23 Awesome Spots for Burgers in Columbia, SC

This guide to the best burgers in Columbia, SC includes everything from diner favorites to dedicated burger joints, BBQ restaurants with great burgers and even a few nicer restaurants in town.

From lamb burgers to those topped with pimento cheese, Friday specials with comeback sauce and even those made with brisket, these are the best burgers in Columbia.

For similar eats, check out the best sandwich shops in town and our guide to Columbia’s best BBQ.

Where To Get A Great Burger in Columbia, SC

Guide To Burgers In COlumbia

There are so many great eateries in the area worth trying, so be sure to check out our list of our favorite restaurants in Columbia. But if you’re specifically looking for burgers in Columbia, read on!

Lively upscale bar in downtown Columbia with a great burger

Main Street’s Bourbon is definitely worth a visit for a good time and a great burger in Columbia. They have two burgers on the menu: a Bayou Burger and a Grilled Lamb Burger.

The Bayou Burger comes with your choice of cheese– try the creole pimento cheese! You can also opt to make it a double burger.

If you are looking for an elevated dining experience, try the grilled lamb burger! It’s topped with bourbon batter onion rings, honey thyme goat cheese and smoked tomato jam.

But you’ll have to wait for dinner to taste a Bourbon burger — they open at 4:30 pm, Tuesday through Saturday.

West Columbia restaurant with a rooftop bar and a french onion burger

If you aren’t familiar with Black Rooster in West Columbia, you are in for a treat! It’s a casual yet elegant ‘French-ish’ restaurant with a great rooftop bar.

Black Rooster’s Royale with Cheese French Onion Style is what all burgers strive to be.

It’s a double-stacked chuck/brisket blend burger with Gruyere, caramelized onions, Dijonnaise and pickles. And it’s served with beef tallow fries! It’s truly a can’t-miss burger!

Local fast food restaurant with burgers and milkshakes

Rush’s is a local fast food restaurant in Columbia, SC known for their cheeseburgers, hot dogs and milkshakes. They have 8 locations in the Columbia + West Columbia + Lexington area and a ninth in Camden, SC.

Their double cheeseburger basket is a crowd favorite. It comes with fries and slaw. You can swap out the slaw for extra fries if you prefer. Make sure to try the fries with vinegar! It’s available by the ketchup.

Rush’s has great ice cream, sundaes and milkshakes. Pair with a cheeseburger for the ultimate meal!

Friday burger day at a charming cafe

James Beard semifinalist Chef Jessica Shillato’s restaurant, Spotted Salamander, is a casual cafe with buzzworthy fare. Ignoring the fact that it has a James Beard nomination, it has a hidden gem feel to it.

Their namesake Spotted Salamander burger is topped with housemade bacon jam and their own special sauce. We definitely consider it one of the best burgers in Columbia. But here’s the catch – it’s only available on Fridays!

Harissa Mayo Burger in Five Points

Home Team BBQ in Five Points is known for their great pulled pork, wings and nachos. But did you know that they also have a fantastic burger on the menu?

The Fiery Ron’s burger at Home Team is worth straying from the BBQ menu. It’s served on a King’s Hawaiian Bun and incldues their house pickles and harissa mayo.

See Also: Kid-Friendly Restaurants

Casual eatery in Five Points with

When you think about the quintessential college town burger joint, Pawleys Front Porch is it!

Located in the heart of Columbia’s Five Points neighborhood, Pawleys is a casual burger joint that serves huge handmade burgers stacked high with toppings.

Choose from one of their SC beach town-themed signature burgers or build your own. And don’t forget to relax on their front porch with a burger, fries and a beer for a great Five Points experience.

430 Center Street | West Columbia

West Columbia brewery with a bacon burger

Savage Craft is a great brewery with outdoor seating and excellent food. It’s located in West Columbia in the former Brookland Fire Station and City Hall building.

