (full menu until 11 a.m.; late night menu until 1 a.m.). Popular Charleston-area barbecue empire — whose only other satellite location is in the posh ski town of Aspen, Colorado — recently opened an outpost in Columbia’s college hotspot. ¢-$$

Hudson’s Smokehouse & Saloon

hudsonssmokehouse.com. Lexington: 4952 Sunset Blvd., 803-356-1070. Tue-Thu 10:30 a.m.-9 p.m.; Fri-Sat 10:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m.; Sun 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Lexington: Hudson’s Smokehouse Express, 931 Old Two Notch Rd., 803-356-1070. Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-8 p.m. (take-out only). In a town full of barbecue joints, Hudson’s distinguishes itself with outstanding ribs — but pulled pork is great, too. Ample, high quality buffet. Offers mustard-based, ketchup-based and vinegar-and-pepper options. ¢

John D. Hite’s

hitesbbq.com. West Columbia/Cayce: 240 Dreher Rd., 803-794-4120. Fri 8 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sat 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Don’t let the plain cinder-block building deter you. No-frills tasty pulled pork barbecue, roasted chicken, ribs and ham, all slow-cooked using wood. Meats and the usual fixins available to go by the pound or the pint. Takeout only. ¢

Little Pigs

littlepigs.biz. Northeast: 4927 Alpine Rd., 803-788-8238. Wed 11 a.m.-2 p.m.; Thu 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sun 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Amazing spread of lunch buffet offerings including yams, corn, baked beans, fried okra, onion rings, hush puppies, green beans and more. The three varieties of barbecue are nothing to sneeze at, either. Just stellar local barbecue beloved by regulars. ¢

Maurice’s Piggie Park

piggiepark.com. Downtown: 800 Elmwood Ave., 803-256-4377. Mon-Sat 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Harbison/Irmo: 1141 Lake Murray Blvd., 803-732-5555. Sun-Thu 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Fri-Sat 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Lexington: 766 W. Main St., 803-359-8789. Mon-Sat 10 a.m.-9:30 p.m.; Sun 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Lexington: 1010 S. Lake Dr., 803-356-1909. Mon-Thu 10 a.m.-9 p.m., Fri-Sat 10 a.m.-9:30 p.m., Sun 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Northeast: 252 O’Neil Ct., 803-865-0608. Sun 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Mon-Tue 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Wed-Sat 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Northeast: 107 Clemson Rd., 803-788-5661. Sun-Thu 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Fri-Sat 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Shandon/Rosewood: 4411 Devine St., 803-782-9547. Mon-Thu 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Fri-Sat 10 a.m.-9:30 p.m.; Sun 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

St. Andrews/Dutch Square: 622 St. Andrews Rd., 803-772-6999. Sun 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Mon-Thu 11 a.m.-3 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-6 p.m. West Columbia/Cayce: 1600 Charleston Hwy., 803-796-0220. Sun-Thu 10 a.m.-9 p.m., Fri-Sat 10 a.m.-10 p.m. West Columbia/Cayce: 2450 Augusta Rd., 803-796-4777. Mon-Sat 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sun 11 a.m.-9 p.m. This Midlands barbecue institution pit-cooks its juicy pork, ribs, beef and chicken over hickory coals, and its Carolina Gold mustard-based sauce is legendary. The controversial Maurice Bessinger died a few years back, and his offspring now run the chain, eschewing controversy and Confederate flags alike. ¢

Midwood Smokehouse

midwoodsmokehouse.com. Garners Ferry/Southeast: 702 Cross Hill Rd., 803-764-1231. Sun-Thu. 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-11 p.m. The Columbia location is the third for this Charlotte-based restaurant. Serves ribs, burgers, and pulled pork and chicken with your choice of mustard, vinegar or spicy habanero sauce. When you get to the sides, don’t miss the barbecue baked beans. $

Palmetto Pig

palmettopig.com. Downtown: 530 Devine St., 803-733-2556. Tue-Wed 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m.; Thu-Sat 11 a.m.-9 p.m. All-you-can-eat buffet featuring pulled pork barbecue, hash, green beans, slaw and crispy fried chicken. At the downtown location, be sure to arrive early or late to beat the rush. Discount available for USC students. $

Peebles

facebook.com/Peebles2Columbia. Shandon/Rosewood: 1332 Rosewood Dr., 803-569-6631. Mon-Sun 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Very large and well-loved chicken wings lead the way, but Peebles also has bar-style bites, burgers, seafood and more. $

Publick House

publick-house.com. Shandon/Rosewood: 2307 Devine St., 803-256-2625. Mon-Thu 11 a.m.-12 a.m.; Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-1 a.m.; Sun 3 p.m.-12 a.m. A Devine Street icon, and rightfully so. Beloved for its hot wings, Publick House also offers three types of buffalo wings, as well as honey mustard, teriyaki, barbecue, pterodactyl, garlic butter and buttery barbecue. Salads, burgers and pasta round out the menu. Billiards and wide range of beers on tap. ¢

Shealy’s Bar-B-Que House

shealysbbq.com. Leesville: 340 E. Columbia Ave., 803-532-8135. Mon-Tue and Thu-Sat 11 a.m.-9 p.m (carry-out 9 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sat breakfast buffet 7-9:30 a.m.) Big buffet spread. The pork is lovingly pulled from slow-cooked whole hogs and served with a thick and tangy mustard sauce. Among the best-loved barbecue places in the state. ¢

Southern Belly

southernbellybbq.com. Five Points: 819 Harden St., 803-764-3512. Mon-Sun 11 a.m.-10 p.m. St. Andrews/Dutch Square: 1410 Colonial Life Blvd., 803-888-7367. Mon-Sun 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Lots of sauces distinguish this barbecue joint, which offers a small but tasty selection of barbecued meat sandwiches. ¢-$

True BBQ

true-bbq.com. West Columbia/Cayce: 1237 D Ave., 803-791-9950. Wed-Sat 10:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Serves pork ribs and classic chopped pork barbecue, smoked on site; hash and rice; barbecue chicken; barbecue sandwiches; and the usual slew of sides and desserts. Choose between Pretty Lady, Sexy Lady or vinegar-based sauce. ¢

Featured Bites & Sights - Bakeries and Desserts

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Bakeries and Desserts

Ally & Eloise Bakeshop

allyandeloise.com. Forest Acres: 5209-B Forest Dr., 803-708-2982. Tue-Fri 7:30 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sat 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Downtown: 1332 Main St., 803-851-7005. Mon-Fri 7:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Eloise is a French bulldog. And Ally is a heck of a baker, turning out fancy cookies, cupcakes, muffins and scones, not to mention fancy layer cakes and bundt cakes galore. Downtown location serves a limited set of sweet treats, including macarons, cake pops and more. ¢

Blue Flour

blueflour.com. Downtown: 1210 Main St., 803-764-3982. Mon-Fri 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sat 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Harbison/Irmo: 7703 St. Andrews Rd., 803-407-3603. Mon-Fri 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sat 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Great café with two locations to fuel your coffee, tea and baked good needs. On the menu: avocado toast, quiches, muffins, cupcakes, coffeecakes, crumbles. ¢

Crust Bakehouse

crustbakehouse.com. Shandon/Rosewood: 2701-B Rosewood Dr. Tue-Fri 7:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Crust offers cookies, scones and other sweet pastries, not to mention delectable breads: focaccias, ciabattas, sourdough, levains and more. And yes, it has no telephone. The goods go fast; check them out on Facebook to reserve something before the day’s supply runs out. ¢

Cupcake Down South

freshcupcakes.com. Vista: 1213 Lincoln St., 803-212-4949. Mon-Wed 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Thu-Sat 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun noon-5 p.m. This Charleston import does one thing and one thing only: cupcakes. Of course, they also do them supremely well. From red velvet to mandarin orange chocolate to salted caramel chocolate chip to about anything sweet you can think of, Cupcake has your sweet tooth covered and then some. The After Dark series features alcohol-infused cupcakes for the grownups, from blackberry mojito to salty caramel banana rum. ¢

Devine Cinnamon Roll Deli

thecinnamonrolldeli.com. Shandon/Rosewood: 2617 Devine St., 803-465-4947. Tue-Sun 7 a.m.-2 p.m. Big ol’ cinnamon rolls are the major draw here — and not just the classic kind, but bananas foster rolls, coconut cream rolls and more. This deli also offers specialty sandwiches, hot dogs, soups and breakfast items. $

Duck Donuts

duckdonuts.com. Shandon/Rosewood: 702 Cross Hill Road, 803-888-7424. Sun-Thu 6:30 a.m.-7 p.m.; Fri-Sat 6:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Much-hyped doughnut chain serves up tasty cake-style rings adorned with fancy frostings and sprinklings while you wait. ¢

Insomnia Cookies

insomniacookies.com. Five Points: 2013 Devine St., 877-632-6654. Mon-Fri 9 a.m.-3 a.m., Sat-Sun 11 a.m.-3 a.m. Bakes fresh cookies and other goodies for the late-night partying crowd. What’s better after a night of drinking than a freshly made chocolate chip cookie? Try the Menage a Trois, a blend of three cookies all baked together. Delivery is available for a $6 minimum (plus tip, of course). ¢

Kaminsky’s Dessert Café

kaminskys.com. Vista: 930 Gervais St., 803-550-9979. Mon-Thu 4 p.m.-12 a.m.; Fri 4 p.m.-2 a.m.; Sat noon-2 a.m.; Sun noon-12 a.m. Dessert bar featuring milkshakes, spiked coffees, dessert martinis, cakes, cider and more. ¢

Main Street Bakery

mainstreetbakery3307.com. North Main: 3307 N. Main St., 803-807-9567. Tue-Fri 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; Sat 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Cozy bakery housed in a brick home serves fresh-made cinnamon rolls, sweet potato pie, cupcakes and more, plus specially made-to-order cakes. Also has a lunch menu. ¢

My Dessert Bar

mydessertbar.com. 803-728-1690. Bakery and dessert catering company with everything from cakes to cakepops. ¢-$$

The Pastry Shop at Nonnah’s

nonnahs.com. Vista: 928 Gervais St., 803-779-9599. Mon-Fri kitchen open 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.; cafe 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Evening hours: Monday, 5-10 p.m., Tue-Thu 5-11 p.m., Fri-Sat. 5 p.m.-12 a.m., Sunday 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m. This bakeshop, an offshoot of long-beloved dessert joint Nonnah’s, serves freshly baked bread, scones, brownies, pastries and more. ¢

