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California Dreaming-Columbia, Columbia, SC
This restaurant now offers Takeout

This restaurant now offers Takeout

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California Dreaming-Columbia

4.5
4.5
1234 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 booking

2 people

23:00


Booked 64 times today

Order delivery or takeout

Takeout from OpenTableNew

This restaurant is currently not taking orders. Check back soon.

View takeout menu

Other options

  • Logo image for ChowNow

Additional information

  • Dining style

    Casual Dining

  • 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

Popular dishes

What 1,234 people are saying

Overall ratings and reviews

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

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

NoiseModerate

Diners' Choice Awards

  • South Carolina

    Most Booked

  • Columbia

    Best Value

  • Columbia

    Group Bookings

  • Columbia

    Hot Spot

  • Columbia

    Lunch

  • Columbia

    Most Booked

Sort by

Filters

  1. W

    Warrior88

    Charleston

    10 reviews

    5.0

    10 reviews

    Dined 2 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience3
    This place was slammed pack but, because we had a reservation we were seated on time.. They did a fantastic job managing all the people and reservations. Our table was in the bar are which was especially noisy that night but the food and servers were fantastic!
  2. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Charleston

    4 reviews

    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined 4 days ago

    overall5food4service5ambience5
    It was my first visit to this establishment. It was very nice, clean, and spacious. Outdoor dining is also offered.
  3. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on 25 June 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    It was very good I liked it
  4. MS

    MaryS

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on 24 June 2022

    overall3food4service2ambience3
    Service was slow, took 50 minutes to get order for 5. One order had a hair on the plate and had to be replaced with a different order. Food was good,
  5. KA

    KenA

    Orlando

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on 22 June 2022

    overall3food4service2ambience3
    I would have given 5 stars however, the hostess (all three of them) couldn't figure out how to seat 7 of us. Instead, they stuffed us into a booth made for 6. After being initially seated(stuffed) I went back and asked for a larger table so we could be comfortable. They said that was the largest. The restaurant was empty and I said why can't you move the two 4 tops together and they said we can't do that. I should have asked for a manager but I was so dumbfounded by how unwilling they were to meet our needs that I just scratched my head and walked away. Who does that? It ruined our entire lunch and business meeting. Maybe this is what dreamers do in California.
  6. RC

    RandyC

    Louisville

    6 reviews

    3.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on 21 June 2022

    overall3food3service2ambience4
    Took 20m to get my drink then got my food 20m after the 3 others at my table. Not great service and this was on a random Tuesday in the summer when there is no school in session. I don’t understand.
  7. S

    Scotty

    Charleston

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on 21 June 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We’re there for a meal before the James Taylor concert. Everything was very good The California Dreamin salad is the best.
  8. KS

    KimS

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on 21 June 2022

    overall4food5service5ambience5
    One of the Managers handled being the Server as well due to staff issues . Restaurant was busy due to a local concert - but service was great . Food was amazing as usual . I dined with a friend whose 1 st time at California Dreaming was this time and she said she is definitely coming back .
  9. DG

    DonG

    Pittsburgh

    2 reviews

    4.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on 21 June 2022

    overall4food5service3ambience4
    House salad was delicious as it’s been for decades. BBQ ribs were also delicious. Server was a little slow and seemed new and a little overwhelmed. Will still go back.
  10. RM

    RonnieM

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on 20 June 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Food was excellent. Service was amazing. Our waitress went above and beyond to take care of us.
  11. MW

    MeganW

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on 20 June 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Awesome! We will be back! Food was great and we loved our server!
  12. EL

    ElizabethL

    Raleigh

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on 19 June 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Our waitress was wonderful! We never had to ask for drink refills which I appreciated. The food was good -especially the ribs!
  13. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on 19 June 2022

    overall3food5service3ambience3
    Father’s Day.
  14. G

    Gayle

    Charleston

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on 19 June 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Our meal was excellent. We tried something different and it was excellent. I had the cheesecake for dessert and it was excellent. Service was great and we liked where we were sitting. Overall everything was wonderful.
  15. DP

    DarleneP

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on 19 June 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Food was great as usual. Service was outstanding. Looking forward to going back soon!
  16. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on 19 June 2022

    overall4food3service4ambience3
    Father’s Day Lunch. I thought the food was mediocre. Got chicken bbq nachos appetizer and chicken was cold with way too much bbq sauce. Son (10) loved potato soup, daughter (6) loved the pasta Alfredo. I had knob hill chicken and mashed potatoes. Chicken was dry and need some type of sauce like honey mustard to dip. Waiter was okay but they were extremely busy due to Father’s Day.
  17. C

    Connie

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on 19 June 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Service was excellent, food delicious on a busy Father’s Day. California Dreaming is a favorite-it never disappoints!
  18. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Charleston

