The Best Burgers in Columbia, SC

Whether cooked medium or well-done, meat-and-cheese only or stacked a mile high with toppings, paired with French fries or crispy onion rings… it’s near-impossible to resist a delicious burger. And, as the birthplace of the pimento cheeseburger, we know a thing or two about juicy handhelds in Columbia SC. From classic + simple to gourmet spinoffs, there’s a burger for everyone in this dynamite city. Which will you try first?


Up for a life-changing experience? Head to Bourbon on Main Street and sit at the bar. Order up the lamb burger + crispy Brussels. Sip on a Hurricane while you wait + watch Kat work magic crafting cocktails. Then, cry. It’s okay, really… we do every time.

Spotted Salamander

On any given Thursday, follow the locals to Spotted Salamander for Burger Day. Topped with ooey-gooey melted cheese, house-made pickles, a thick slice of tomato and, get this, BACON JAM, it’s sure to leave you counting down the days until this weekly holiday comes back around.

Mack’s Cash Grocery

The burgers at Mack’s are just what you’d expect to order at a drive-in or a 50’s diner. Cooked fresh with no frills (although, we do recommend adding pimento cheese or chili if you feel like treating yourself), it’s nostalgic + delicious… further elevated only if paired with hot onion rings.   

Rockaway Athletic Club  

A true institution in Columbia, Rockaway Athletic Club is famous for its pimento cheeseburger—and for good reason. It’s giant, decadent and, of course, delicious and you’d be remiss in not penciling it in while in town. Extra napkins encouraged.

The Kingsman

The Kingsman is known primarily for its ribeye burgers—10 oz. patties of fresh ribeye, ground + formed daily. Order “The Palmetto”, topped with pimento cheese, bacon and fried jalapeno if you’re into eats with a little kick. If you’re brave, try the big cheese: a ribeye burger between two bacon grilled cheese sandwiches.

The Whig

The Whig has stolen the hearts of locals + travelers alike thanks to its indulgent late-night eats, waiting for you when you’re suddenly starving at midnight. Try the famous “Whig Burger” with smoked gouda, bacon, beef gravy and a kiss of sriracha aioli. Food coma to follow.


Head to Henry’s for the big game + make sure to bring an even bigger appetite—you’ll need it with this impressive lineup of craft burgers. We recommend the “Big Breakfast Burger” with grilled ham, bacon + a fried egg or the “Greek Burger” (Feta + greek dressing, included!). And don’t forget the sweet potato fries!

All credit for this delicious list goes to Experience Columbia SC.

This entry was posted in Eats, Featured and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.