We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

California Dreaming Restaurant & Bar

401 Main St, Columbia, SC 29201-4147
+1 803-254-6767
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
  • Excellent47%
  • Very good32%
  • Average16%
  • Poor3%
  • Terrible2%
Travelers talk about
Closed Now
All hours
American, Bar, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options
$$ - $$$
401 Main St, Columbia, SC 29201-4147
Write a Review
Reviews (757)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year

211 - 220 of 754 reviews

Reviewed May 21, 2016 via mobile

California Dreaming is still among the very best eateries in Columbia. I first visited this restaurant almost twenty years ago and was floored then by the value. Ihave returned several times since and have never been dissapointed.This restaurant provides professional, courteous service, excellent food, and...More

Reviewed May 18, 2016 via mobile

I really do enjoy California Dreaming and they do have some good food. My rating is based on today's experience which was mediocre. The waitress was good, kept filling my water, but could have been more pleasant. The atmosphere was great and only wished my...More

Thank Jose S
CentraArchy-Rest, Public Relations Manager at California Dreaming Restaurant & Bar, responded to this reviewResponded May 23, 2016

Hi Jose, I appreciate you taking the time to share your concerns with us. I'm sorry about the recent experience you had with your steak sandwich. I will make sure your feedback is forwarded to the store's management team, and hope your experiences with us...More

Reviewed May 18, 2016 via mobile

I really like this restaurant for business meetings or a date with my wife. Great place for a $30 dinner that is top quality. The Barbecue chicken is excellent and the rolls are incredible.

Thank TomPride
Reviewed May 18, 2016 via mobile

It has been a while since I had eaten at California Dreaming so we decided to have dinner there. It was not what it used to be. Very noisy with a less than enthusiastic wait staff. I had the broiled chicken breast salad. The chicken...More

Thank Gene b
CentraArchy-Rest, Public Relations Manager at California Dreaming Restaurant & Bar, responded to this reviewResponded May 23, 2016

Hi Gene, Thank you for taking the time to comment. I am sorry that you were less than pleased with your meal. Our ingredients are prepared fresh in-house daily and we strive to consistently produce high quality meals, including the chicken that's cooked on a...More

Reviewed May 18, 2016 via mobile

Love the atmosphere here and the food is great! Usually go with a larger dinner party which they are capable of accommodating!

Thank Emily S
Reviewed May 15, 2016

Best salad you can find, not to mention the melt in your mouth croissant. Only negative, restroom needed attention. I guess the bar?

Thank Charles M
Reviewed May 13, 2016

First the croissants were perfect and a must anytime you are here. The atmosphere of the old train station was great. I had the steak salad which was one of the best salads I have had in a long time. I tried the house dressing...More

Thank erawson77
Reviewed May 11, 2016 via mobile

My daughter's 25th birthday celebration was ruined! The front staff was nice and welcoming but once seated, we were completely and utterly ignored for 30 minutes. We asked for our drinks at that point then we didn't get our salads until 1 hour 15 minutes...More

Thank Lisa K
CentraArchy-Rest, Public Relations Manager at California Dreaming Restaurant & Bar, responded to this reviewResponded June 1, 2016

Hi Lisa, First off I would like to apologize for the wait time you experienced, that is unacceptable on our part. We appreciate you taking the time to bring this to our attention and we will be sure to discuss this with our staff and...More

Reviewed May 6, 2016

California Dreaming is always good value and this one was no exception. I loved that it was so close to the USC campus. I ordered the she-crab soup and it was the best I've ever had. There was twice as much crab as in most...More

Thank Sandie K
Reviewed May 5, 2016

Great salads, service and food. Parking is terrible if you go at peak hours. Food is really great and if you do not want to wait get there around 8:00pm and you can seat yourself in one of the first come first serve booths by...More

Thank tonyaw935
Nearby Restaurants
Thirsty Fellow
190 reviews
.44 miles away
DI Prato's
236 reviews
.44 miles away
Hunter-Gatherer Brewery & Alehouse
166 reviews
.48 miles away
Nearby Attractions
South Carolina State House
442 reviews
.73 miles away
University of South Carolina
343 reviews
.40 miles away
Colonial Life Arena
132 reviews
.53 miles away
Founders Park
47 reviews
.77 miles away
Questions & AnswersAsk a question
Is prime rib available?
December 5, 2016|
Answer Show all 8 answers
Response from CentraArchy-Rest | Property representative |
Absolutely! It's our house special. Slow-cooked and sliced to order!
Bobbi E
I just called to make a reservation for Wednesday Dec. 21 at 4:30 for 12 + a highchair so thst we could eat before going to see v the lights st the zoo. No reservations for large groups in December was the answer!
December 4, 2016|
Answer Show all 3 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
Improve this listing

Restaurant Details

Rating summary
  • Food
  • Value
Average prices
$5 - $25
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
Bar scene, Business meetings, Families with children, Kids, Local cuisine, Large groups, 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
  • E-mail
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.
Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more. Claim Your Listing