A guide to the best delis in Columbia, SC for lunch
We have certainly given all the local lunch spots a few tries (or many more) in our quest to find the best delis and sandwiches Columbia has to offer. And we are happy to share that Columbia has plenty of great delis worth trying!
This guide to the best delis features over 10 delis across Columbia. You’ll find everything from where to get the best Reuben, our favorite NY style sandwich and the best place to grab chicken salad to go.
Check out our list of favorites below and get ready for some mouth-watering inspiration.
Map to the best delis in Columbia
Your guide to the best delis in Columbia, SC
1. Groucho’s Deli
About Groucho’s Deli
Groucho’s is a casual eatery known for classic deli sandwiches and a laid back atmosphere.
Location: You’ll find Groucho’s Deli all over Columbia! Their original location (and our favorite) is in Five Points.
- 611 Harden Street (Five Points)
- 4717 Forest Drive (Forest Acres)
- 111 Sparkleberry Crossing (Northeast Columbia)
- 730 University Village Dr (Blythewood)
- 2265 Sunset Blvd (West Columbia)
- 117 1/2 E.Main Street (Lexington)
- 700 Columbiana Drive (Irmo)
- 138-B Amick’s Ferry Road (Chapin)
Our go-to order: Apollo Dipper, 45 Sauce, potato chips and a sweet tea (with crushed ice!!)
Groucho’s Deli is one of our favorite lunch spots in Columbia. Their original location in Five Points has been serving up their iconic dipper-style subs since 1941.
The secret sauce (no pun intended) that keeps us coming back is their Formula 45 dipping sauce. It is THE. BEST. SAUCE. served at any deli we have ever been to! (We have friends who live out of town who try to recreate the sauce with marginal success.)
Groucho’s dipper-style subs are served on hoagie sub rolls with top-quality deli meat and cheese melted on top. We love their classic Apollo dipper, but all are great! Their sandwiches are served in baskets with a bag of chips and a pickle on the side.
Groucho’s delis are great spots to hang out with families and friends. Their restaurants are always buzzing and booths, often full of happy customers catching up over delicious lunch.
Since opening their original Five Points location they have added seven additional locations in the Midlands and have a total of 25 locations in South Carolina. No matter where you are in Columbia, there’s probably a Groucho’s nearby! Lucky you!!
2. Andy’s Deli
About Andy’s Deli
Andy’s Deli is a classic old-school deli located in Five Points with great food and even friendlier people.
Location: 2005 Greene St (Five Points)
Our go-to order: We love the Andy’s Special piled high with delicious deli cold cuts. They have a great dipping sauce too. And sour cream and cheddar Ruffles just really puts it over the top.
Parking: One perk of Andy’s is their large parking lot in Five Points. But don’t try to leave your car there and skip eating at Andy’s!! Not cool!! They do let you pay for spots, though, if you plan on wandering around after.
Andy’s Deli is family-owned and the staff is extremely friendly. Everyone is treated like a regular at Andy’s, even if it’s your first time.
Not much has changed in Andy’s Deli since opening in 1978, which is a good thing because they make an excellent deli sandwich!
Located in the heart of Five Points, it’s easy to stop in for a great lunch at Andy’s while meandering around the shopping district. If you want to know more about the area, check out our full guide to Five Points!
3. Enzo’s Delicatessan
About Enzo’s Deli
Enzo’s is the place to go for authentic NY style sandwiches in Columbia. You’ll also find from scratch Italian desserts as well as an Italian marketplace!
Location: 2002 Greene St (Five Points)
Our go-to order: Any of their hot chicken cutlet sandwiches are amazing! We especially love the Chicken Parm and Hugo. Don’t miss the cannoli!
Enzo’s has been such a great addition to Five Points! They opened their shop in 2021 and quickly became a top deli in our book.
Enzo’s has both cold and hot NY style sandwiches on the menu. If you are looking for a hot chicken cutlet sandwich, head to Enzo’s immediately! We can’t get enough of their chicken parm with marinara sauce, mozzerella and pecorino romano. Their Hugo (chicken cutlets, swiss, lettuce, tomato and mayo) and cold Italian sandwich are also awesome.
Apart from sandwiches, Enzo’s also has a marketplace full of pantry goods imported from Italy. You’ll find olive oil, pasta, cheese, olives, pancetta and even Italian butter. Enzo’s also has Italian desserts (cannoli and black & white cookies!) and beer and wine.
Enzo’s opened a second location in Olympia Mills called Enzo’s Spuntino. The menu is a bit different and includes breakfast!
If you are familiar with Five Points, Enzo’s is where longtime Columbia favorite Blue Cactus was. Does anyone else miss their burritos like we do?? RIP.
4. No Name Deli
About No Name Deli
A cafeteria-style deli with great sandwiches, sides and salads. Loved by locals! Don’t miss their Greek salad.
