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California Dreaming-Columbia

4.2
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314 Reviews
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$30 and under
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American
Thank you for your continued support. We have missed you and cannot wait to welcome you all back! We have implemented new operational standards to keep everyone safe, including limiting large parties greater than 8. Read more on californiadreaming.rest

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, Seafood Nachos and fall-off-the-bone Baby Back Ribs. Additional features: patio seating, online ordering with curbside pick-up and full-service catering.

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
Social Distancing
  • Limited number of seated diners
  • Distancing maintained in common areas
  • Extra space between tables
  • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
Personal Protective Equipment
  • Waitstaff wear masks
  • Diners must wear masks unless eating or drinking
What 314 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.2based on recent ratings
4.2
food
4.3
service
4.3
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
85% of people would recommend it to a friend
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JF
JoeF
Charleston
3 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Awesome food and great service. Love the croissants and steaks.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Anniversary

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall1food1service3ambience3

Poor food. Horrible experience

d
damitar
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall4food2service5ambience4

Birthday dinner

RB
RochelleB
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Everything was great. Love the low lighting during dinner hours. Will return again soon.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Charleston
1 review
Dined on September 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We were celebrating our 24th year wedding anniversary and my 51st birthday, it was quiet, service and food were great!

JM
vipJayM
Atlanta
3 reviews
Dined on September 13, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I have been going to California Dreaming since it opened in 1984 and have always enjoyed it. We started out with the She Crab soup and weren't sure how it would be, but it was delicious and filled with crab. We would definitely order it again. The California Dreaming salad was also delicious and huge. It has never disappointed in 36 years. The croissant is always tender and sweet and delicious. If you don't order the salad, order them as an appetizer. Needless to say, the mai tai and the painkiller, which were both delicious, didn't hurt.

D
vipDiner
Charleston
49 reviews
Dined on September 13, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience3

Pretty good experience given current circumstances. However we were near the path to the restroom and the vast majority of those going in and out didn’t think they had to wear a mask. IF we go back before the COVID-19 thing is over (Big IF) we will be more careful about where we sit.

K
Karotop02
Charleston
1 review
Dined on September 12, 2020
Overall3food3service3ambience4

We were sat at the time of our reservation, which was nice. The server greeted us quickly and took drink orders, although she didn’t know very much at all about the beers offered on the menu. The food and drinks were timed appropriately. The nachos were very greasy but not terribly unsatisfying. Salads we quite good, as they have always been. The server misrang my entree, but it was rectified quickly and ran out by a manager (also nice). The fried oysters were terribly salty though. I ended up boxing them and someone at the house ate them later. The ramekin of ice cream used to celebrate the birthday was brought out and that was that. At the end of the day it was painfully average...nothing to write home about.

k
kendallj
1 review
Dined on September 12, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience5

My wife and I really enjoyed our meal and the service was really great.

SG
ShGa
1 review
Dined on September 7, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Jessica was great! Excellent customer service! Food was awesome!

JC
JeffC
1 review
Dined on September 5, 2020
Overall3food3service2ambience3

Seated us in a reasonable time. Service was slow...........

BS
BeverlyS
1 review
Dined on September 5, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent place to eat. Great food great service! Casual or dress up your choice

z
zayy
1 review
Dined on September 1, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience3

Food was hot and staff was nice and quick. I would definitely come back.

C
vipCarski22
Western NC
105 reviews
Dined on August 31, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This was our second time in a week.Always try to dine here when traveling. My favorite is the California Dreaming Salad. It was delicious as always! Great food, nice waitress, and appreciate your Covid precautions.

TT
TommyTwoEyes
1 review
Dined on August 29, 2020
Overall3food3service2ambience3

The restaurant was loud and hot. Wait staff was cold and unenthused. No shift leader/manager checked on us. My Catfish Po' Boy wasn't fresh. 3 out 5. You guys can do better.

K
vipKrashtest
Chicago
42 reviews
Dined on August 27, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

All around excellent!!

M
Marshall
1 review
Dined on August 23, 2020
Overall3food4service3ambience4

I thought the food was ok my issue was paying extra for a side item listed on the menu a different price. I even brought to the attention of the server who technically forgot my side item from the beginning so really aint no telling if she was being truthful but hey overall it is what it is and with that being said I would of rather spent my $70 elsewhere

PB
PatriceB
1 review
Dined on August 22, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing customer service by Conner! The food was excellent. I haven't eaten here in years,but I'll definitely be returning soon!