Their namesake Savage Burger is topped with bacon, pepper jack, crispy onions and BBQ sauce (and you can even add an egg!)

Savage Craft is one of the few breweries with a weekly brunch.

Casual restaurant on Devine Street with a bison burger

If you’re on the hunt for the best burger in Columbia, make sure you put Backstreets Grill on the list. Located on Devine Street, this casual Columbia neighborhood restaurant is a local favorite.

Their bison burger is grilled to perfection and you can add chipotle for a kick. If you’re more into classic burgers, you can pick your size with their Big Bigger Biggest Burger (6, 8 or 10oz) with your choice of toppings.

300 State Street | West Columbia

Local brunch favorite with a breakfast burger

While Café Strudel is well known for one of the best daily brunches in Columbia, don’t overlook their burger offerings.

Try their breakfast burger if you do want to lean into the breakfast/brunch vibe. It’s topped with bacon and egg and served with a side of hashbrowns.

Café Strudel also has a few signature lunch burgers, including a portabella burger, spicy diablo burger and even a low country burger with fried green tomatoes, pimento cheese and bacon.

Burgers, milkshakes and shaketails in The Vista

Grill Marks is a classic burger joint with a large bright space in the heart of Columbia’s Vista District. It’s an especially great place to eat on nice weather days when the overhead doors are open.

Choose from one of 11 signature burgers including a 3 slider sampler or build your own. They also have a huge selection of french fry sides with all the toppings you can dream of.

And what goes better with a burger than a milkshake? Not only do they have milkshakes but also ‘shaketails’, their frozen cocktails for the adult crowd.

Burger with truffle fries at an upscale eatery

While you might not think of burgers when you think of fine dining restaurant Halls Chophouse, we would be remiss if we didn’t include their burger on our list.

The Halls Chophouse Burger is a 10 oz. burger made with their house-ground beef. They keep it simple with classic toppings and serve it with parmesan truffle fries.

The burger is only available on their lunch and brunch menu, so plan accordingly!

Casual eatery with burgers, wraps, sandwiches and more

favorite local neighborhood restaurant and bar, Henry’s is a go-to for burgers in Columbia.

This family-run establishment prides itself on making some of Columbia’s best handmade burgers with four specialty burgers to choose from.

Try the Henry’s Signature Burger with mushrooms, onions and ale + dijon infused cheddar. If you don’t see exactly what you want, you can also build your own burger.

Southern fare eatery with lunch burgers

Mr. Friendly’s is a local favorite restaurant with a great menu full of southern fare.

In addition to a few burgers, their lunch menu includes catfish, fried chicken and shrimp + grits. They also have daily lunch specials that typically include a burger.

This would be our pick if you are looking for a nicer vibe and delicious food. It’s located in Five Points, which is an easily walkable area with a ton of local shops and restaurants.

Mr. Friendly’s is on our weekend in Columbia itinerary as a must-visit restaurant.

Brewery in downtown Columbia with a signature burger

Hunter-Gatherer is a brewery in downtown Columbia with a great signature burger on the menu. They also have a gyro, shrimp & grits, steak and even a low country boil with PEI mussels.

Their H-G Signature Burger is topped with pimento cheese, chive aoili and bacon. It comes with hand-cut fries and you have the option to upgrade to their parmesan-truffle fries. You’ll also find a black bean burger on the menu.

Hunter-Gatherer is a laidback spot in a historic building. It’s really close to the State House and is credited with introducing the craft beer movement to Columbia. They opened in 1995.

Local tavern with over 10 specialty burgers

Located near Five Points on Devine Street, Burger Tavern 77 has your burger needs covered with a huge selection of burgers. You’ll find everything from a brunch burger to a glazed sugar donut burger!

Crowd favorites at Burger Tavern 77 include their French Onion Soup Burger and the Charleston Burger with smoked pimento cheese, bacon and pickles.

