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California Dreaming Restaurant

Certificate of Excellence
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401 South Main St, Columbia, SC 29201-4147
803-254-6767
Website
Today
11:00 am - 11:00 pm
Closed now
See all hours
Hours:
Sun - Thu 11:00 am - 10:00 pm
Fri - Sat 11:00 am - 11:00 pm
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Late Night
Description: Voted “Best Salad” 12 years running, by Free Times and Columbia...
Voted “Best Salad” 12 years running, by Free Times and Columbia Metropolitan, “Best Date Spot, Best Overall Restaurant and Best Place to Take your Parents” by USC’s The Daily Gamecock. Enjoy giant-sized fare from the California Dreaming kitchen; start with the Barbecue Chicken Nachos, then slow-cooked Prime Rib or a hearty pasta dish. The restaurant also features late night bar bites; large party carry-out and catering; live music and seasonal patio dining. The historic landmark building, Union Station, is located steps away from USC.
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Good for:
Families with children
Large groups
Breakfast/Brunch
Lunch
Dinner
Reservations
Late Night

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 345 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 132
    Excellent
  • 124
    Very good
  • 65
    Average
  • 13
    Poor
  • 11
    Terrible
Rating summary
  • Food
    4 of 5 stars
    Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
    Atmosphere
    4 of 5 stars
Most recent review
Cool funky old train station with monster salads

Good choice for lunch or dinner-consistently good food, great atmosphere, close to the Capitol and USC. The home of monster salads-you won't lose weight, but you definitely won't leave hungry!

4 of 5 starsReviewed February 19, 2015
lisa s
,
charleston
Good for:
  • Families with children
  • Large groups
  • Breakfast/Brunch
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Reservations
  • Late Night
Add Photo Write a Review

345 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
charleston
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2015

Good choice for lunch or dinner-consistently good food, great atmosphere, close to the Capitol and USC. The home of monster salads-you won't lose weight, but you definitely won't leave hungry!

Was this review helpful? Yes
Columbia, South Carolina
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2015

California Dreaming House Salad and salad dressing are The Best!!! I have eaten there many times for lunch and dinner. My husband and I have gone for special occasions, like birthdays and anniversaries. Due to the fact our anniversary is Valentine's Day we have to make a very early reservation or go before/after the date. We just celebrated our 45th... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Columbia, South Carolina
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
31 restaurant reviews
61 helpful votes 61 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2015

Seems on every visit, no matter how full we stand around waiting to be seated. The Hostess is always busy.. once we are seated the wait staff is good.. the food just ok...the setting is awesome... the parking awful... so for my money better food and parking in other places and I do not have to wait to be seated...

Was this review helpful? Yes
Columbia, South Carolina
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2015

Always a great place to catch up with friends! Never a bad choice. They have a something for everyone.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Columbia, South Carolina
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2015

The food was excellent and plenty. Service was quick and outstanding. Parking is tight for this restaurant and the sound of people talking carries. Get there early if you can, because when it gets busy your service will be effected.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Columbia, South Carolina
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2015

Thisc is a very nice resteraunt. You may need tobook in advance,. Not cheap but great food. I had the salad with the dressing already inn the salad, new to me. Very large.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Columbia, South Carolina
Top Contributor
73 reviews 73 reviews
50 restaurant reviews
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2015

I have eaten at the California Dreaming restaurants in Charleston, Columbia, and North Myrtle Beach and they all have consistently good food. I look forward to each visit because their house salad is super sized and has all the veggies I like in it along with sliced, hard boiled eggs. The menu has a large amount of food to choose... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Columbia, South Carolina
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2015

The setting of the restaurant is amazing an old train station We always go for the California dreaming salad and it's always amazing the service is really good to Difiniantly will repeat it

Was this review helpful? Yes
Chapin, SC
Top Contributor
62 reviews 62 reviews
32 restaurant reviews
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2015

The food here is good. However, the parking is frustrating and there is always a wait. It also can get very noisy. We are locals and I just think there are better, more relaxing places to eat.

Was this review helpful? Yes
CA_Centraarchy, Public Relations Manager at California Dreaming Restaurant, responded to this review

Thank you for your feedback. I understand how you feel with parking, unfortunately with our historic building / property there is no leniency. We do offer curbside to go with designated parking upfront. Looking forward to serving you again soon. More 

Bluffton, South Carolina
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
25 restaurant reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 2, 2015

we had a party of 7 for lunch and the server just seemed overwhelmed and did not refill waters or ask how things were. 1st time there and the salads were great and HUGE! wil go back as I am in town once a month but may go at a less busy time.

Was this review helpful? Yes

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Restaurant Details

Location and Contact Information

  • Address: 401 South Main St, Columbia, SC 29201-4147
  • Location: United States  >  South Carolina (SC)  >  Columbia
  • Phone Number: 803-254-6767

Price and Cuisine

  • Average Prices: USD 0 - 20
  • Cuisine: American

Restaurant Characteristics

  • Good for: Families with children, Large groups

Description

Voted “Best Salad” 12 years running, by Free Times and Columbia Metropolitan, “Best Date Spot, Best Overall Restaurant and Best Place to Take your Parents” by USC’s The Daily Gamecock. Enjoy giant-sized fare from the California Dreaming kitchen; start with the Barbecue Chicken Nachos, then slow-cooked Prime Rib or a hearty pasta dish. The restaurant also features late night bar bites; large party carry-out and catering; live music and seasonal patio dining. The historic landmark building, Union Station, is located steps away from USC.
Open Hours
Sunday
11:00 am - 10:00 pm
Monday
11:00 am - 10:00 pm
Tuesday
11:00 am - 10:00 pm
Wednesday
11:00 am - 10:00 pm
Thursday
11:00 am - 10:00 pm
Friday
11:00 am - 11:00 pm
Saturday
11:00 am - 11:00 pm

Questions & Answers

Questions? Get answers from California Dreaming Restaurant staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do you have gluten-free options?
  • Is there a dress code?
  • Do you allow dogs on the outdoor patio?