Best Patio & Outdoor Dining Spots Around Columbia


As springtime, longer days and warm weather approaches, I’ve been getting more excited about getting outside with family and friends. Restaurants with outdoor dining have always been my favorite. There’s something about being outdoors that somehow elevates any social experience!

I’ve compiled a list of my favorite spots in the Columbia area that offer outdoor dining options. I hope this list serves as a quick reference for you, the next time the weather is beautiful, and you want to get outdoors to enjoy a delicious meal!

Backstreets Grill

Location: Devine Street 

The Backstreets patio is the perfect spot for a large or small crowd, year-round. Their menu is broad enough to accommodate any age and with a variety of options, will keep any large crowd happy. The southwestern chicken salad is my personal favorite.


Location: Cross Hill Market 

Basil is one of our family’s go to restaurants for dine-in or take-out. They have a nice outdoor space for the milder months in Columbia. The staff is always super friendly, they are food allergy aware and accommodating, and the food is delicious every single time. My favorite things on the menu are the Tom Kha Gai (chicken coconut) soup and the Pad Thai.

Black Rooster

Location: West Columbia

Black Rooster serves up a good atmosphere, as well as good food, day or night. While it’s great to sit indoors and enjoy the cozy, intimate space, it’s even better to head upstairs and enjoy their rooftop which boosts views of downtown Columbia from the Gervais Street bridge. Their drink menu is always interesting and pairs well with any dish. My favorite items on the menu are the seasonal chef board and the steak frites.

Cafe Strudel

Location: West Columbia 

Cafe Strudel is a staple in West Columbia. When the indoor scene gets a little crowded, I definitely prefer the patio. You can’t beat the breakfast bowl or hangover hash browns at brunch, or the buffalo chicken wrap and duck fat fries at lunch.

Cantina 76

Location(s): Devine Street, Main Street 

With two convenient locations, Cantina 76 is a go-to for delicious Mexican food. The patio is the perfect place to be near the Devine Street or Main Street action and get some fresh air. Their margarita and Tres Hombres sampler starter are perfect for happy hour, and the roasted chicken tacos are my favorite add on for any meal.

Columbia Craft Brewing Company

Location: The Vista 

This locally owned and operated award winning brewery offers an extensive lineup of craft brews. They feature a variety of ales, lagers, hazy IPAs, sours, and barrel-aged beers. Their friendly staff will make your visit one you won’t soon forget. 


Location: Wales Garden (Downtown) 

Although we usually order our food to-go, DiPrato’s does have an adorable patio for dining. Our favorite menu items are the greek salad and chicken salad. You also can’t miss trying the pimento cheese and pita chips when you stop in. 

Gervais & Vine

Location: The Vista

Gervais & Vine is an awesome tapas spot for a date or a night out with the girls. They have an extensive wine list and delicious shareable bites. The staff is very friendly and always has great recommendations. There is a cozy patio out front right in the heart of the Vista.

Hall’s Chophouse 

Location: Main Street 

Hall’s Chophouse wins the award for best steak in town. I love that their patio is suited for year-round dining. However, if you want to cozy up at the bar, the cheeseburger and parmesan truffle french fries are delightful.

Hampton Street Vineyard 

Location: Downtown Columbia 

Hampton Street Vineyard calls Columbia’s historic Sylvan Building home and offers some of the finest French-inspired dishes. With its romantic low-lighting and sophisticated ambience, this restaurant has been a popular spot in downtown Columbia for girls’ nights and lovers. Hampton Street Vineyard is known for their extensive wine list that includes quality wines that are a treat to the palate. Enjoying dishes such as coq au rose or duck aux cerise with a glass of red certainly makes for an enjoyable evening, and you’ll leave looking forward to your next visit.


Location: Main Street 

We love the rooftop at Hendrix. The rotating small plates and main dishes are always delicious. The drink menu is always interesting and fun as well. The restaurant has a great atmosphere for a date night or a large crowd. 

Home Team BBQ 

Location: Five Points

Home Team BBQ is another go-to in our family. We usually sit on the enclosed patio if we can, but the inside is spacious with a relaxed atmosphere as well. My favorite menu items are the Home Team Salad, as well as the nachos. However, you cannot go wrong with any of their tacos or plates either. If you’ve got a babysitter and really want to enjoy yourself, their signature Game Changer cocktail is a must.

Il Giorgione 

Location: Devine Street

If you love Italian food, Il Giorgione is the place for you. They offer a variety of delicious pizzas, pastas, soups, salads, and more, all of which are infused with the mouthwatering flavors of Italy. Il Giorgione also boasts a fantastic menu of Italian wines.

Lula Drake Wine Parlour 

Location: Main Street 

Lula Drake is one of those places that you enter and feel like you could stay for hours and no time has passed. The food and wine are delicious, and the staff is the friendliest around. They have an adorable patio on Main Street that is a perfect spot for lunch or happy hour. 

Market On Main 

Location: Main Street

Market on Main is a high energy spot that is accommodating for crowds of family and friends alike. The inside is cozy and the outdoor space is spacious; great for game day or Sunday brunch. Their burgers and salads are delicious, as well as the steak & eggs on the brunch menu. The outdoor space also boosts cornhole, a large movie sized screen for watching the big game, bar, covered area and fans to keep you cool on those hot days.


