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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
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Today
11:00 am - 11:00 pm
Open now
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Hours:
Sun - Thu 11:00 am - 10:00 pm
Fri - Sat 11:00 am - 11:00 pm
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Lunch, Free Wifi, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Takeout, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Good for: Bar scene, Families with children, Large groups
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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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 481 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 189
    Excellent
  • 178
    Very good
  • 84
    Average
  • 15
    Poor
  • 15
    Terrible
Rating summary
  • Food
    4 of 5 stars
    Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
    Atmosphere
    4 of 5 stars
Very good meal

I took my wife to California Dreaming for her birthday and we had a wonderful meal. Patrick, our waiter was spot on and did a wonderful job making her birthday meal special. We each had the 10 oz. sirloin, baked potato, house salad and dressing and croissant roll and it was wonderful. There was one... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed 3 days ago
Robbie H
,
Lexington, South Carolina
via mobile
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481 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
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Lexington, South Carolina
Level Contributor
149 reviews
127 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW via mobile

I took my wife to California Dreaming for her birthday and we had a wonderful meal. Patrick, our waiter was spot on and did a wonderful job making her birthday meal special. We each had the 10 oz. sirloin, baked potato, house salad and dressing and croissant roll and it was wonderful. There was one glitch in the night, my... More 

Helpful?
Thank Robbie H
Columbia, SC
Level Contributor
219 reviews
129 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 126 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

We never want to sit in the very front where people congregate to get in. It can become very crowed and uncomfortable to eat there, especially with people wearing "loud perfumes" these days. It just ruins a meal. Ask to sit in the back. The food is pretty good. I would like more vegetarian options. The drinks are on the... More 

Helpful?
Thank mersmom8
Fitzpatrick
Level Contributor
15 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

My 8 year old daughter and I had dinner here while in town. Beautiful restaurant in an old train station. The food was delicious. I had the salmon and it was cooked perfectly. My daughter enjoyed her meal and our waiter was very nice and attentive. We would highly recommend it. Would be happy to dine here any time.

Helpful?
Thank Oceajen
Lexington, South Carolina
Level Contributor
25 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

Wife and I ate here and I ordered the soup and salad. I asked for the She Crab soup as an upgrade from the normal soup which I'm very glad I did. The salad came first and it was very good but after I tried the She Crab soup I was hooked. So much so that I ordered another bowl... More 

Helpful?
Thank Todd R
Nashville, TN
Level Contributor
41 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Everyone ended up ordering pasta; Chicken Sausage Pomodoro, Chicken Palermo, & Chicken Parmesan. All of us enjoyed the food and it was a plenty big portion size. The only "downfall" was there is no bread. Very good food and would go again.

Helpful?
Thank Grumpylicous
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

Good food and service always here! We always enjoy coming to the castle as my kids used to call it. Thanks!!

Helpful?
Thank David M
Rock Hill, South Carolina
Level Contributor
65 reviews
46 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We stopped here for lunch and I came in with high expectations because of what I had heard about the Charleston location. My burger tasted like fish and this totally confused me. At first I thought that the meat was bad and then I realized what it was. I asked for half sweetened and half unsweetened tea and it was... More 

Helpful?
Thank dsrbubba
CentraArchy-Rest, Public Relations Manager at California Dreaming Restaurant, responded to this review

Thank you for your feedback. It is extremely helpful and important to us in delivering the highest levels of quality and service to our valuable guests. I will make sure your feedback is forwarded to the store's management team, and hope your experiences with us in the future are nothing short of excellent. More 

north myrtle beach, United States
Level Contributor
13 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Vegetables all very fresh great with chicken sometimes veggies are not as crunchy as they should be, better look out if vegetables have been cut to long. can't stand lettuce with wilted edges! Vegetables were cold , crisp and tasted really fresh. The ambiance is very nice and clean and smelled like something really good was cooking. Service was good... More 

Helpful?
Thank Karen T
West Columbia, United States
Level Contributor
20 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago

We visit California Dreaming 6-8 times a year and every time we get the same..Excellent Food, Better Service and a most enjoyable dining experience. Food Quality is always great and if you are not pleased..Tell your server and they will make it right. And the Service, always professional and attentive. Usually so good compared with everything else, I feel compelled... More 

Helpful?
Thank Arthur A
Columbia, South Carolina
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago

California Dreaming was the main train station in Columbia and it looks just like what you would expect an old train station to look like. It's a wonderful building if that's what you enjoy! The food is fantastic too! I like the California Dreaming salad with the house dressing. It's a hot bacon dressing. Yum!!!! The Fettuccine Alfredo is really... More 

Helpful?
Thank SunFan70

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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 20
  • Cuisine: American

Restaurant Characteristics

  • Good for: Bar scene, 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

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of California Dreaming Restaurant and other visitors
2 questions
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Greenville, South Carolina
6 months ago
Charlotte, North Carolina
8 months ago

See all questions (2)

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?