December 2, 2022

Columbia, SC 10 of Tripadvisor’s Top-Rated “Cheap Restaurants”

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Lunches are ready to be served at Lizard Thicket on Elmwood Avenue in Columbia, South Carolina on Friday, August 27, 2021.

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With the prices of everything rising due to record inflation, it would be useful to know where to find a quality, yet relatively inexpensive meal.

Tripadvisor, an online travel agency that collects user-generated content and compares retailers and restaurants, has plenty of data on what residents think are relatively cheap and good places to eat in the Columbia area.

A visit to the website shows rankings of the best “cheap restaurants” in town. Classified and inexpensive restaurants run the gamut of cuisine, from vegetarian to Mexican and barbecue.

Below is a list of the top 10 rated “cheap” restaurants in Columbia, according to Tripadvisor.

10. The Whig

Rating: 4.5/5 (52 reviews)

Detailed ratings: Food (4/5), Service (4/5), Value for money (4.5/5)

Type of cuisine: Bar, American, Pub

Address: 1200 Main Street, Colombia

This popular underground bar located at 1200 Main St. across from the South Carolina State House has become known over the years not only for its solid selection of craft beers, but also for its diverse menu options, such as the Whig Chicken Sandwich and the Whig Burger. .

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Mac’n’Cheese at The Whig The Whig

9. Bernie’s Restaurant

Rating: 5/5 (31 reviews)

Detailed ratings: Food (5/5), Service (4.5), Value for money (4.5/5)

Type of cuisine: American

Address: 1311 Bluff Road, Colombia

This long-standing popular restaurant is best known for its delicious fried chicken. However, the restaurant also offers a limited breakfast sandwich menu with choices like egg sandwiches and fried bologna. Bernie’s also offers other lunch and dinner items like burgers, hot dogs and sandwiches.

8. Big Boy’s Original Smokehouse

Rating: 4.5/5 (41 reviews)

Detailed ratings: Food (4.5/5), Service (4.5/5), Value for money (4.5/5)

Type of cuisine: American, barbecue

Address: 8604 Farrow Rd Ste A, Colombia

Big Boy’s offers a variety of freshly smoked meats, from pulled pork to chicken, ribs, beef brisket and turkey. If you’re feeling more adventurous, you can try their smoked pig’s feet. Even smoked okra is on the menu. The restaurant also offers your typical barbecue sides, such as macaroni and cheese and collard greens.

7. Lizard Thicket

Rating: 4/5 (189 reviews)

Detailed rating: Food (4/5), Service (4.5/5), Value for money (4.5/5)

Type of cuisine: American

Address: 7411 Nates Road, Colombia

This restaurant got its start in Colombia over 40 years ago and now has 14 locations. It focuses on traditional South Carolina home cooking, offering many choices, from steak and eggs and country liver pudding to southern fried catfish, ground beef, beef stew or chicken and with waffles.

6. Lizard Thicket

Rating: 4/5 (406 reviews)

Detailed rating: Food (4/5), Service (4.5/5), Value for money (4.5/5)

Type of cuisine: American

Address: 818 Elmwood Avenue, Colombia

No, it’s not an error. Lizard’s Thicket is so popular that two of its restaurants made it to the top 10 list. Like the other place, this place offers the same menu items. What we didn’t mention earlier is that Lizard’s is still owned and operated by the children and grandchildren of the couple who founded it, Anna and Bob Williams.

5. Menkoi Ramen House

Rating: 4.5/5 (103 reviews)

Detailed rating: Food (4.5/5), Service (4.5/5), Value for money (4.5/5)

Type of cuisine: Japanese

Address: 1004 Gervais Street, Colombia

As its name suggests, this Japanese restaurant specializes in Ramen dishes. Do you want spicy ramen with pork? They got it. How about chicken ramen? Yeah, I have that too. If you’re in the mood for noodles/soup, this is definitely a place to check out.

4. Cantina 76 Main Street

Rating: 4.5/5 (189 reviews)

Detailed rating: Food (4.5/5), Service (4.5/5), Value for money (4/5)

Type of cuisine: Mexican, Southwest

Address: 1301 Main Street, corner of Main and Lady Streets, Columbia

Cantina 76 is a Mexican-inspired restaurant and bar with five locations in South Carolina, including two in Colombia. Get a Peruvian Shrimp Taco to balance out the drinks. The place is a busy and popular downtown hotspot, but if you can’t find a seat inside, there’s usually seating outside.

3. Southern Belly Barbecue

Rating: 4.5/5 (238 reviews)

Detailed rating: Food (4.5/5), Service (4.5/5), Value for money (4.5/5)

Type of cuisine: American, barbecue

Address: 819 Harden St Colonial Drive., Colombia

Nestled in the Five Points neighborhood of Columbia, this barbecue restaurant specializes in sandwiches. For example, the Avita sandwich features a barbecue churrasco topped with grilled pineapple, grilled vidalia onions and roasted red peppers on a buttered French roll with an asada vinegar barbecue sauce. Or you can try King Kahuna, which offers a barbecue luau topped with pineapple, grilled maul onions, cheddar and applewood bacon on a buttered French roll with yum yum barbecue sauce.

Definitely not your standard barbecue joint.

2. Restaurant Real Mexico Y Tienda

Rating: 4.5/5 (413 reviews)

Detailed rating: Food (4.5/5), Service (4.5/5), Value for money (4.5/5)

Type of cuisine: Mexican

Address: 2421 Bush River Road, Colombia

At this Mexican restaurant, you can enjoy classic quesadillas, fajitas, and tacos, or you can choose from a selection of specialty burritos. There’s the California burrito, filled with carne asada, sliced ​​avocado, pico de gallo, and rice and beans. Another option is the diablo shrimp burrito, filled with sautéed shrimp with spicy chipotle sauce and rice, rolled in a flour tortilla and topped with queso sauce, sliced ​​avocado and a side of sour cream.

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Columbia’s Devine Cinnamon Roll Deli was recently named South Carolina’s best breakfast by People magazine. Rob Thompson [email protected]

1. The Devine Cinnamon Roll Deli

Rating: 4/4 (266 reviews)

Detailed rating: Food (4.5/5), Service (4.5/5), Value for money (4.5/5)

Type of cuisine: American, coffee

Address: 2617 Devine Street, Colombia

Owner Jody Kreush started the deli with her son, Richard, after years of experience in the food industry accumulated across the country. She found success making sweetbreads in Hawaii, running a food truck in Pennsylvania, and making solid deli sandwiches in New York and New Jersey.

Customers can choose between an original cinnamon roll for $2.70 or one of many specialty rolls for $3.65 each, including apple cobbler, maple and bacon glaze with black pepper and the food banana, to name a few.

Meanwhile, a mini cinnamon roll accompanies every sandwich order so customers can still share the restaurant’s namesake without having to commit to a whole loaf.

Patrick McCreless is the on-duty journalism editor for The State, where he and a team of reporters write about the hottest news of the day and topics that help readers in their daily lives and better inform them about their communities. He attended Jacksonville State University in Alabama and grew up in Tuscaloosa, AL.