Motor Supply Company Bistro 

Location: The Vista 

This is a go-to spot for date night and special occasions for us. The menu is seasonal and I have never had a bad meal there. I love the ambience of their outdoor patio and the service is always fantastic. A favorite for sure.

Mr. Friendly’s New Southern Cafe 

Location: Five Points 

Mr. Friendly’s is one of my favorite places to eat in Columbia for elevated comfort food. Whether you go for lunch or dinner, the food is always on point. The place is also casual enough to take your kids out for a nice meal! Definitely try the meatloaf that they are known for. Also, their vegetarian specials are amazing as well.

Publico Kitchen + Tap

Location: Five Points and Bull Street

This upbeat and trendy restaurant is a Columbia favorite, and the Latin-Asian inspired restaurant’s menu matches it’s fun vibe. The waitstaff and bartenders always provide top-notch service, and they always give the best menu recommendations. From the chicken and puffles (a chicken and waffles dish with an Asian spin) to their fabulous birria tacos that come with a delicious au jus dipping sauce, your tastebuds will surely be happy!

Also, one (or two!) of their amazing mixed drinks or craft beer items will have you relaxed and laughing with your friends, family, or date all day or evening! Visiting their Five Points location or their new Bull Street location is always a good idea. The Five Points location is dog friendly and has artificial turf for your furry friend to enjoy, as well as a menu curated just for dogs! There are giant Jenga games, cornhole and an airstream! The Bull Street location is right next to Segra Park, perfect for grabbing food or drinks before or after a game. And what’s especially nice is how the large windows open up making it feel like an seamless transition from indoor dining to outdoor dining. 

River Rat Brewery

Location: Downtown (by the USC Stadium)

River Rat Brewery is a great place to bring your kids and your dogs when the weather is nice! There’s plenty of space for the kids to run around while you enjoy some delicious food and great beer! One favorite is the Prosecco Pop which is a King of Pops popsicle inside a glass of prosecco! So refreshing on a hot summer day! If you need some space away from kids and dogs, head upstairs to the adults only rooftop for some quiet and a great view!


Location: Five Points

Saluda’s is another go-to date night spot. Their patio overlooks Five Points, which is always full of excitement, and the food is always amazing.


Location: Main Street 

This restaurant is beautiful. The attention to detail blew me away the first time I checked this place out. The outdoor space makes you feel like you’re tucked away in another world, free to eat, drink and chat all night long with best friends. 

Steel Hands Brewing

Location: Cayce 

This is definitely one of my favorite breweries in town. Good beer, good food, and plenty of outdoor space makes it the perfect place to hang out with friends and family all day long. Steel Hands is kid and dog friendly as well. Check out their event calendar for fun live music year-round.

Tazza Kitchen

Location: Trenholm Plaza (Forest Acres) 

Tazza is my go-to for girls night. I absolutely love sitting on the patio when the weather suits, and they definitely fire up the heaters when the temps drop too low. The food and cocktail menu host a variety of options for all palates. My favorites are the cast iron goat cheese and simple salad, as well as the cheeseburger and tacos.


location: West Columbia 

This award winning restaurant is a great example of how to support your local community. Terra sources their foods from over 15 local farmers and producers. Their menu changes frequently to accommodate the fresh produce, meat, and fish they receive each week. So, when you eat at Terra, not only will you have an amazing meal, but you will also be supporting your community. 

The Gourmet Shop 

Location: Five Points 

This is one of our top go-tos for lunch/brunch, both dine-in and carry-out. The paninis and salads are delightful. The “one, one and one” is my personal go-to; I always choose the chicken salad as one of my options. If you choose to dine in, they have a fantastic kitchen ware shop, as well as a fantastic wine selection. 

The War Mouth 

Location: Cottontown  

The War Mouth is one of those places that you feel like you never want to leave. The menu is always so interesting and we can never decide on just one or two items, so we end up getting several and splitting them all. There is a secluded outdoor patio area out back with twinkle lights, perfect for catching up with friends or connecting with your significant other. The cocktails and desserts are amazing as well. And, hey, you never know who you might run into while there…

Contributing writer Mee Jean with the Mayor of Columbia

Za’s Brick Oven Pizza 

Location: Devine Street 

Za’s has been a favorite of ours for years. The pizza is some of the best in town. We love sitting on the patio and enjoying some apps and a glass of wine with friends. This one is also kid-friendly and the perfect location to go out for a walk, before or after.

What is your favorite outdoor dining spot in Columbia?

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Heather Blanton Burns
Heather Blanton Burns lives in Columbia with her husband and daughter. Natives of South Carolina, they love taking road trips to visit family, as well as spending time at the lakes, beaches and mountains nearby. Heather is a Board Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner and Certified Gentle Sleep Coach. She received her undergraduate degree from the College of Charleston and her doctoral degree from the Medical University of South Carolina. She cares for children of all ages at a small pediatric practice locally. She founded a small business, Cultivating Bright Futures, in 2020 to support mothers through education and provide encouragement for mothers at every step along their motherhood journey. When she’s not working, Heather enjoys reading, spending quality time with family and friends, staying involved in the community through Junior League, eating delicious food at local restaurants, checking out local events in Columbia and staying active through walking, yoga and barre.


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