The below list of new businesses has been updated as of October 5, 2023.
Some people make to-do lists — we make to-dine lists. Many hot new Columbia restaurants have opened over the past several months, from Moa on Main Street to the viral chain Dave’s Hot Chicken.
To satisfy those who are really hungry for fresh dining options, we’ve got details on several more Soda City restaurants coming soon, too. Grab your forks as we dig right in.
Another Broken Egg | 101 State St., West Columbia | Breakfast + Brunch | Reservations: Yes
The newest edition to the growing West Columbia dining scene, this Florida chain opened its third Midlands location at the bottom of the Brookland development on the corner of Meeting and State Streets.
Bahn Mi Boys, 625 Whaley St. Suite C, Columbia | Sandwiches | Reservations: No
Banh Mi Boys is a Louisiana-based restaurant chain blending Vietnamese flavors with New Orleans flair. With this unique fusion, you’ll find banh mi sandwiches, classic New Orleans po’ boys, and Hawaiin specialties like the Loco Moco.
Dave’s Hot Chicken | 4601 Devine St., Columbia | Reservations: No
Dave’s Hot Chicken, founded by four friends in an East Hollywood parking lot, offers tender chicken topped with a range of spicy heat, from mild to “The Reaper.” It gained rapid popularity through social media buzz and its celebrity owners like Samuel L. Jackson and Drake.
The Dragon Room, 803 Gervais St., Columbia| Japanese | Reservations: No
The Dragon Room is a Pan-Asian Cocktail Bar from Kristian Niemi, who also owns Black Rooster in West Columbia and Bourbon on Main Street. The new restaurant stays open late, serving sandwiches, soups, steamed buns, and dumplings.
The Flying Biscuit Cafe, 936 Harden St., Columbia| Breakfast + Brunch | Reservations: No
The Flying Biscuit Cafe in Five Points has an extensive breakfast menu including everything from a Georgia peaches and cream waffle breakfast to its new honey butter chicken benedict. Everyone in the family can find something on the menu.
The Hoot, 2910 Rosewood Dr. #1, Columbia | American | Reservations: No
Soda Citizens Chelsea Ford, Jessica Ochoa, and Will Green, all experienced in the local food scene, teamed up to open The Hoot — a new bar and restaurant in Rosewood neighborhood, or as the owners say, a “local roost for the odd birds.” The menu features plant-based bar food with a Southern flair.
Iron Hill Brewery, 945 Sabal St., Columbia | American | Reservations: Yes
Iron Hill Brewery in the BullStreet District is more of a restaurant than a brewery with a huge menu of scratch-made dishes. That said, the in-house signature beers offer the freshest cold ones on tap.
Kao Thai, 1307 Main St., Columbia | Thai | Reservations: Yes
Kao Thai Cuisine, previously located in the Vista, relocated to Main Street, offering modern Thai dishes reminiscent of Bangkok streets alongside creative Pan-Asian and Asian-American fusion.
Knowledge Perk Coffee, 1527 Gervais St., Columbia | Coffee + bakery | Reservations: No
The Rock Hill-based coffee chain made a splash in Cola by moving into the first floor of the historic Whaley House on the corner of Gervais and Pickens Streets. It offers a full range of caffeinated drinks and baked goods.
Little Bee Bun Mee, 904 Knox Abbott Dr., Cayce | Southeast Asian | Reservations: No
Little Bee Bun Mee is a new Vietnamese banh mi sandwich-focused restaurant from the owners of Duke’s Pad Thai and is located next door. Offering an “open dining concept” between the two eateries, Little Bee also serves sushi, tacos, tea fusion drinks, and poke bowls, providing a fast-casual space for on-the-go diners.
MOA Korean BBQ and Bar, 1333 Main St., Columbia | Korean | Reservations: Yes
MOA Korean BBQ, owned by Sean Kim who also runs a MOA location in Charlotte and 929 Kitchen in the Vista, recently opened on Main St., offering authentic Korean dishes reminiscent of Sean’s childhood. The restaurant emphasizes traditional Korean elements, like the jangdokdae ceramic pots for fermenting food, and features an extensive menu of high quality meats. You can also pick-up a pastry and coffee from its window on Main Street.
Moctezumas, 402 Beltline Blvd., Columbia| Mexican | Reservations: No
Moctezumas closed its location on Fort Jackson Boulevard but soon after opened a spot nearby on Beltline Boulevard in the former Lizard’s Thicket location. The Mexican restaurant is known for its wide variety of street tacos and huaraches.
Que! Bueno Mexican Bar and Grill, 7320 Broad River Road, Irmo + 407 N Lake Dr., Lexington | Mexican | Reservations: No
Que! Bueno Mexican Bar and Grill serves a variety of traditional Mexican dishes, including nachos, burritos, chimichangas, and fajitas.
Biscuitville, multiple Midlands locations | Breakfast |Projected opening: Fall 2023
The NC-based breakfast chain has several locations under construction in the Midlands. The restaurant is known for its made-from-scratch biscuits and breakfast platters.
The Hollow, 823 Gervais St., Columbia | American | Projected opening: Early 2024
The Hollow, a unique “forest to table” restaurant focusing on wild game dishes, is set to open in Columbia’s Vista. The eatery will offer meats like elk, rabbit, and venison, paired with wild vegetables, in a setting with an artificial tree and a transparent kitchen for diners to view the culinary process.
Masa | 2811 Rosewood Dr., Columbia | Mexican | Projected opening: Fall 2023
Masa Mexican Street Food, owned by Columbia restaurateur Alfonso Bravo, is set to open its second location at the 5th & Sloan mixed-use development on Rosewood Drive. The restaurant, opening on July 1, will feature authentic Mexican cuisine, offering counter service for lunch, full service for dinner, a full bar, and an outdoor patio, catering to the walkable Rosewood and Shandon neighborhoods.
Ruby Sunshine, 2030 Devine St., Suite 101, Columbia| Breakfast + brunch | Projected opening: Fall 2023
Coming to the old Yesterday’s location in Five Points, New Orleans-based chain Ruby Sunshine is set to open later this year. The restaurant serves traditional brunch favorites with an eye-opening cocktail menu.
Prohibition, 1556 Main St., Columbia | American | Projected opening: October, 2023
This 1920s-themed bar + restaurant based in Charleston is opening a location at 1556 Main St. in October. The new location mirrors the Charleston venue with an expanded kitchen and an Italian pizza oven. It plans for a full-service bar, live music stage, and private event space.
Tupelo Honey, BullStreet District, Columbia| Southern | Projected opening: Spring 2024
Tupelo Honey Cafe, an Asheville-based restaurant known for its Southern-inspired made-from-scratch dishes like honey-dusted fried chicken and shrimp and grits, is set to open its first Columbia location in the BullStreet District in early 2024.
Whataburger, various locations | Burgers | Projected opening: 2023
The Texas-based fast food chain is rapidly expanding into South Carolina with seven locations already announced, including three in the Midlands. Columbia, Irmo, and Red Bank area residents can get their fix of late-night honey chicken, burgers, and spicy ketchup for their fries.