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California Dreaming Restaurant & Bar

$$ - $$$American, ,
401 Main St, Columbia, SC 29201-4147
+1 803-254-6767
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  • Excellent47%
  • Very good31%
  • Average16%
  • Poor4%
  • Terrible2%
Travelers talk about
Open Now
11:00 AM - 10:00 PM Hours
American, Bar, Grill, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options
$$ - $$$
401 Main St, Columbia, SC 29201-4147
All Details
Write a ReviewReviews (852)
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11 - 20 of 849 reviews

Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Five of us ate here for a business dinner. We tried some appetizers, each had a main course, and shared a plate of baby back ribs. The food was good, but did not compare to the rave reviews the locals gave it. Filet mignon, baby...More

Thank famtravlesny
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

We loved the old trail station a Great place to have a nice upscale restaurant. This is a location with history and restored to a very appealing style. We were seated in a very nice spot and had excellent service. My prime rib was very...More

Thank Steve R
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

We met some friends here before a dance we recently attended. We had 9 of us so we sat in the bar. They were very accommodating about moving tables for our group. It's a fun atmosphere and even though they were extremely busy we received...More

Thank Chuck N
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Whenever we stay in Columbia, we try to get by this place. As an Architect, I am impressed at how they have converted the former Railway Depot into a wonderful dining experience. This past visit we actually were seated with our party in the former...More

Thank 108ken
Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

California Dreaming has fabulous food, fabulous prices and so-so service. If you want to go our with your family and you all hate each other and don't want to talk or look at each other this is the place for you to enjoy a great...More

Thank NetmetKim
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

A spur of the moment decision to venture out of the office for lunch. Meal was good; however salad was watery and not as fresh as usual. The California Dreaming salad is their signature salad and I always look forward to a good salad there....More

Thank lindahagins
Reviewed February 9, 2018

Note to editor - if you CAN use our server's full name (Caitlyn), I'd be grateful. She really deserves recognition. If you can't - for whatever reason, I understand. In either case, thank you. I reviewed California Dreaming in July 2017. We had some issues...More

1  Thank lofar_dog
Reviewed February 4, 2018 via mobile

I have been going to this restaurant for years and it is never a let down. It’s great for families. I had something on the menu for Everyone. We try to get there early because it can very busy on weekends and lunches. I will...More

Thank Laura M
Reviewed January 31, 2018

The food was good although I never got what I ordered. I think the waitress just couldn't hear me. So I just got a salad and a basket of croissants that I didn't ask for and had to pay for them. Why would I order...More

Thank Stacy B
Reviewed January 26, 2018

Having been several times to Columbia for working reasons during the last few years, I had the chance to eat here on a few occasions, both alone and with colleagues. The restaurant is in an old railway station which has been renewed and transformed for...More

4  Thank Federico D
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Questions & Answers
Jennifer M
March 9, 2018|
AnswerShow all 8 answers
Response from Lewis N | Reviewed this property |
Good morning, it surely can. I held a party of 50 at the same location. There is an area for private parties. It stays booked so I would do so as soon as possible.
December 5, 2016|
AnswerShow all 8 answers
Response from CentraArchy-Rest | Property representative |
Absolutely! It's our house special. Slow-cooked and sliced to order!
Bobbi E
December 4, 2016|
AnswerShow all 4 answers
Response from CentraArchy-Rest | Property representative |
Hi Bobbi, I'm sorry to hear our hostess wasn't able to accommodate you! Good news, I have secured your reservation. At your convenience, please email me your contact phone #. Thank you and happy holidays, Amber @ CentraArchy... More
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Restaurant Details

Rating summary
  • Food
  • Value
Average prices
$5 - $25
Lunch, Dinner, Drinks, 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, Kids, Families with children, Large groups, Local cuisine, Bar scene, Special occasions
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 Main St, Columbia, SC 29201-4147
  • Location: United States  >  South Carolina (SC)  >  Columbia
  • Phone Number: +1 803-254-6767
Awarded Best Salad, 17 years running -Free Times reader survey, 2017 & The State, 2017 and Best Business Lunch -The State, 2017; Best Restaurant to Take a Date and Restaurant to Take your Parents -The Daily Gamecock, 2016. 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 large party catering, online ordering for carry-out, live music and seasonal patio dining. Attn USC students: CarolinaCard accepted! The historic landmark building, Union Station, is located steps away from USC.
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