The Daily Gamecock

Local food scene brings out the best of Columbia

College is the time to try new things. With many students who hail from out of the state, living in Columbia offers some of the best food the South can offer. While it’s easy to grab dinner at an average chain, here are five local restaurants to try before graduation.

1. DiPrato’s: If you haven’t been to DiPrato’s, you are definitely missing out. The New York-style delicatessen really shines on the weekends with their brunch menu, but it sells delicious sandwiches for the lunch hours as well. While on the pricier side, it is certainly worth the indulgence.

2. Grill Marks: Grill Marks is the classic burger spot that can’t be missed. It has fries, shakes and a vast selection of burgers to suit every taste palate. Located in the Vista, it’s a great place to stop in for a quick bite, but impressive enough to bring your parents when they visit.

3. Village Idiot: Every college town has a place with pizza, beer and sports all day long and into the night. Village Idiot keeps it simple with their menu, service and pub-style decor. With a great location in Five Points, Village Idiot is perfect for trivia night with friends or watching the Gamecocks win an away game.

4. Palmetto Pig: From the outside, Palmetto Pig can look a little run-down, but a dubious exterior is often the sign of an excellent barbecue place, and this rings true for the Palmetto Pig. The restaurant features all-you-can-eat classic South Carolina-style mustard barbecue with all the typical sides — hush puppies and baked beans, for example — for less than 15 dollars.

5. Kaminsky’s Dessert Cafe: Finally, Kaminsky’s is the go-to dessert location for Columbia residents. When you walk by the window, it’s impossible not to be tantalized by the assortment of cakes in the display case. Inside, you can treat yourself to coffee, tea or, if you’re feeling really adventurous, an adult milkshake with the addition of a shot of alcohol. Kaminsky’s is a great spot for birthdays, dates or when you finished a killer test and need a fast sugar fix.

The best way to discover a new city is to get lost and the best way to experience a new culture is to try their food. So, this weekend, take time to get lost in Columbia and find a new favorite restaurant.