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“Good for casual dining; great drink prices.” 4 of 5 stars
Review of California Dreaming Restaurant

California Dreaming Restaurant
401 South Main St, Columbia, SC 29201-4147
803-254-6767
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Ranked #38 of 824 restaurants in Columbia
Price range: $0 - $20
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.
Columbia, SC
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Good for casual dining; great drink prices.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2013

We like to go here for lunch or after-a-movie dinner. The salads are big enough to share, the croissants are wonderful, and house brands are $2.00, all the time, not just Happy Hour.

Visited January 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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271 reviews from our community

74% Recommend
    109
    93
    50
    9
    10
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Columbia, SC
1 review
“Not The Best”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2013

Found what looked like kidney meat in my soup. Manager did nothing. Won't be going back there anytime soon. Plus, I hear some locals are trying to sue the place. Apparently they do carpet cleaning with loud machines late into the night keeping everyone awake.

  • Visited December 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
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CA_Centraarchy, Public Relations Manager at California Dreaming Restaurant, responded to this review, January 18, 2013
Dear DW FF, I'm sorry to hear you weren't pleased with our Baked Potato Soup. It is made daily from scratch; the meat topping is a combination of hormel ham and bacon. We know that you have many dining choices and hope you will give us another opportunity to serve you.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Columbia, SC
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
26 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“The salad bring me back everytime!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2013

Love this place! I have tried probably 4 things in 10 years of coming, just because I come and get the same thing everytime!

The California Dreaming Salad is delicious! It is by no means healthy, but man is it a party in your mouth! It's a huge salad and ask for it with the house dressing- SO GOOD! The crossiant served with it is sweet and oh so good! The salad is worth every penny.

I also get an appetizer of the chicken strips to share with the hubby. They are really good; especially with their honey mustard!

I would stay away from here when there is a baseball game, basketball game, concert, graduation, and prom! This is a big place, but expect a wait when there are events at the venues around. Also, when it's busy- it can be very loud!

  • Visited July 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Summerville, SC
Top Contributor
149 reviews 149 reviews
113 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
“Lots of hype.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 24, 2012

The location is a former railroad station in Columbia. Like so many chain restaurants, the wait was long, and the food only average. The open seating allows one to constantly be bombarded with the singing of birthday wishes by the staff. I wish there was an area of "song free" seating. The food was OK, but not worth the money. Columbia has other places that have better food at better prices. Everything was OK, but not great.

Visited September 2012
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Charlotte, North Carolina
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“California Dreaming .... Quality Service”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 21, 2012

Service, food, and staff were great. I ordered the blackened chicken alfredo pasta and it was awesome!

Visited December 2012
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