Looking for a romantic night out in Columbia, SC? Look no further than the city’s top date night restaurants. With a variety of cuisine options, ambiance settings, and specialty dishes, you’re sure to find the perfect spot to impress your significant other. Whether you’re looking for a cozy and intimate atmosphere or a lively and entertaining experience, Columbia has something for everyone.
Into Eastern flavors? Check out my guide to the best Asian restaurants in Columbia.
What’s the best restaurant for date night in Columbia?
For those seeking the quintessential date night restaurant in Columbia, the Motor Supply Co. Bistro stands out as a top choice. With its emphasis on locally-sourced ingredients and a menu that boasts both American and International flavors, it offers a cozy, intimate atmosphere perfect for creating memorable moments.
Whether you’re indulging in their specialty dishes or sipping from their extensive wine list, this establishment encapsulates the romantic essence of Columbia’s dining scene.
When it comes to dining options, Columbia offers a wide variety of cuisines to choose from. From classic American fare to French-inspired dishes, you’re sure to find a restaurant that suits your taste buds. And with a focus on fresh, locally-sourced ingredients, many of these restaurants offer a unique and flavorful dining experience that you won’t find anywhere else.
But it’s not just about the food – the ambiance and setting of a restaurant can make all the difference when it comes to creating a romantic atmosphere. Whether you’re looking for a cozy and intimate spot or a lively and entertaining experience, Columbia’s top date night restaurants have you covered. With options ranging from sidewalk seating to rooftop bars, you’re sure to find the perfect spot to impress your significant other.
- Columbia, SC offers a variety of top date night restaurants with different ambiance settings and cuisines to choose from.
- Specialty dishes and locally-sourced ingredients are a focus at many of these restaurants.
- Whether you’re looking for a cozy and intimate atmosphere or a lively and entertaining experience, Columbia’s top date night restaurants have something for everyone.
Related Article: Best Wings In Columbia!
Top Date Night Restaurants
If you’re looking for a romantic evening out in Columbia, SC, there are plenty of excellent options to choose from. Here are some of the top date night restaurants in the area.
|Motor Supply Co. Bistro||American, International||$$ – $$$|
|Hampton Street Vineyard||French||$$ – $$$|
|Villa Tronco||Italian||$$ – $$$|
|The Grand||American||$$ – $$$|
|Saluda’s||Southern, American||$$ – $$$|
|Gervais & Vine||Mediterranean, Tapas||$$ – $$$|
|Halls Chophouse||Steakhouse, Seafood||$$$ – $$$$|
Motor Supply Co. Bistro is a popular spot for date night. The restaurant offers a seasonal menu that features locally sourced ingredients. You can enjoy dishes like duck confit, grilled octopus, and pan-seared scallops in a cozy, intimate atmosphere.
Motor Supply Co also hosts one of the bests brunches in Columbia on the weekends.
**Expert Tip: We tried going to Motor Supply Co this past weekend and could not get in without reservations. We forgot it was parent’s weekend at the University of South Carolina. Be sure to make a reservation. Unfortunately, they require a credit card to make a reservation, so you are committed to going.
For a French-inspired date night, Hampton Street Vineyard is an excellent choice. You’ll find an exceptional wine list and a delicious menu of French classics. The restaurant has sidewalk seating, which is perfect for people-watching in downtown Columbia.
If you’re in the mood for Italian, Villa Tronco is a must-visit. The restaurant has been a Columbia institution since 1940 and is known for its classic Italian dishes like spaghetti and meatballs and chicken parmesan.
For a classic American date night experience, head to The Grand. The restaurant is housed in a historic theater and offers a menu of elevated comfort food like fried chicken and mac and cheese.
Columbia has plenty of options for a romantic evening out, no matter what cuisine you’re in the mood for.
Columbia, SC is known for its diverse culinary scene, and you can find restaurants that cater to all tastes and preferences. Whether you are in the mood for pizza, Italian, steak, American, seafood, Cajun-Creole, Southern, Korean, or Italian classics, you will find a restaurant that suits your taste buds.