Location: 2042 Marion St
Our go-to order: Turkey Club and a Greek Salad!! We also love their Reuben sandwich (the best in Columbia!)
The iconic No Name Deli has quietly been serving epic deli sandwiches since 1981. You order at a classic cafeteria-style deli counter and watch them make your deli order right in front of you. They are located a bit off the beaten path at the corner of Elmwood Ave. and Marion St. near Cottontown.
The no-frills atmosphere gives you an authentic deli feel where you know they take the food seriously. We love the Reuben and it definitely goes at the top of our list for best Reuben sandwiches in Columbia.
No Name Deli is a favorite lunch spot for locals in Columbia, but make sure you go on a weekday as they are closed on Saturdays and Sundays.
5. Swanson’s Deli
About Swanson’s Deli
Delightful deli tucked in the Arcade Mall in downtown Columbia. Every sandwich on their menu is amazing!
Location: 1332 Main St (downtown / UofSC campus)
Our go-to order: Bob Special with pasta salad!
Swanson’s Deli is located in the Arcade Mall on Main Street in downtown Columbia. It’s only open for lunch on weekdays (11-2:30), so if you blink you’ll miss them! Swanson’s is an ideal stop if you work downtown and want a great sandwich.
All of their sandwiches are awesome, but we espeically love the Bob Special (roast beef, turkey, with melted Swiss, bacon bits, on a toasted hoagie, with a side of homemade Russian dressing) and their chicken salad club sandwich.
6. DiPrato’s Delicatessen
About DiPrato’s Deli
DiPrato’s is a cute cafe and deli located near UofSC’s campus. They have awesome pimento cheese!
Location: 342 Pickens St (downtown / UofSC campus)
Our go-to order: One of our favorite signature sandwiches is the “Psst-Try-Me” layering their delicious pastrami with swiss cheese and spicy mustard for a simple yet delicious sandwich.
DiPrato’s is one of the best lunch spots in Columbia, SC and a favorite meeting spot for locals to catch up. They serve all the classic deli sandwiches as well as delicious pimento cheese (you have to try their hot pita chips with their pimento cheese dip!)
DiPrato’s is located on the south end of downtown Columbia on Pickens Street near the UofSC campus. They have a kids menu with grilled cheese and chicken nuggets, so it’s sure to please everyone in your group!
You can also order salads and snacks by the pound from their deli case. Make sure to check them out for brunch on Saturdays and Sundays. Speaking of, check our ultimate guide to breakfast and brunch in Columbia for more ideas!
7. The Devine Cinnamon Roll Deli
About Cinnamon Roll Deli
Devine Cinnamon Roll Deli is the perfect spot to grab a great sandwich and a sweet treat!
Location: 2617 Devine St (Devine Street District)
Our go-to order: If you are there for breakfast, try The Big Max (eggs, cheese, bacon, mustard) on sourdough. For lunch, get the Italian Godfather! And a cinnamon roll, of course.
The Devine Cinnamon Roll Deli is an excellent spot for breakfast. And don’t let the sweet name fool you, Cinnamon Roll Deli is also one of Columbia’s top-rated delis!
Cinnamon Roll Deli has a menu full of specialty sandwiches. We love the CRD Cuban and the Italian Godfather. They also have a selection of mouthwatering hotdogs with fun toppings. Oh and make sure you grab one of their cinnamon rolls (it’s in the name after all)!
The Devine Cinnamon Roll Deli is located on Devine Street just up the road from Five Points. Although it’s one of the newer delis in town, it has definitely earned the right to call itself one of the best lunch spots in Columbia, SC. They have a bright clean dining room inside as well as nice outdoor seating out front.
8. 5th Avenue Deli
About 5th Avenue Deli
A classic deli located in Columbia’s Rosewood neighborhood. Filled with locals and boasts an extensive sandwich menu!
Location: 3000 Rosewood Dr (Rosewood)
Our go-to order: For pastrami lovers we can highly recommend the Monroe — we also love the Edisto (Roast beef and pimento cheese.)
Tucked away on Rosewood Drive between Shandon and Rosewood neighborhoods, 5th Avenue Deli is a favorite lunch spot for locals. With a huge selection of sandwiches named after local streets, there is something for everyone.
5th Avenue Deli in Rosewood is clean and bright. It can get crowded during the lunch rush, but there is always a friendly buzz filling the room. You can tell it’s where the locals love to eat!
It’s kind of tucked away even though it’s right on Rosewood. It’s next door to The Well Cafe, which is featured on our best coffee shops in Columbia list!
9. Sound Bites Eatery
About Sound Bites Eatery
A new-ish spot to grab a bite in downtown Columbia. Great sandwiches, awesome sides and silly names!
