Family Friendly

In Columbia, being family-friendly comes naturally. Digging into the local food scene is as much about making friends as it is enjoying the perfect pimento cheeseburger. (Columbia gets credit for inventing that one, which we consider an honor). Whether you’re looking for a quick bite after a walk along the river or a night out to celebrate a good report card, you’ll find it here.

Parents of young children love our weather. Why? Outside dining is almost year-round and your crew may be more likely to let you eat if they’re distracted by birds flying overhead during lunch on the deck at Publico. Enjoy European travel? Hit up one of Bierkeller's pop-up beer gardens, where local favorites like the Wurst Wagen food truck often serve traditional German food. Sitting family-style on long benches while the kids play, you’ll feel like you really are in a Bavarian neighborhood beer garden, complete with the opportunity to meet new friends and maybe set up a future play date.

Locals and savvy travelers alike enjoy exploring the classics with kids at some of Columbia’s most well-loved establishments, like Villa Tronco, the oldest continuously operating restaurant in South Carolina. Their traditional Italian dishes, like eggplant parmigiana, will bring back memories of your summer in Italy (before the kids), and their simple pizza or pasta marinara will satisfy even the pickiest little eaters. And no Columbia summer is complete without at least one trip (or seven) to Rosewood Dairy Bar for a dipped cone.

When you’re looking for a warm reception and great value, you can be sure that every child will find something to love on the home-cooking inspired menu at Lizard’s Thicket. Speaking of the Thicket, it’s a well-known fact that you’re never more than a few minutes away from one in Columbia, so it’s always a good choice when you need to eat now.

When it’s time for an in-town culinary adventure with the family, head to Decker Boulevard, Columbia’s International Corridor, where you’ll find restaurants serving food from all over the world, including Korea, Japan, India, Mexico, China and Vietnam, as well as Asian food markets, a fresh seafood market, and more than one panadería serving freshly-baked goods. Your kids will get as much of an education exploring food as they might in a museum.

Hungry yet? We’ll see you soon!