In the last five years, Columbia has experienced dramatic growth. This is in part due to an economic upturn. It is also more affordable than areas further north (Franklin and Nashville), so more and more transplants are choosing to live further south and brave the commute for a lower cost of living.
Columbia was originally incorporated in 1817 and is settled along the Duck River. The history and culture of Columbia are rich, and includes several significant historical markers. The James K. Polk ancestral home, the Athenaeum (a former all-girls school), and Mule Day are three major attractions that draw visitors to Columbia each year.
So what’s new in Columbia? A lot. Below we’ve listed our favorite spots for coffee, lunch, dinner, and most importantly, dessert.
For those of you who need a coffee fix – Buckhead Coffeehouse and CAB Cafe. Buckhead Coffeehouse offers a great selection of beverages, sandwiches, and sweets. With the original location on Trotwood Avenue, they have proven to be a staple with four additional locations in the area. CAB Cafe is a newer addition to the Columbia scene on West 11th Avenue. With a unique, rotating menu, it offers a fun atmosphere. Plus, the waffles are to die for. Seriously. Go check it out.
If you’re anything like us, after getting an early start to the work day, we are more than ready for a lunch break. Several downtown favorites include Bistro 222, Square Market Cafe, and Red 7 Pizza Company. These favorites offer a variety of options that will hit the spot with friends or colleagues and are ideally located within minutes of the courthouse and the square.
No day is complete without a meal to share the ups and downs of each day. Whether you are spending a casual night out or celebrating the weekend, downtown Columbia nightlife has experienced a complete turnaround. With classic dinner favorites such as Puckett’s, Southern Tre Steakhouse, Cities, it’s easy to find something for everyone. Southern Tre Steakhouse is on Main Street in the old Pigg & Parsons building. Exposed brick and high ceilings offer a great dine-in atmosphere. You can find live music at Puckett’s and Cities, and if you’re musically inclined (or just in a great mood), check out the open karaoke at Cities. To top off your night, stop by Hattie J’s Creamery for a sweet treat.
We know this doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of all the amazing things Downtown Columbia has to offer. New shops (that we love) include the Faded Farmhouse and the Linen Duck, as well as Ted’s Sporting Goods – an old favorite. The area is thriving, combining historical and architecture with new concepts. The possibilities in Columbia are endless, and we can’t wait to see what happens next.
Want more? Stop by Downtown Columbia the first Friday of every month (February – December) for a one-of-a-kind after hours experience!