Pelican’s SnoBalls

pelicanssnoballs.com. Harbison/Irmo: 6165 St. Andrews Rd., 803-413-5369. Harbison/Irmo: 1600 Dutch Fork Rd., 803-920-2394. Lexington: 517 N. Lake Dr. North Columbia: 2845 Main St., 803-917-1316. Northeast: 202 Graces Way, 803-201-9652. Northeast: 2768 Decker Blvd. Unit M, 919-614-2080. Shandon/Rosewood: 1900 Rosewood Dr., 919-614-2080. West Columbia: 442 Meeting St., 803-917-1316. New Orleans-style shaved ice. Yes, it’s just frozen flavored sugar water, but it’s ridiculously refreshing and comes in a wide variety of flavors. Openings and hours are seasonal. Visit website for more locations. Call for hours. ¢

Scoopy Doo

Five Points: 725 Saluda Ave., 803-765-6999. Tue-Sat 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Housemade gelato and sorbetto incorporating some excellent local ingredients, including coffee from Drip, which is right next door. ¢

Silver Spoon Bake Shop

silverspoonbakeshop.com. Shandon/Rosewood: 2507 Devine St., 803-673-6374. Tue-Fri 7:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; Sat 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Housemade pastries, cakes, pies and delicious cookies, plus a coffee bar. Custom cakes and pies for special events, too. Fridays are Croissant Day. $

smallSUGAR

smallsugarsc.com. Vista: 709 Gervais St., 803-722-7506. Mon-Sun 7 a.m.-3 p.m. A bakery and sandwich/salad shop with top-notch service and lots of fresh food, chef/entrepreneur Sarah Simmons’ smallSUGAR is a treasure in the heart of the Vista. $

Sweet Cream Company

sweetcreamcompany.com. Downtown: 1627 Main St., 803-251-3311. Mon-Thu 1-9 p.m., Fri-Sat 1-10 p.m., Sun 1-9 p.m. Fancy some handcrafted ice cream or sorbet? Sweet Cream Co. does it best, with an ever-rotating selection of handmade, creative frozen flavors using local and organic ingredients. ¢

Sweet Temptations Bakery

facebook.com/sweettemptationsbakeryonmain. North Main: 2231 Main St., 803-728-0245. Mon noon-6:30 p.m.; Tue-Fri 9 a.m.-6:30 p.m.; Sat 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Community-minded bakery offers homemade cakes, cupcakes and more.

Featured Bites & Sights - Bar, Club and Pub Food

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Bar, Club and Pub Food

Bar None

Five Points: 620 Harden St., 803-254-3354. Mon-Fri 4 p.m.-6 a.m.; Sat-Sun 4 p.m.-2 a.m. Late-night bar serving food into the wee hours of the morning — including, on certain Tuesdays, the finest smoked chicken wings you’ve ever tasted. Large selection of beers on tap. ¢

British Bulldog Pub

thebritishbulldogpub.com. Harbison/Irmo: 1220 E10 Bowers Pkwy., 803-227-8918. Mon-Fri 11 a.m.-2 a.m.; Fri-Sat 9 a.m-2 a.m. A British pub with a real British pub menu: everything from roast beef and Yorkshire pudding to meat pies to Scotch eggs to crispy samosas, plus plenty of burgers and salads for the anglophobes. Breakfast served all day. Extensive soccer and rugby viewing schedule, too. $

Cock N’ Bull Pub

thecocknbullpub.net. Shandon/Rosewood: 326 S. Edisto Ave., 803-251-4474. Mon-Wed 5 p.m.-10 p.m; Thu-Sat 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m., 5 p.m.-10 p.m.; Sun 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m., 5 p.m.-9 p.m. (Bar open Mon-Wed 2:30 p.m.-11 p.m., Thu-Sun 11 a.m.-11 p.m. The Cock N’ Bull is an English-style pub with soccer (football) matches a-plenty on the tube. Pub food and daily specials include shepherd’s pie, fish-n-chips, pot roast and more, plus the always amazing shrimp burger. ¢-$

Flying Saucer

beerknurd.com. Vista: 931 Senate St., 803-256-2055. Mon-Thu 4 p.m.-12 a.m.; Fri-Sun 11 a.m.-12 a.m. You can get a burger here — even a turkey burger or a hippie burger (i.e., veggie). They have salads and German plates, too. And bar food. All stuff that goes well with beer, which they have a lot of. $

Goat’s

goats2.com. Five Points: 2017 Devine St., 803-708-4495. Mon-Wed 4 p.m.-12 a.m.; Thu-Sat 4 p.m.-1 a.m. Rising from the figurative ashes of Goatfeathers is Goat’s, a swanky bar for sophisticated people. The menu runs the gamut from burgers to finer fare. $

Henry’s Grill and Bar

henrysgrillandbar.com. Shandon/Rosewood: 2865 Devine St., 803-708-4705. Mon-Sat 11 a.m.-2 a.m; Sun 10 a.m.-2 a.m. Northeast: 111 Sparkleberry Crossing, 803-563-5674. Sun-Tue 11 a.m.-12 a.m.; Wed-Sat 11 a.m.-2 a.m. West Columbia/Cayce: 2108 State St., 803-661-8494. Mon-Sat 11 a.m.-until, Sun 10 a.m.-until. A comfortable, classy neighborhood bar with delicious burgers, fried pickles and tons of drink specials. Try the Big T burger: a huge, juicy double cheeseburger between two grilled cheese sandwiches. The Sunday brunch rocks. ¢-$

Jake’s/Ripper’s

jakesofcolumbia.com. Five Points: 2112 Devine St., 803-708-4788. Tue-Fri 4 p.m.-until; Sat 4 p.m.-2 a.m.; Sun 11 a.m.-until. The bar is called Jake’s, but the kitchen is called Ripper’s — and it serves up big tasty bar fare. $

Keg Cowboy

facebook.com/KegCowboy. Lexington: 108 E. Main St., 803-957-2337. Mon 3 p.m.-12 a.m.; Tue-Fri 11 a.m.-12 a.m.; Sat 12 p.m.-12 a.m. Pretty awesome craft beer bar and eatery in downtown Lexington. Rotating specials include house-smoked meats, homemade bread, tasty sandwiches, veggies. $

Krafty Draft

kraftydraft.com. Lexington: 269 Charter Oak Rd., 803-567-2812. Mon-Tue 4-10 p.m.; Wed-Fri 4 p.m.-12 a.m.; Sat 2 p.m.-12 a.m. Feast on daily specials, sandwiches and snacks while sampling a wide assortment of beers, some brewed in-house. $

O’Hara’s Public House

oharas-public-house.com. Lexington: 131 E Main St., 803-785-4025. Mon-Thu 11 a.m.--9 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun 10 a.m.-8 p.m. (bar open later). Robust pub menu features traditional Irish fare, American bar food and more. $

Rockaway Athletic Club

Shandon/Rosewood: 2719 Rosewood Dr., 803-256-1075. Mon-Sun 11 a.m.-1 a.m. For years, locals have been flocking to Rockaway’s for its unbeatable pimento cheeseburgers and excellent bar food. ¢-$

Thirsty Fellow

thirstyfellow.com. Vista: 621 Gadsden St., 803-799-1311. Tue-Sat 11 a.m.-12 a.m.; Sun 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Pub food and fresh specials include wings, fish ‘n chips, sandwiches, soups, appetizers and an array of stone-fired pizzas. Try the banana pepper stuffed with sausage and served with a hearty marinara and cheese sauce. $

Tin Roof

tinroofcolumbia.com. Vista: 1022 Senate St., 803-771-1558. Mon-Fri 4 p.m.-3 a.m.; Sat-Sun 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Tin Roof has a bar menu with touches of flair, from the chicken-and-waffle nuggets (served with syrup for dipping) to the awesome quesadillas. The Candy Pig Mac and Cheese is beloved as well. $

Vella’s Restaurant & Tavern

vellasonline.com. West Columbia/Cayce: 829 Knox Abbott Dr., 803-796-4629. Mon-Thu 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sat 11 a.m.-10 p.m. From wings to pork chops, Vella’s has downhome cooking, bar classics and even a kids’ menu. ¢-$

The Whig

thewhig.org. Downtown: 1200 Main St., 803-931-8852. Sun-Fri 4 p.m.-until (happy hour Mon-Fri 4-7 p.m.) Sat 4 p.m.-2 a.m. Hip underground bar across from the Statehouse serves burgers, sweet potato fries and a mean chicken sandwich to match its well-curated craft beers and capable cocktails. Also home of the infamous Taco Tuesday. ¢

Featured Bites & Sights - Bistro/New American

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Bistro/New American

1801 Grille

1801grille.com. Vista: 700 Lincoln St., 803-777-1801. Mon-Thu 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m. (or later). A University of South Carolina-themed restaurant. “American tavern-inspired” menu runs the gamut from oysters to burgers to wild-boar-and-bison meatloaf. Swank bar, too. $

The Aristocrat

thearistocrat803.com. Vista: 1001 Washington St., 803-708-8004. Mon 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m.; Tue-Thu 11:30-2 p.m. and 4 p.m.-12 a.m.; Fri-Sat 4 p.m.-12 a.m. Southern gastropub and wine bar features a low-key vibe and tasty food. $

Bistro on the Boulevard

bistroontheblvd.com. Harbison/Irmo: 1085-D Lake Murray Blvd., 803-369-1332. Tue-Thu 4 p.m.-10 p.m.; Fri-Sat 4 p.m.-11 p.m. Upscale Southern classics like Lowcountry crab dip and shrimp and grits meet bistro offerings like fancy stuffed pork chops and an Asian salmon burger. $

B.L.D. Diner

facebook.com/blddinerforestdrive. Forest Acres: 484 Forest Drive, 803-931-3595. Mon-Sat 9 a.m.-9 p.m.; Fri 7 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sat 7 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun 7 a.m.-3 p.m. Breakfast features avocado Benedicts, breakfast burritos and more; lunch and dinner bring everything from chili cheese fries to hot chicken to wedge salads. $

Black Rooster

blackroostersc.com. West Columbia/Cayce: 201 Meeting St. Mon-Thu 5-10 p.m.; Fri-Sat 5-11 p.m. The bustling State Street area’s newest restaurant is a “French-ish” bistro concept from Bourbon chef and owner Kristian Niemi. From the ingenuitive Euro-Southern fare to the rooftop bar with a fine view of the Congaree River and Columbia skyline, it has people buzzing. $-$$

Café Strudel

cafestrudel.com. Lexington: 309 S. Lake Drive, 803-490-0895. West Columbia/Cayce: 300 State St., 803-794-6634. Mon-Tue 8 a.m.-3 p.m.; Wed-Thu 8 a.m.-9 p.m.; Fri-Sat 8 am.-10 p.m.; Sun 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Casual restaurant offers soups, salads, sandwiches, grill items and coffees. Also hosts a legendary Sunday brunch. ¢

