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California Dreaming-Columbia, Columbia, SC

California Dreaming-Columbia

4.3
4.3
2182 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.

Make a reservation

2 people

11:30 PM


Booked 91 times today

Order delivery or takeout

Additional information

  • Dining style
    Casual Dining
  • Price
    $30 and under
  • Cuisines
    American, Seafood, Steak
  • Hours of operation
    Daily 11:00 am–9:00 pm
  • Phone number
    (803) 254-6767
  • Payment options
    AMEX, Mastercard, Visa
  • Dress code
    Casual Dress
  • Neighborhood
    Columbia
  • Parking details
    Public Lot
  • Additional
    Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Gluten-free Options, Non-Smoking, Takeout, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine

What 2,182 people are saying

Overall ratings and reviews

Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant

4.3
4.3 based on recent ratings
  • 4.3Food
  • 4.5Service
  • 4.4Ambience
  • 4.2Value

NoiseModerate

Loved For

  • South Carolina

    Most Booked

  • Columbia

    Great for brunch

  • Columbia

    Neighborhood gem

  • Columbia

    Most Booked

2,182 Reviews
  1. OpenTable Diner

    Charleston

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined 3 days ago

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Had another great meal! My new go-to is the steak sandwich and a raspberry bramble. It’s quiet enough that you can hear your dining companions talk.

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  2. LarryJ

    Western NC

    2 reviews

    4.0

    2 reviews

    Dined 3 days ago

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    Quality seems to have gone down and somewhat overpriced

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  3. AmyN

    Charleston

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined 4 days ago

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Waitress was great but it took a long time to get our food. Also-you should check the bathrooms more often. They were a mess. Love is restaurant overall though!!

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  4. OpenTable Diner

    Greater Boston

    2 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined 4 days ago

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Outstanding service from both hostess and server. Will definitely be back.

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  5. VondaG

    Charleston

    9 reviews

    3.0

    9 reviews

    Dined 4 days ago

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 2
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 3
    We were sat at a table that wasn’t properly bussed. There was a steak knife on the floor along with other food particles. The blackened shrimp was too spicy so I got the fried shrimp instead. The first set came out cold so they had to make it over. No manager came over but they offered a free dessert.

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  6. MelissaC

    Charleston

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined 4 days ago

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    The entire meal was perfect from start to finish. The food was delicious and our server Christian was very attentive and we didn’t have to wait or ask for anything. A very enjoyable dining experience and we will definitely return.

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  7. OpenTable Diner

    Charlotte

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined 4 days ago

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    Great food….great experience….a little loud, but that’s to be expected.

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  8. OpenTable Diner

    Charlotte

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined 4 days ago

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 3
    The food was good and out server was even better! We had a reservation for 7:45 and didn’t get seated until 8:30 though.

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  9. KelsCal

    Charleston

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined 4 days ago

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    They worked with us really well, food was good, our server was amazing!!! shout out to her!

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  10. Adam

    E. Tennessee

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined 5 days ago

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Visiting from Knoxville, TN, for the Dwight Yoakum concert and decided to try this place out. I'm glad we made reservations because walk-ins had a 3 hour wait. That's because this place is bangin! Our server was fantastic, and our food was spectacular, which made our visit to Columbia, SC, perfect! Thanks, y'all!

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  11. OpenTable Diner

    Charlotte

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined 5 days ago

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Great experience & our server Jordan provided wonderful service to my family & I. Highly recommend!

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  12. OpenTable Diner

    Charlotte

    3 reviews

    4.0

    3 reviews

    Dined 5 days ago

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Great service. Seafood nachos, croissants and poboys were fantastic. Salmon was overcooked however. Ambience was great and would definitely try again.

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  13. AKWRWW

    Northern MI

    40 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    40 reviews

    Dined 5 days ago

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Great place in an old Union Railroad Station. Loved the she crab soup, shrimp tacos, and filet mignon tri tip sandwich. Would definitely go back if in town.. Make a reservation.

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  14. RobertN

    Greensboro

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined 6 days ago

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    Food was great. Service great. Parking a challenge. Reservations seem more like a suggestion.

