If you go to any of these places I’m about to mention and order some #basic chicken fingers… YOU WILL be judged. Like so hard. By me. 🙂 We can still be besties elsewhere but just KNOW that I will remember your Tender Tendencies, mk?
JUST KIDDING! (but not really)
Columbia’s Vista is a #TBT for me because I haven’t lived in Columbia for a few years now (y’all got me up here feelin’ old) but some of the best eats in town are tucked away in there! Maybe you haven’t been to Vista, or maybe your like the rest of us; some of those nights out were *Cloudy*, or you “JUST WANTED WAFFLE HOUSE!” to cure your ailing mind. If you’re still a Columbia resident take a look at these places ASAP.
1) The Blue Marlin
This pinnacle of mouth-gasms is my #1 pick because I have gone there a bagillion times and every time I’m blown away. The Blue Marlin features “low-country” Carolina favorites like Shrimp & Grits, Seafood Gumbo, and OMG they have collard greens that are to die for. I barely even like greens; but the greens are beyond delicious. I have conceived some serious food babies in here (like, 3rd trimester with emergency clothes in the trunk food babies.) They also have an over-the-top wine menu and the servers have some serious wine pairing knowledge. Semi-romantic spot for a date, and an affordable date if you go at lunch #justsayin.
2) Hunter Gatherer Brewery & Alehouse
Although its not technically in the Vista, it”s close enough! Most Carolina students have walked by this place and never felt the wonders of this microbrewery. It looks a little sketchy from the outside, but walk inside and you are *Channeling the Little Mermaid* “In a whole new woooorld”. You would never guess that Hunter Gatherer has 2 levels, and an entire beer brewery in the middle of the restaurant. The menu is small BUT it is packed with dynamic flavor. Don’t pick apart any of the entrees, enjoy them as-is because they have a new-age grudge charm; you won’t find it anywhere else. And ooohh the BEER. The Pale Ale was so good I bought a 40 oz. growler of Pale Ale to take home, #judgeme. They also have LIVE MUSIC, and they are selective about it because I am never disappointed about the performers (regardless of the genre.) 5 shiny gold stars.
3) M Vista
M Vista is a hipster spinoff from Miyo’s cafe ( And thank the food gods for that, because Miyo’s Cafe was an epic fail the last time I ate there… #whoomp.) M Vista is an upscale asian bistro that is a unique blend of Korean, Japanese, and Vietnamese food. Its a refreshing spot and every dish is like a full serving of vegetables. If I could have a entree-by-entree reel of highlights it would go on for 15 minutes.
M Vista is everything you wanted that mall Chinese food to be- then you multiply it by 50, mix in some spices, a touch of class, and add a garnish. BAM! 0 to 100, real quick. Immerse yourself in the oriental experience-Try the calamari (and don’t be #basic and ask for Ranch dipping sauce) Try the hot tea girl! Its gonna be ok! They also have killer cocktails- go to the website and just look at the mojitos! Top notch.
If you heard about Nonnah’s from a friend, then BOY, you got some classy friends! Nonnah’s is well-known for there desserts- and RIGHTFULLY SO! I ordered a slice of red velvet cake and small cup of coffee, and before I knew it a server rolled out an entire French coffee press, freshly pressed my coffee, THEN set my coffee on fire! OH LORD JESUS! ITS A FIIIRE! It was a stunning display. They command respect with their “light supper menu” but don’t underestimate these creations. Nonnah’s has an old southern sophistication, so don’t show up in your freakum dress. But please, show up! Don’t miss out on this jewel!
Let me remind you that the focus is on the Vista. If this was a “Top 5 for Columbia” my homegirl Tsunami probably wouldn’t be on this list. ANYways, Tsunami is pretty popular amongst the USC student body, but for those of you who shy away from oriental food this restaurant is a safe bet. They have perfected the Meat+rice+vegetable equation with their hibachi entrees annnnnd their sushi rolls have fun names. I’m pretty sure I had their Happy Hour menu memorized because the drinks went down to $2-$4, and they also had college night on Sunday – which was 25% off of your meal (so you know I was in there!)
Tsunami owns up to the supper club title because it always felt as if I was in the club…but eating! Lively atmosphere, loud music, and always packed. So yes, you can bring your #lowkey ratchet friends.
- Liberty Taproom-no complaints, just nothing outstanding
- Cupcake-which isn’t a meal, but I mean C’MON-those cupcakes are heaven
- Carolina Wings- I don’t even need to explain this, but they are tasty.
- And is that IHOP still there? LOL, good times
Please comment, make recommendations, and share!
Here’s to Health, Carolina!