Favorite Meals from Bygone Columbia Restaurants

The Elite Epicurean
Table of Contents

We asked about your favorite meals from bygone Columbia restaurants, and boy did y’all answer.

From the Trout Almondine at S&S Cafeteria, the Arkansas Traveler at Yesterday’s, and the Shrimp Athenian with Epicurean Potato at the Elite, we’ve compiled a list of some of your favorite meals. And though you can’t go back and have it one more time, maybe you can recreate it at home, like those who’ve tried with several memorable meals.

🥘 The Elite Epicurean

We heard you loud and clear Soda Citizens, some of your fondest Columbia memories were made at the Elite Epicurean. From high school graduation dinners, to many special occasions, this downtown white tablecloth restaurant served Columbia for decades until it closed suddenly in 1997.

Located directly across from the City Hall and the courthouse, it was a who’s who of Columbia at lunchtime, and THE fine dining experience in Columbia for many years in the evening.

The Dish:

  • Shrimp Athenian w Epicurean Potato — Elizabeth N.
  • Lamb Chops with honey and feta cheese, Epicurean Potato — Gail L.
  • Calves Liver with grilled onions — Helen F.
  • Flounder Ann and Bose from the Elite Epicurean — reader submitted

Five Points Association Yesterday's

View of the Yesterday’s in Five Points. Photo provided from Five Points Association

🍔 Yesterday’s

There isn’t a more iconic storefront than a man in a bathtub above the Yesterday’s entrance in the heart of Five Points. When it closed its doors in April 2020, an audible gasp could be heard across Columbia.

The back bar area was a local museum, and was a favorite place to dine for the likes of Pat Conroy, Darius Rucker, and everyone in-between. Let’s have a look at the meals you miss most.

The Dish:

  • Arkansas Traveler — @___clifff___
  • Chicken fried steak from Yesterday’s!!!! — @aoedwards22
  • Fried chicken and collards — @mintergreen
  • Fried chicken in cheese grits — @caroline_butcher
  • Vegetable plate from yesterday’s! My favorite place to eat ever, my parents started taking me there when I was an infant. @aliii6
  • Shrimp Tacos @sweston5
  • Meatloaf — @pizzeriaopa
  • Cucumber salad — @do_yall_have_grits
  • chicken tenders .. mac n cheese ,. whew lawd the cheese fries wit the ranch .. i want it back NEOW😂😂😂– the_simplicitea
  • Chicken fried steak from Yesterday’s!!!! – aoedwards22


  • Mussels Romesco and extra bread from 116! – d_cantelmi

5 Points Diner

  • The burgers at 5 Points Diner were amazing!! Still Miss those burgers and tots. – thefoxandtheermine
  • Psycho burgers from 5 points diner even though I’m a vegan now 😂 – kittylangston

A.G. Floyd’s

  • Eggs Benedict from A.G. Floyd’s. – the_ajw

Birds on a Wire

  • Chicken Pepper Pasta Salad from Birds on a Wire! – hmt720

Blue Cactus

Bone In BBQ

Cellar on Greene

  • A three course meal and wine flight at Cellar on Greene 🤤 – emilyrmarra

Cloud Nine


  • Cogburn’s ribeye steak sandwich on a Gamecock football Saturday 😍– lynnwelch91


Devine Foods

  • The beef wrap at Devine Foods and fish and chips from the Kraken. Literally think about one or both every day. – brittanycainodom

Downstair’s Plaza (DSP)

  • Club sandwich in the Downstairs Plaza (DSP) under the Bird, with cheap pitchers of crappy beer. – andysmithsc86


  • Oh man… Duck confit nachos from cellar on Greene, bananakopita at solstice, breakfast pizza at pizza man, queso at el burrito & a cheeseburger from Edna’s 💔– chlo_ne
  • I’ll also add 3 or 4 chili dogs from Ednas or Dougs Dogs. – bryant_on_bourbon

El Burrito

El Menchaca

  • The enchiladas ( any kind ) at El Menchaca !!❤️– sheri.bruce

Fran’s on Forest

  • The squash casserole at Fran’s Farm Fresh Foods! – awsprat

Frank’s in Five Points

  • Late night hot dogs at Frank’s in 5 Points! – just_jo_318

Garden Bistro

  • Garden Bistro’s Cuban sandwich and red pepper soup! – sarahosipes

Garibaldi’s Five Points

  • Garibaldi’s Five Points ~ Crispy whole flounder and heart of palm salad – southernbellybbq


  • My husband and I fell in love over a slice of white chocolate macadamia cheesecake at Goatfeathers over 25 years ago! ❤️ – jen_and_darryn


  • A off menu hotpocket at Grandmas – camtay90

Grilled Teriyaki

Hannah Jane’s

  • EVERYTHING at Hannah Jane’s. But particularly the Spreads! – eliquojo


  • Chicken finger plate from Harper’s 😭 – hannahdez09


Keg of Nails

New Orleans Riverfront

  • A House Jambalaya and glass of wine while sitting on the porch at New Orleans Riverfront – emilymakesit

Nice n Natural

  • Mushroom cheese melt from Nice N’ Natural. – bobakanoah



Pizza Man

  • Everything from El Burrito. And the cinnamon rolls from Pizza Man. kylelanierr
  • Muffuletta pizza at Pizza Man – chase_dearman_

Po Folks

  • Anything and everything fried from Po 👏 Folks 👏– citylimitsq

Rising High

  • Chicken salad on sweet black bread from Rising High 🥪 – kaycietimmons



S&S Cafeteria

  • Chili cheese dogs from LuLu’s or Chicken and Dumplins with eggplant casserole and egg custard bowl for dessert from S&S – wombat_44

Sandy’s Hot Dogs

Sherlock Holmes Pub

Solstice Kitchen

  • Solstice fried chicken with Mac and cheese. – scelisetb

The Capitol Cafe

The Parthenon

Yo Burrito

  • Chicken finger basket w honey mustard and an ice cream from hooligans or the salsa bar from yo burrito – ebee_jeebies

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