Although winter brings lots of lovely—from cute boots and soft sweaters to ice-skating and indoor movie marathons—it also brings freezing temps that leave us searching for ways to warm up. Fret not, friends. We’ve gathered a list of cozy bites in Columbia SC, from soups to grilled cheese and everything in between, guaranteed to warm you up from the inside out.
Seafood Mac and Cheese – Café Strudel
At Cafe Strudel, the cheesy, comforting, childhood classic we all know + love is elevated to new heights. Come hungry and stab your fork into a plate full of scallops, shrimp and bacon, all atop goat cheese cheddar pasta. #Count #Us #In.
Chicken Bog – The War Mouth
Chicken Bog—a pilaf dish made with rice and chicken—is a staple in the South. The War Mouth does the classic recipe justice, starting with Carolina Gold Rice as the base and fancying things up a bit with the addition of house made onion and thyme sausage. Grab a craft cocktail from the bar as well… you know, for warmth.
Gravy Fries – The Whig
“Gravy fries” at The Whig in downtown Columbia are just what they sound like—crispy fries topped with homemade gravy and melty mozzarella cheese. Need we say more?
Grilled Cheese Wednesdays – Lula Drake
At Lula Drake on Main Street, things get a little crazy on Wednesdays. Each week, Lula serves a gourmet grilled cheese consisting of varying ingredients. Patrons can expect anything from gouda, apple and speck to a lobster grilled cheese with Crème Fraiche. Add a glass of Sirah and you’ll forget it’s winter in no time!
Rigatoni al Dorato – Il Giorgione
At Il Giorgione on Devine Street, order up the Rigatoni al Dorato. Decadent with a spicy kick, the dish consists of a creamy Bolognese tomato sauce + crushed red pepper, served with a slice of buttery Italian bread (intended to help you get the last drop of sauce after your pasta is gone). YUM.
Tomato Dill Soup – CRAVE Artisan Market
What warms you up faster than a bowl of hot soup? The tomato dill soup at Crave is legendary amongst locals and is guaranteed to comfort + soothe (with or without an accompanying grilled cheese; although, we think you know what we’d suggest wink)
Bone Chips – Bone-In Barbeque
What do you get when you add deliciousness on top of more deliciousness? The Bone Chips at Bone-In Barbeque. Warm, crunchy, house-made chips are topped with shredded brisket, melted pimento cheese, pickled onions, banana peppers, scallions and fried shallots. Perfect for sharing, but we, of course, will not judge if you’re not really into that.
Thai Curry – Baan Sawan
At Baan Sawan, they’ll serve you up Thai food as hot (or not) as you like it. From level 1 to 5, you get to choose how much you want to sweat. Kick off your meal with a plate of the famous calamari and then dive into a plate of Thai curry. Choose green, red, Panang, Mussamun, or peanut and then pick from 7 types of protein. Spicy, warming and so dang delicious (and authentic!)
Shrimps and Grits – Devine Cinnamon Roll Deli
The shrimp and grits at Devine Cinnamon Roll Deli are knock-you-down good. Filled to the brim with corn, bacon and jumbo shrimp, this southern dish will surely cure your winter blues. Order a cinnamon roll on the side and forget it’s even cold outside.
Looking for more delicious eats in Columbia SC? Check out our restaurants page, where you can search by category to find exactly what you’re craving.