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California Dreaming Restaurant & Bar

Certificate of Excellence
$$ - $$$
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401 South Main Street, Columbia, SC 29201-4147
+1 803-254-6767
11:00 am - 10:00 pm
Open now
All hours
Sun - Thu 11:00 am - 10:00 pm
Fri - Sat 11:00 am - 11:00 pm
More Info
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669 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 666: English reviews
Level Contributor
17 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago NEW via mobile

The wife and I favorite restraunt. Beautiful water views on the harbor. We have seen dolphins playing on numerous occasions while eating dinner.

Thank mcnealfamily
Mobile, Alabama
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 days ago NEW via mobile

Business took me to the Columbia area so I stayed at a downtown hotel. I was able to walk to the restaurant. The location is in the old Union Station and the bar is almost like an arbor inside of a huge room. Very nicely done. Have ate at several California Dreaming locations and this one has the best ambience.... More 

Thank johnA3890JQ
Victoria, Canada
Level Contributor
114 reviews
50 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

I highly recommend dining at this location. I can't remember for sure what it was called, but three of us had what I think was the house salad and it was absolutely amazing. Order with the house dressing. Delicious!! Even the side portion size was very generous. The honey croissants that come with the salad--incredible! We also ordered a breaded... More 

Thank Coreena W
Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
15 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

A large group of family met at California Dreaming for lunch Thanksgiving Day. We had to wait about 20 minutes past our reservation -- the place was swamped with diners. But the meal was well worth it! I am not a fan of eating holiday meals out because I am invariably disappointed, but not this time. The food tasted home-cooked;... More 

Thank seaotter76
Level Contributor
42 reviews
31 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Overall, this is a good place to eat. I have been here several times. It's kind of pricey if you are looking to dine on a budget. A lot of people use it for birthdays, graduation dinners, anniversaries, and special events. Further, its busy starting on Thursday through Saturday. Generally during the week you can get a quick table as... More 

Thank Barry K
Columbia, South Carolina
Level Contributor
10 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

A friend took me here for my birthday dinner it was a busy Friday night and our service reflected that everything was over season on my friends seafood platter the first time the shrimp was brought out the breading wasn't even cooked all the way through the second batch had the same issue. I had a shrimp pasta in alfredo... More 

Thank Della L
Columbia, South Carolina
Level Contributor
18 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Just got back from our office Thanksgiving Lunch. We went to California Dreaming. There were 15 of us, so it was a large group. There were a number of other large groups there. Service was quick. (Other staff members rushed to aid our waitress getting the food out.) Food was good. Our group enjoyed the meal. It did get loud... More 

Thank smitty237
Level Contributor
34 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Thus is where to experience food, drink, history all in a fun & unique atmosphere. The food is superb

Thank Sharon K
Harleysville, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

My prime rib was done to perfection & had the best flavor of any prime rib I've ever eaten! Beautiful restaurant as well.

Thank Dinah H
Augusta, Georgia
Level Contributor
26 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Whenever I took my clients to lunch from SCANA They always wanted to go to California Dreaming in the old train station, I always started with the she crab soup And from there the seafood platter I never had a bad meal there my wife and my Pastor loves them too

Thank j3spalding

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Restaurant Details

Rating summary
  • Food
    4 of 5 bubbles
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
    4 of 5 bubbles
Average prices
$5 - $25
American, Bar, Pub, Gluten Free Options
Lunch, Dinner, Late Night
Restaurant features
Outdoor Seating, Free Wifi, Takeout, Reservations, Private Dining, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Television, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Accepts Discover
Good for
Business meetings, Special occasions, Local cuisine, Bar scene, Kids, Families with children, Romantic, Large groups
Open Hours
11:00 am - 10:00 pm
11:00 am - 10:00 pm
11:00 am - 10:00 pm
11:00 am - 10:00 pm
11:00 am - 10:00 pm
11:00 am - 11:00 pm
11:00 am - 11:00 pm
Location and Contact Information
  • Address: 401 South Main Street, Columbia, SC 29201-4147
  • Location: United States  >  South Carolina (SC)  >  Columbia
  • Phone Number: +1 803-254-6767
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.

Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of California Dreaming Restaurant & Bar and other visitors
5 questions
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Lake Murray,SC
2 days ago
Greenville, South Carolina
over a year ago
Charlotte, North Carolina
over a year ago

See all questions (5)

Questions? Get answers from California Dreaming Restaurant & Bar 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?