    4 reviews

    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on 19 June 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Our visit to California Dreaming was amazing as always! Our server, Rick, was PHENOMENAL! He was very attentive, friendly and professional. As soon as a glass was empty or before it was completely empty he was bringing out a refill. Our appetizers arrived promptly and our salads and entrees for followed shortly after. We left with full bellies and exceptional service. We need more waiters like Rick!
  19. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Charleston

    9 reviews

    5.0

    9 reviews

    Dined on 18 June 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    This place was great! It’s food was delicious, staff was awesome, and the building itself is unique. They had some original recipes on their menu, and of course some standard items too. I highly recommend trying this restaurant.
  20. S

    Scottie

    Charleston

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on 18 June 2022

    overall2food2service2ambience2
    I haven’t been to CD in a few years. The food is not the same. Very disappointed, not sure if I’ll go back??
  21. P

    Pete

    New York Area

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on 18 June 2022

    overall4food4service5ambience4
    Arrived early for reservation and was seated immediately. Server Allie was great and helpful with explaining the menu. Food was pretty good, I had the Shrimp San Francisco that could have had a little more sauce and my wife had baby back ribs which were tender but a little burnt. Overall we enjoyed our dinner and would come back again.
  22. M

    Momo

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on 18 June 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    wonderfull place to enjoy. One thing → it will be great if the restaurant pay more attention to the restrooms to clean and supply. I want to be confident going in thete not to have to look for toilet papers or avoid waterly floor here and there. But thank you for the delicious foods.
  23. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    1.0

    1 review

    Dined on 18 June 2022

    overall1food1service2ambience1
    We went to California Dreaming Saturday the 18th for our wedding anniversary. My husband and I both ordered the ribeye steaks. I ordered mine medium well and my husband ordered his medium. My steak came out over done. It was literally burnt on the bottom. My husbands came out barely pink. His looked more like a nice thick ribeye cut and mine looked like a chopped slice of really thin meat. It didn’t even look like a ribeye cut. It looked more like a tbone cut without the bone. It definitely didn’t look anything like my husbands cut of meat. The taste was terrible. Not only did was it overcooked and tough but you could taste the burnt part. I couldn’t finish it. The more I cut into the steak the drier and nastier it got. Our fries were over cooked too. Most of the fries were to hard. I’m even disappointed in my salad because it didn’t have the dressing I asked for. Overall for $82 we are very disappointed in our meals. This was our first date night in well over a year and I just can’t tell you how disappointed I am over the quality. I have always recommended this restaurant to all of my customers when we had our shows with Ellet Brothers and all of my friends. I have always thought this was the restaurant to go to for special occasions. But after the meal we just received I have changed my mind on this place. That is to much money to spend on food that comes out of the kitchen like that. Especially these days.
  24. CA

    CourtneyA

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on 17 June 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Delicious food, outstanding service, good drinks, definitely will be back
  25. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on 17 June 2022

    overall3food3service4ambience3
    The hostess Alexis was awful on the phone and in person. We felt as if we were bothering her by wanting to make reservations and show up to eat.The overall experience was not good. The food was subpar at best. The server was wonderful and very attentive. The best part was the company and croissants.
  26. KW

    KathyW

    Charleston

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on 12 June 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    The old train station and the decor inside is simply gorgeous! They have a varied menu with low to higher prices. Whether you get the side salad or the California Dreaming salad, you must have the honey mustard and warm bacon dressing. It is the best!!
  27. KW

    KathyW

    Charleston

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on 12 June 2022

    overall3food2service5ambience5
    It must have been a really off night for this restaurant. Both steaks were terrible and charred. Sent them back and received new steaks. 1 steak was delicious and 1 steak was tasteless and charred. Person with party who had soup and salad said their meal was delicious. Management made good on steaks with gift certificates.
  28. N

    Nikki

    Charleston

    8 reviews

    5.0

    8 reviews

    Dined on 11 June 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    Made a reservation and we were seated within a few minutes of our arrival. It was a pretty busy Saturday night and our server was very friendly and attentive. I had the scrumptious crab claws and tried the San Francisco Shrimp for the first time and it was delicious. One of my favorite restaurants.
  29. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on 10 June 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    It have been a while since I was at California Dreaming but the food and service was great. The menu is a lot smaller than in the past.
  30. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Charleston

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on 10 June 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    The waiter was very on top of everything and I honestly wish we gave a bigger tip. If I’m paying I usually give anywhere from $20-$40 just because their job isn’t easy but they are always so kind, friendly, and very on top of their job. I never have to ask for refills or condiments because they always beat me to it. Absolutely love this place, I’ve been going since I was little.
  31. KG

    KendraG

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on 10 June 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great atmosphere! We had a wonderful dinner. The restaurant was quiet. Our server was fantastic, and so was the food! Hope to come back again.
  32. DC

