Columbia Vista Restaurant Bucket List

2016-vista-restaurant-bucket-listThis year is our first year of marriage. So naturally, we made a bucket list of places to go on Gervais street in the Vista to make sure we’d tried everything.

You can download the bucket list and try it yourself, if you’d like. Below is a list of all the places we’ve been so far.



Grill Marks

We went to GrillMarks last night and it was amazing. Their Hawaiian Punch burger has a ton of flavor, the burger was cooked perfectly at medium, and the bun was soft and tasty. Add in some truffle fries which were fresh, not too “truffly” and came with a great sauce that looked like hollandaise. Our only regret was not ordering a milkshake.


Ramen House

We went to Ramen house on our honeymoon and I love it. If you’ve never had *good* ramen before, you need to try this. It’s nothing like the $0.25 packets you may have had in college. Their serving size is massive and I always eat the whole thing.

TakoSushi – Molly’s favorite

This place has a great happy hour, is local and offers really great options of both sushi and southwestern food. They have posole (Mexican party soup) as well fried asparagus and fresh sushi. Overall, this is one of our favorite places in Columbia.


Mellow Mushroom

Mellow’s a Vista classic. Their pizza’s are interesting. We’ve had the Philosopher’s Pie a couple times and Molly loves it. I think their dough outpaces all other pizza places. Plus their upstairs is cool.

Old Chicago

Old Chicago is right up there with Mellow. They are newer and always packed. Their beer list is good and the pizzas are consistently delicious. It’s, unfortunately, not really Chicago-style.


Panera Bread

I’m honestly a little bummed this is here. We would’ve rather seen a local store, but nonetheless it’s good. Soups, sandwiches, salads. Lots of seating.

Ristorante Divino

One time we went here on a date and we were the only people in the restaurant. I asked the chef to make whatever he wanted to make and his lamb chops were incredible. This place is probably the most underrated location in the Vista. They offer a variety of Italian pasta and entreé options.



When Molly & I went there the first time, she got a Bourbon milkshake which was way too much bourbon. The server recommended a cookie sundae which we’ve now had twice. They often have a significant wait, and the store isn’t conducive to “after dinner chill” in the same way Drip (in 5 Points) is. However, their dessert is a great complement to the area’s dinner options. I personally prefer Kaminsky’s to Nonnah’s.


Where Kaminsky’s is a new, trendy spot, Nonnah’s is classic Columbia. They have an art gallery and a wide selection of homemade cakes which are sure to please. Their espresso drinks are good too.


It’s a Starbucks.


Gervais & Vine

They’re everything you imagine about South Carolina tapas and get points for being a local establishment. We had a pizza which wasn’t good, an appetizer which was delicious and a course of meatballs which were only ok. I think our dinner could’ve been better if we had ordered differently. They’re ok at dinner, and probably a great place to grab a drink and appetizers. In fact, do that.