Cola’s

colasrestaurant.com. Downtown: 1215 Assembly St., 803-451-0051. Mon-Thu 5:30-10 p.m., Fri-Sat 5:30-10:30 p.m. American bistro with diverse influences. Robust seafood selection, plus steaks, salads and more, plus a lovely bar. Large window wall opens to Assembly Street. $$

Columbo’s

columbos.net. St. Andrews/Dutch Square: 2100 Bush River Rd. (inside the Radisson Hotel), 803-744-2200. Mon-Fri 6 a.m.-12 a.m.; Sat-Sun 7 a.m.-12 a.m. Fine steaks and Southern favorites with an emphasis on local farms in this hotel restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Offers desserts and happy hour specials. $-$$

Copper River Grill

copperrivergrill.com. Harbison/Irmo: 1230 Bower Pkwy., 803-749-4647. Sun-Sat 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Specializes in a little bit of everything — grilled seafood, chicken and steak dishes, sandwiches and burgers and oven-baked pizzas. Try the sashimi tuna appetizer and, if you’re man (or lady) enough, the 32-oz. Big Sky Porterhouse. $

Gervais & Vine

gervine.com. Vista: 620-A Gervais St., 803-799-8463. Mon-Thu 5-10 p.m.; Fri-Sat 5-11 p.m. Happy Hour 4-6 p.m. Mediterranean wine and tapas bar with many wines by the glass and a wide selection of appetizers. Dishes prepared in open kitchen and are a fusion of Greek, Italian and Spanish cuisine with Southern influences. ¢-$

Hampton Street Vineyard

hamptonstreetvineyard.com. Downtown: 1201 Hampton St., 803-252-0850. Mon-Fri 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. and 6-10 p.m.; Sat 6-10 p.m. (bar opens at 5 p.m.) Innovative American cuisine with seasonal menu changes, featuring fresh seafood, handcut steaks, lamb, duck, veal, accommodating and professional service all taking place in an urban cool space below the sidewalk in the historic Sylvan Building. ¢-$$

Hendrix

hendrixsc.com. Downtown: 1649 Main St., 803-834-5132. Tue-Thu 4 p.m.-12 a.m.; Fr 4 p.m.-2 a.m.; Sat 11:30 a.m.-2 a.m. Restaurant in the historic Hennessey’s building is a new hotspot for downtown Columbia, with a Peruvian-influenced fine dining menu and all the frills. Prime rooftop area, too. $-$$

Lula Drake

luladrake.com. Downtown: 1635 Main St., 803-606-1968. Tue-Sat 4 p.m.-12 a.m. This wine bar offers a small but excellent menu that lets the wine shine through. Handmade pastas, nightly specials, iberico ham, more. $

Motor Supply Co. Bistro

motorsupplycobistro.com. Vista: 920 Gervais St., 803-256-6687. Tue-Thu 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and 5:30-9:30 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and 5:30-10:30 p.m.; Sun 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and 5:30-9 p.m. An early pioneer of dining in the Vista, Motor Supply’s eclectic menu reflects a classic bistro mentality and changes every day. Upbeat, cosmopolitan atmosphere and excellent food with a focus on fresh, local produce and artisanal techniques. Especially popular for Sunday brunch. $-$$

Mr. Friendly’s

mrfriendlys.com. Five Points: 2001-A Greene St., 803-254-7828. Mon-Fri 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.-until; Sat 5:30 p.m.-until. Mr. Friendly’s has been serving New Southern cuisine since 1995 — sometimes innovative, sometimes comforting, and at reasonable prices. In addition to its daily menu, Mr. Friendly’s offers nightly specials. A good higher end lunch choice, too. $-$$

Nonnah’s

nonnahs.com. Vista: 923 Gervais St., 803-779-9599. Coffee and desserts available 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m. and at 5 p.m. (Monday), 5-11 p.m. (Tue-Thu), 5 p.m.-12:30 a.m. (Fri) and 5 p.m.-12 a.m. (Saturday). Lunch Mon-Fri 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Dinner Tue-Thu 5-9 p.m.; Fri-Sat 5-10 p.m. While many Columbians know it best for its desserts, Nonnah’s has become a great place to go for a full bistro-style meal. A frequent winner of Free Times’ Best of Columbia awards in the dessert category. $$

Saluda’s

saludas.com. Five Points: 751 Saluda Ave., 803-799-9500. Mon-Sun 5-10 p.m. This casual fine-dining establishment offers cutting-edge culinary styles that blend Italian, French and Lowcountry influences. Serves seafood, beef, chicken and vegetarian entrees. Also hosts wine dinners. $$

Solstice Kitchen & Wine Bar

solsticekitchen.com. Northeast: 841-4 Sparkleberry Ln., 803-788-6966. Lunch: Mon-Fri 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.; dinner: Mon-Thu 5:30-9:30 p.m., Fri-Sat 5:30-10 p.m.; bar: Mon-Sat 5 p.m.-until. From the people who bring you Mr. Friendly’s, Solstice presents an upscale dining experience. Extensive wine list and elegant, yet cozy, atmosphere. $-$$

Spotted Salamander

spottedsalamandercatering.com. Downtown: 1531 Richland St., 803-546-0249. Mon-Fri 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Whether it’s the quaint, tasty lunches or the robust catering service that started it all, Spotted Salamander has something for everything. Plus — cronuts! $

Stonefire American Grill

stonefireamericangrill.com. Northeast: 566 Spears Creek Church Rd., 803-419-2332. Tue-Sat 4-10 p.m. Upscale American classics — steakhouse-style burgers, prime rib, roasted chicken, grilled salmon and even a classic New England lobster roll — are joined by Southern favorites like fried green tomatoes and Lowcountry crab cakes. $-$$

Tazza Kitchen

tazzakitchen.com. Forest Acres: 4840 Forest Dr. 20, 803-782-0760. Tue-Fri lunch and Sat brunch: 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m.; Sun brunch 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m.; dinner Tue-Thu 4:30-10 p.m., Fri-Sat 4:30-11 p.m., Sun-Mon 4:30-9 p.m. Modern but comfortable bistro features wood-fired pizzas, salads and entrees and apps borrowing from a variety of cuisines. Ditto for brunch, where you can choose everything from huevos rancheros to a five-spice chicken sandwich. $

Terra

terrasc.com. West Columbia/Cayce: 100 State St., 803-791-3443. Tue-Sat 5-10 p.m. Chef Mike Davis brings together top-quality Southern ingredients and classic European techniques to make creative, original fare — truly one of the region’s best restaurants. Fantastic view of downtown Columbia from the upscale Vista West location. Looking for something a little simpler? Sit at the cozy bar and sample a brick-oven pizza. $$

Tombo Grille

tombogrille.com. Forest Acres: 4517 Forest Dr., 803-782-9665. Mon-Thu 5:30-9:30 p.m.; Fri-Sat 5:30-10:30 p.m. (bar opens at 4:30 p.m.). Whether you’re looking for a carefully crafted small bite or seafood dish using local ingredients with a fine wine to match, or just a great burger and a beer, Tombo is a solid choice. Live music several nights a week. $

Featured Bites & Sights - Breweries/Brew Pubs

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Breweries/Brew Pubs

Angry Fish Brewing Co.

angryfishbrewingco.com. Lexington: 106 Fabrister Lane, Suite C, 803-520-7470. IPAs, sours, lagers and more from this hospitable Lexington spot. Food trucks visit often.

Bierkeller Columbia

bierkellercolumbia.com. While Bierkeller doesn’t have a permanent home, the German-style brewer hosts frequent events featuring its astoundingly good brews. We’re partial to the Kellerbier and the Rauchbier, but most any craft beer-loving Columbian has their own favorites.

Columbia Craft Brewing Co.

columbiacraft.com. Vista: 520 Greene St., 803-799-6027. Mon-Thu, 2-10 p.m.; Fri-Sat 12-10 p.m.; sat 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Shiny, professional brewery is turning out some great beers, with several sours on the jam-packed board at any given time and a lager that’s making waves. Lots of natural light and metal furniture.

Cottontown Brew Lab

ctbl.azurewebsites.net. Cottontown: 1223 Franklin St., 844-427-3952. This neighborhood brewery cranks out some quality beers that you can find on taps across the Midlands, most prominently the Indah Coffee Stout, a collaboration with a nearby coffee shop; and the Tropicarolina IPA. Outdoor picnic tables make for a low-key vibe.

Hazelwood Brewing Company

hazelwoodbeerco.com. Lexington: 711 East Main St., 803-785-3947. Matt Rodgers, who many in the Midlands know for the delicious beers he crafts for the Old Mill Brew Pub, recently opened up this new brewery under the smokestack in the same complex.

Hunter-Gatherer

huntergathererbrewery.com. Downtown: 900 Main St., 803-748-0540. Mon-Thu 4-10 p.m.; Fri-Sat 4-11 p.m. (bar open later). Shandon/Rosewood: 1402 Jim Hamilton Blvd. Wed-Thu 4-10 p.m.; Fri 4-11 p.m.; Sat 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sun 1-8 p.m. OG location, open since 1996, is a favorite spot for university types, hipsters and oldsters alike; Hunter-Gatherer’s food is as good as its handcrafted ales, with nightly gourmet specials to complement such local favorites as the black bean dip. Specialty pizzas are popular, as are the burgers and sandwiches. Production brewery opened in 2018 features a small pizza-based menu, expansive views, small aircraft sightings and more beers. ¢-$

Krafty Draft Brew Pub

kraftydraft.com. Lexington: 269 Charter Oak Road, 803-567-2812. Mon-Tue 4-10 p.m.; Wed-Fri 4 p.m.-12 a.m.; Saturday 2 p.m.-12 a.m. This Lexington-area brewpub takes a democratic approach, serving up plenty of other folks’ beer as well as its own. Big ol’ food menu, too. ¢

Old Mill Brew Pub

oldmillbrewpub.net. Lexington: 711 E. Main St., 803-785-2337. Sun-Thu 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Craft beer? Made on site at a former cotton mill? In downtown Lexington? Yes, Old Mill is doing all this and more — and also serving up some fine, creative bar fare. The beers run the modern gamut, with Belgian styles lining up alongside sours, New England IPAs, double bourbon barrel-aged stouts, and the famed 12-Mile Oatmeal Porter. $

River Rat Brewery

riverratbrewery.com. Stadium/Fairgrounds: 1231 Shop Rd., 803-724-5712. Tue-Wed, 12-9 p.m.; Thu-Fri 12-10 p.m.; Sat 10 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sun 10 a.m.-8 p.m. River Rat produces excellent and original craft beers. Features a lovely outdoor deck, grassy area with cornhole and swank taproom, and a new rooftop area. A core of East Coast-style brews, of which the Broad River Red is a favorite, are joined by a pleasingly diverse catalog, from Abbey Ale to kolsch. Food menu, event space — the whole nine yards. ¢-$

Steel Hands Brewing

steelhandsbrewing.com. Cayce: 2350 Foreman St. Wed-Thu 4-10 p.m.; Fri-Sat 12-11 p.m.; Sunday 1-9 p.m. Massive, professional new brewery in Cayce has it all, from outdoor spaces to a stacked menu to a canning line. ¢

Swamp Cabbage Brewing Co.

swampcabbagebrewing.com. Stadium/Fairgrounds: 921 Brookwood Dr., 803-939-2589. Wed-Thu 5-8 p.m.; Fri 5-9 p.m.; Sat noon-9 p.m.; Sun 1-6 p.m. Modest brewery near Williams-Brice Stadium boasts a small but strong catalog of beers, from dunkel to red IPA. Hosts a running club, trivia, food trucks.

