Where to Eat in Columbia When You Come to Town



University of South Carolina draws people into town for sport events. The idea for this post came from seeing Kentucky fans eating at one of our not so great restaurants. So I thought, why not let all the out of town fans know where the best places to eat downtown are.


Located on the edge of 5 Points, this is your quick (but still sit down at a table) and cheap option. It’s our famous local sandwich shop. My go to is either the All Turkey STP or Bacon and Turkey BLT.

Pawley’s Front Porch

Also in 5 Points, Pawley’s is our famous burger restaurant. Pawley’s was featured on Diners, Drive In’s and Dives. The burgers are great and have options specific to South Carolina. They have fish tacos which I’ve heard are great too.

Cantina 76

This is your Mexican option. With 2 locations downtown (Devine Street and Main Street) your sure to have a good time. You absolutely have to start with a “Tres Hombres” which is a queso, quac and salsa sampler and a marg. My go to is the roasted chicken nachos, which isn’t your typical nacho order. It’s 6 flat hard tacos with the chicken and cheese melted on. Everyone I go with loves the tacos, next time I think I will try some of the tacos.

Thirsty Fellow

Thirsty Fellow is conveniently located across the street from the Colonial Life Arena and just down the street from Carolina Stadium. Their specialty is pizza. During the warmer months, I love sitting out on their back porch to enjoy the weather and TV’s for other games. You build your own pizza with tons of toppings to choose from. My favorite is a white pie with mozzarella cheese, chicken and bacon.

Southern Belly BBQ

If you like BBQ, then Southern Belly is the place to go. They have a smaller menu with just specialty sandwiches but trust me, this sandwich is going to be the best sandwich you’ve ever had. Check out more on Southern Belly BBQ at this blog post.

M Vista

This is your Asian and Sushi option. My favorite is the Deluxe Fried Rice, which is enough to have leftovers or split with someone. The crab wanton’s are a great starter. They have many sushi options as well as Asian dishes.


This is your fancy option. This is your we came in as the underdog and won big and are ready to celebrate. We celebrated the end of the season at Cola’s this year. We all got something different, which was a great choice so we could eat things off each other’s plates. The Spice Rubbed Chicken, Fried Flounder and Beef Short Ribs were all fantastic!

Mr. Friendly’s

This is your southern food option. It is also on the fancier side. My go to here is the fried chicken and mashed potatoes.



Hope you enjoy some of Columbia’s best eats! Enjoy your time here and best of luck to your team! Let me know if you have any questions about coming to Columbia for a sporting event (carolinalifestyle2@gmail.com)

xoxo ashley





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