Restaurant: Drip Coffee
Location(s): 729 Saluda Ave., Columbia, South Carolina, 29205; 1441 Main St., Columbia, South Carolina, 29201
Bang for your buck: A-
Overall Rating: A
Columbia’s Drip Coffee presents a vibrant, familiar atmosphere while offering mouth-watering snacks and beverages at reasonable prices.
With its convenient locations in Five Points and on Main Street, Drip Coffee serves as a central location for people of all ages to enjoy an exceptional cup of coffee. According to its website, Drip’s mission is to “provide high-quality service and superior coffee and espresso-based drinks in a warm and inviting atmosphere.”
Especially at the chain’s Five Points location, customers are greeted by amicable cashiers and baristas who are more than willing to explain the menu’s more compelling items, such as the honey habanero or turmeric ginger lattes.
Drinks aren't the only unique thing on the menu. Food options such as the Nutella French toast on a buttery brioche and the curried pickled red pepper and cauliflower wrap could please patrons that dare to expand their horizons and taste buds. There is something for everyone, as Drip’s menu items span across a spectrum of various preferences. Every food item is less than $10, so even college students with the tightest budgets can afford any given option.
The nostalgic environment is another attractive facet of Drip. Patrons are first greeted with shelves and walls full of colorful chalkboard menus, imagery, plates and glasses of all shapes and sizes. Toward the back of the cafe, there are vivid posters paying homage to pop culture (including The Beatles, among others) resting on the wall above rows of vintage records available for all to sort through.
The entirety of Drip’s climate offers a comfortable yet eccentric experience for all who walk through its doors. While some coffee shops in Columbia might seem quaint, Drip allows patrons to take a step back into a much simpler and different cultural time period.
Drip has made a name for itself among college students that need caffeine to get through their schoolwork, but it appeals to Columbia locals as well. The Columbia-based locations have made their presence known on social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter in order to promote their drinks, decorations and musical events that take place throughout the year in their venues. In times of such divisiveness and polarization, Drip’s social media outlets have also spread messages of positivity and inclusion to the general public.
Due to its effective marketing strategies and outreach to locals through events such as Soda City Market every Saturday, Drip Coffee has gained an excellent reputation in the Columbia community.
With an overall rating of 4.8/5 on its Facebook, comments by customers include “cozy atmosphere,” “expert baristas,” “best coffee” and “delicious pastries,” among many others.
Because of its highly praised presence in South Carolina’s capital city, Drip Coffee stands out among its competition in places such as Corner Blend, Cool Beans and Curiosity Coffee Bar.
Anyone — whether a frequent coffee-drinker or not — should explore Drip and its vast menu. With its striking spirit, special selections and sanguine semblance, Drip Coffee outdoes other coffee places in Columbia and outside of city limits.
While I have never been a huge coffee drinker, I visited Drip’s Five Points location on a whim and have not regretted it since. In exploring the menu, I selected the “smoke salted caramel latte” and was pleasantly surprised in its balance of capturing a sweet caramel flavor and of the unusual elements with regards to it being salted and smoked. By taking a typical coffee flavor such as caramel and adding unique and flavorful twists to it, Drip continues to outdo itself and its competition in the Columbia area.
In a time of such conflict and craziness with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, finding a calming and collective environment where one can step back into an enjoyable time period and indulge in a good cup of coffee doesn’t seem so unsatisfactory.