Twisted Spur Brewing

twistedspurbrewing.com. Vista: 705 Gervais St., 803-764-0203. Mon-Thu 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Friday 11 a.m.-12 a.m; Sat 10 a.m.-12 a.m.; Sun 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Vista hotspot features beers brewed on the premises to pair with the West Coast-influenced menu, from nachos to burgers to oysters on the half shell and much, much more. $

Featured Bites & Sights - Cafe/Coffee House

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Café/Coffee House

College Grounds Café

collegegroundscafe.com. Downtown: 1217 College St., 803-708-9476. Mon-Fri 7 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sat-Sun 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Think of it as the younger sister to established upstairs coffeehouse, Cool Beans. College Grounds Café serves sandwiches and other healthy breakfast and brunch foods — bagels, fruit, grits and more — as well as fresh doughnuts made in-house daily. Yum. Lots of vegetarian-friendly options. ¢

Cool Beans Coffee Company

coolbeanscoffeecompany.net. Downtown: 1217 College St., 803-779-4277. Mon-Fri 7 a.m.-12 a.m.; Sat-Sun 9 a.m.-12 a.m. Cool near-campus coffee shop offers plenty of space for studying or socializing — but it’s not just for students. Great menu of sandwiches (the curry chicken salad is a longtime favorite), wraps, soups and salads, plus all the coffee drinks you’d expect — and a few you wouldn’t. (Vegan hot cocoa? Yes please.) ¢

Curiosity Coffee Bar

curiositycoffeebar.com. Downtown: 2327 Main St., 803-357-2889. Mon-Fri 6 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sat 8 a.m.-8 p.m. This Elmwood Park coffee spot is a good place to grab a quick early-morning gulp or chill at the outdoor tables with your dog and/or friends. ¢

Drip Coffee

dripcolumbia.com. Downtown: 1441 Main St., 803-799-0067. Mon-Fri 7 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sat-Sun 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Five Points: 729 Saluda Ave., 803-661-9545. Mon-Sat 7 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Specializing in the pour-over method of brewing, Drip makes some fabulous coffee. Besides being a great place for a meeting or first date, both Drip locations also sell creative breakfast and lunch sandwiches and delectable pastries. Free Wi-Fi, too. ¢-$

The Haven Coffee House

thehavencoffeehouse.com. Lexington: 121 E. Main St., 803-356-1402. Mon-Sat 7 a.m.-5 p.m. Downtown Lexington has a hangout. Serves tasty breakfast and lunch, desserts. ¢

Immaculate Consumption

immaculate-consumption.com. Downtown: 933 Main St., 803-799-9053. Mon-Fri 7:30 a.m.-6 p.m. In addition to several different coffees and beer, this coffee shop serves a wide range of sandwiches and fresh salads that folks rave about. ¢

Indah Coffee

North Columbia: 2238 Sumter St., 803-708-0275. Mon-Fri 7 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sat 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Downtown: 1332 Main St. (inside Arcade Mall). Mon-Wed 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m.; Thu-Fri 7:30 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sat 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Cozy, airy Cottontown spot is a great place for a quick meeting, board game or quiet contemplation. Downtown spot has a counter and cool vibes. Coffee roasted in house; tasty treats, too. ¢

Loveland Coffee

lovelandcoffee.com. St. Andrews/Dutch Square: 7001 St. Andrews Rd., 803-466-7168. Mon-Thu 6:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; Fri 6:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.; Sat 7:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Tasty local coffee, served up in a variety of ways, from lattes to drip coffee to the famous cold brewed coffee concentrate. ¢

Piecewise Coffee Company

facebook.com/piecewisecoffee. Cayce/West Columbia: 2001 State St., 803-594-2106. Mon-FRi 7 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sat 8 a.m.-6 p.m. New shop is bringing finely prepared coffee beverages to Cayce in a relaxed atmosphere.

Featured Bites & Sights - Cajun

Cajun

Bourbon

bourboncolumbia.com. Downtown: 1214 Main St., 803-403-1404. Mon, 4 p.m. - 10 p.m.; Tue-Fri 4 p.m. - 12 a.m. Saturday brunch 11 a.m. - 3 p.m., dinner 4 p.m.-12 a.m. Sunday brunch 11 a.m.-3 p.m., dinner 4 p.m.-10 p.m. Go for the bourbon, stay for the whiskey. Serves higher-end Cajun-Creole cuisine like squash jambalaya, bayou burgers, seared duck breast, steaks and more. Tasty Sunday brunch. $$

Private Property

privatepropertysc.com. Lexington: 220 West Main St., 803-399-8085. Mon-Thu 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and 4:30-9 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and 4:30-9:30 p.m. Cajun and Creole food in the heart of Lexington, from gumbos to jambalayas — plus big tasty burgers and a few fun extras like Cajun egg rolls. Laidback sports bar vibe. $

Featured Bites & Sights - Caribbean/Latin

Caribbean/Latin

Cabañas Restaurant

West Columbia/Cayce: 825 Sunset Blvd., 803-851-1189. Sun-Tue and Thu 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Flip to the back of the menu for the Honduran specialties, which are the shining stars of this restaurant, from baleadas (homemade tortillas stuffed with beans, meat and more) to yuca con chicharron (fried or boiled yuca and fried pork rinds) to pupusas. Also features classic Tex-Mex combination plates, tacos and more. $

Fire and Spice

Harbison/Irmo: 7971 N. Woodrow St. No. 5, 803-602-5353 . Tue-Fri 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Part Caribbean restaurant — jerk chicken, mojo pork, steamed cabbage — and part sandwich shop — cheesesteaks, french dips and more. $

La Isla Bonita

facebook.com/laislabonitasc. Northeast: 1701 Percival Rd., 803-569-6244. Wed-Sat 11 a.m.- 9 p.m.; Sun 11 a.m. - 8 p.m. Quaint restaurant that serves traditional Puerto-Rican cuisine. Dishes include mofongo, Cuban sandwiches, empanadas and a pastry of the day. ¢

Locos 4 Chicken

locos4chicken.com Lexington: 2361-A Augusta Hwy., 803-785-5024. Tue-Sat noon-8 p.m.; Sun noon-3 p.m. Peruvian combos featuring that addictive rotisserie chicken, plus beer, wine, salads, desserts. ¢

Featured Bites & Sights - Chinese

Chinese

Egg Roll Chen

eggrollchen.com. Shandon/Rosewood: 715 Crowson Rd., 803-787-6820. Mon-Tue 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Wed 2 p.m. - 9 p.m.; Thu 11 a.m. - 9 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m. A longtime Columbia favorite, packed at the dinner hour with everyone from lawyers to construction workers, Egg Roll Chen makes fresh Chinese favorites to order: Spicy Taiwan Beef, Hot and Nutty Chicken, perfect lo mein and the famous Mamasan’s Beef Noodle Soup. eggrollchen.com. ¢

Egg Roll Station

West Columbia/Cayce: 135 Sunset Blvd., 803-791-4060. Mon-Tue 11 a.m.-3 p.m., 4 p.m. - 9 p.m.; Wed 11 a.m.-3 p.m.; Thu-Sat 11 a.m.-3 p.m., 4 p.m. - 9 p.m. Beloved by generations of Columbians, Egg Roll Station prepares inexpensive, fresh Chinese-American standards to order while you watch. Go Cocks; go E’Rolls. ¢

Sun Ming

sunmingrestaurant.com. Harbison/Irmo: 7509 St. Andrews Rd., 803-732-4488. Sun-Thu 11:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m., Fri-Sat 11:30 a.m.-10:30 p.m. For the most authentic Chinese dining in the Midlands, order off the traditional Chinese menu, which features such dishes as chicken feet with black mushrooms or spicy chicken ding. On the other hand, also offers plenty of orange chicken and beef-and-broccoli to satisfy all your Chinese-American desires. $

Featured Bites & Sights - Deli

Deli

Andy’s Deli

Five Points: 2005 Greene St., 803-799-2639. Mon-Sat 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Serving a range of hot and cold deli sandwiches plus salads, this Five Points mainstay enjoys a well-deserved reputation for prompt service and consistent quality. No matter how long the lunch line appears, the food never fails to arrive promptly and satisfy completely. Andy’s Special, which features roast beef, turkey and bacon bits on a hoagie roll, and which comes with that tantalizingly tangy dip, ought to qualify as the official sandwich of the Midlands. Thank you my friend, indeed. ¢

The Cafe at Richland Library

richlandlibrary.com/cafe Downtown: 1431 Assembly St., 803-814-5925; Mon-Sat 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Sandwiches, salads and snacks, plus coffee and other drinks, are on offer at this comfy cafe in the first-floor entry to Richland Library's main branch.

