Restaurants in Columbia


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  • Village At Sandhill
    Every day, Rita's serves up fresh, fruitified Italian ice ($2.09–$2.99) in more than 30 flavors (several are sugar-free), including strawberry, cotton candy, Swedish Fish, chocolate chocolate chip, piña colada, mango, green apple, and wild black cherry. Along with creamy ice, Rita's also sells icy cream. Case in point: Rita's famously frozen old-fashioned custard ($2.49–$3.49), a robust dish that—like revenge—is best served cold in a cup, cone, or overflowing El Camino truck bed. Rita's custard involves a different freezing process than ice cream and boasts creamier texture that makes regular ice cream feel like gravel sprinkled with sandpaper shreds. Rita's most popular frozen treat, gelati ($3.49–$3.99), takes its cue from brunch, twilight, and sporks and blends two great things to create an even greater thing—in this case, the flavorful variety of Italian ice with the smoothitude of frozen custard. Rita's also offers an assortment of specialty Misto shakes ($3.89–$4.29), and fat-free soft-serve Slenderitas ($2.49–$3.49), all of which make for a tasty treat as well as a deliciously soothing topical treatment for chicken pox.
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    100 Forum Dr
    Columbia, SC US
  • The Big Ugly
    The Big Ugly synthesizes small plates of Cajun-centric fare with a fully stocked bar and the spinning sounds of house DJs. Recall summer nights spent gadding about New Orleans by munching on Bourbon Street gumbo—a medley of sausage, crawfish, peppers, onions, and celery in a spiced stew ($9)—or stifle angsty hunger pangs with fried-green tomatoes layered with goat cheese, homemade marinara, and capped with parmesan and parsley ($8). Alligator bites fried in the Cajun tradition arrive at tables served with chipotle mayo ($8), perfect for practicing gator wrestling in a controlled setting. The Big Ugly’s dim interior lighting casts a romantic mood on an elegantly elongated bar and hardwood floors. Quaff a Fat Tire or Magic Hat #9 on the open-air outdoor patio replete with its own bar while relaxing or listening to the witty banter of nearby wood nymphs.
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    931 Senate Street
    Columbia, SC US
  • Caprioska
    Caprioska welcomes visitors with a menu of upscale eats. Jump-start a dormant digestive system by choosing the chorizo, a pair of Argentine sweet sausages served with chimi-churi ($7.95), or win your taste-buds' hearts by offering them eight sauce-tossed wings ($6.95). Continue the quest for cuisine with a beef Caprioska burger ($7.95) or sirloin steak ($12.95) accompanied by the sweet music of a vegetable medley and mini baked potatoes. Pescatarians can pick a maritime meal, such as the grilled salmon flanked by sautéed asparagus and rice pilaf with a red-pepper coulis ($13.95), and fowl-focused diners can indulge in the spicy buffalo-chicken wrap ($7.95) or chicken alfredo ($9.95).
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    7001 Parklane Rd
    Columbia, SC US
  • Polliwogs
    The recently renovated Polliwogs (formerly Icy's Sports Bistro) flings together locally sourced ingredients, including fresh seafood from South Carolina's coast, to craft a southern- and Cajun-inspired menu of homegrown delicacies. Rescue a delicate crab cake, which dodges the drizzle of remoulade sauce by hiding beneath a portobello mushroom umbrella ($16). Firefly shrimp or salmon, sautéed with sweet-tea vodka and andouille sausage, recline atop cheese grits ($12), and shrimp or oyster po' boy flatbread sandwiches team up with a fresh-faced spring mix and fried green tomato ($9). Bottled microbrews, including RJ Rockers' summery Son of a Peach from Spartanburg and Thomas Creek's dark Deepwater Dopplebock from Greenville, pour forth regional pride by enthusiastically chanting the names of state lawmakers.
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    10005 Two Notch Rd
    Columbia, SC US
  • The British Bulldog Pub
    At The British Bulldog Pub, British-born owners Mark Bowyer and Bill Quirk team up with the American-born Rob Sharpley to create a fun-for-all atmosphere that's enhanced by live music, televised games, and a profusion of frothy ales on tap. While English Premier League soccer games engage fans throughout the bar, patrons may peruse chef Damian Wanek's authentic pub menu, introduced by starters such as the scotch egg ($8), hard-boiled and hidden from pipe-smoking detectives under the disguise of breaded ground sausage. At dinner tables, traditional island favorites such as bangers and mash ($11) share space with more imperial international cuisine, such as the braised chicken curry ($13) backstroking in a creamy and tomato-y sauce. The beef-and-Guinness pie ($10) encapsulates braised beef, mushrooms, and vegetables under a baked, flaky crust and may be chased with bites of Guinness chocolate cake ($6) or Guinness-coated high-fives.
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    1220 Bower Pkwy
    Columbia, SC US
  • Mint Julep Bistro and Lounge
    Mint Julep Bistro & Lounge twists contemporary Southern cuisine into a creative spiral of succulent sustenance. The menu kicks taste buds awake with soul food, salads, and 10-inch pizzas snatched from the fiery clutches of a brick oven. Collect a cohort of colleagues and start with the shrimp and sausage gumbo ($6.99), served over rice. Then soothe insatiated appetites with an entree of bone-in pork chops grilled with apple and onion chutney and served with garlic mashed potatoes ($14.99), or sirloin steak lovingly marinated in bourbon and brown sugar and accompanied by sides such as Cajun coleslaw, collard greens, or sweet potato fries (choice of two sides, $14.99). Minty greens highlight the bar area, where customers can cool off overheated neck piping with a signature mint julep or sort through diverse drinks, including beer and more than 20 domestic and imported wines, such as the Layer Cake shiraz from Australia and Berringer's white zinfandel.
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    120 Sparkleberry Crossing Rd
    Columbia, SC US

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