Fortunately for Columbia SC, there are unlimited options to choose from when crafting the perfect date night. And fortunately for you, we’ve done most of the work in advance + crafted date night ideas for a few of our downtown entertainment districts. Pick your favorite, make a reservation, and win over that special someone. You really have no excuse now.
1. Date Night: North Main
North Main is one of Columbia’s up-and-coming entertainment districts. Start your evening at the laidback Indah Coffee Co. where you can try a local brew, or mingle over an artisan latte (we heart the Thai Coffee!).
Snap an Insta-worthy photo at the NOMA Robots public art installation.
For the final stop, zip around the corner to indulge in dinner at The War Mouth. First things first—order up a few of what are sure to be the best fried green tomatoes you’ve ever had. Share a rack of ribs (or keep them all for yourself) or some vegetable purloo as you sit on the patio under those dreamy café lights. Specialty cocktails and homegrown sweet tea abound on this perfect date night restaurant menu.
If pizza and wine are more your style, place an order at Il Focolare. They aren't currently offering dine-in service, but you can take one of their crafted pies and a bottle of wine home to finish your cozy Columbia SC date night.
2. Date Night: Main Street
On any given night, Main Street’s list of things to do for your date night continues to grow. Find a kinship between a Cajun-Creole dinner menu + one of the largest whiskey lists in the South at Bourbon. Add some drama and impress your date by ordering up the “Frankly, My Dear.” Just trust us on this one. Plan ahead and cozy up to an indie film at Nickelodeon Theatre for your next stop. Bonus—you can drink wine & beer while you watch. Cheers!
If you’re “not a movie person,” here's a date night idea that's sure to entertain: take your date to Columbia’s boutique bowling alley, The Grand, for some playful fun. This is a one-stop shop for mouthwatering food, drinks, and good old-fashioned fun.
Wrap it all up at Lula Drake Wine Parlour with a nightcap and Cookie Butter Crepe to share (or not share).
3. Date Night: Rosewood
Look no further than Rosewood for a night with a laid-back attitude. You might not immediately think of Rockaway Athletic Club as a date night restaurant in Columbia SC, but trust us. With no signage to show its character, this hidden gem is the perfect place to show off your local knowledge and is not to be missed on a trip to Columbia. What better way to impress someone than with the infamous pimento cheeseburger? A bar full of friendly locals (and their stories) will take the pressure off this date in no time.
Another great option new to the Rosewood neighborhood is The Hoot. This cozy hole in the wall in no stranger to delicious flavors and refreshing sips. Try their Shroom Mac & Cheez and the Veg-Fil-A (a vegetarian-friendly option).
After a bite, there’s still room for the dessert, or a local craft beer. Stop by Rosewood Dairy Bar for an old-school ice cream cone, or head to Hunter-Gatherer Brewery at Owens Field where suds and history abound for a picturesque end to your date night.
4. Date Night: Cayce
For our next date night idea, take the unexpected route and head to Cayce, one of Columbia's up-and-coming districts right on the edge of the river. Start with a craft beer and a fire pit at Steel Hands Brewery, where you'll likely find a furry friend to join your date night. Next up, head to State St. for some good old-fashioned American cuisine at Henry's. This is the second location for this Columbia mainstay and every bit as good as the first. If you're looking for something more international, Duke's Pad Thai has a strong local following and for good reason.
5. Date Night: The Vista
With a healthy dose of diverse restaurants, The Vista was made special for a Columbia SC date night. Start by cozying up to the bar to share a flight at Columbia Craft. Or, start with something stronger at Coa Agaveria y Cocina. Their margaritas are made with hand-squeezed fruit juices and fresh garnishes that will make it hard not to snap a photo. Add in food like crab empanadas, ahi tuna and a vegan menu, and you've arrived at one of the hippest date night restaurants in the capital city.
Add some edge to your date night. Craft Axe Throwing mixes beer, axe throwing and a chance to show off a bit. If you're looking for something a little less aggressive, stop into one of the many art galleries that call The Vista home, or paint your own masterpiece at Studio Cellar. Pro tip - freestyle painting is available without reservations, or you can sign up for a class.
6. Date Night: Five Points
Five Points has become nothing short of a foodie hot spot. For this Columbia SC date night, head to Publico Kitchen & Tap to sip on a flight of margaritas (or sangria). If the weather calls for it, take it to the patio and break the ice over a game of cornhole or Jenga. When your appetite says it’s time for dinner, walk across this village neighborhood to Goat’s for an eclectic atmosphere, some fried oysters and a juicy half-pound burger. Bonus: to help you remember this fun night, snap a quick selfie in front of the Five Points mural as you stroll to dinner.
After you've fueled up, head to Jake's where you and your someone special can listen to live music. Round out the perfect night with a scoop (or two) from Scoopy Doo Gelato Shop, and then pat yourself on the back for a date night well done.
7. Date Night: Devine Street
Pizza lovers unite for a date at Za’s Brick Oven Pizza on charming Devine Street. While this local favorite has some seriously good ‘za, its menu offers everything from zucchini noodles and wood-fired wings, to Italian classics like lasagna. Before you dig in at Za's, follow the locals to Craft & Draft, just down the street. Part beer store, part bar, this hangout offers the chance to try unique beers from the draft board, a can from the cooler or a glass of wine. The friendly pups and large window seats, equipped with pillows, make for an easy, relaxed start to the night.
8. Date Night: West Columbia
A short drive over the Gervais Street Bridge will take you to date night in West Columbia. Nestled just up from the river, you’ll find the interactive art park with more than enough photo-worthy moments. Start the evening just next door at Savage Craft Brewery for small bites and cold brews. For a must-try, fine-dining experience head to Terra. A taste of the legendary Lamb Mac works magic with a glass of vino from their robust wine list. This date night restaurant is pretty packed on a normal day, so go ahead and make a reservation now.
End the date on a high note with a nightcap at Black Rooster's rooftop bar. This self-proclaimed "french-ish" bar and restaurant boasts tempting cocktails and one of the best views of downtown Columbia.
Looking for more fun things to do in Columbia SC? Check out our website.