DiPrato’s Delicatessen

dipratos.com. Five Points: 342 Pickens St., 803-779-0606. Sunn-Sat 10 a.m.-4 p.m. (Sat-Sun brunch 10 a.m.-2 p.m.) A stone’s throw from Maxcy Gregg Park, DiPrato’s brings a New York attitude to its gourmet deli selections. Choose from its signature sandwiches, build your own or explore the paninis and salads. A fabulous and well-loved brunch spot, too. ¢-$

The Gourmet Shop

thegourmetshop.net. Five Points: 724 Saluda Ave., 803-799-3705. cafe: Mon-Fri 9 a.m.-3:45 p.m.; Sat 9 a.m.-4:45 p.m.; Sun 10 a.m.-3:45 p.m.; shop: Mon-Sat 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sun 10 a.m.-5 p.m. A Five Points icon because of its coveted sidewalk seating and signature dishes that include the chicken salad and the turkey pesto. The store offers coffees, wines, breads, kitchen gadgets and more. ¢-$

Groucho’s

grouchos.com. Blythewood: 730 University Village Dr., 803-754-4509. Mon-Sat 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m.; Sun 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Five Points: 611 Harden St., 803-799-5708. Mon-Sat 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sun 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Forest Acres: 4717 Forest Dr., 803-790-0801. Mon-Sat 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sun 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Harbison/Irmo: 800 Lake Murray Blvd., 803-749-4515. Mon-Sat 9 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sun 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Lexington: 117 1/2 East Main St., 803-356-8800. Mon-Sat 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sun 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. West Columbia/Cayce: 2265 Sunset Blvd., 803-796-7826. Mon-Sat 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sun 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Northeast: 111 Sparkleberry Crossing, 803-419-6767. Sun-Mon-11 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Open since 1941, Groucho’s is a beloved lunchtime meeting place for the students and business people of Columbia. The Apollo and the STP Dippers are locally famous for good reason. ¢

No Name Deli

Downtown: 2042 Marion St., 803-252-0480. Mon-Fri 10 a.m.-3:45 p.m. This popular downtown lunch spot is anything but anonymous. Grab a tray and line up for sandwiches (hot or cold), salads and homemade soup. Pay at the register when you get your food, though be sure to bring cash or a check — no cards. Separate counter for to-go order pickup helps long lines disappear quickly. ¢

Featured Bites & Sights - Distilleries and Wineries

Distilleries and Wineries

Crouch Distilling

crouchdistilling.com. Shandon/Rosewood: 47 S. Stadium Rd., Bay 3; 803-764-6839. Tue-Fri 4:30 p.m. - 7 p.m.; Sat 1 p.m. - 7 p.m. Housed in a cozy unit in an industrial area near the stadium, Crouch Distilling specializes in whiskeys — in particular a rye single malt that’s drawn some attention. Offers tastings and retail sales.

Enoree River Winery

enoreeriverwinery.com. Newberry: 1650 Dusty Rd. Offers wine tastings and tours, with a view of the vineyards. Wines run the gamut from fruit (pomegranate, mango, cranberry) to muscadine wines to traditional dry varietals and blends. Also hosts events.

Hollow Creek Distillery

hollowcreekdistillery.com. Leesville: 112 Rocky Ridge Rd. Makes small batch, handcrafted moonshine. Offers tours and tastings.

Mercer House Estate Winery

mercerhouseestatewinery.com. Lexington: 397 Walter Rawl Rd. Twelve-acre vineyard and winery specializing in small-batch muscadine wines, offering tastings and tours. Makes wine jellies and blended wine vinegars, too. Great spot for parties and weddings.

Proverbs 31 Winery

proverbs31winery.com. Newberry: 553 Hillbrook Ln., 803-361-4102. Specializing in unusual wines — Jalapeño Grigio, anyone? — this small winery uses scuppernong grapes grown in Lexington County. Open by appointment.

Featured Bites & Sights - Food Truck

Food Truck

Belgian Waffle Truck

thebelgianwaffletruck.com. Food Truck: 803-606-6780. Serves authentic Liege waffles — a dense, browned version of the Belgian waffle — with toppings both sweet and savory. Try the Ouf-Ti Waffle, which features goat cheese, lettuce, duck and chicken confit and an onion confiture. ¢-$

City Limits Q

citylimitsq.com. Food truck. From the Texas-style brisket to the St. Louis-style ribs, this stuff is addictive. Once you know City Limits will be at an event, pre-ordering is recommended, as they plan to — and do — sell out. 

Pawleys Front Porch Truck

pawleysmobileeats.com. Food Truck: 803-729-5397. Hire the truck for your next event — and when you see it parked somewhere, sidle up to the window for great burgers, fish tacos, grilled chicken and more. ¢

The Wurst Wagen

thewurstwagen.com. Food Truck: 803-463-6637. This mobile food truck boasts a German-trained master butcher and a whole lot of delicious German sausages, not to mention occasional doner kebab. There are specials every now and then, so visit them often to get the best prices. For locations and hours, follow the truck on twitter: @BestWurstWagen. ¢

Featured Bites & Sights - French

French

Crêpes & Croissants

crepesandcroissants.com. Downtown: 1465 Sumter St., 803-462-4779. Mon-Fri 7 a.m.-3 p.m.; Sat 8 a.m.-2 p.m.; Sun 10 a.m.-2 p.m. A real French crêperie in the heart of downtown Columbia? Oui, c’est vrai. Choose from a variety of creative savory and sweet crêpes, in addition to savory tarts, croissants, salads and a few French desserts. The Nutella-filled crêpe is rather amazing, and the Paris crêpe is a classic. ¢

Featured Bites & Sights - German

German

Julia’s German Restaurant

julias.vpweb.com. Northeast: 120 Sparkleberry Crossing, 803-738-0630. Tue-Fri 11 a.m.-2 p.m.; 5-9 p.m.; Sat 5-9 p.m. Old-fashioned, homestyle German comfort cooking, nowin a new location. From bratwurst to schnitzel, Julia’s has you covered. Bring a healthy appetite and love for all things Deutsch. Cash only. ¢

Featured Bites & Sights - Greek/Mediterranean/Middle Eastern

Greek/Mediterranean/Middle Eastern

Al-Amir

Downtown: 1734 Main St., 803-401-5882. Mon-Sat 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sun 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Authentic and well-prepared Middle Eastern cuisine including hummus, falafel, lamb kabob, mujadara and shawarma. Salads, subs and daily dessert specials round out the menu. Housed in a spacious renovated building across from City Hall. ¢-$

Arabesque

Shandon/Rosewood: 2930 Devine St., 803-779-6299. Mon-Wed 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Thu-Sat 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sun 11 a.m.-9 p.m. All your Middle Eastern favorites, from shawarma to tabouli to falafel, not to mention pizzas and — for lunch, at least — wraps and burgers. Also serves alcohol. $

Ariana’s Greek Restaurant

arianasofwestcolumbia.com. West Columbia/Cayce: 1720 Sunset Blvd., 803-796-4430. Mon-Thu 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m.; Fri 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sat noon-10 p.m. (closed 3-5 p.m. daily.) A Greek restaurant with an international flair. Along with the gyros, souvlaki, pastichio and moussaka on the menu, you’ll also find Indian samosas and a lamb pilaf that’s considered the national dish of Afghanistan. $

Boeshreen

boeshreen.com. Northeast: 2630 Decker Blvd., 803-788-2100. Mon-Sat 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun 1-10 p.m. A fascinating combination of Mediterranean, Libyan and American dishes make up the menu at this cafe and bakery — burgers, wings, falafel sandwiches, gyros, baba ghanoush, shakshouka (eggs poached in a spiced tomato sauce) — and some Libyan favorites, including pastries. ¢

Green Olive

greenolivesc.com. USC/South Main: 922 Main St., 803-764-3740. Mon 11 a.m.-3 p.m.; Tue-Fri 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and 5-9 p.m.; Sat-Sun 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Middle Eastern favorites done right, from the mezze to the baklava. Soups, breads, salads and grilled meats offer something for everyone. $

Mediterranean Tea Room

Shandon/Rosewood: 2601 Devine St., 803-799-3118. Mon-Fri 11:00 a.m.-2:15 p.m. and Mon-Sat 5 p.m. - 9 p.m. Wide selection of traditional Middle Eastern food such as hummus, baba ghanoush, falafel and tabbouleh. Specialty dish is kofta kebob, a combination of lamb and beef mixed with parsley, celery and spices. Entrees include chicken, lamb, beef and vegetarian dishes, plus nightly specials. ¢-$

Pitas

Downtown: 1800 Taylor St., 803-343-3454. Mon-Fri 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m. and 5-8 p.m. Tasty, consistent Mediterranean/Middle Eastern fare. Sure, pitas are on the menu, but so are some delicious salads, wraps and more. ¢

Sahara on Main

Downtown: 629 Main St., 851-1118 . Mon-Sat 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sun 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Moroccan and Mediterranean food handy to the USC campus. Features fresh-baked Damascus bread and a range of Middle Eastern favorites. Lots of cheap deals for students. ¢-$

Featured Bites & Sights - Indian

Indian

2Gingers

2gingers.biz. St. Andrews/Dutch Square: 245 Bush River Rd., 803-772-5121. Mon-Thu 11 a.m-2:30 p.m. and 5-9:30 p.m.; Fri 11 a.m-2:30 p.m. and 5:30-10 p.m.; Sat-Sun 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and 5:30-10 p.m. Featuring a range of South and North Indian dishes, 2Gingers, located in the Boozer Shopping Center, satisfies vegetarians and omnivores alike. The South Indian dosai (stuffed savory crepes) are not to be missed. ¢-$

Delhi Palace

delhipalace.ms11.net. St. Andrews/Dutch Square: 542 St. Andrews Rd., 803-750-7760.  Tue-Thu 11 a.m.-2:45 p.m. and 5-9:45 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11 a.m.–3 p.m., 5–10 p.m. This much-loved Indian restaurant offers a buffet as well as traditional menu items including rich curries, biryani and a range of Indian breads. Savvy enough to please afficionados and newcomers alike. ¢-$

Persis Biryani Indian and Mexican Grill

St. Andrews/Dutch Square: 1728 Bush River Rd., 803-851-376 Tues 11:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m., and 5:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.; Wed 11:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m., and 6 - 9:30 p.m.; Thu 11:30 a.m.- 2:30 p.m., and 5:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.; Fri 11:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.; Sat 12 - 3 p.m.,  and 5:30-10:00; Sun noon-3 p.m. and 5:30-9:30 p.m. Mostly an Indian restaurant, Persis Biryani also offers some Mexican favorites on its buffet. ¢-$

Saffron

saffronwestcolumbiasc.com West Columbia/Cayce: 1607 Fairlane Dr., 803-931-3104 Tue-Sat 11:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m.; Sun noon-9:30 p.m. Modest Indian restaurant offers a menu of favorites, well seasoned and prepared. Excellent naan, tandoori. Menu includes some Chinese and Mexican items. ¢-$

Featured Bites & Sights - Italian

Italian

Alodia’s Cucina Italiana

Harbison/Irmo: 2736 North Lake Dr., 803-781-9814. Lexington: 101 W. Main St., 803-957-1986. Mon-Thu 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and 4-10 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and 4-11 p.m.; Sun 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and 5-9:30 p.m. Classy Italian dining, from the favorites (fettucine alfredo, manicotti, veal piccata) to the fancy (seafood risotto, pork ribeye). $

Al’s Upstairs

alsupstairsitalian.com. West Columbia/Cayce: 304 Meeting St., 803-794-7404. Tue-Sat 5 - 10 p.m. Italian fine dining since 1979. Lobster bisque is served with a popular puff pastry dome that locks in flavors and aromas. Offers fresh fish, veal, pasta and steaks with nice service and a beautiful view of Columbia’s skyline. $$

