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California Dreaming-Columbia

4.4
720 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.

Support California Dreaming-Columbia during COVID-19

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 720 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.3
food
4.4
service
4.3
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
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BH
BrianH
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Overall a great experience for my first time. My wife and I felt it was too dark though and we struggled to read the menu. Apparently this was a general consensus throughout the restaurant because most were using their phones to read the menu. Service was great, food quality was great. I would definitely eat here again.

JB
vipJeniferB
Charlotte
6 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall2food2service2ambience2

Food came out of kitchen completely incorrectly. We must have been given someone else’s order, but had to beg for silverware/ napkins and took 10 minutes to get that so we just ate what we received. We had no one to tell about the food being wrong. We did not want to wait for an extended time. I know things are crazy with Covid, but this was really not great. I would not go back.

PS
PaulS
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Repeat customer and equally enjoyed the food and service. Will come back again!

SC
vipSamC
Charlotte
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall2food2service3ambience3

Food was very mediocre and it took forever to get our meals even though they weren't crowded. Chicken sandwich on hard bread and chicken was so over cooked it was hard to eat. Shrimp tacos way too spicy and had feta cheese on them that wasn't advertised on menu. Who puts feta cheese on a shrimp taco? 3-4 tiny shrimp per taco the rest was filler. Fries were good and waiter pleasant.

TJ
TonyaJ
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall1food1service5ambience2

Was our 25th wedding anniversary. Place wasn't special at all. Asked for mash potatoes and got a baked potato. Drink tasted like Pinesol n dish detergent. Ordered two 18 oz steaks and the were definitely not 18 oz. Probably 12oz. Wasn't what we expected. Should have went to Halls Chophouse instead. 😒

TP
TiffanyP
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was tasty and drink were well prepared. Friendly staff and atmosphere relaxing.

c
charlesf
Cancun
13 reviews
Dined on September 13, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Food and beverage service and food quality were excellent. The noise level was the same as always, a moderately loud conversational buzz. Another very good dining experience.

SF
ShalieceF
Charleston
1 review
Dined on September 11, 2021
Overall2food3service2ambience4

It was my 1st time visiting this restaurant and our service was terrible. At some point during our meal my husband had to go retrieve our drinks from bar himself because our server had forgotten.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Seattle
1 review
Dined on September 11, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent!!

Report
OT
OpenTable Diner
Charleston
6 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience5

As an appetizer we had the bbq chicken nachos and the chicken was in large chunks. We think it would have been better if it was shredded. All three of us had the soup and salad and it was great.

BS
BrianaS
1 review
Dined on September 6, 2021
Overall5food5service3ambience5

It’s amazing!!!! It is definitely worth it and we will be back soon!

RZ
RoyZ
Charleston
3 reviews
Dined on September 6, 2021
Overall4food5service3ambience5

Nice restaurant with great food. Service slow as they seem to be under staffed.

PA
vipPAGirl
Charlotte
22 reviews
Dined on September 5, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

As always, the food was great. I enjoyed the sweet Bellini drink with the crispy chicken tenders dinner.

C
vipCarski22
Western NC
116 reviews
Dined on September 4, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food as always…love the California Dreaming salad. Service was excellent . Restaurant was clean and appreciate Covid protocols.
Always love to eat here on on travels.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on September 2, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great experience!!

MD
MaryD
1 review
Dined on September 2, 2021
Overall1food3service3ambience3

No open dining available that is why I made reservations. I asked the hostess about other seating no one was working that area.California Dreaming menu was not for evening dining but more for lunch. I came to restaurant to celebrate my classmate and friend 62 nd birthday. I wasted my money and time

c
carolynr
1 review
Dined on August 31, 2021
Overall1food1service4ambience1

Steak was tough; had to ask waiter for another steak. It was a little better but not flavorful. The steaks have a burnt charcoal flavor. Will not return to this restaurant. Not worth the money.

Y
Yoshii
1 review
Dined on August 30, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My waiter was very nice do not remember his name. Although I order that expensive fried shrimp plate with fries to be $20 the fries were under cooked and hard!

