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Bites & Sights: Columbia's Premier Visitors Guide

Columbia SC Restaurants

BBQ-Wings-Ribs

2 Fat 2 Fly Stuffed Chicken Wings

— Creamy macaroni and cheese stuffed inside a chicken wing?! It’s true. Or jambalaya? Or an inside-out chicken parmigiana? All these delicacies and more can be yours: For locations and hours, follow the truck on Twitter at @2fat2flywings, check the calendar at 2fat2flywings.com or call the truck. ¢.
American-Southern

2108 State

West Columbia/Cayce — A hip neighborhood bar and grill in the heart of Cayce, 2108 State serves up brunch, lunch and dinner in a casual way. Dorito-Crusted Five-Alarm Cheese Sticks: check. Korean short-rib tacos: check. Nice bar: check. Large mural of the Lizard Man: Uh, check. ¢-$
Mexican

7 Mares

Lexington — That's mar-es, as in Spanish for oceans, not English for girl horses. And this Lexington seafood restaurant serves up the oceans' bounty, featuring Mexican favorites like red snapper Veracruz-style, lobster soup, ceviche, spicy shrimp, octopus salad and much more. Also serves Mexican-American classics like fajitas and carnitas. $.
Bistro-New American

@116 Espresso & Wine Bar

West Columbia / Vista West — Combine a chill coffee-shop atmosphere with great wine and food, and you have @116. Daily specials range from soups to seafood to steaks to specialty pizzas, many with Mediterranean and Southern influences. Lots of fabulous Spanish wines, and a famed White Russian menu. Brunch usually runs the gamut from omelets to pancakesvto stuffed french toast — with splendid bloody marys. $.
Middle Eastern

Al-Amir

Downtown — Al-Amir has a reputation for authentic and well-prepared Middle Eastern cuisine. Signature dishes include hummus, falafel, lamb kabob, mujadara and shawarma. Salads, subs and daily dessert specials round out the menu. The newest location, The Epicurean by Al-Amir (1734 Main St.), is in a spacious renovated building across from City Hall. ¢-$.
American-Southern

Allean’s Southern Cuisine

Northeast — Serves chicken wings, cornbread and a slew of slides familiar to Southern cuisine. Sweet potato pie, banana pudding and peach cobbler are available for dessert. ¢.
Bagel-Bakery

Ally & Eloise Bakeshop

Forest Acres — Eloise is a French bulldog. And Ally is a heck of a baker, turning out fancy cookies, cupcakes, muffins and scones, not to mention fancy layer cakes and bundt cakes galore. ¢
Italian

Alodia’s Cucina Italiana

Harbison/Irmo — Classy Italian dining, from the favorites (fettucine alfredo, manicotti, veal piccata) to the fancy (seafood risotto, pork ribeye). $.
Italian

Al’s Upstairs

West Columbia/Cayce — Italian fine dining since 1979. Executive chef employs an Old World style influenced by his grandmother’s cooking. Lobster bisque is served with a popular puff pastry dome that locks in flavors and aromas. Offers fresh fish, veal, pasta and steaks with impeccable service and a beautiful view of Columbia’s skyline. $$.
American-Southern

American Roadside Burgers

Shandon/Rosewood — Burgers! Burgers? Burgers. Hand-scooped milkshakes, salads, sandwiches and a kids' menu, too. Oh, and wine and beer. So it's basically the best place on earth. $
Deli

Andy’s Deli

Five Points — Serving a range of hot and cold deli sandwiches plus salads, this Five Points mainstay enjoys a well-deserved reputation for prompt service and consistent quality. No matter how long the lunch line appears, the food never fails to arrive promptly and satisfy completely. Andy’s Special, which features roast beef, turkey and bacon bits on a hoagie roll, and which comes with that tantalizingly tangy dip, ought to qualify as the official sandwich of the Midlands. Thank you my friend, indeed. ¢.
Asian

Antai Asian Dining

Lexington — Boasting a "comfortable atmosphere, gourmet dishes and the highest standards of service," Antai specializes in both Chinese and Japanese fare. Sushi is on the menu as well as traditional Asian soups and appetizers, chicken, meat and seafood dishes. Strong vegetarian menu and house favorites that include Black Bean Scallops, Beijing Duck and Honey Walnut Shrimp. antaiasiandining.com. $.
American-Southern

