GAME DAYS IN COLUMBIA
No matter what team you're cheering for, here in Columbia SC you'll be treated to good old-fashioned kindness and outstanding tailgates. While it may seem like football and basketball take the front seat, Columbia is made for game days of all kinds. Check out these insider tips for a rollicking good time.
If it's your first visit to Columbia, our distinctive barbecue is a must for your trip. Pork smoked low and slow gets topped with our signature mustard-based sauce for a vinegary, sweet taste. This classic Southern faire can be found close to downtown at Palmetto Pig BBQ or True BBQ, among others.
If you're willing to travel just a bit, you can snag a plate at these local institutions: Shealy's Bar-B-Que or Hite's Bar-B-Que House (as featured in Garden & Gun). For a twist on barbecue, try Southern Belly, a hideaway spot in Five Points serving barbecue sandwiches with unique toppings and sauces.
You may have tried a pimento cheeseburger somewhere else, but its creation comes from Columbia. The original Dairy Bar where the burger originated no longer exists, but it inspired must-try versions at Pawley's Front Porch (as featured on Food Network's Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives), Rockaway Athletic Club, and Henry's Grill and Bar.
Dig into local ingredients for a fancier night out before the big game. Some favorites are Motor Supply Co. Bistro and Cola's Restaurant -- reservations highly suggested! Equally delicious are Bourbon and Mr. Friendly's New Southern Café (get to these early as they are first come, first served).
Brunch Your Heart Out
For a hearty breakfast or a boozy brunch, start your day with these local hidden secrets: Café Strudel (order up the hangover hash browns and you'll fit right in), @116 Espresso & Wine Bar, and Yesterday's Restaurant & Tavern (look for the cowboy in the bathtub!)
A healthy dose of homegrown breweries scatter Columbia's entertainment districts. Even though River Rat Brewery beer has become popular across the Southeast, they haven't forgotten where their roots are. Sit back and relax on their shaded patio, or amp up the competition in a corn hole tournament. Twisted Spur Brewing may be the new kid on the block, but it has created quite a name for itself in short time. You may be surprised to find this local brewery offers more than your typical bar food-think Carolina crab cakes and pork confit eggrolls. That's not all -- take in our full list of breweries and distilleries here.
If you have some extra time on your gameday getaway, while away a few hours at one of our award-winning attractions. Riverbanks Zoo & Garden and EdVenture Children's Museum are handy ways to get some energy out of the little ones. Impress your friends (or significant other) with your knowledge of art and history at Columbia Museum of Art or South Carolina State Museum. If you're a real history buff, take a self-guided tour of the South Carolina State House, or stop by Historic Columbia for a guided tour of Columbia's historic homes and gardens.