2020 Holiday Dining Guide
by Kristin Scott
Many of Columbia’s best local restaurants will be open for the holidays this year with social distancing restrictions in place. Consider a family meal that you don’t have to cook or clean up. Catering options are available as well. Here is a list of dining spots offering holiday hours. Be sure to call or check their social media pages for up-to-date information during these ever-changing times. Happy Holidays and Bon Appetit!
Hallschophouse.com | (803) 563-5066
Halls Chophouse is a family-owned and operated restaurant well known for one of the best steaks in town, but the mouth-watering options do not stop there. The menu also offers a popular Caesar salad, she-crab soup and plenty of other items that pair perfectly with their delectable steaks. There are several rooms and larger party options available, depending on local coronavirus restrictions, and an extensive wine and cocktail list to compliment your meal – so be sure to take a trip by the bar. For Thanksgiving, the dining room will be open, and they will also be offering a full Thanksgiving menu to-go. Halls will also be open for Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. Check their social media pages or call for additional details.
Legacy Caribbean Bar & Grill
Legacycaribbeanbarandgrill.com | (803) 708-8481
You don’t have to sail to the islands to get authentic Caribbean food – it’s right here in Columbia! If you want something other than traditional holiday fare this year, Legacy Caribbean Bar & Grill should be on your list. This local Jamaican restaurant is home to rich island flavors as well as traditional southern dishes. They plan to be open on Thanksgiving 6 p.m. – midnight; Black Friday 11 a.m. – midnight; Christmas Eve 11 a.m. – midnight; Christmas Day 6 p.m. – midnight; New Year’s Eve 11 a.m. – 1 a.m.; and New Year’s Day 6 p.m. – midnight. Online ordering and catering are now available.
Uppercrustwoodfiredgrill.com | (803) 888-6282
Start the new year with Italian flat bread pizzas, made-from-scratch salads, sandwiches, and more from Upper Crust. This local culinary gem offers a warm and comfortable ambiance with its open-concept kitchen and cozy dining area. The restaurant will be closed for Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, but plans to open for New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Check Upper Crust’s social media or call for additional details on hours of operation.
Saludas.com | (803) 799-9500
This iconic Five Points fine-dining restaurant is the perfect place for a holiday date or to take visiting family. With magnificent service and a view, reservations here will be sure to please and impress. Stop by for a glass of wine, appetizer or dinner on Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve. The menu changes often, and it is sure to include something special for the holidays. You can find dishes such as fresh seafood, top-of-the-line steaks, and vegetarian or vegan options, all plated to perfection. Call for additional details on holiday hours of operation.
Tombogrille.com | (803) 782-9665
This Forest Drive staple is one of the best restaurants you will find in Columbia. With its nightly specials, live entertainment, extensive menu, and desserts, it’s the place to work into your holiday plans. The restaurant is closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, but it is open on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. While you are there, be sure to try one of the amazing cocktails and end your night with the blondie, you will not be sorry! Call for additional details on holiday hours of operation.
Colasrestaurant.com | (803) 451-0051
Located in the old Coca Cola bottling plant on Assembly Street, this restaurant brings history and modern dining together with new American fine dining. Dishes include seafood, steaks and more, inspired from places all over the world. Ingredients are fresh, and when possible – local. Enjoy views of the statehouse and a stocked bar too. The restaurant plans to be open Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.
Villatronco.com | (803) 256-7677
The second you walk into Villa Tronco, you will feel like you are walking into a sweet Italian grandmother’s dining room. Classically designed, this elegant restaurant is the oldest in Columbia. Passed down for generations, this restaurant and its recipes withstand the test of time. Each mouthwatering dish is better than the next and the specials will leave you wishing they were on the regular menu. The dining room will be open on New Year’s Eve from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. If Italian is on your mind, book your reservation in advance.
Kaothaicola.com | (803) 569-6881
Known for its modern Thai dishes, this restaurant certainly adds flavor to the downtown Columbia skyline. Located in the former Columbia Central Fire Station which served as Columbia’s fire department headquarters for over 44 years, Kao Thai is proud to be its first occupant since the station’s closure in 1994. Their menu offers modern Thai eats that are commonly found on the streets of Bangkok as well as a mix of creative pan-Asian and Asian-American fusion dishes that are fresh and exciting. Kao Thai is open for Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.
Tazzakitchen.com | (803) 782-0760
The crew at local favorite, Tazza Kitchen, wants you to spend Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve with them. Tazza is a high-energy restaurant with a casual vibe located in Forest Acres. They partner with some of the best farmers, suppliers, and distributors around to offer guests pizza, tacos, and plenty of New American entrees. The dining room will be open until 9 p.m. on Christmas Eve and 9:30 p.m. on New Year’s Eve. It will be closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
Alodia’s Cucina Italiana
Italian never looked so good this close to the lake. Locally owned Alodia’s Cucina Italiana is a restaurant born from the love of an Italian family with locations in Lexington and Irmo. Named after Proprietor Adam Huneau’s great-grandmother, Alodia’s fare and ambiance resound with the smells and tastes of Old Italy. Fresh sauces and homemade pastas are the foundation of the menu that brings generations together. Both locations will be open on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.
J.R. Cash Chapin
jrcashs.com | (803) 816-4114
Previously known as J Peters, this local favorite identifies as a fresh, scratch-made, classic American grill. Whether enjoying one of their legendary salads, fresh from the oven and drizzled with honey-butter croissants, oversized sandwiches, or a slab of tender, slow roasted prime rib, you’ll find J.R. Cash’s to be a comfortable, affordable throwback to a simpler, better time. The restaurant is open Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day so make your reservations to celebrate without the cleanup.
Travinia Italian Kitchen
Travinia’s two locations (Lexington and NE Columbia) serve handcrafted contemporary American Italian food with amazing service. Guests can look forward to an extensive menu with plentiful gluten-free options, an impressive collection of curated wines, and an atmosphere of comfort and style. The restaurant plans to have modified hours for the holidays, including an early close Christmas Eve and regular hours New Year’s Eve. They will be closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day.
Terrasc.com | (803) 791-3443
Located in a plaza just on the other side of the Gervais Street bridge, this West Columbia gem something to see. It has one of the best atmospheres in town, a magnificent view of the city, and a modern feel after a recent renovation. Owner and Chef Mike Davis changes the menu often, so there is always something fun, new, and fresh to choose from. But it wouldn’t be the Terra experience without tried and true menu items such as the lamb mac n cheese and steak frites. Each dish is elegantly plated and comes with, arguably, some of the best service in town. Make your New Year’s Eve reservations to end the year in style.