Hidden gems for your taste buds

ERIKA SCHULTZ, Courtesy of The Tribune News Service

Whether going out to eat with friends, to a coffee shop to study or out with a date for some desserts, Columbia is home to a variety of unique and delicious restaurants, cafes and coffee shops. With a very diverse food scene, there is a place in Columbia for every taste bud.

The Gourmet Shop

In the heart of Five Points is a cafe and bakery called The Gourmet Shop, a perfect place to go out to brunch or lunch with friends and family. The brunch menu features favorites such as the Belgian Waffle with fresh whipped cream and berries or the hot egg and cheese croissant. Brunch at The Gourmet Shop is offered Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The lunch menu is available any time of the day, with sandwiches such as the Veggie Choice, an open-faced baguette topped with goat cheese, avocado, sunflower seeds, tomato and local microgreens. There is a create-your-own sandwich option, as well as the “One, One and One” plate that lets you choose three of The Gourmet Shop’s custom sides. The bakery is open daily, serving fresh croissants, desserts and breads.

The Wired Goat

Most days, a pick-me-up cup of coffee is necessary. The Wired Goat, a coffee shop tucked away in the Vista on Gervais Street is the perfect place to grab a cup of coffee and get away from the hustle and bustle of life for a little while. The Wired Goat is located in a small alleyway on Gervais and has the familiar cozy cafe vibe. The building has exposed brick walls and a sitting area downstairs, complete with velvet couches and many paintings and art pieces, making The Wired Goat one-of-a-kind. They serve a variety of drinks, such as lattes and “frozen goats,” which are coffee and ice blended drinks. They also have unique flavors, such as a Canadian bacon latte or a vanilla lavender latte. Any coffee fanatic will definitely enjoy the unique flavors that can be found at The Wired Goat. As well as coffee and tea, The Wired Goat has a breakfast and lunch menu featuring products from local farms and businesses.


Nonnah’s on Gervais Street is the perfect place to fulfill any sweet tooth. With desserts such as a white chocolate ginger cheesecake or chocolate chocolate cake — a dense chocolate cake frosted with ganache and topped with chocolate wedges — everyone is sure to find a dessert they will enjoy. Nonnah’s describes its atmosphere as “relaxed" and "elegant,” with a combination of warmth and sophistication, making it a great place to take a date or enjoy time out with family. Founded in 1996, Nonnah’s is a classic Columbian restaurant that has been voted “Best in Columbia” for desserts 18 years in a row. Not only does Nonnah’s serve desserts, but it has a brunch, lunch and dinner menu featuring unique creations and exquisite cuisine.

All it takes to find good food in Columbia is a walk downtown or suggestions from locals. There are so many restaurants to explore and good food around every corner, so don’t be afraid to try something new and impress your taste buds. 

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