Eating Out in Columbia, SC: Top 10 Restaurants & Local Eats
What makes Alodia’s truly the best Italian restaurant in the area is its constant quest for excellence. Born from a passion for Italian gastronomy, the owner Adam Huneau named this, his first venue, after his grandmother Alodia, whose kitchen was a bond for the family. Together with his wife, Adam aims to create an authentic Italian place that not only features a delectable classical Italian repertoire of family recipes, but also conveys the Italian love for food and family. The rich selection of lunch and dinner choices showcases the finest Italian dishes, made from fresh and homemade ingredients. Expect a warm and faithful trattoria interior with a semi-open kitchen, which reveals some of the secrets behind the scenes.
Alodia’s, 2736 N Lake Drive, Columbia, SC, USA, +1 803 781 9814
A few steps away from the University of South Carolina, Hunter-Gatherer is the perfect place to eat well at budget-friendly prices. A micro-brew pub that guarantees a vibrant ambiance amongst staff and guests alike, it serves a great choice of eclectic, wholesome foods, including salads, sandwiches and pizzas, all made from local and fresh ingredients. The real treat at Hunter-Gatherer, however, is the excellent hand-crafted beer selection that never lacks a wheat beer, pale ale, extra special bitter, or a seasonal beer on its taps. To add to the ambiance, live bands often play, showcasing an eclectic range of genres from jazz and blues, to funk and folk. This place is a low-key venue that has proudly served contented guests since 1995.
Hunter-Gatherer, 900 Main Street, Columbia, SC, USA, +1 803 748 0540
Inakaya Japanese Restaurant
Amongst the impeccable Southern kitchens, Inakaya Japanese Restaurant offers an escape to more exotic flavours. Serving the best sushi in town, Inakaya is the place for authentic Japanese dishes. The creative chefs serve everything a true Japanese kitchen in Tokyo would: from miso soup to sushi, from sashimi to rice and noodles. Not to mention the sake, which is excellent to wash down the characteristic flavours. If unsure what to order, feel free to ask for a sample to taste first. Be it a business meeting (opt for the terrific lunch menu) or a romantic evening out (in which case choose one of the more hidden, intimate tables), Inakaya makes sure to effortlessly adapt to any occasion.
Inakaya Japanese Restaurant, 655 Saint Andrews Rd, Columbia, SC, USA, + 1 803 731 2538
Meal service:All Day
Meal service:Lunch, Dinner
Meal service:Lunch, Dinner
Solstice Kitchen & Wine Bar
A kitchen that changes with the seasons, Solstice Kitchen & Wine Bar is a unique venue featuring New American, or rather New Southern, tastes. The place has a modern interior that is chic enough to uplift any dining but simple enough to keep it friendly and warm. With extensive lunch and dinner specials, along with the seasonally changing menus, Solstice offers a rich selection of creative dishes such as rib eye, pork spring rolls, salmon, and veggie options, pleasantly accompanied by the restaurant’s wine selection and crafted cocktails. If going with children or dogs, look for the special events such as ‘Patio Dining with Dogs’ or ‘Babysitter’s Night’, when parents can enjoy a romantic dinner while their children are taken care of right nearby.
West Columbia’s acclaimed culinary gem is Terra. The restaurant was opened in 2006 by owner and award-winning chef Mike Davis, whose heart and passion for excellence show in everything he does. The venue is a slow-food paradise, receiving seasonal ingredients directly from local farms to ensure freshness and quality. The menu changes daily and follows the local supplies. As guests choose from the delectable scallop, pork or lamb specialties, Mr. Davis is always happy to make a personal visit to any table. Besides the exceptional signature dishes, the venue also boasts wood-oven pizzas that are celebrated each Wednesday with the unique Pizza & Pinot evenings. Excellent food is accompanied by a similarly excellent list of local and international wines. Dining at Terra is an unbeatable upscale experience that is added to further by the views of the city’s skyline.
Terra, 100 State Street, West Columbia, SC, USA, +1 803 791 3443
By Virag Gulyas