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California Dreaming Restaurant

401 South Main St, Columbia, SC 29201-4147
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Ranked #48 of 827 Restaurants in Columbia
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Price range: $0 - $20
Sun - Thu 11:00 am - 10:00 pm
Fri - Sat 11:00 am - 11:00 pm
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Large groups
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Late Night
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.
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284 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
4 reviews 4 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 14, 2014 NEW

Over priced and not as good as all the hype! Crescent rolls with the glaze are very good but pricey in my opinion

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New York
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 10, 2014

One of usual dining favorites when visiting Columbia, SC. The food, especially the salads are always fresh and filling. The portions are generous and offer a good value for your money. The drinks are good and the service is usually outstanding. I wish we had the chain in the north.

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Columbia, South Carolina
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 9, 2014 credit card Amex Card Member Review

We enjoy this restaurant so much. each time we go there we get great service and good food. They marinate the chicken and it's almost always fork tender. The croissants have been a family favorite for years, the secret is of course the honey butter that's drizzled on after they come out of the oven. My favorite item on the... More

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Saint Helena Island, South Carolina
2 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2014 via mobile

Our food was great, service great, very noisy. When we asked to be seated in the back section it was much quieter and a nice view. Convenient to the college campus. Loved it and would definately go back next time in Columbia

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1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2014

A salad is usually the LAST thing that I order at a restaurant, as I always want the good stuff. BUT the California Dreaming Salad is sooooo delicious. With its mixed greens, shredded ham and turkey, cheddar and monterey jack cheeses, chopped eggs, tomatoes, toasted almonds topped with warm hormel ham, bacon and rach dressing... OH MY! OH MY! OH... More

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Columbia, South Carolina
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2014

Good food. Bring your earplugs. Extremely noisy. No conversation possible unless you shout. No sound absorbant materials used in building design. This is no place for a quiet, intimate evening with friends and family. But good food!

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Columbus, Georgia
Top Contributor
78 reviews 78 reviews
49 restaurant reviews
147 helpful votes 147 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2014

This restaurant is very popular but it is also huge so they keep the crowd moving. The decor is warm and inviting and the staff friendly. I have usually had beef here - the prime rib and filet are typically excellent and cooked precisely to order.

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Savannah, Georgia
Top Contributor
105 reviews 105 reviews
37 restaurant reviews
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2014

My Dad travels to Columbia for business, and he's always raved about this spot, so I decided to check it out for myself. It was a busy night, but I was seated at a nice booth after a brief wait and my food came out pretty quickly. For starters, I had the side salad and both it and the accompanying... More

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1 review
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 4, 2014

I am 35 years old and grew up in Columbia. Many of my family and friends have eaten here and sing there praises. My grandmother turned 79 today so we decided to surprise her with a late lunch at this restaurant. When we were seated our table cloth was filthy!! I was so angry because the hostess actually laid menus... More

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Cape May, New Jersey
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
32 restaurant reviews
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2014

Within easy walking distance of USC this place feels like being in another area. The large windows look out on a grassy knoll while the 2 bars keep the place lively. Food was decent and not overpriced. Good pulled pork sandwich. I will be back.

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