Here are some of the best restaurants in Columbia, SC that offer a variety of cuisines:
- Motor Supply Co. Bistro – This restaurant offers a farm-to-table experience with a rotating menu that features seasonal ingredients. You can expect to find dishes that range from Southern classics to international flavors.
- Halls Chophouse – If you are in the mood for steak, Halls Chophouse is the place to go. This restaurant offers premium cuts of beef, as well as seafood and other American classics.
- Cantina 76 – If you are craving Mexican food, Cantina 76 is a great option. This restaurant offers a variety of tacos, burritos, and other Mexican-inspired dishes. They’re also my pick for the best taco restaurant in Columbia. **(Another local favorite)
- Mr. Friendly’s New Southern Cafe – This restaurant is known for its Southern-style cuisine with a modern twist. You can expect to find dishes like fried green tomatoes, shrimp and grits, and chicken and waffles.
- **Expert Tip: All my local Columbia friends are going to hate me for telling you about this spot. It is one of the go-to local restaurants but is tiny and tucked around the side of a building next to the railroad tracks at Five Points. Be sure to check if they are open. Their website says they are open on Monday nights but they were closed when we pulled in the parking lot. This just gave us a chance to try something else… but Mr. Friendly’s is always a good spot to eat.
- Blue Marlin – If you are a seafood lover, Blue Marlin is a must-visit. This restaurant offers a variety of seafood dishes, including shrimp and grits, crab cakes, and fish tacos.
- Gervais & Vine – This restaurant offers a Mediterranean-inspired menu with dishes like hummus, falafel, and lamb chops. You can also find a variety of wines to pair with your meal.
- Il Giorgione Pizzeria and Wine Bar – If you are in the mood for pizza, Il Giorgione is a great option. This restaurant offers a variety of Neapolitan-style pizzas, as well as other Italian classics like pasta and risotto.
When it comes to cuisine variety, Columbia, SC has something for everyone. Whether you are in the mood for Southern classics, international flavors, or something in between, you can find a restaurant that suits your taste buds.
Ambiance and Setting
When it comes to choosing the perfect date night restaurant, ambiance and setting are crucial factors to consider. Columbia, SC has a variety of options to suit any style or preference, from intimate and romantic to lively and energetic.
If you’re looking for an intimate and cozy atmosphere, Gervais & Vine is a great option. This modern Mediterranean restaurant has indoor and outdoor seating and a warm and inviting ambiance. The dim lighting and comfortable seating make it the perfect spot for a romantic evening.
For those who enjoy live music, Hampton Street Vineyard is a charming choice. This French-inspired restaurant has a cozy and elegant setting, with sidewalk seating and an exceptional wine list. The live music adds to the ambiance, creating a romantic and sophisticated atmosphere.
If you prefer a more lively and energetic vibe, The Vista area has several options to choose from. Motor Supply Co. Bistro is a popular choice, with a chic and modern interior and a lively atmosphere. The menu features locally sourced ingredients and creative dishes, making it a great spot for foodies.
For a more casual and laid-back option, Five Points has several restaurants with a relaxed and welcoming ambiance. Publico Kitchen & Tap is a popular choice, with a spacious patio and a fun and lively atmosphere. The menu features a variety of dishes, from tacos to burgers, and a great selection of craft beers.
**Expert Tip: If you have a party of 3+ and you all want tacos, it’s a much better deal to get a tray of tacos vs. ordering one by one. They will bring you plates and then the tacos arrive on a large tray.
No matter what your preference, Columbia, SC, has plenty of options for a memorable date night. There’s something for everyone, from the charming and intimate to the lively and energetic.
|Gervais & Vine||Intimate, cozy||Indoor and outdoor seating|
|Hampton Street Vineyard||Romantic, sophisticated||Sidewalk seating|
|Motor Supply Co. Bistro||Chic, modern||Lively atmosphere|
|Publico Kitchen & Tap||Relaxed, welcoming||Spacious patio|
When it comes to a romantic dinner, you want to make sure you’re ordering the best dishes on the menu. Luckily, Columbia, SC has plenty of restaurants with delicious specialty dishes that are sure to impress your date.
