Do you love Southern food? We do too, and that's why we dedicate ourselves to finding the best places to enjoy Southern cuisine in Columbia. We've diligently scouted out the top eateries, and we've listened to our readers and their reviews of Columbia restaurants. We share the places that get great buzz, like Terra, and we showcase the ones that have proven themselves over time, like Saluda's. We also point out good neighborhoods for Southern restaurants in Columbia - Five Points, for instance. When the craving hits, we'll make sure you get your fix!



Housed in a carefully renovated historic VFW officers club, augmented with an 1800s mahogany bar and a gorgeous 1915 Schomacker grand piano, Saluda's is elegant and sophisticated. The chefs focus on Southern and Continental dishes, frequently...  Read More



Southern cooking has a few trademark dishes, and Mr. Friendly's, under the same ownership as Solstice and Gervais & Vine, excels with a more upscale, occasionally innovative version of the classics. Crab cakes are pecan-crusted and served...  Read More

The Vista
Blue Marlin


Columbia's best for seafood, Blue Marlin serves fresh Lowcountry favorites in a refined but comfortable atmosphere. Shrimp and grits, crab cakes, fried green tomatoes, she crab soup, Tilapia Charleston (pan-seared tilapia with shrimp and crab...  Read More

Lizard's Thicket


The traditional Southern meat 'n three meal has been a standby for decades, and this family-owned, Columbia-area chain does it very well. Select one of about ten meats (beef stew, fried chicken or catfish, ham, and so forth), and then choose...  Read More

Hudson's Smokehouse


Here's the drill. You order up a plate of slow-smoked pulled pork, and then eat it naked, or choose one of three sauces: Western-style has a sweet tang, Gold has a bite-y mustard base, and Ultimate has a spicy, vinegar-y kick. Alternatively, you...  Read More



Upscale and stylish, with exposed brick and a warm color palette, Terra has developed a following among local foodies who appreciate the cooking and the setting. Chef Mike Davis takes a seasonal approach to New Southern cooking, creating notable...  Read More

Foxfire Grill


People were concerned when this place was sold, but the new owner hasn't changed much – it's all still good! Foxfire Grill used to be owned by the same folks who run Blue Marlin, so there are a few crossover dishes such as Charleston crab...  Read More

Shealy's Bar-B-Que


This one's well outside of town, about a 30-minute drive away in Leesville, but if you're a barbecue fan, don't let that deter you. It's a no-frills spot, as all great barbecue joints should be, but Shealy's does things a tad different. They...  Read More