While the origins of pimento cheese started farther north than most expect, Columbia, South Carolina, claims to be the home of the first printed recipe of the piquant spread. According to Esoteric Columbia, the combination of mayonnaise, grated cheese, and chopped pimentos first appeared in a 1912 version of A Friend in Need printed by the Ladies of the Free Kindergarten Association of Columbia. Since then, the capital city has remained obsessed with the “pate of the South.” Restaurants and bars will put it on nearly anything on the menu. From burgers to biscuits, here are our top picks for pimento cheese in Columbia.Read More
Top 9 Spots for Pimento Cheese in Columbia, South Carolina
Pimento cheese on burgers, biscuits, and pizza
Rambo's Fat Cat Biscuits
What’s more Southern than pimento cheese on a biscuit? Not much. Rambo’s Fat Cat Biscuits serves its fluffy, flaky carbs with chipotle pimento cheese that adds just a hint of smokiness.
Spotted Salamander Cafe And Catering
All meals at Southern cafe Spotted Salamander should start with the pimento cheese plate with toasted baguette and perhaps a few deviled eggs. There’s also the substantial fatty brisket sandwich with apple slaw, melty pimento cheese, and pickles.
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Brown liquor bar Bourbon does its pimento cheese differently — the kitchen adds Creole spice to the mix and peppadew peppers. Pair with boudin balls and a boozy drink.
Mr. Friendly's New Southern Cafe
Mr. Friendly’s New Southern Cafe does not serve a typical pimento cheese. The restaurant’s French Quarter pimento cheese contains butter, cream cheese, roasted red peppers, garlic, Gorgonzola, and Tabasco. Mr. Friendly’s serves this concoction on burgers, steaks, and fried green tomatoes.
The Gourmet Shop
Open since 1979, the Gourmet Shop has just about everything a food and wine lover wants. Cases and cases of cheeses, meats, desserts, and spreads include the store’s famous pimento cheese for home consumption. The cafe also serves a pimento platter with a choice of crusty baguette or warm pita bread.
Neighborhood restaurant Terra has been around since 2006, and always puts out exciting plates pulling from around the globe, like Korean short rib wraps or fried kibbeh, but if you’re looking for a Southern spread selection, go for the pimento cheeseburger pizza. Tip: Every Wednesday is Pizza and Pinot Night where a pie and a bottle cost just $32.
DiPrato’s pimento cheese is the gold standard in Columbia. In addition to pimiento cheese (best shoveled into the face on the crispy fried pita chips), the deli offers an extensive menu for lunch and brunch.
Rockaway Athletic Club
Rockaway Athletic Club did not invent the pimento cheeseburger (the original is credited to the former Dairy Bar), but it has damn near perfected it. The bar is a dive, and a bit difficult to find because of its lack of signage, but there’s plenty of cold beer and hot burgers. The cheesy mayo mixture melts into the hunk of beef, making for the ultimate decadent bite.
River Rat Brewery
On a nice day, bring the kids and pets to the outdoor dining area at River Rat Brewery and have a beer and one of the many pimento cheese choices. There’s a pimento cheese appetizer, a chicken Philly with pimento cheese, a brisket Philly with pimento cheese, and a pimento cheese quesadilla.