Bellacino’s Pizza & Grinders

Harbison/Irmo: 1085 Lake Murray Blvd., 803-407-4884. Mon-Sun 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Lexington: 5339 Sunset Blvd., Hwy. 378, 803-957-6767. Mon-Sat 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Generous portions of hearty Italian pizza and grinders. Affordable prices, friendly staff and consistent quality keep this popular restaurant full. ¢

Delucca’s

deluccas.com. West Columbia/Cayce: 2275 Sunset Blvd., 803-926-5255. Mon-Fri 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and 4:30-9 p.m.; Sat 4-9 p.m. Italian eatery featuring traditional favorites such as chicken and veal parmesan and primavera in addition to veal piccata and stuffed eggplant. Also includes pasta, ravioli, pizza, calzone and strombolis. $

Pasta Fresca

pastafresca.net. Forest Acres: 4722 Forest Dr., 803-787-1838. Sun-Thu 4:30-10 p.m.; Fri-Sat 4:30-10:30 p.m. Family-owned restaurant that features pasta dishes with fresh, made-from-scratch sauces and pastas. Nightly seafood specials, a good selection of vegetarian dishes and welcoming atmosphere make this a local favorite. ¢-$

Ristorante Divino

ristorantedivino.com. Vista: 803 Gervais St., 803-799-4550. Min-Sat 5:30 p.m.-10 p.m. Some of the best fine dining in Columbia or anywhere else. Features classic northern Italian dishes, including the signature rack of lamb and the excellent gnocchi, but also more inventive fare, especially when it comes to seafood. $$

Travinia Italian Kitchen

traviniaitaliankitchen.com. Northeast: 101-A Sparkleberry Crossing, 803-419-9313. Mon-Thu 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11:30 a.m.-10:30 p.m.; Sun 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Lexington: 5074 Sunset Dr., 803-957-2422. Mon-Thu 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sun 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m. A fine dining Italian eatery with a bit of Southern spice to give the menu a unique flair. Crab cakes are big and fluffy, entrees are excellent across the board and soups are particularly good. $-$$

Very’s Restaurant

verysrestaurant.com. Northeast: 6729 Two Notch Rd., 803-788-6254. Mon-Sat 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Delicious Philly cheesesteaks, plus old-school Northeastern cuisine from Italian subs and lasagnas to pizzas. ¢-$.

The Villa

thevillaonbushriver.com. St. Andrews/Dutch Square: 1704 Bush River Rd., 803-798-6360. Mon-Thu 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m.; Fri 11 a.m.-10:30 p.m.; Sat 4:30-10:30 p.m. This charming, low-priced Italian favorite boasts a low-key atmosphere and terrific pizzas. ¢-$

Villa Tronco

villatronco.com. Downtown: 1213 Blanding St., 803-256-7677. Tue-Fri 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and 5-10 p.m.; Sat 5-10 p.m. A Columbia institution since 1940, Villa Tronco serves consistently generous portions of traditional Italian fare such as veal parmagiana, chicken piccata and linguine with clams. Make sure to leave room for Carmella’s Famous Cheesecake. $

Featured Bites & Sights - Japanese/Sushi

Japanese/Sushi

Camon Japanese Restaurant

camonsushi.com. Downtown: 1332 Assembly St., 803-254-5400. Tue-Sat 5-9:15 p.m. The only sushi spot in Columbia’s downtown business district defiantly refuses to serve lunch. Quiet and discreet — not what you’ll encounter along the Gervais Street corridor a couple of blocks away. Beloved by devoted regulars for the outstanding food, service and atmosphere. $

Ganbei

ganbeirestaurants.com. Lexington: 5580-F Sunset Blvd., 803-808-1618. Sun-Thu 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and 4:30-10 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and 4:30-11 p.m. Swanky Japanese restaurant and bar features plenty of classics — hibachi items, potstickers, stir frys, fried rice, sushi, donburi, plus some curve balls like baked mussels and spring rolls. $

Inakaya Japanese Restaurant

Northeast: 224 O’Neil Ct., 803-699-2626. Mon 5-10 p.m.; Tue-Thu 11:45 a.m.-2 p.m. and 5-10 p.m.; Fri-Sat 5-11 p.m. Sun 4:30-9 p.m. Elegant seating where outstanding sushi, sashimi and other Japanese cuisine take center stage. Popular with families and large groups for their spectacular Inakaya Boat Specials. $

Inakaya Watanabe

facebook.com/InakayaWatanabe. St. Andrews/Dutch Square: 655-C St. Andrews Rd., 803-731-2538. Mon 5-10 p.m.; Tue-Thu 11:45 a.m.-2 p.m., 5-10 p.m.; Fri. 11:45 a.m.-2 p.m., 5-11 p.m.; Sat 5-11 p.m. Excellent sushi, sashimi and traditional Japanese dishes. $

Menkoi Ramen House

Vista: 1004 Gervais St., 803-708-1569. Sun-Thu 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and 5-10:30 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and 5 p.m.-2:30 a.m. Traditional ramen, served fast. Also serves onigiri and various Japanese soft drinks. ¢.

SakiTumi Grill & Sushi Bar

sakifresh.com. Vista: 807 Gervais St., 803-931-0700. Sun-Thu 5-10 p.m.; Fri-Sat 5-10 p.m. (bar open until) Upscale Vista hotspot includes a popular bar area and a separate sushi bar. Extensive sake list complements beer and wine offerings, and SakiTumi also has weekly sushi and drink specials that are easy on the wallet. Plenty of non-sushi items on menu, including grilled items and tasty appetizers such as the lotus root chips. $

Sakura Japanese Restaurant

Shandon/Rosewood: 4430 Rosewood Dr., 803-776-4747; Mon-Sat 5-9 p.m.; Saturday lunch 11:30 a.m. - 2 p.m. A Columbia institution, Sakura opened in a new location after its Forest Acres spot was destroyed by the historic 2015 flood. Serves up sushi and Japanese classics. $

Saky

Garners Ferry/Southeast: 4963 Jackson Blvd., 803-787-5307. Wed-Sat 4:30 p.m. - 10 p.m. Saky serves great sushi as well as soups, noodles and other Japanese favorites right outside the Fort Jackson gates. A cozy and chill spot for a drink and some salmon nigiri. $

Tsunami

tsunamicompany.com. Harbison/Irmo: 1290 Bower Pkwy., 803-407-3873. Mon-Thu 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and 4-10 p.m.; Fri 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and 4-11 p.m.; Sat 11:30 a.m. - 11 p.m.; Sun 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Vista: 700-C Gervais St., 803-312-9911. Mon-Sat 4-11:30 p.m. Sun 4-10:30 p.m. Trendy, chic sushi bar and restaurant with elegant, contemporary atmosphere and ample seating areas to complement extensive sake, wine and beer selection. $

Featured Bites & Sights - Korean

Korean

929 Kitchen

929kitchen.com. Vista: 929 Gervais St., 803-764-3825. Mon-Fri 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and 5-11 p.m.; Sat 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m. and 5-11 p.m. Korean gastropub offers traditional and fusion cuisine in a beautiful space. Swanky bar with cocktail program. $

Arirang

Northeast: 1943 Decker Blvd., 803-790-5506. Tue-Thu 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun 11 a.m. - 8 p.m. You’ll feel right at home in this Korean restaurant. Serves up such delights as pork belly grilled right at your table, plus Korean classics and banchan — and cold beer, of course. ¢-$

Blue Cactus Café

bluecactuscafe.com. Five Points: 2002 Greene St., 803-929-0782. Tue-Fri 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and 5-9 p.m.; 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Family-owned, unassuming little eatery boasts a serious culinary reputation, specializing in homestyle Korean food mixed with Mexican and other influences to create a sizzling menu that is especially vegetarian-friendly. ¢

Hero Korean Steak House

columbiahero.com. Northeast: 6634 Two Notch Rd., 803-699-9922. Mon-Tue and Thu-Sat 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sun 3-9 p.m. Yes, those are live, glowing coals in the middle of your table. Specializes in authentic Korean dishes such as gal bi (short ribs in a house sauce) and hwe dup bob (mixed raw fish and spicy sauce atop rice). ¢-$$

Korea Garden

Northeast: 2318 Decker Blvd., 803-760-3888. Mon and Wed 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m.; Thu-Sat 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun 12 p.m.-9:00 p.m. Traditional Korean foods, from spicy stews to bi bim bap. Beer and wine available. $

O Bok Korean Restaurant

Northeast: 1616 Decker Blvd., 803-787-1100. Tue-Sat 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m.;  Sun 11 a.m.- 9 p.m. O Bok is popular with Korean folks for good reason — the authenticity of the food. Dishes include the traditional barbecued beef and stir-fries as well as more exotic offerings. Meals are served with a big assortment of banchan, or Korean-style small dishes. ¢

Seoul Restaurant and Grocery

Northeast: 1717 Decker Blvd., 803-790-0090. Mon-Sat 9 a.m.-8 p.m. This charming restaurant and grocery offers authentic homestyle Korean fare in a casual setting. $

Featured Bites & Sights - Mexican/Southwestern

Mexican/Southwestern

7 Mares

Lexington: 4360 Augusta Rd., 803-520-0067. Mon-Thu 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sun 10 a.m.-10 p.m. That’s mar-es, as in Spanish for oceans, not English for girl horses. Serves up the oceans’ bounty, featuring Mexican favorites like red snapper Veracruz-style, lobster soup, ceviche, spicy shrimp, octopus salad and more. Also serves Mexican-American classics like fajitas and carnitas. $

Cantina 76

cantina76.com. Shandon/Rosewood: 2901 Devine St., 803-708-6004. Mon-Tue 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m.; Wed-Sat 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. Sun 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Downtown: 1301 Main St., 803-764-1769. Mon-Wed 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m., Thu-Sat 11 a.m.-10:00 p.m.; Sun. 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Draws everyone from singles at the bar to couples and families, all of whom come for the Tex-Mex cuisine — and some of whom also go for the excellent margaritas, made in all shapes, flavors and sizes with top-shelf tequilas. $

Casa Oaxaca Mexican Restaurant

West Columbia/Cayce: 2410 Augusta Rd., Suite H. Tue-Sun 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m. A array of tasty Mexican food. $

Chapala Mexican Restaurant

Lexington: 1792 S. Lake Dr., 803-957-0840. Mon-Sun 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Irmo: 7001 St. Andrews Rd., 803-749-7071. Sun-Thu 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri: 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Mexican-American and border region specialties, from fajitas to chilaquiles to fish tacos, plus the combination platters you’d expect. Lots of tortas (sandwiches) if you’ve got a big lunch appetite. $

