Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that the Columbia food scene has been going a little bit bananas the last few years.
Once upon a time, Columbia was considered little more than a hotter-than-hades pit stop in the middle of the state with some good BBQ. Now? We’ve got one of the most vibrant and growing culinary scenes in the state. We’ve got outstanding chefs. We’ve got inventive, seasonal cuisine. We’ve got glowing write-ups in Food and Wine. And we’ve got interesting new restaurants popping up left and right. “Columbia may not possess the magic of Charleston, it is not part of that cool, New South inhabited by Greenville, but by God, do these people appear to know food.” –Food & Wine.
In celebration of all of this culinary awesomeness, the Columbia Food & Wine Festival is this weekend! “Spoil yourself with the sights, sounds, and signature flavors that make Columbia the best-kept secret in the South. The Columbia Food and Wine Festival is a one-of-a-kind gastronomical journey through Columbia’s finest plates and pours; food, wine, beer, interactive demonstrations, live entertainment, and meet-and-greets with the Midlands’ most influential in the hospitality scene.” -Columbia Food & Wine.
The event is just days away, but there are still countless ways to savor the goodness with your family. Here’s a quick breakdown of what’s happening:
The Ultimate Date-Night: Official Columbia Food & Wine Festival Kickoff Dinner at Saluda’s – Friday, April 26, 7 p.m.
“Share a toast as we kick off the Columbia Food and Wine Festival at Saluda’s Restaurant on Friday evening. Attendees will enjoy a five-course dinner prepared by Saluda’s executive chef Josh Rogerson and a team of other local chefs all of whom will collaborate to ensure this dinner is one you won’t forget. Dinner includes a limited beer and wine selection and a specialty cocktail to complement the meal.” -Columbia Food & Wine. This event has limited seating, so get your tickets ASAP!
KID FRIENDLY & FREE: International Food Corridor at Soda City Market – Saturday, April 27, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Bring the whole family to this FREE event! “Join us on Main Street for an expanded Soda City Market and taste authentic international delights from appetizers to entrees to pastries. Step in to this microcosm of Columbia’s thriving diversity with more than 10 local Columbia food vendors; all of whom provide a slew of cultural cuisine. Meet the owners behind these great businesses such as Belgian Waffle Truck and I Love Paella, while enjoying all that the European-inspired Soda City Market has to offer. Maps will be provided to attendees and participating partners will be noted with designated CFWF signage. You can taste recipes from all around the world right here in downtown Columbia!” -Columbia Food & Wine
Official International Corridor participants: K & K Gourmet Sweets, LLC The Belgian Waffle Truck Brown Sistaz Island Vibz La Cochinita Mexican BBQ I love paella Sabor Tropical – “A Taste Of Puerto Rico” Mary’s Arepas Paella South
The Main Event: Sunday, April 28, on Saluda Avenue, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.
*Adults only* PERFECT for a date-day or ladies-only Sunday!
This afternoon of culinary magic will feature tastings from over 50 local restaurants, a variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, local artisans, farmers, musicians, and much more. Featured restaurants include:
Alodia’s Cucina Italiana
Blue Cactus Cafe
Bodhi Thai Dining
City Limits Q
Congaree Milling Company
Gervais & Vine
Gourmet Rose Fine Catering
Hunter-Gatherer Brewery & Alehouse
Indah Coffee Company
Kaminsky’s Dessert Cafe
Kiki’s Chicken and Waffles
Liberty Tap Room
Pearlz Oyster Bar
River Rat Brewery
Ruth’s Chris Steak House
Sakitumi Grill & Sushi Bar
The Crescent Olive
The Gourmet Shop
The Mouse Trap
The Venue on Main Topgolf Swing Suite
The War Mouth
Village Idiot Pizza
Za’s on Devine
Want to really do it up right? Make this weekend a stay-cation!
Even if you live just steps away from the city, a stay-cation is always a great idea. The official hotel partner of the 2019 Columbia Food & Wine festival is the whimsical, historic Hotel Trundle, where the homegrown hospitality, (and a heaping helping of unicorn magic), will absolutely guarantee you an unforgettable stay.