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California Dreaming-Columbia

4.3
885 Reviews
$30 and under
American
California Dreaming is located in Union Station, a historic train station in Columbia, SC.

The restaurant serves a mix of hearty American classics in a large family-friendly atmosphere. What sets them apart from the rest is that every dish is fresh and prepared from scratch daily, including notable favorites, like the California Dreaming Salad, honey-butter Croissants and fall-off-the-bone Baby Back Ribs. Additional features: online ordering with curbside pick-up.

Safety precautions

Cleaning & Sanitizing
  • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
  • Common areas deep cleaned daily
  • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
  • Sanitizer or wipes provided for customers
Screening
  • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
What 885 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.3based on recent ratings
4.2
food
4.4
service
4.4
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
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DW
DianaW
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall4food5service5ambience3

The food and the server was so good! Our table was close to the kitchen, so much traffic.

MK
MaureenK
Richmond
7 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall4food5service3ambience4

First time guest. Not as loud as I thought it would be on a busy Friday night. Horrible time finding a parking spot. Had to wait to be seated an additional 15 minutes so the person who drove could find a parking spot and join us! Ugh Food was good…server forgot to take one person in our party’s drink order so had to flag him down. He was what I would call an okay server. Food was good overall…looking forward to going back again…most likely will try at lunchtime.

JR
JohnR
Kansas City
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience3

The food was great, and the service was excellent.

MI
MatthewI
Charleston
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall4food5service5ambience4

The wait was not long at all since reserved table ahead of time. Staff was pleasant, service was good, and food was delicious.

W
Will
Charleston
4 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Enjoyed my salad as always

OT
OpenTable Diner
Western NC
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall3food2service2ambience4

The service was slow, waiter was on his phone a lot. Shrimp was too salty. The kids enjoyed their meals.

TS
TracyS
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall2food1service3ambience3

I asked the waiter to help me decide between Med Well and Well done. He told me they cooked usually right on the description - med well with warm pink center which is what I wanted. When my steak came it was past well done!! I couldn't eat it. Didn't have time to get another one because we had tickets after meal and we were already running short on time even though we had reservation. However, my drink was really good and different.

PG
PatG
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall3food4service2ambience5

Easy to make reservation - were 15 mins early and were seated immediately. Our waiter came right away, however we had some problems with the service. Took over 25 minutes to get a glass of wine- while the mixed drinks came within 10 mins. Our appetizer came in good time - we ordered. We ordered 2 soups/salad, one Calif. Dr. Salad and chicken alfredo with a side salad. The side salad came first and no seemed to know whose it was. Then the other three salads came. After we were obviously done with the salads we had to ask the waiter where our other entrees were. He didn't seem to know what we ordered - we told him. He said well those were sitting up there but I didn't know they were yours. I don't know if he was new - it didn't seem to be overcrowded. We then asked for the tickets and that took time and then he forgot to bring change back to one of us. Overall it was an okay experience - the food was good and it won't stop us from returning.

F
Foodie
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Seated immediately. Waiter professional. Both of our steaks were overcooked which often happens with fillets. We did not complain. Fried shrimp and salad were excellent.

OT
OpenTable Diner
3 reviews
Dined on January 8, 2022
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Celebrate family!

A
Aristocatway
1 review
Dined on January 8, 2022
Overall5food4service5ambience4

The service was very quick, and the servers made sure everyone had what they needed and wanted. The food was about what you'd expect. It was pretty good too!

SA
SANDYP
Charleston
3 reviews
Dined on January 4, 2022
Overall5food4service5ambience5

The service by Rick was superb!! He’s the best server we have had in ages! He was attentive and supplied our needs even before we asked! Kudos for this great employee!

Most of the food was excellent. The She Crab soup was short of excellent… too many crab shells. I can understand stand a little, but every spoonful?

Also the Apple Walnut dessert failed to have any apples in it. The taste was good, it just seems that there should have been a few pieces of real apple in the dessert.

Overall, everything was excellent! We will return! Hopefully Rick will be our waiter again!

Happy New Year!

EB
ElizabethB
1 review
Dined on January 3, 2022
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The server was excellent and the food was fantastic

LW
LisaW
1 review
Dined on January 2, 2022
Overall4food3service5ambience5

Food came out cold. The ambiance was on par like normal.

VE
VERNONC
Indiana
1 review
Dined on January 1, 2022
Overall5food4service4ambience5

My girlfriend and I went out for a New Year's Day date night at the California-Dreaming and had an Amazing time. We made reservations thru the Open table app for 7:15pm. We arrived ten minutes prior, waited maybe 5 minutes and was seated. The drinks were good, the rolls could have been a bit hotter, the waitress and staff were Amazing.The overall experience was on great. We are definitely returning in the future.

MB
MisterB
Richmond
1 review
Dined on January 1, 2022
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great experience! Audience was very nice! Great Service.

NW
NicholasW
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Was my first time eating here and will say the blackened chicken pasta did not disappoint! Everyone very friendly

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2021
Overall2food2service3ambience4

NYE - food was okay, service wasn’t great, probably won’t go back.

LC
LajustineC
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2021
Overall1food2service1ambience1

Food was ok. Waitress left drinks empty alot . Seafood nacho was not what expected.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Celebrated New Year’s…. When we arrived, we saw a couple we knew, and the hostess willing changed our reservation from 2 to 4. Thanks for the awesome dinner!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Charleston
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2021
Overall2food3service1ambience2

Had reservations at 7 on NYE. The food was good but the server took forever to bring drinks & the main course. By the time I got the main, I was no longer hungry. Had to ask for utensils & refills. Server would pass the table, but not check in. Not good service at all.

