The Columbia Experience – Clever Cuisine

Columbia is home to over 200 restaurants, so it’s no surprise if you haven’t been able to hit them all if you’ve visited before. During your next trip, consider hitting up some of these local favorites you may have missed!

Cafe Berlin

Located in a completely remodeled gas station on the edge of The District, Cafe Berlin serves up local, delicious breakfast (all day!) and lunch items with unique twists.

The Starving Artist: Half biscuit topped with roasted potatoes, sauteed greens, two eggs your way, & our vegetarian chipotle gravy. Not a bad start to the day!

Nearly everything, from the mushrooms to the coffee to the breads, are sourced from local farmers and producers, so your food is incredibly fresh. Both the breakfast and lunch selections come with fantastic homemade sides and coffee is served up in mismatched mugs that add to the charm of the small hangout.

Our recommendation? The Apples & Sausage is a sweet and spicy start to your day. And if you add a pancake, it’s breakfast bliss.

Main Squeeze

The mission at Main Squeeze is simple: Eat good food. One of Columbia’s only vegetarian restaurants started as a juice bar and evolved into a bustling restaurant offering salads, wraps, soups, desserts, smoothies and daily specials.

Tofu tacos anyone?

Main Squeeze also is a great stop for meeting friends, enjoying the local art on the walls and seeing owner Leigh Lockhart’s smiling face. Vegetarians and meat eaters alike can always find something to satisfy on the menu.

A menu tip: Always always always get a smoothie (we like the Berry Berry Good). And if you walk in and the special is the Sweet Potato and Black Bean Burrito, get it. You’ll thank us later.


Teller’s may look like a super fancy spot when you walk by on Broadway, but inside the atmosphere is casual and intimate, with a menu to match. Appetizers are simple and delicious, while entrees include an option to build your own salad or you can dive into a beef tenderloin filet or bowl of pasta.

Art on the walls rotates often, making Teller’s Gallery and Bar a most appropriate name. They also have occasional musical performances in the dining room and the center of the restaurant is occupied by a large bar area, always busy during happy hour and throughout the evening.

Ready to order? The Coconut -Curried Braised Pork Wrap features melt in your mouth pork dressed with a cilantro-cucumber sauce. For a sweet finish, the Bread Pudding with Bourbon Sauce is a winner.

Bangkok Gardens

Have a taste for Thai? Hit up Bangkok Gardens. Open for over 10 years, Bangkok Gardens prepares fresh, authentic Thai food in a welcoming and warm setting.

A Thai tradition: Phat Thai.

The large menu features an array of traditional and unique Thai food. Once you’ve made your choice, you also get to pick your level of heat from 1 (Mild) to 5 (Volcanic), making your dish a custom treat.

Mouth watering? To start, order up some samosas, fried dumplings stuff with potatoes, peas, onions and curry. We also love the Peanut Sauce Phat Thai and the Demon Chicken (with loads of veggies and cashews).


Now that we’ve made you sufficiently hungry, what’s your favorite place to dine in Columbia?