    DCsOwn

    Baltimore

    23 reviews

    5.0

    23 reviews

    Dined on 10 June 2022

    overall5food4service5ambience5
    Overall California Dreaming was a very nice selection. I would have given 5-stars if the menu has a few more items to choose from but everything my wife and I ordered tasted great. The wing appetizer was exactly as I like it; meaty, cooked thoroughly, seasoned throughout and no fat… and they weren’t tiny like found in other places. The crab soup was creamy as my wife prefers. The house salad practically filled me up and I arrived starving. Neither of us were able to finish (actually didn’t begin eating until the next day) our main dishes because the portions are fairly large. Yes! The drink men was decent where they offered variety but nothing overwhelming. Our server, forgive me as I forgot her name, was very nice, informative about the dishes and came to our table to check in us while tending other patrons. Not all places have staff that are attentive, friendly and knowledgeable.
  33. LT

    LynnT

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on 10 June 2022

    overall2food2service3ambience1
    I was sadden and disappointed in my overall experience. Upon entering the facility my first impression was OMG. I could not believe how run down and dirty the place had become. The entrance was dirty, windows and brass dirty and worn, floors throughout are in desperate need of resurfacing and cleaning, bathrooms OMG was just pitiful. I was totally taken back even the salt and pepper shakers on table was sticky/tacky. While I have just move back to Columbia SC after 17 years of traveling I am again sadden that this once flagship facility has gone down so far. Not sure if this post pandemic influenced or lack of funds...but if this is one of the best in Columbia, we are in trouble. The food was at best just ok, typical chain restaurant food. The young man (server) did the best he could. Meal for 3 was 89.00 with a 15.00 tip...not a good investment for my time and money.
  34. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Charleston

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on 7 June 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We had a wonderful time and California Dreaming doesn’t disappoint!! A lovely meal!!
  35. PD

    PatriciaD

    Charleston

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on 7 June 2022

    overall2food5service1ambience5
    We had dinner at California Dreaming on June 7, 2022. We have been going here for years. We had the most disappointing experience this time.. Our waiter appeared to be rushing, we placed our drink order and our food order at the same time. My husband ordered a beer and water I ordered an unsweet tea with sweet and low on the side. He brought out the drinks and set down a bottle4 of beer without asking if he wanted a glass. After putting in the week and low in my tea and tasting it it had a horrible flavor. my husband said to try it again, which I did. When the waiter came back to our table I asked if He had given me a sweet tea or an unsweet. He said it was a sweet tea. I told him that I ordered an unsweet tea. he took the glass and brought back the right tea, by6 then the damage had been done, because I am a pump dependent diabetic. The sweet tea had already raised my blood sugar. When the meal came we asked for the soup first and the salads next. my husband had also ordered a side of fries, which he never got. I am sorry to say this was not the most pleasant experience..
  36. VD

    VirginiaD

    Charleston

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on 6 June 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great menu, food, and service. Love coming here with our friends.
  37. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Exclusive

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on 4 June 2022

    overall4food4service4ambience4
    Always enjoy taking the family for a great dinner.
  38. VJ

    VanessaJ

    San Francisco

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on 4 June 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    We sat in the bar area at a booth. Our server was very knowledgeable and super friendly, the food never disappoints, I had the veggie pasta and house salad minus the meats and a Paloma.
  39. VG

    VondaG

    Charleston

    4 reviews

    4.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on 3 June 2022

    overall4food3service4ambience4
    Celebrating me and my husband’s graduation. The waiter was great. The people who brought the food from the kitchen were horrible. They didn’t give the food to the right people and didn’t care to make sure it was right. My steak was burnt at the top and my baked potato was Luke warm. We didn’t feel like complaining because it would’ve been another hour before we would’ve gotten fresh food and we were hungry. Reservation was for 7:30 and we didn’t leave there until after 9:00.
  40. AJ

    AprilJ

    Charleston

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on 3 June 2022

    overall5food4service4ambience5
    They’ve take so many items away from their menu. Need more starter options. Overall, good food but few choices.

Safety precautions

  • Cleaning & sanitising

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

    • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace

FAQs

California Dreaming-Columbia does offer delivery in partnership with Chow Now. California Dreaming-Columbia also offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (803) 254-6767.

California Dreaming-Columbia is rated 4.5 stars by 1234 OpenTable diners.

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

Make a booking

2 people

23:00


Booked 64 times today

Order delivery or takeout

Takeout from OpenTableNew

This restaurant is currently not taking orders. Check back soon.

View takeout menu

Other options

  • Logo image for ChowNow
Google Map for California Dreaming-Columbia

401 Main St Columbia, SC 29201-4147

Additional information

  • Area

    Columbia

  • Hours of Operation

    Daily 11:00 am–9:00 pm

  • Cuisines

    American, Seafood, Steak

  • Dining style

    Casual Dining

  • Dress Code

    Casual Dress

  • Parking Details

    Public Lot

  • Payment Options

    AMEX, MasterCard, Visa

  • Additional

    Gluten-free Options

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