Location: 1425 Sumter Street | Downtown Columbia
Our go-to order: Stop Hammy Time sandwich with pistachio pasta salad!
Sound Bites Eatery is a great place to grab a bite when near downtown Columbia. If you can get past the punny names, you’ll probably see a ton of Sound Bites’ menu that you’ll want to try. You’ll find hot sandwiches, cold sandwiches, and fun sides like pistachio pasta salad and marinated tomato salad.
We especially love the Stop Hammy Time sandwich (Black forest ham, Havarti cheese, rosemary dijonaise, sweet red pepper spread and ciabatta.) And they call them soundwiches, by the way…
They also have grilled poblano cheese, which is their version of pimento cheese. It’s made with sharp white cheddar and is delicious! Our kids espeically love Violet’s French Toast that is filled with blueberry cream cheese.
Sound Bites is located near several offices downtown and it can get quite busy during the lunchtime rush.
10. The Gourmet Shop
About Gourmet Shop
Gourmet Shop is a cute cafe with great food located near a ton of shopping. It’s my go-to spot for lunch out with friends and perfect for UofSC parents!
Location: 724 Saluda Ave (Five Points)
Our go-to order: You can’t go wrong with their chicken salad on a croissant with the tomato basil pasta. Wow. Make it a day and add a mimosa.
We debated adding The Gourmet Shop to our best delis list (it’s more of a cafe…), but then we realized we’d be crazy not to! They have great sandwiches as well as an area for to-go pimento cheese, chicken salad and charcuterie meats and cheeses.
Gourmet Shop is great for dining-in. You’ll feel like you are at a French bistro, especially if you can snag a table outside. This is a popular spot for parents to take their UofSC students for a nicer lunch out.
If you just need something quick, hop over to their deli counter to grab a container of chicken salad, pasta salad and a baguette. It’s a stellar picnic combo! And then head to one of the many parks we have listed on our best playgrounds in Columbia, SC list.
11. Crave Artisan Market
About Crave Artisan Market
Gourmet deli sandwiches in a casual, relaxed atmosphere. Keep an eye out for their weekly specials!
Location: 2843 Millwood Ave | Melrose Heights
Our go-to order: The Devine Street sandwich (turkey, goat cheese, fig + onion + rosemary jam) and the Green Goddess Salad
Crave is such a great place for a deli sandwich in Columbia! It feels like a hidden gem, but it’s right on Millwood Road which gives you quick access to Gervais Street. Crave is the perfect destination to walk to if you are in the Melrose Heights neighborhood.
Seating at Crave is very casual and feels like a true cafe deli. There’s a small marketplace with tons of local SC brands.
They also make awesome tomato pies when in season and you can’t miss the peanut butter pie!
We love ordering online and bringing our sandwiches for a picnic. Crave is a great stop before heading to one of the many local playgrounds, like Sims Park in Shandon or Heathwood Park in Heathwood. You can read more about these parks in our guide to Columbia’s best playgrounds.
12. The Other Store
About The Other Store
A beloved hidden gem tucked in a neighborhood near Trenholm Park.
Location: 4130 Bethel Church Rd | Forest Acres
Our go-to order: We love the Greek Turkey Sandwich. Don’t miss the caramel cake!
The Other Store is a mom & pop deli tucked away in Forest Acres. You’ll find a convenience store up front and a deli in the back. You won’t find the most gourmet sandwiches in Columbia (head to somewhere like Crave for that!), but it’s an old school shop with regulars who love it.
In the past my go-to order was the caramel cake if they had it. You’ll find it by the slice if you are lucky or you can order a caramel cake for pickup with a few days’ notice. As of August 2022, The Other Store’s caramel cakes were $40 each.
13. East Bay Deli
About East Bay Deli
The whole family will love this Charleston-founded deli with a menu featuring sandwiches, salads, hot dogs, soups and sides.
Location: Multiple locations around Columbia!
- 1426 Main St | Main St District
- 917 State St | Cayce
- 108 Sunset Blvd | West Columbia
- 7688 Broad River Rd | Irmo
- 2708 Clemson Rd | Northeast Columbia
Our go-to order: Club Calhoun (turkey + pastrami) or the Charleston Deli Dip (Angus Beef and provolone on a toasted French loaf with au jus) with pasta salad or fries.
East Bay Deli has a great variety on the menu, which is perfect for our family! We love taking the kids here for hot dogs while we enjoy a deli sandwich. One of our favorites is the Club Calhoun with turkey and pastrami. Our kids love their hot dogs!
You’ll find several East Bay Deli locations around Columbia. They offer online ordering which is always a bonus. I love grabbing sandwiches from their Cayce location and popping over to the playground at Guignard Park. It is listed on our guide to the best playgrounds in Columbia!
East Bay Deli has gluten free bread and a breakfast menu.