Get Your Free 2024 Vacation Guide

Start planning your ultimate South Carolina adventure with a free copy of the 2024 Vacation Guide. Request your free copy, view the guide online or download a PDF version below.

Vacation Guide Cover
View Our Other Guides

Family-Friendly Restaurants in Columbia

Devyn Whitmire Devyn Whitmire
Devyn spends her days creating content to build an online community of travelers. She is a firm believer there’s always something new to Discover in the Palmetto State.
More from "Devyn Whitmire"
Columbia BBQ
Hudson's Smokehouse offers some of the best barbecue in Columbia.

Whether you're visiting downtown Columbia, or exploring the outskirts, there are plenty of family-friendly restaurants to satisfy a variety of cravings. Here are some suggestions for restaurants that offer delicious dishes for everyone in the family:

Hudson's Smokehouse

What it's known for: Boasting some of the best barbecue in the state, Hudson's does not disappoint in variety or flavor. With an impressive buffet full of savory and sweet Southern classics in addition to their standard menu, you can try a little bit of everything and always go back for seconds.

Parents will love the weekly kids' night with its free buffet for the 10 and younger crowd. Hudson's also offers "Piglet Plates" with grilled cheese, chicken strips and other simple servings for really small appetites. 

Style: Southern, Casual, family-friendly, barbecue, lunch, dinner

Address: 4952 Sunset Blvd., Lexington

Phone: 803.356.1070

Eggs Up Grill

What it's known for: Serving breakfast and lunch all day, Eggs Up Grill is a South Carolina chain serving delicious food with a family-friendly touch at three Columbia locations. Start with some farm-fresh eggs with their famous home fries and grits for breakfast, and then come back at lunch to try the customer-favorite turkey, bacon and ranch sandwich. 

The kids menu offers a round-up of kid-size options to tempt tiny tastebuds: pancakes, French toast, waffles, grilled cheese, burgers, fruit and more.

Style: Southern, casual, family-friendly, breakfast, brunch, lunch

Address: 2930 Devine Street; 961 Roberts Branch Parkway; 4711 Forest Drive

Phone: 803.661.9172 (Devine St.); 803.626.1695 (Roberts Branch Pkwy.); 803.820.0742 (Forest Drive)

Plates of eggs, salad, and sandwich at Cafe Strudel
The variety at Cafe Strudel makes it the perfect place for family dining.

Pasta Fresca

What it's known for: Serving made from scratch pasta and sauces everyday, Pasta Fresca provides a casual, delicious experience to all the families who come seeking some fresh Italian goodness for dinner.

Children 12 and younger get special treatment with their own menu of kid favorites like buttered noodles with parmesan, spaghetti and a meatball, chicken fingers and spaghetti, and ravioli, each dish sided with your choice of pita chips, green salad or a healthy serving of green peas. 

Style: Italian, family-friendly, lunch, dinner

Address: 4722 Forest Drive, Columbia

Phone: 803.787.1838

Cafe Strudel

What it's known for: Both cozy locations of this Columbia favorite have earned a loyal following of families with an extensive menu to please one and all. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, Cafe Strudel makes it tough to pick just one thing off the menu.

And while you decide, your kids will enjoy perusing over their own special menu (with everything from silver dollar pancakes to cheeseburger sliders) and all of the fun, local art displayed on the walls. 

Style: Southern, casual, family-friendly, breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner

Address: 300 State Street, West Columbia; 309 South Lake Drive, Lexington

Phone: 803.794.6634 (W. Columbia); 803.490.0895 (Lexington)


Zesto chicken leg and roll
For more than 70 years, Columbia families have been sinking their teeth into fried chicken from Zesto.

Burger Tavern 77

What it's known for: Its claim to fame is part of its name. With 77 different burger topping choices, the vast menu of options at Burger Tavern 77 offers something for even the pickiest of eaters (aka: your kids, who get their own special menu).

Ample indoor and outdoor seating, plus one of the best root beer floats in town, make this community pub the perfect spot for a family dinner out. 

Style: Tavern, relaxed, family friendly, lunch, dinner

Address: 2631 Devine St., Columbia

Phone: 803.667.9608

Village Idiot Pizza

What it's known for: Known for its famous, hand-tossed New York style pizza, all three locations of Village Idiot offer slices for small appetites as well as whole pies for the family to share. With wings, sandwiches and stromboli available too, your family is sure to have a great experience at this local favorite.

For a sweet ending, spring for the chocolate chip mini cannolis. 

Style: Pizza, casual, family-friendly, lunch, dinner

Address: 2009 Devine Street; 612 Whaley Street (inside The Mills); 4517 Forest Drive

Phone: 803.252.8646 (same for all locations)


What it's known for: A local favorite for more than 65 years, you've simply got to take your family to one of the Zesto locations in town. Experience their famous roasted chicken, fried chicken or hamburgers. Milkshakes are the perfect way to wash it all down.

Satisfy kiddie cravings with a hot dog prepared just their way, chicken strips with fries and more. Don't leave without enjoying some ice cream under the giant cone.

Style: Casual, traditional, family-friendly, lunch, dinner

Address: 504 12th St., West Columbia

Phone: 803.252.8646

Devyn Whitmire
Devyn spends her days creating content to build an online community of travelers. She is a firm believer there’s always something new to Discover in the Palmetto State.