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  15. MarchettaW

    Charleston

    4 reviews

    4.0

    4 reviews

    Dined 6 days ago

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    Reservation time was at and we were not seated until 6:45. It would be helpful to spread reservations times so wait time may not be that long.

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  16. SamuelA

    New York City

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined 6 days ago

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Very nice place, food was very good, service was very good. If I had to say something negative it would be the parking lot is not ample enough to handle that many people.. Overall worth the drive.

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  17. JuliaT

    Charleston

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined 6 days ago

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Wonderful vibes .. our waitress was the absolute best .. I can’t remember her name .. but good vibes

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  18. Cynthia

    Charleston

    5 reviews

    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined 6 days ago

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    The food was great and excellent service by Trevor our server. I love this restaurant - The California Dreaming salad is just the best, but I always have to at least have the house salad with the house dressing. So yummy and served with the best croissant ever!

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  19. AmandaP

    Charleston

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined 6 days ago

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    Our waitress was excellent, very attentive. Our food came out in excellent time with a party of six was hot and delicious..

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  20. OpenTable Diner

    Charleston

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined 6 days ago

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    Had a wonderful experience it was a group of 6 we had reservations and everything was perfect … most definitely will be back and we came in from an hour away ❤️

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  21. OpenTable Diner

    Charleston

    5 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on February 21, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 5
    Everything was exceptional but the kitchen was extremely backed up!!

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  22. Jennifer21

    San Francisco

    3 reviews

    3.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on February 18, 2024

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 3
    Enjoy coming here for dinner when visiting our son, you need more help to get orders in & out of the kitchen.

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  23. MartislRt

    Charleston

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 18, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    The food, service, ambience, and location was excellent! My party had a great meeting!

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  24. OpenTable Diner

    Charlotte

    5 reviews

    4.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on February 18, 2024

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 3
    The restaurant was crowded, they were behind on reservations however, we were seated in reasonable amount of time at a good table. The service was very good. It was somewhat slow but the wait was reasonable and food was very good. The server kept checking in. Overall good experience at California Dreaming.

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  25. JohnnyS

    Richmond

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 17, 2024

    1. Overall 2
    2. Food 2
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 1
    We were seated 30 minutes after our reservation time. Staff was very curteous, and food came out rather quickly. However, chicken was dry and food was bland. We could barely read the menu or see our food since the lighting is so dark. Not impressed.

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  26. OpenTable Diner

    Indiana

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 17, 2024

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 4
    Just okay. Had a 4:45 reservation and didn’t get seated until 5:30. Way too many people there and they needed to turn people away so they could seat everyone properly. Food was okay. Out of pulled pork and menu said seasonal vegetables but they don’t do those anymore. Steak has a bit of a weird flavor (fruity). Chicken tenders were so oily. Waitress was very quick and friendly.

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  27. KenyanR

    Charleston

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 17, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    We had a 4:45 reservation, arrived at 4:30 and was seated about 5:15. Besides that, everything else was really good.

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  28. OpenTable Diner

    Chicago

    1 review

    1.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 17, 2024

    1. Overall 1
    2. Food 1
    3. Service 1
    4. Ambience 4
    We had a reservation for 4:30, we were not seated until an hour and 20 minutes later. There was never an apology by hosts, server, or any accountability. This was a terrible experience and can’t believe no accountability was taken place or any discount for waiting hours to eat. Not acceptable.

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  29. DebraB

    Charleston

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on February 17, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 4
    The food and service was excellent but had a 4:00 reservation and didn’t get seated until 5;00.

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  30. Clovette

    Charlotte

    25 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    25 reviews

    Dined on February 17, 2024

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    Excellent food. Fresh and tasty. The salad with chicken fingers was huge and the blue cheese dressing was homemade and delicious. The California Dreaming burger was also very large, cooked perfectly to order, and juicy. Our waiter Tom attended to every detail. He even brought drink refills and extra salad dressing without us needing to ask for them. Overall very enjoyable luncheon.

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  31. JennP

    Charlotte

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 17, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    After recommendations from many friends, we finally made it here and we were not disappointed! The food was delicious, our server was very attentive and friendly, and our bill was reasonable. We will definitely be back!