JD
JimmyD
1 review
Dined on August 28, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food and atmosphere! Definitely recommend try this restaurant

DB
DebraB
1 review
Dined on August 28, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We enjoyed our dinner, the service was great and the whole experience was excellent.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on August 27, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Service and food was great it is one of my favorite places

NP
NPDW
Charleston
7 reviews
Dined on August 27, 2021
Overall1food4service1ambience4

Our server was subpar and failed to return to get our check, I ended up having to call an assistant manager for that and refills. We will not be back.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
4 reviews
Dined on August 23, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Servers were great - food was good

OD
OpheliaD
1 review
Dined on August 22, 2021
Overall3food2service4ambience3

The environment was great! The server was very good. However, I was disappointed with the appearance and quality of the fish, chicken tenders, and shrimp. The appearance reminded me of food at a Mom and Pop restaurant. As for taste, the Mom and Pop restaurant probably tastes better too.
It has been several years since I have eaten at California Dreaming in Columbia. I did not expect the food to be below average (appearance and taste).

JG
JohnG
Charleston
5 reviews
Dined on August 21, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Salad was excellent and the entrees were good……ribs a little dry.

FS
FeliciaS
1 review
Dined on August 21, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My experience was absolutely wonderful. I appreciated how they went above and beyond in seating my party. The service met the standards of 5 stars. I will be back.

JC
JohnC
1 review
Dined on August 20, 2021
Overall4food5service4ambience4

I had the fried shrimp and it was excellent! The noise level was high. I'm sure that is due to the fact that the building was built to be a train station instead of a restaurant. There is nothing to deaden the noise. That said, I love an old train station.

L
Lynn
1 review
Dined on August 20, 2021
Overall4food5service5ambience5

Service and food were excellent. We did not appreciate servers not wearing masks when the pandemic is raging.

J
Joseph
Tampa
8 reviews
Dined on August 19, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience5

This restaurant has everything: delicious, unique food, rich ambiance, special history, and quality service. This is my go-to destination each time I visit Columbia.

N
Nesh
Birmingham
1 review
Dined on August 18, 2021
Overall4food3service4ambience4

Server was good, got seated immediately with reservations, food was pretty good, not the best but i’d go back.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
3 reviews
Dined on August 16, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Really good food And ambiance

SB
vipStephanieB
Philadelphia
9 reviews
Dined on August 14, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Nice dinner after a long drive from PA. Seated quickly and our server was very friendly and attentive. Wonderful atmosphere. BBQ chicken nachos were tasty but portion was a little small. Dinner entries were all good. Our daughter enjoyed the salmon and the Knob Hill chicken is a good size. Our son stated the surf and turf was very good. Will likely return

DG
DrG1
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on August 14, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent good, service and atmosphere. Cheesecake was the perfect finish!

BW
BrendaW
Charlotte
2 reviews
Dined on August 14, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food, fabulous service, and such a beautiful building. Love this restaurant.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on August 14, 2021
Overall3food2service4ambience5

I did not have an enjoyable experience. We ordered the crab claws and they were fishy. They took ravioli off the menu, which was disappointing for my husband. I usually get the she crab soup and salad. In fact, I come for the soup. They were out of the soup. I ordered an entree salad and it did not taste good. Basically it was very disappointing and we will not be going back until we forget what happened on this visit.

RG
RodrigoGomez
Miami
17 reviews
Dined on August 12, 2021
Overall1food3service1ambience4

Not good. My salad arrived only when my wife finished her steak. Service is really bad, I would never be back and wouldn't recommend.

f
vipfevre70
Chicago
13 reviews
Dined on August 11, 2021
Overall4food3service5ambience3

Service was excellent. 2nd location we have dined at, it’s always way too dark and the menu seems limited. We enjoy the environment and ease of reservations.

KB
KameronB
1 review
Dined on August 11, 2021
Overall3food3service3ambience2

Overall experience was fine it just took over an hour for our food to come out. It’s was a little upsetting because other tables that came in after us got their food before us which was annoying.

DL
DennisL
1 review
Dined on August 11, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I met a good friend from out of town for lunch. I had called and made a reservation and I was seated right away in spite of the crowd. We had a great lunch and the service was excellent. The booth where we were seated was quiet enough that the conversation was relaxed and the entire visit was a pleasure. I can't wait till the next visit.

MB
MimiB
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on August 8, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Although we live in Aiken, closer to the California Dreaming in Augusta, GA, my granddaughter chose the location in Columbia, SC, to celebrate her 14th birthday. While both have outstanding food, the charm of the old railroad station is beyond compare. Our server was very attentive and made our family celebration very special. Thanks for accepting reservations!

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 4.4 stars by 720 OpenTable diners.

California Dreaming-Columbia does offer gift cards which you can purchase here https://centraarchy.com/purchase-gift-cards/?restaurant=california-dreaming.

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.