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California Dreaming Restaurant

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401 South Main St, Columbia, SC 29201-4147
803-254-6767
Website
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, Breakfast, Reservations
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 400 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 154
    Excellent
  • 145
    Very good
  • 75
    Average
  • 14
    Poor
  • 12
    Terrible
Rating summary
  • Food
    4 of 5 stars
    Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
    Atmosphere
    4 of 5 stars
A Columbia Mainstay

When I lived in the area some 15 years ago,California Dreaming was always one of my favorite lunch spots. I recently stopped in again for dinner, and was delighted to find that the atmosphere,food and service is just as good as I remembered. Regulars know to order the Spinach Nachos as an app and... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed July 17, 2015
shell904
,
Davidson, North Carolina
Good for:
  • Large groups
  • Families with children
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400 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
23 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2015 NEW

Lunch with family on a Saturday. Both the baked potato soup and SheCrab soup were only lukewarm. Their California Dreaming salad was just like any other chef salad with very few almonds. Waiter was competent and in his defense, after we ordered, the restaurant became exceptionally busy with numerous large groups that needed to be seated

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Columbia, South Carolina
Level Contributor
20 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2015 NEW via mobile

I had to stop by last week to get the California Dreaming Salad for lunch even though it was out of my way. I really think this is my all time favorite salad with their own house dressing! Fabulous ! And don't get me started on the Glazed Drizzeled Crossaints that come with it! I'm dreamin ... Heavenly! 😋

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Davidson, North Carolina
Level Contributor
178 reviews
109 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2015

When I lived in the area some 15 years ago,California Dreaming was always one of my favorite lunch spots. I recently stopped in again for dinner, and was delighted to find that the atmosphere,food and service is just as good as I remembered. Regulars know to order the Spinach Nachos as an app and the California Dreaming Salad with the... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Level Contributor
15 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2015

Large restaurant, despite the name closer to fine dining than e.g. the Old Chicago place in Columbia. Prices are a bit higher. Besides pizza there was a lot of steak and seafood on the menu. Good beer selection.

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New York City, New York
Level Contributor
39 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2015

This has and will continue to be my go to restaurant when visiting Columbia. The restaurant is in an old train station. The food and service is always fresh and friendly. Great bar! Order the croissants. You'll eat more than one... Guaranteed.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Columbia, South Carolina
Level Contributor
80 reviews
59 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2015

This place is often overlooked and I am not sure why. There food is delicious and the service is always great. I would recommend the wings and the house salad.

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Columbia, South Carolina
Level Contributor
20 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2015

I wish there was a way to give this restaurant a 3 1/2... it was better than average but not quite very good. I've had a couple of lunches here and tried different salads and soup. Fresh, quality ingredients and good flavors but missing that something extra special. It's a pretty big and busy place and the time I was... More 

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Palm Springs, California
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2015

Great time, good food, great prices and plenty to eat. A little loud at times but it is a college town!

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Rock Hill, South Carolina
Level Contributor
58 reviews
38 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2015

I don't get to eat this place much because I don't live in Columbia anymore, but every time I go to Columbia I have to eat at this place. Honestly, my favorite thing BY FAR is their California Dreamin' Salad with She Crab Soup. and those CROISSANTS!!! You need to try their house dressing, it is a hot honey mustard... More 

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Charlotte, North Carolina
Level Contributor
41 reviews
33 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2015

We were in town for three days, two of which we ate dinner here. The first night I was unfortunately disappointed in the steak sandwich I was served. I also prefer my beef cooked to "pink all through" the server indicated this would be "medium well". I was skeptical about this as I never request anything "well", but she was... More 

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Additional Information about California Dreaming Restaurant

Address: 401 South Main St, Columbia, SC 29201-4147
Phone Number: 803-254-6767
Location: United States  >  South Carolina (SC)  >  Columbia
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
Average Prices: USD 20
Cuisine: American

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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: Large groups, Families with children

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
1 question
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Charlotte, North Carolina
1 month ago

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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?