But First, Brunch
We all know that the best part of any weekend is brunch. If you’re anything like us, you go to bed dreaming of pancake towers, runny egg yolks, crispy, salty bacon and mimosas big enough to swim in. Lucky for you, Columbia has an abundance of Insta-worthy brunch spots—with each one boasting unique and unforgettable menu items that will cure any ailment, guaranteed. So, while you’re in town, allow these brunch delights to revive you and take ease in knowing that Columbia’s restaurants have gone above and beyond to make sure all your favorite fixings are served and prepared with safety in mind.
Arguably the most iconic brunch spot in Columbia, Café Strudel’s fame was built atop a steaming plate of Hangover Hash Browns. Featured in Southern Living, this renowned breakfast plate consists of crispy hash browns covered with sharp cheddar cheese, onions, banana peppers, tomato and two eggs—however you like ‘em. French toast made with pineapple Hawaiian bread, delightful cinnamon pancakes and an OJ machine that squeezes those babies right before your eyes keeps brunch-goers coming back weekend after weekend.
Home of what many have called the “best pimento cheese in Columbia”, DiPrato’s Delicatessen on Pickens Street has made regulars out of many Columbia locals. Patrons come for the Monte Cristo French Toast Sandwich, the towers of golden pancakes with drool-worthy toppings and the eggs benedict, but they stay for the southern hospitality (and maybe for the dessert display, too). When choosing your sides, make sure to order the house-made onion sausage. You can thank us later!
Nestled in the posh Devine Street neighborhood, Devine Cinnamon Roll Deli has been serving all things sweet, sticky + full of cinnamon to Columbia locals and visitors since June of 2016. In addition to cinnamon rolls of many varieties—from the original to out-of-the-box flavors like bourbon caramel and banana foster—this Devine Street deli fills the bellies of patrons with New York-style hotdogs, hand crafted sandwiches + paninis and the addicting, house-made “Devine Chips”. If you have a special occasion (or if you’re just that hungry, we won’t judge), call ahead and order the 12 lbs. “Cinnamonster”— that was featured on Food Network’s “Ginormous Foods.”
Savor every moment of your morning with ooey-gooey bacon and brie croissants, fluffy Belgian waffles covered in pools of butter and all the bubbles your heart desires at The Gourmet Shop in Five Points. One of the most beloved brunch spots in Columbia, the Gourmet Shop doubles as a specialty foods market—where you can buy freshly baked bread, locally sourced preserves and honey + to-go containers of the shop’s famous chicken salad and pimento cheese. Artisan cheeses, fine wines, quality confections and professional cookware line the market shelves, so you can get some shopping done while you anticipate your mimosa kit.
- by Erin Byers Murray