If you are having a hard time deciding, opt for the burger trio. It comes with a mini slider of the Charleston, the Memphis (bourbon BBQ sauce) and a classic burger.

Burger Tavern 77 is open daily for lunch and dinner.

Beloved walk-up style diner in Forest Acres

Zesto’s in Forest Acres is a great order-at-the-window restaurant. They have a real Diners, Drive-In and Dives feel.

Their menu includes cheeseburgers, fried chicken, chicken fingers and chocolate-dipped ice cream. You can take it to go or eat in their indoor dining area.

Their burgers are pretty classic so don’t expect gourmet toppings. But you will find a double cheeseburger on the menu– the ‘Zestoburger.’

Local eatery with burgers, chicken fingers and ice cream

Rosewood Dairy Bar is another great restaurant from the past still serving up delicious fare today. It’s located on Rosewood Drive at the edge of Shandon.

Expect classic cheeseburgers, fried chicken, chicken fingers and ice cream. They have a few outdoor tables and a separate indoor dining space to the left of the order/kitchen area.

Greek restaurant with a pimento feta burger special

The burger menu at Pita’s (one of Columbia’s best Greek restaurants) is unexpected and definitely worth a mention! You can’t go wrong with any of their dishes, including their classic burgers and even their chicken burger.

Some of their burgers are even Mediterranean-influenced, like their Tzatziki Burger with actual tzatziki sauce on it. They also have a phenomenal pimento feta cheeseburger as a special, so keep an eye out for that!

Ground chuck + brisket burger at a BBQ restaurant

Not only does Midwood Smokehouse serve some of Columbia’s best BBQ, but they also have a seriously great burger on the menu.

Their signature burgers are both made with ground chuck and brisket, making for juicy flavorful patties.

On the menu, you’ll find The Cackalacky topped with smoked red onions, bacon and pimento cheese as well as The Roadhouse, their classic burger to which you can add brisket or chopped pork!

Burgers and fries in the Vista

Five Guys is a Virginia-based burger chain that keeps it simple with amazing burgers and fries. It’s a throwback to a classic hamburger joint and offers hamburgers, cheeseburgers and bacon burgers.

Five Guys also has great milkshakes to complete the meal. And if you’re not feeling like a burger, try their grilled cheese – you won’t be disappointed!

Five Guys has multiple locations around Columbia, including Forest Acres, Irmo, Lexington and Northeast Columbia.

Local bar and hangout near Carolina’s campus with burgers + pizza

Thirsty Fellow is a pizzeria and pub near USC’s Campus with a few burgers on the menu.

Choose from a half pound burger with pimento cheese, a mushroom & provolone burger or a BLD burger with a sunnyside up egg.

The casual bar atmosphere at Thirsty Fellow is a great spot for drink and a burger. They also have stone-fired pizza and pub food on the menu.

Five Points burger spot with Wagyu beef and wild toppings

Jack Brown’s in Five Points has a menu full of delicious burgers with a creative twist. They have a everything from a classic cheeseburger to those with unique toppings like peanut butter, cream cheese and jalapeno jelly.

Jack Brown’s burgers are all made from Wagyu beef. Don’t miss the sides section of the menu — in addition to fries on the side you can also order fried Oreos!

British pub in Irmo with over 10 signature burgers

As the name suggests, the British Bulldog Pub is a true Brit-owned spot in the Harbison area. Plan to sit back, have a pint, watch some soccer and enjoy some classic British food.

In addition to scotch eggs, cottage pie, fish & chips and even bangers & mash, you’ll find a dedicated burger page on the menu with over 12 signature styles.

Their burgers include everything from a pimento cheeseburger to a black & bleu burger and even their famous Tower of London Burger. That last one comes with English bacon, an English banger, fried onion rings, an egg, sauteed mushrooms and mozzarella.

And that wraps up our guide to the best burgers in Columbia! If you want more food-related posts, make sure to check out our guide to the best pizza in Columbia and our guide to the best breweries in Columbia.

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