J
vipJames
Charleston
22 reviews
Dined on August 19, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Salad is the best in town. Ribs were excellent and the croissant was delicious.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on August 18, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great to accommodate a time change for the reservation and then an extra guest. Food and service were great!

JH
vipJamesH
Savannah
14 reviews
Dined on August 16, 2020
Overall4food5service4ambience4

We’ve been visiting CD for 30 years. It’s always a pleasure and we look forward to our next visit.

E
Eugene
1 review
Dined on August 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

had a wonderful evening with great food and wonderful service. The train station is such a beautiful historic building and a fantastic setting for dinner or lunch.

AA
AngelA
Charleston
3 reviews
Dined on August 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

California Dreaming always delivers, doesn’t matter which location we choose. Service was great, food was as expected and they managed to accommodate us, even though we showed up ahead of our reservation.

S
Senwho
Western NC
21 reviews
Dined on August 11, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Other than COVID-19 restrictions things haven’t changed all that much at California Dreaming for a number of years. The food is still pretty good all though prices have increased. And the old railway terminal is still a beautiful place to enjoy a meal. About the only thing that annoyed me on this trip was The restaurant no longer allows you to substitute sides for their signature salad. Even though the side items are listed at 3.95 on the menu and you get two of them with most meals you cannot swap them for the salad without an up charge of 3.95. Doesn’t make sense to me but what are you gonna do?

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on August 8, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Great atmosphere!!! She Crab soup was delicious! All enjoyed their food. We will definitely be back!

CA
ChristinaA
1 review
Dined on August 7, 2020
Overall4food5service4ambience4

Food was great. The steak, shrimp, mashed potatoes, salad and croissants were amazing.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on August 7, 2020
Overall3food3service5ambience5

We had reservations and were seated right away and our server was great! We ordered a salad and I had to pick out a number of brown, mushy lettuce leaves. When our entrees arrived, the chicken was hot, but the sides of fettuccini and French fries were cold. My husband told the server his were cold and got another side, but I just packaged mine up to go. Very disappointed in the food, but great service!

M
vipMickbern
Atlantic City
13 reviews
Dined on August 4, 2020
Overall4food5service3ambience4

Very enjoyable meal. Covid precautions were good. Service was good. Only objection was that we ordered dessert then were told that the kitchen was closed. Don’t take late reservations if you are in such a hurry to close.

s
steves
Cincinnati
11 reviews
Dined on August 3, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Selected the Columbia California Dreaming for dinner with a special lady in my life. We were promptly seated and selected a bottle of nice rose for our beverage. We both ordered dinner salads, a grilled salmon salad for her and a chicken ceaser salad for me. Our meals came out perfectly fixed and promptly. Our server was great. We will return.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Cincinnati
9 reviews
Dined on August 3, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great job. Thank you!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Charlotte
1 review
Dined on August 1, 2020
Overall4food3service4ambience3

Came from Charlotte

OT
OpenTable Diner
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on July 31, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our experience was very nice! Our waiter was not obnoxiously checking in on us every second like most American dining experiences.

The food was excellent and quick.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on July 31, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The service was very quick and friendly.

AR
AliciaR
1 review
Dined on July 31, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was very good as usual! I do wish there was more lighting in the bathrooms though.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Savannah
1 review
Dined on July 30, 2020
Overall2food2service2ambience3

Definitely did not live up to previous California Dreaming experiences. Ordered a daiquiri that was served with a paper straw and it tasted like strawberry purée with chunks of ice. The food and service were OK. Everything was served way too quickly. The entrees were served before we started our salad. I would not ever go back to this location. On top of all that I got zero Open Table points.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on July 30, 2020
Overall5food5service3ambience4

it was for my boyfriends birthday so overall with company it was a fun experience .. our waitress could have done a lot better .. very scattered always apologizing .. definitely doesn’t need big parties or busy nights.

B
Briana
1 review
Dined on July 30, 2020
Overall3food2service3ambience4

I use to love going to this restaurant the croissants and the blackened chicken pasta use to be my favorite but this past time I was disappointed in the food even my dessert. The brownie was dry the dressing tasted off, the pasta was cold and the taste was no where what it use to be. My server seemed a little frustrated but we did get everything we ordered. Overall the food didn’t taste like it has in the past.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on July 28, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great meal and company!

Dislikes paper straws.

SR
ShirleyR
1 review
Dined on July 25, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Very nice atmosphere and friendly environment. Croissants and salads are greatly.

FAQs

California Dreaming-Columbia offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (803) 254-6767.

California Dreaming-Columbia is rated 4.2 stars by 314 OpenTable diners.

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

You can book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size.