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  32. OpenTable Diner

    Charleston

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 17, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Good food. Good service. Good view. Good dinner guest 😊

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  33. NickW

    Charlotte

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 17, 2024

    1. Overall 2
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 1
    4. Ambience 4
    We had a reservation for 8:30. We didn’t get seated until 8:45. I understand that they were very busy. No biggie. I’m a large man and they put us in a fixed booth. We requested a new table. They re-seated us. Great! Server comes over. He brings us our drinks and takes our orders. Appetizer comes out and we realize that the server didn’t give us any silverware. We requested silverware and no one brings it out. We sit there with our appetizer that we can’t eat because of the no silverware. Our server walks by us several times and never looks at us as we try to get his attention to bring us some silverware. We were ignored. Next attention that we get is another server brings out our entrees plates. We then tells her to get us the manager as we had been sitting there with food for 25 minutes and no silverware. The manager came over and was extremely nice with silverware. She was very nice about it. As we’re about to finally eat, we look at the silverware and it’s unclean and food is stuck on it. The server finally comes back to us since taking our order 35 minutes ago now. We tell & show him the soiled silverware that the manager had brought us. I then request plasticware and to-go trays. We boxed up our food and left. Most of you may think that the establishment might have attempted to make things “right” with us. They didn’t sadly. We paid out our full bill. The odd thing is even though we got terrible service, being Black, we probably got stuck with a bad server intentionally. Instead of not tipping, I tipped $20 cash on a $67 bill. Thanks for profiling California Dreaming in Columbia, SC.

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  34. OpenTable Diner

    Charlotte

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on February 16, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    The food and service was excellent. Beyond recommend this restaurant

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  35. univtx

    Orlando

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on February 15, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Had a lovely evening with our grandson! Just delightful

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  36. OpenTable Diner

    Charleston

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 15, 2024

    1. Overall 2
    2. Food 2
    3. Service 2
    4. Ambience 2
    The food was okay I felt like they rushed our order and the waitress was rushing us to eat because she said they was closing… my reservation was for 8:30 we didn’t sit down to eat til after 9:15

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  37. OpenTable Diner

    Charleston

    2 reviews

    3.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on February 15, 2024

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 4
    Made a reservation for 8 pm weeks in advance. Wasn’t seated until 8:35 pm. Server didn’t take our food order until 8:50 pm. Food was delicious, but there was no point in making a reservation, you will still have to wait.

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  38. KrystalY

    Charleston

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 15, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Everything was quick stuff was nice it was just the wait

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  39. OpenTable Diner

    Charleston

    11 reviews

    2.0

    11 reviews

    Dined on February 15, 2024

    1. Overall 2
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 3
    Had reservations for 7:30. Got there at 7:15. Didn’t get seated til 8:18. Should not have to wait 45 min to sit if you have a reservation. Should have left.

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  40. KiaraM

    Charleston

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 15, 2024

    1. Overall 2
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 4
    We waited an hour and a half after our 7:30 reservation. The hosts were sitting walkins prior to us. We showed up 30mins early. We were better off without reservations because nothing was reserved by the establishment. Unacceptable. It ruined our evening. Holidays happen every year and clearly California Dreaming has yet to figure out a game plan.

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Safety precautions

  • Cleaning & sanitizing

    • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
    • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
    • Common areas deep-cleaned daily
    • Sanitizer or wipes provided for customers
  • Screening

    • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace

FAQs

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

California Dreaming-Columbia is rated 4.3 stars by 2182 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable.

Make a reservation

2 people

11:30 PM


Booked 91 times today

Order delivery or takeout

Google Map for California Dreaming-Columbia

401 Main St, Columbia, SC 29201-4147

Additional information

  • Neighborhood
    Columbia
  • Hours of operation
    Daily 11:00 am–9:00 pm
  • Price
    $30 and under
  • Cuisines
    American, Seafood, Steak
  • Dining style
    Casual Dining
  • Dress code
    Casual Dress
  • Parking details
    Public Lot
  • Payment options
    AMEX, Mastercard, Visa
  • Additional
    Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Gluten-free Options, Non-Smoking, Takeout, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine
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