We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

California Dreaming Restaurant

Certificate of Excellence
Map
Satellite
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Get directions
401 South Main St, Columbia, SC 29201-4147
803-254-6767
Website
Improve this listing
Today
11:00 am - 10:00 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: Lunch, Dinner, Late Night, 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.
read more

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 486 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 190
    Excellent
  • 181
    Very good
  • 85
    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
Lunch

Love the food here but the accoustics make it impossible to have a conversation with your party. The California Dreaming salad is always a favorite.

4 of 5 starsReviewed 2 days ago
976helend
,
Columbia, South Carolina
via mobile
Add Photo Write a Review

486 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language
Columbia, South Carolina
Level Contributor
3 reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW via mobile

Love the food here but the accoustics make it impossible to have a conversation with your party. The California Dreaming salad is always a favorite.

Helpful?
Thank 976helend
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

Had a steak and house salad.Steak was tender and juicy the salad was huge and delicious. I had no complaints about the food or service. Called ahead and was seated in good time and the waiter was professional and courteous. The price is not outrageous for the size of the portions and the caliber of the food. My major complaint... More 

Helpful?
Thank Brian C
Columbia, South Carolina, United States
Level Contributor
23 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

The atmosphere of a grand old train depot cannot be beat. The food is not unique, but it is consistently good. My preference is for lunch, but dinner is good too. The California Dreaming salad is a favorite and has been for years

Helpful?
Thank BBinColaSC
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW via mobile

We went with a grpup of friends from out of state and although drinks and atmosphere were great. The pasta chicken dish I had was so salty I couldn't honestly eat it. The staff was wonderful to me and asked if they could get me something else. But I had been full enough from the salad and appetizers we had... More 

Helpful?
Thank JenBriVT
Level Contributor
14 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 days ago NEW via mobile

We had our family and extended family dinner here after our Daughters performance in the South Carolina State Honors Choir. The prices were ok as advertised but the food could have been better. I had a shaved ribeye sandwich that was 14.95, I've had better sandwiches at outback for half the price. The rest of my family's food was average... More 

Helpful?
Thank Paul R
Lexington, South Carolina
Level Contributor
151 reviews
129 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago 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 128 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 2 weeks 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 2 weeks 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

Travelers who viewed California Dreaming Restaurant also viewed

 

Been to California Dreaming Restaurant? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing
Improve this listing

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
Ask a question
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?