If you’re in the mood for some seafood, try the oysters at Hampton Street Vineyard. These oysters are served with a mignonette sauce and are the perfect way to start off your meal.
If you’re looking for something a little more filling, the lobster lasagna at Saluda’s is a must-try. This rich and decadent dish is made with fresh lobster, ricotta, and mozzarella cheese, and is sure to leave you feeling satisfied.
For a meaty option, consider the pork chop at Mr. Friendly’s New Southern. This dish is served with sweet potato puree and a bourbon-molasses glaze, and is a favorite among locals.
If you’re in the mood for something a little more exotic, the lamb chops at Goat’s are a great choice. These chops are served with a pomegranate glaze and are sure to impress.
If you’re a fan of Italian cuisine, the meatballs at Il Giorgione are a must-try. These meatballs are made with a blend of pork, beef, and veal, and are served in a tomato sauce with fresh parmesan cheese.
If you’re in the mood for pasta, the mushroom truffle pasta at Motor Supply Co. Bistro is a great choice. This dish is made with homemade pasta, wild mushrooms, and a truffle cream sauce.
For those who prefer vegan options, the tapas at The War Mouth are a great choice. Their vegan tapas include roasted cauliflower with romesco sauce and smoked eggplant with tomato jam.
If you’re in the mood for something a little more indulgent, the fried oyster sandwich at The Grand is a must-try. These oysters are fried to perfection and served on a brioche bun with slaw and remoulade sauce.
No matter your taste preferences, Columbia, SC has plenty of specialty dishes to choose from. Be sure to check out these top restaurants and try their signature dishes for an unforgettable date night.
When it comes to date night, having a great beverage selection can be just as important as the food. Luckily, Columbia, SC has a variety of options to choose from. Whether you’re in the mood for coffee, IPAs, bourbon, or craft beers, there’s something for everyone.
For those looking for a caffeine boost, Columbia has plenty of coffee shops to choose from. Indah Coffee Co. in the North Main district is a popular spot to start your evening. They offer a variety of coffee drinks, including Thai Coffee that comes highly recommended.
If you’re a fan of hoppy beers, you’ll want to check out River Rat Brewery. They have a variety of IPAs on tap, including the popular Broad River Red IPA. If you’re looking for something a little different, try their Hazelnut Brown Ale or their seasonal Pumpkin Ale.
For those looking for a strong drink, Bourbon is a great option. Bourbon has a great selection of bourbons and other specialty cocktails. They also have a small plate menu that’s perfect for sharing.
Craft beer lovers will want to check out Columbia Craft Brewing Company. They have a rotating selection of beers on tap, including their popular Kölsch and their seasonal Pumpkin Ale.
They also have a small bites menu that includes options like soft pretzels and pimento cheese dip.
Entertainment and Activities
After enjoying a delicious meal at one of the best date night restaurants in Columbia, SC, you might be looking for some fun and entertainment to round out your evening. Luckily, Columbia has plenty of options to choose from.
If you’re in the mood for some friendly competition, head to The Grand on Main. This venue has a variety of activities to choose from, including bowling, pool tables, shuffleboard, and foosball. You can also enjoy drinks and snacks while you play.
For a more retro vibe, check out Transmission Arcade. This arcade features classic video games from the 80s and 90s, as well as newer games and pinball machines. It’s a great spot for some nostalgic fun.
If you’re looking for something a bit more upscale, consider The Robinson Room. This cocktail bar has a speakeasy feel and offers live music and entertainment on select nights. It’s a great place to relax and enjoy some sophisticated fun.
The Robinson Room is also one of my favorite places to get desserts in Columbia.
For those who enjoy outdoor activities, there are several options as well. You can visit one of the city’s many putting greens, or head to a local park for a romantic stroll. If you’re feeling adventurous, you might even try a hot air balloon ride or a helicopter tour of the city.
Planning Your Visit
When planning your date night in Columbia, SC, there are a few things to consider to ensure a memorable experience. Here are some tips to help you plan your visit:
Many of the best date night restaurants in Columbia, SC require reservations, so booking your table in advance is a good idea.