Coa Agaveria y Cocina

Vista: 823-A Lady St., 803-851-5965. Mon-Thu 4-11 p.m.; Fri-Sat 4 p.m.-midnight. Tucked under the hip Aloft Hotel, this tequila bar offers classy Latin food, from grilled octopus to quail mole poblano to high-end tacos. $

La Estrella

West Columbia/Cayce: 1921 Airport Blvd., 803-739-6520. Thu-Tue 9 a.m.-7 p.m., bar open until 8 p.m. Grocery store and restaurant. Serves assorted tacos with all the classic fixins: cilantro, lime, corn tortillas and more. Tortas, too. Other items include short ribs served with queso fresco, beans and rice. Includes a butcher and a deli counter. ¢-$

Manny’s Chamoyadas

West Columbia/Cayce: 1228 Augusta Rd., 803-800-6348. Tue-Fri 12 p.m.-9 p.m.; Sat-Sun 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Though it specializes in raspados and chamoyadas — sweet-and-savory drinks in a variety of refreshing flavors — Manny’s also has fun Mexican snacks, plus banana splits and milkshakes. A great stop for the family, or a date that’s not at a bar. ¢

El Mariachi

West Columbia/Cayce: 1078 Sunset Blvd., No. 8. Mon-Sun 9 a.m.-10 p.m. On one side, a Mexican store complete with groceries, a bakery and a butcher shop. On the other side, a beloved Mexican eatery. $

Moctezuma’s Taqueria

Garners Ferry/Southeast: 506 Beltline Blvd., 803-888-7498. Mon-Thu 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri-Sat 10 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sat 11 a.m.-10 p.m.;Sun 11 a.m.-9 p.m. A bounty of Mexican antojitos like tacos, sopas, huaraches and tortas, plus some Mexican-American restaurant favorites like fajitas and chiles poblanos. A cozy, friendly spot near Shandon, Heathwood, Rosewood and more. $

Publico Kitchen and Tap

publicokitchenandtap.com. Five Points: 2013 Greene St., 803-661-9043. Sun-Thu 11 a.m.-11 p.m. (kitchen open to 10 p.m.); Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-12 p.m. (kitchen open to 11 p.m.) A long row of craft beer taps sets the stage for the fun, fresh flavors of Publico. Featuring tacos inspired by ethnic foods from banh mi to Hawaiian poke to pad Thai, Publico serves up tasty modern Mexican-inspired fare. $

Real Mexico

St. Andrews/Dutch Square: 2421 Bush River Rd., 803-750-8990. Sun-Thu 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Plenty of authentic Mexican and Southwestern restaurant foods at this beloved spot, from tortas to carne asada to fajitas to chimichangas to fish tacos. Full bar with margarita specials. $

Sure Fire Tacos and Tortilla Grill

surefiretacos.com. Vista: 916 Gervais St., 803-764-1016. Sun-Thu 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Specialty tacos, burritos and other Southwestern favorites. Also serves margaritas and specialty cocktails. ¢

Tacos Nayarit

Northeast: 1531 Percival Rd., 803-242-4885. Mon.-Sun. 11 a.m.-9 p.m. The folks behind the Decker Boulevard food truck have brought their tasty, authentic tacos to a sit-down restaurant. The new spot adds to the truck’s menu with a hybrid between a traditional Mexican taco stand and the Americanized made-to-order fast-casual eateries — plus they griddle their own tortillas right behind the counter. ¢-$

Takosushi

tako-sushi.com. Vista: 1115 Assembly St., 803-771-7131. Mon-Thu 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sat noon-11 p.m. Tacos! Sushi! Takosushi! A sushi joint and casual Mexican restaurant rolled into one, Takosushi offers burritos, enchiladas, tacos (“takos,” actually), sashimi, bento boxes and more. $

Taqueria Jalisco

St. Andrews/Dutch Square: 612 St. Andrews Rd., 803-731-5546. Mon-Sat 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Friendly Mexican joint bursting with flavor. ¢-$

Tio’s Mexican Cafe

tiossc.com. Downtown: 921-A Sumter St.,803-252-7229. Sun-Wed 11 a.m.-midnight.; Thu-Sat 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Locally owned Tex-Mex café distinguished by its extensive and eclectic salsa offerings. Features an array of tacos, sandwiches, chimichangas, salads and the famous wet burrito, which comes smothered in sauce and/or queso — or a vegan option featuring vegan cheese. Full bar features tequilas and beers galore. Open late, and delivers late, too. ¢

Featured Bites & Sights - Pizza

Pizza

Citta Del Cotone

cittadelcotone.com. Cottontown: 2150 Sumter St., 803-563-3388. Sun-Thu 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Neapolitan-style neighborhood pizza. $

Dano’s Pizza

danosdelivers.com. Shandon/Rosewood: 3008 Rosewood Dr., 803-254-3266. Mon-Sat 11 a.m.-midnight; Sun noon-12a.m. New York-style and gourmet pizzas sold by the pie or slice. If you've got a little extra time, the Sicilian crust is pretty special. Dinner menu also offers veal parmesan, manicotti and stuffed shells. Not a bad place to drink a beer and watch the game, either — but it's family-friendly as well. ¢-$

Eddie’s Calzones

eddiescalzones.com. Five Points: 817 Harden St., 803-764-3669. Sun noon-4 a.m.; Mon-Sat. 11 a.m.-4 a.m. Has more than 60 variations to choose from including Diablo, dragon and cheesecake calzones. Delivery open until 4 a.m. which means you’ll have something to soak up the alcohol any day of the week. ¢

Il Giorgione Pizzeria and Wine Bar

ilgiorgione.com. Shandon/Rosewood: 2406 Devine St., 803-521-5063. Tue 5:30-10 p.m.; Wed- Fri 11:30 a.m.- 10 p.m.; Sat 5:30-10 p.m. Authentic pizzas and pastas, plus nice touches like an Italian cheese plate and lovely arugula salads. Good selection of affordable Italian wines. $

LaBrasca’s Pizza

Garners Ferry/Southeast: 4365 Fort Jackson Blvd., 803-782-1098. Mon-Thu 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sun 4:30 p.m.-9 p.m. LaBrasca’s has been serving great pies in Columbia since 1966. While its owners have changed over the years, this humble pizzeria continues in its tradition of offering tasty pizzas at prices that haven’t seemed to change much since the ‘60s. ¢

Mellow Mushroom

mellowmushroomcolumbia.com. Vista: 1009 Gervais St., 803-933-9201. Mon-Thu 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-midnight; Sun noon-9 p.m. Lexington: 5364 Sunset Blvd., 803-359-0778. Mon-Thu 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-midnight; Sun noon-10 p.m. A popular lunch and dinner spot, Mellow Mushroom serves gourmet hand-tossed pies, along with huge calzones, hoagies and salads, all with fresh ingredients. Pizza toppings range from jerk chicken and pineapple to plain-old pepperoni. Large beer selection, with more taps upstairs at the Vista location. $

Nicky’s Pizzeria

nickyspizzasc.com. Five Points: 2123 Greene St., 803-748-9661. Mon-Wed 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Thu-Fri 11 a.m.-3 a.m.; Sat 12 p.m.-3 a.m.; Sun. 12 p.m. -9 p.m. Choose between a traditional New York-style thin crust pizza and a Sicilian-style thick crust — or just pick one of the tasty calzones, subs or salads on offer. Bottled and draft beer, too.

Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom

oldchicago.com/locations/columbia-south-carolina. Vista: 802 Gervais St., Ste. 100C, 803-252-3100. Sun-Thu 11 a.m.-12 a.m.; Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-1 a.m. Combine your barbecue chicken, Hawaiian or Thai pie with a beer, glass of wine or cocktail. Also offers mac n’ cheese, fish and burgers. ¢-$

Pizza Joint

thepizzajoint.net. Forest Acres: 3246 Forest Dr., 803-454-1743. Sun-Thu 11 a.m.-approx. 11 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-approx. midnight This popular Forest Acres spot has pizza, obviously, but it also serves up calzones, strombolis and sandwiches, along with a wide selection of beer with which to wash down that yummy Italian goodness. ¢-$

Tony's Pizzalicious

West Columbia/Cayce: 975 Knox Abbott Drive, 803-794-5469. Mon-Sat 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Venerated pizza joint offers lots of Italian faves, too. ¢-$

Village Idiot

villageidiotpizza.com. Five Points: 2009 Devine St., 803-252-8646. Tue-Sun 11:30 a.m.-until; delivery: 11:30 a.m.-midnight Forest Acres: 4517 Forest Dr., 803-252-8646. Tue-Thu 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun 5 p.m.-9 p.m. Olympia: 612 Whaley St., 803-252-8646. Tue-Wed 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Thu-Sat 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sun. 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Offering New York-style hand-tossed pizza by the pie or slice for lunch, dinner and delivery, the original Five Points location of the Village Idiot is a favored spot for USC students. Other featured menu items include sandwiches (Jersey Cheesesteak), wings, calzones and strombolis, pasta (baked ziti), salads and wings. ¢

Za’s Brick Oven Pizza

zasbrickovenpizza.com. Shandon/Rosewood: 2930 Devine St., 803-771-7334. Mon-Tue 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m.; Wed-Sat 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun 11 a.m.-9 p.m Pizzas of all sorts, plus salads, sandwiches, pastas, calzones and more round out the menu at this chic Shandon eatery. $

Featured Bites & Sights - Seafood

Seafood

Blue Fin Seafood Restaurant and Bar

bluefinrestaurantandbar.com. Northeast: 461-4 Town Center Place, 803-865-7346. Mon-Thu 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Fri 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sun 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Brunch, lunch and dinner with a marine focus, from the lovely crab dip to the lobster ravioli and many fresh fish options. Steaks, chicken and the like will keep the non-seafood-loving happy. $

Blue Marlin

bluemarlincolumbia.com. Vista: 1200 Lincoln St., 803-799-3838. Mon-Thu 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., 5-10 p.m.; Fri 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., 5-11 p.m.; Sat 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sun 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Specializing in creative seafood dishes with a decidedly Lowcountry flair, Blue Marlin also serves hand-cut steaks and prime rib. Shrimp and grits is a top seller, with the grits coming from right across the street, at Adluh Flour. Don’t overlook other tasty options such as the Crispy Firecracker Flounder served with a jalapeño salsa. Private dining facility available. $