RH
RebeccaH
1 review
Dined on December 29, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great service. Food was excellent. Room was a little noisy but still able to talk.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on December 28, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience4

The waitress was nice but a little slow with attending to us! The lights were really dem and the ceiling fan was running in high! However changes were made and my friends and I enjoyed our dinner

W
Whitney
1 review
Dined on December 27, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Called prior for general questions & the person that answered was polite & informative! Once we got there, we were seated & our orders were taken immediately. Great customer service & we enjoyed our food! Highly recommend!

LH
LisaH
1 review
Dined on December 27, 2021
Overall1food1service1ambience1

Service was TERRIBLE! No refills. I had to ask another waitress. She didn't check on us often. My husband's steak wasn't cooked the way he ordered it and my food was cold to include the appetizer. I sent it back , but it was still cold, but I didn't send it back out of not wanting to be the complaining customer. They put sour cream on my husband's potato after he asked for it to not be on there and it was right the first time when they brought it out, but when he sent the order back it was wrong. It was too dark where they sat us. I usually enjoy California Dreaming, but it was subpar at best!!

HT
HeatherTE
Charlotte
78 reviews
Dined on December 27, 2021
Overall3food2service5ambience4

We were headed to Columbia for the evening and needed a place to eat. Since we love CA Dreaming when in Charleston so it occurred to us to go to this one. Surprisingly, the food had very little taste for the most part. Our BBQ Chicken Nacho appetizer was fine (though I seriously miss the creamed spinach nachos they used to have). But the Shrimp San Francisco and Blackened Chicken Pasta we ordered were just tasteless. The cream sauce on the SSF was almost "broken". For blackened chicken, I expect it to have a good bit of flavor but there was none. I thought it was just me but my friends had the same comment after dinner. I love the CA Dreaming House salad but even the dressing seemed bland. Not sure what was going on. I would have thought it was us but we were able to taste and enjoy the nachos just fine. The server was great and helpful and we love the ambiance of the restaurant (though the bathrooms needed some work). Sadly, not one of our better experiences at a CA Dreaming restaurant. I'd recommend normally but if last night had been our first experience there, I'm not sure I'd come back.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Charlotte
2 reviews
Dined on December 26, 2021
Overall2food3service3ambience3

The Caesar salad that we had was drenched in dressing. Basically was swimming. We ordered nachos. They were good except when making nachos you should focus on building long ways instead of stacking chips. All the sauce was on the top and didn’t touch the bottom chips. One of us had pasta and the noodles were dry and over cooked. Our server was really nice and pretty much there when I needed her. This was a typical corporate restaurant experience and I would come back if these things were fixed but it’s highly unlikely that they will be.

S
Sonya
Charleston
1 review
Dined on December 26, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The experience was great as per usual. The restaurant was very busy however, our waitress ensured we were taken care of. When she wasn't available, her counterpart picked up. Noting get counterpart took over for small things such as napkins or refills.

D
Darrel
1 review
Dined on December 26, 2021
Overall3food1service2ambience4

We ordered prime rib but received marinated sirloin and didn't figure it out until we left. I thought they had just changed the way they presented the prime rib. Next time I won't assume the order will be correct. I don't know if the error occurred when the order was entered or in the kitchen.

DL
DianeL
1 review
Dined on December 24, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Regan, our server, was wonderful! She was welcoming, attentive and it was obvious that she wanted us to enjoy our holiday meal.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on December 24, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The waiter was amazing person

AL
AnnL
Charlotte
1 review
Dined on December 24, 2021
Overall2food1service5ambience2

The large salad was mostly cheese. Very little Turkey or ham. No almonds. Dressing tasted spoiled. Did not eat it

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on December 24, 2021
Overall4food4service3ambience5

Nice environment. Will come again

TT
TraciT
Charleston
4 reviews
Dined on December 23, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always good, great atmosphere, but can be a bit noisy.

BW
BriannaW
1 review
Dined on December 22, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Everything was great including the waitress. Thank u so much

O
Overrated
Charleston
1 review
Dined on December 21, 2021
Overall3food4service4ambience5

Had to wait 20 minutes for a table, even though we had reservations. My cocktail wasn't made well and had barely any alcohol. Ordered my steak medium well and it was medium rare. The house salad was excellent, the surroundings were beautiful and unique.

D
Diner
Charleston
1 review
Dined on December 20, 2021
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Excellent food. Only reason I didn’t rate 5⭐️ was because food didn’t arrive for over 30 minutes after we ordered.

T
Todd
Jacksonville
2 reviews
Dined on December 20, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent location, courteous staff, and delicious food!!!

SC
SCJ33P
3 reviews
Dined on December 18, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Restaurant was busy as it was the weekend before Christmas. Food was good, however, my soup and our appetizer Croissants we not delivered until after the entrees. Still delicious, would still go back.

ML
MelindaL
1 review
Dined on December 18, 2021
Overall2food1service2ambience1

Visited the Columbia, SC location on 12/18. Made reservations a week prior but still had a 30 min wait after arrival. Appetizers were ok but entree was marginal. I ordered steak and shrimp which was just ok. My husband ordered the ribeye and it tasted absolutely spoiled. Worst steak I've EVER tasted. Waiter didn't hesitate to comp that meal but birthday dinner ruined! Honestly I could get much better food at Texas Roadhouse. Restaurant was so dark, we had to use camera flashlights to see the menu and our food. Will not return

FAQs

You can order delivery directly from California Dreaming-Columbia using the Order Online button. California Dreaming-Columbia also offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (803) 254-6767.

California Dreaming-Columbia is rated 4.3 stars by 885 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.