You can check the restaurant’s website or call to make a reservation. Some restaurants also offer online reservation systems, making it easy to secure your table.
**Expert Tip: Post covid, you should always check with the restaurant to make sure they are open. We were in Columbia recently for two nights following the parent’s weekend football game at USC and so many places were closed on either Sunday or Monday night. Don’t just check their website. Actually, call to verify as two websites we checked said they were open and they were not once we arrived.
Before heading out for your date night, it’s important to check the dress code of the restaurant you plan to visit. Some restaurants have a casual dress code, while others require more formal attire. You can usually find this information on the restaurant’s website or by calling ahead.
Depending on the location of the restaurant, parking can be a challenge in Columbia, SC. Some restaurants have their own parking lots, while others offer valet parking.
If parking is limited, you may need to park on the street or in a nearby parking garage. Be sure to check the restaurant’s website or call ahead to find out about parking options.
If you’re celebrating a special occasion, such as an anniversary or birthday, be sure to let the restaurant know when making your reservation. Many restaurants offer special menus or services for these occasions, such as a complimentary dessert or champagne toast.
When planning your date night in Columbia, SC, you may also want to consider other factors such as location, cuisine, and price. You can use online reviews and recommendations from friends to narrow down your options.
Additionally, some restaurants offer happy hour specials or prix fixe menus, which can help you save money while still enjoying a delicious meal.
In conclusion, South Carolina, particularly West Columbia, offers a rich tapestry of dining and entertainment experiences. From the brick-lined pathways of Devine Street to the sumptuous salads and entrees of the Motor Supply Company Bistro, there’s something for every palate.
For those seeking a romantic date night, the extensive wine list at fine dining restaurants pairs perfectly with a slice of pie or a hearty brunch the next morning. Whiskey enthusiasts will find solace in Kaminsky’s offerings, while movie buffs can indulge in the latest films at the Nickelodeon Theatre.
Whether it’s a casual outing or a special occasion, the region promises a delightful blend of flavors and fun.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What are some of the most romantic restaurants in downtown Columbia, SC?
If you’re looking for a romantic dinner in downtown Columbia, SC, you have plenty of options to choose from. Some of the most romantic restaurants in downtown Columbia, SC are Motor Supply Co. Bistro and Hampton Street Vineyard. These restaurants offer a cozy atmosphere, exceptional wine lists, and delicious menus that are perfect for a romantic night out.
Where can I find the best Italian food in Columbia, SC for a date night?
If you’re in the mood for Italian cuisine for your date night, you should check out Il Giorgione Pizzeria & Wine Bar or Villa Tronco Italian Restaurant. These restaurants offer some of the best Italian food in Columbia, SC and have a cozy atmosphere that’s perfect for a romantic evening.
What are some of the fanciest restaurants in Columbia, SC for a special occasion?
If you’re looking for a fancy restaurant in Columbia, SC for a special occasion, you should check out Oak Table, Solstice Kitchen, or Saluda’s. These restaurants offer exceptional service, upscale menus, and an elegant atmosphere that’s perfect for a special occasion.
Can you recommend any nice restaurants on Main Street in Columbia, SC?
Main Street in Columbia, SC has plenty of great restaurants to choose from. Some of the best include Bourbon and The Grand. These restaurants offer delicious menus, great drinks, and a cozy atmosphere that’s perfect for a night out.
What are some of the most popular date night restaurants near me in Columbia, SC?
If you’re looking for popular date night restaurants near you in Columbia, SC, you should check out Gervais & Vine or The Melting Pot. These restaurants are popular for their delicious food, cozy atmosphere, and great service.
What are some romantic things to do in Columbia, SC after dinner at a nice restaurant?
After dinner at a nice restaurant, there are plenty of romantic things to do in Columbia, SC. You can take a stroll through the Riverfront Park, enjoy a show at the Koger Center for the Arts, or take a romantic carriage ride through the city. If you’re looking for something more low-key, you can enjoy a glass of wine at a rooftop bar or take a moonlit walk through the city.