Anthony’s Past Time Cafe

Downtown — Burgers galore, but also fried chicken gizzards and livers, gyros, chicken wings, hot dogs and more, depending on your mood. Try a shake or float. ¢
Middle Eastern

Arabesque

Shandon/Rosewood — All your Middle Eastern favorites, from shawarma to tabouli to falafel, not to mention pizzas and — for lunch, at least — wraps and burgers. Also serves alcohol. $
Greek-Mediterranean

Ariana’s Greek Restaurant

West Columbia/Cayce — A Greek restaurant with an international flair. Along with the gyros, souvlaki, pastichio and moussaka on the menu, you’ll also find Indian samosas and a lamb pilaf that’s considered the national dish of Afghanistan. $
Korean

Arirang

Northeast — You'll feel right at home in this Korean restaurant, where the staff will take charge as if they were your own mom. Serves up such delights as pork belly grilled right at your table, plus Korean classics and banchan — and cold beer, of course.
Caribbean-Latin

Arkos Mojo Grill and Martini Bar

Lexington — A sort of Latin American bistro featuring ceviche, fancy salsas, paella, tacos and much more. Also has a swank bar menu that spans martinis, margaritas mojitos and caipirinhas. $
Bagel-Bakery

Atlanta Bread Company

Downtown — Atlanta Bread Company is a bakery café offering fresh, high quality ingredients and a menu ranging from cinnamon rolls and hot breakfast sandwiches to grilled paninis.. ¢. 
Thai

Baan Sawan

Five Points — Not your typical Thai restaurant, Baan Sawan serves expertly prepared Thai standards like pad thai and curries, but also offers dishes you won’t find elsewhere and inventive seafood creations. It’s pricey Thai food, but well worth it. Classy setting and staff, too. $-$$.
American-Southern

Backyard Cafe

West Columbia-Cayce — From the ribeye steak sandwich topped with sauteed onions peppers mushrooms and gooey provolone cheese, to the salmon caesar salad, the Backyard Cafe has food to suit a range of tastes and appetite sizes. Chicken wings, fried flounder and nachos, too. ¢-$
Thai

Bangkok Restaurant

Garners Ferry/Southeast — Bangkok was one of the first Thai restaurants in Columbia and remains worth the search — even in its new location across Garners Ferry from the old restaurant. The pad thai and kaou pad bai kapow remain favorites. Offers a wide range of Thai cuisine, as well as soups and Thai iced tea. Also serves Chinese. ¢-$.
Bar-Pub Food

Bar None

Five Points — Late-night bar serving food into the wee hours of the morning — including, on certain special nights, the finest smoked chicken wings you’ve ever tasted. Large selection of beers on tap. ¢.
Thai

Basil Thai Restaurant

Garners Ferry/Southeast — Charleston’s favorite Thai restaurant comes to Columbia’s upscale Cross Hill Market, bringing Thai classics and approachable twists thereupon. Nice cocktail selection. $.
Dessert

Baskin-Robbins

Forest Acres — With more than 4,500 locations, Baskin-Robbins is the world’s largest ice cream chain. Though everyone knows about the 31 flavors, it actually rotates some 100 flavors each year and possess an arsenal of a whopping 1,000 flavors overall. Oh yeah, and the ice cream cakes are second to none. ¢.
Bar-Pub Food

Beef O’Brady’s

Harbison/Irmo — From the Philly cheesesteak to the roast beef garlic melt to the corned beef reuben and a full line of deluxe burgers, you won’t be hurting for red meat options here. There are wings too, and wraps featuring shrimp and chicken, but “beef” is in the name for a reason. Served in a family friendly setting peppered with sports memorabilia and TVs. ¢.
Deli

Beezer’s

Downtown — Sandwiches like the T-Bird, the Godfather and the Rebel Rouser are mainstays for any self-respecting college student or budget-conscious diner. ¢.
Italian

Bellacino’s Pizza & Grinders

Harbison/Irmo — Generous portions of hearty Italian pizza and grinders. Affordable prices, friendly staff and consistent quality keep this popular restaurant full. ¢.
Bar-Pub Food

Bentley’s Beach House

Lexington / Lake Murray — In the former Dam Bar and Grill spot on Lake Murray, you’ll find this bar, which serves up cheap, classic bar food and nice cold beers. ¢.

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