While there are plenty of good eats and drinks throughout Columbia’s entertainment districts, you would be remiss to look past some spots tucked into the region's hotels. From fancy to causal, these places can be enjoyed by visitors and locals alike. Read along for your next meal or nightcap.
A hotel might be the last place you'd expect to find a cozy bar resembling a library, but in Columbia SC you should get used to surprises. The "Trophy Room" in Graduate Columbia is donned with rich wood, plaid wallpaper and little nods to the University of South Carolina. Try a signature cocktail or one of the rotating local craft beers paired with a hot bite from a menu inspired by the tastes of the South.
Aloft Columbia Downtown
The Aloft Columbia Downtown makes us want to take a “staycation” with its pup-friendly amenities, trendy vibe, and of course, the WXYZ bar. The modern lighting and plush couches make you feel less like you’re in a hotel and more like you’re in a swanky lounge. With our moderate temps and typically sunny days, the front porch of WXYZ is the perfect place to look out into The Vista, and the more intimate back porch is equipped with a mural view of the South Carolina State House. Check out this hot spot for a specialty cocktail before walking through The Vista for dinner.
Unexpected holds true at the award-winning Midlands’ restaurant located inside the Columbia Marriott on Main Street. Boasting Southern American cuisine and ingredients from local farms this menu sets itself apart from usual hotel dining. Think bacon wrapped scallops, fried green tomatoes, and jumbo crab cakes for starters. For your entrée, may we suggest the shrimp and grits? This signature Midlands’ dish is in the debate for best shrimp and grits in town. If seafood isn’t for you, but you have a Southern craving, try the chicken and waffles, covered with a bourbon maple glaze—how do you say no to that?
This boutique hotel encourages guests to explore Main Street right outside the doors of the hotel for the majority of their eats & drinks, but they do offer some special perks during your stay. Upon check-in, sip on a complimentary local craft beer or a glass of wine hand-picked by local experts. In the morning, grab a cup of Indah Coffee from the lobby or order in-room delivery from Loveland Coffee. Bottom line, everything here comes local and homegrown.
Hilton Columbia Center
Almost everyone has heard of Ruth’s Chis Steak House by now, but you may not know that they serve lunch (and it’s surprisingly affordable). Located in the Hilton Columbia Center, right in the heart of The Vista, this white tablecloth establishment got its start in New Orleans. With everything from crispy lobster tail to french fries, no one in your party will have trouble ordering. Head here for a nice lunch, date night, or private dinner with your team after your meeting.
Sheraton Columbia Downtown
Time for a nightcap and a view of this thriving metropolis. The Rooftop Lounge is located on top of the oldest high-rise in Columbia, the Sheraton on Main Street. Grab a cocktail (or mocktail) and enjoy a summer sunset. Or, gaze among the city lights after dinner. Don’t’ be fooled by the hotel. This is a place where you’re as likely to find a visitor as a bonefide local.
Doubletree by Hilton
At the Doubletree by Hilton located just outside of downtown, you can indulge in Southern favorites at Columbo's. Try your hand at the 16 oz. CAB Boneless Ribeye or fancy yourself something vegan like their Vegan Crab Cakes. Lunch, dinner or happy hour - you can't go wrong here.
This isn’t all! Many properties throughout the region come with aspects that set them apart. Think free shuttles through the city’s entertainment districts, and proximity to world-class attractions. Case in point, Columbia hotels are more than meets the eye.