Bonefish Grill

bonefishgrill.com. Forest Acres: 4708 Forest Dr., 803-787-6200. Mon-Thu 4-10:30 p.m.; Fri 4-11:00 p.m.; Sat 11 a.m.-11:00 p.m.; Sun 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Harbison/Irmo: 1260 Bower Pkwy., 803-407-1599. Mon-Thu 4-10:30 p.m.; Fri 4-11:30 p.m.; Sat 11 a.m.-11:30 p.m.; Sun 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Based out of St. Petersburg, Florida, Bonefish Grill specializes in fresh seafood and boasts an oak-burning grill and a wide range of sauces. Pasta, chicken, pork and steak dishes round out the menu to suit varied tastes. ¢-$

The Crab Shak

thecrabshak.com. St. Andrews: 655 St. Andrews Road, 803-798-0150. Mon-Thu 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun 11:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Crab trays with garlic butter are the specialty, but this restaurant serves up a variety of seafood and sides. See website for other locations. $

Oak Grove Fish House

Lexington: 309 Oak Drive, 803-821-9006. From the owners of Blue Marlin comes this casual Lexington-area fish camp. Grilled and fried seafood platters, shrimp and grits, catfish stew and much more. $

Oyster Bar

oysterbarcolumbia.com. Vista: 1123 Park St., 803-799-4484. Mon-Wed 4-10 p.m.; Thu-Sat 4-11 p.m. (Saturday bar open until 2 a,m,) A true, old-fashioned oyster bar, and the Vista’s first. Sit at the bar and let your server shuck you some steamed or raw Gulf oysters. Also serves steamed shrimp and scallops, plus shrimp and grits, crab legs and side dishes. ¢-$

Palmetto Seafood

Downtown: 220 Gervais St., 803-254-2503. Tue-Sat 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Part seafood market, part fried seafood counter, Palmetto Seafood will serve you up some fresh, hot, fried fish to go. A Columbia institution. $

Pearlz Oyster Bar

pearlzoysterbar.com. Vista: 936 Gervais St., 803-661-7741. Mon-Thu 4 p.m.-12 a.m.; Fri 4 p.m.-2 a.m.; Sat 12 p.m.-12 a.m. Pearlz specializes in fresh oysters, regional seafood and Lowcountry recipes. But its hip, trendy ambience and signature martinis also make it a hotspot for Columbia’s young, urban professional crowd. $

Wild Crab

wild-crab.com. Harbison/Irmo: 275 Park Terrace Dr. Suite 200, 803-661-8888. Sun-Thu noon-10 p.m.; Fri-Sat noon-11 p.m. Cajun- and Creole-style seafood, fried seafood, and assorted combos and sides. $

Featured Bites & Sights - Steakhouse

Steakhouse

Carolina Strip Club

carolinastripclub.com. Vista: 902 Gervais St., 803-764-4017. Mon-Thu 5-10 p.m.; Fri-Sat 5-11 p.m.; Sun 5-9 p.m. Steaks. Salads. Steak salads. Burgers, too, and seafood. Your straight-up American steakhouse. $-$$

Cowboy Brazilian Steakhouse

cowboybraziliansteakhouse.com. Downtown: 1508 Main St., 803-728-0887. Mon-Thu 5 p.m.-9 p.m.; Fri 5 p.m.-10 p.m.; Sat 4-10 p.m.; Sun 4-9 p.m. Visit the enormous salad bar, then partake in the never-ending parade of sizzling grilled meats being carried around the dining room. $$

Halls Chophouse

hallschophousecolumbia.com. Downtown: 1221 Main St., 803-563-5066. Mon-Thu 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-midnight. High-end steakhouse with a fabulous view of the State House. 

Rioz Brazilian Steakhouse

rioz.com. Harbison/Irmo: 410 Columbiana Dr., 803-708-3151. Mon-Fri 5-10 p.m.; Sat.-Sun 4-10 p.m. Giant skewers stacked with meat and a massive salad bar — and you can have as much of it as you want. $$

Ruth’s Chris Steak House

ruthschris.com. Vista: 924-A Senate St. (Hilton Hotel), 803-212-6666. Sun-Thu 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-11 p.m. What can you say, it’s Ruth’s freaking Chris. Among the most fabled steaks on planet Earth, hands down, and you’ll be paying mightily for them. $$

Featured Bites & Sights - Thai

Thai

Baan Sawan

baansawanthaibistro.com Five Points: 2135 Devine St., 803-252-8992. Tue-Sat 5:30-9 p.m. Baan Sawan serves expertly prepared Thai standards like pad thai and curries, but also offers dishes you won’t find elsewhere — the tom kha matz features duck fat matzo balls — and inventive seafood creations. It’s pricier Thai food, but well worth it. Spectacular, intimate beer and wine program; well trained staff; classy setting. $-$$

Bangkok Restaurant

Garners Ferry/Southeast: 7546 Garners Ferry Rd., 803-724-2255. Mon-Thu 11 a.m.-3 p.m., and 4:30-9 p.m.; Fri 11 a.m.-3 p.m., and 4:30-9:30 p.m.; Sat 12 p.m.-3 p.m., and 4:30-9:30 p.m. One of two restaurants named Bangkok within less than 1/8 mile of each other, this restaurant serves favorites like pad thai, chicken satay and kaou pad bai kapow. Offers a wide range of Thai cuisine, as well as soups and Thai iced tea. ¢-$

Basil Thai Restaurant

eatatbasil.com. Garners Ferry/Southeast: 700 Cross Hill Rd., 803-782-0716. Mon-Thu 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and 5-9:30 p.m.; Fri 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., 5-10 p.m; Sat 5-10 p.m.; Sun. 5-9:30 p.m. Housed at the upscale Cross Hill Market, this Charleston import features Thai classics and approachable twists thereupon. Nice cocktail selection. $

Bodhi Thai

bodhithaidining.com. Lexington: 126 E. Main St., 803-957-1994. Tue-Wed 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and 5-9 p.m.; Thu-Sat 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and 5-10 p.m. Classy Thai in downtown Lexington. Classics like pad thai with shrimp and green papaya salad are joined by items like a filet mignon in red curry or pork belly steamed buns. Immaculate presentation; carefully crafted food; daily specials. $

Kao Thai Cuisine

kaothaicola.com Vista: 1001 Senate St. Suite 300, 803-569-6881. Mon-Fri 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and 5-10 p.m.; Sat 5-10 p.m. Housed in a historic fire station, Kao Thai blends Thai classics with some special items from other Asian cuisines, like shumai and roti & curry. Full bar with fancy cocktails. $

Mai Thai

maithais.com. West Columbia/Cayce: 2249 Sunset Blvd., 803-939-4795. Mon-Thu 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and 5-9 p.m.; Fri 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and 5-9:30 p.m.; Sat 5-9:30 p.m. Not just a great Thai restaurant, but also a bubble tea cafe and Asian bakery. Restaurant features Thai classics such as spring rolls, stuffed chicken wing appetizers and a host of noodle and rice dishes and entrees such as rainbow duck, whole red snapper and a host of curries. Also offers reasonably priced lunch special entrees. $

New Bangkok Restaurant

Garners Ferry/Southeast: 7509-H Garners Ferry Rd., 803-851-5559. Mon-Thu 11:15 a.m.-3 p.m. and 4:30-9 p.m.; Fri 11:15 a.m.-3 p.m. and 4:30-9:30 p.m.; Sat noon-9:30 p.m. Classic Thai restaurant offers all the basics — plus a robust takeout business. ¢-$

Thailand Restaurant

St. Andrews/Dutch Square: 6024 St. Andrews Rd., 803-731-7715. Mon-Sat 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and 5-9 p.m.; Sun 12 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. and 5-8 p.m. Authentic and delicious Thai food. Serves numerous entrées, soups and salads, with choices of mild, medium or hot. $

Featured Bites & Sights - Vegetarian

Vegetarian

Good Life Café

goodlifecafe.net. Downtown: 1614 Main St., 803-726-2310. Mon-Thu 7 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri-Sat 7 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sun 9 a.m.-8 p.m. So much vegan awesomeness. The raw menu and specials feature a tasty and ever-rotating array of mock foods: tacos, tostadas, wraps, sandwiches, tarts and more. Also has a cooked menu with everything from grilled wraps to bean-and-grain bowls. Large selection of fresh squeezed juices and herbal tonics, and some scrumptious desserts. A full bar rounds out the awesomeness. $

A Peace of Soul Vegan Kitchen

facebook.com/peaceofsoulsc Downtown: 2338 Main St., 803-253-7889.  Temporarily closed for remodeling, but check the Facebook page for food truck hours and location. Formerly called Lambs Bread Vegan Cafe, this eatery's entire soul food menu is vegan and uses locally grown and organic produce. Mock meats, sandwiches, vegetable dishes and fresh fruit juices available. ¢

The Reizod Vegan Experience

Northeast: 110 Columbia Drive NE, 803-862-0045. Mon-Thu 11 a.m.-3:30 p.m. and 5-7:30 p.m.; Fri 11 a.m.-3:30 p.m. and 5-8 p.m.; Sat noon-4 p.m. and 5-8 p.m.; Sun 12:15 p.m.-5 p.m. All vegan food from a variety of cultural traditions. ¢

Rosewood Market & Deli

rosewoodmarket.com. Shandon/Rosewood: 2803 Rosewood Dr., 803-765-1083. Mon-Sat 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Sun 9 a.m.-6 p.m. A natural-foods grocery featuring fresh organic produce, herbs and spices, as well as natural beauty aids and popular supplements. The deli serves a diverse selection of hot gourmet meals, salads, breads, pastries and desserts. The daily grain bowl is a standout. Eat in or take out. ¢

Featured Bites & Sights - Vietnamese

Vietnamese

Golden Chopstix

goldenchopstix.us. West Columbia/Cayce: 1505 Charleston Hwy., 803-791-0206. Mon-Thu 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m., 5-8:30 p.m.; Fri 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m., 5-9 p.m.; Sat noon-2:30 p.m., 5-9 p.m. Serves Thai and Vietnamese dishes. This low-key restaurant is a pleasant surprise; the decor is tasteful and simple, and the service is excellent. Dishes are prepared fresh when they are ordered — even the curry. Also serves sushi. ¢

Pho Viet

pho-viet.com. Northeast: 2300 Decker Blvd., 803-699-5959. Mon-Sun 10 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Five Points: 2011 Devine St., 803-779-4077. Mon-Sun 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Though it specializes in pho — the fragrant Vietnamese beef soup served with fresh herbs, bean sprouts and more — Pho Viet also serves spring rolls, chicken and seafood soups, rice bowls and noodle bowls. Also serves jelly pearl drinks and Vietnamese coffee. ¢

Ten Ten Oriental Restaurant

Northeast: 2000 Clemson Rd. No. 7, 803-788-7333. Sun-Thu 10:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m.; Fri-Sat 10:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Vietnamese noodle soups, banh xeo and more, plus Chinese favorites. A real gem. ¢

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