I loved the sweet potato fries, skinny fries &

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Last week, I visited Columbia, South Carolina to attend the Victory Parade for the National Champion Women’s Basketball Team of the University of South Carolina.  I was staying at SpringHill Suites by Marriott Columbia Downtown/The Vista in South Carolina.  That is because it is within walking distance of Main Street (where the parade was).  And because the hotel has a lot of great amenities.  You can read about this in my full review of the hotel here.

The night my family arrived, we were looking for a good restaurant.  We preferred to find one within walking distance of the hotel so we wouldn’t have to bother with parking.  And so we would be able to order drinks.  When I noticed that Grill Marks was just a short walk from the hotel and had been voted the best burgers in Columbia, I was sold.

So we made our way to the restaurant.  It’s conveniently located on Gervais Street.  We arrived there kind of late.  It was closing at 9:00 PM and it was 8:30 PM.  But they sat us and did not rush us, which I appreciated.

The restaurant has a great atmosphere.  It has a laid-back, fun atmosphere that is fitting of a college town.  It is open-aired at the front but it goes far back.  There are plenty of seats around the restaurant.

Grill marks in Columbia Downtown/The Vista is open-aired and you can just walk in from Gervais Street

I love the atmosphere and decor of Grill Makrs an upscale burger joint in Vista in Columbia, South Carolina

Grill Marks in Columbia, South Carolina serves great burgers and shakes in a fun, laid-back atmosphere

I love the brick walls, Gamecocks, and college town atmosphere of Grill Marks a burger restaurant in Downtown Columbia/The Vista

Grill Marks in Vista Downtown Columbia SC has fun decor and lots of seating

They have a nice bar area where sports were playing on TV.

Grill Marks, a Vista neighborhood restaurant in Columbia, SC, has a great bar which plays sports games on TVs


Grill Marks offers a lot of great drinks.  They offer shakes.  And a lot of different kinds of shakes, too.

They have their Marks Famous Shakes.  They are spun with their housemade Madagascar Vanilla Ice Cream.  Flavors include more traditional shakes, like vanilla, strawberry, and cookies n’ cream.  And more creative ones, like White Chocolate Peppermint, Banana Puddin’, and Chocolate Chili Bacon.  The shakes look great, as you can see here.

Grills Marks on Gervais Street in Columbia, SC has great shakes in addition to their burgers, like the Unicorn

They also have FreakShakes, which have milkshakes, ice cream, whipped cream, and lots of toppings.  Some fun FreakShakes include Chocolate Brownie Crack and Strawberry Cheesecake.

They also have spiked shakes, which are of course fun.  This includes JackHammer (Jack Daniel’s and Pepsi), The Morrison (Jager and Root Beer), Malibu Crush (Malibu Rum and Orange Soda), and Cheerwine Bourbon Smash (Cheerwine and Evan Williams).

They also have ShakeTails.  These are shakes, where instead of milk, you just add liquor!  They have great concoctions, like Irish (Bailey, Jamison, Irish Whiskey, and Creme de Mint), Russian (Stoli Vanilla Vodka and Kahlua), Roasted Pina Colada (RumChata, Captain Morgan, Toasted Coconut, and Pineapple Juice), S’Mores (Stoli Vanilla Vodka, Chocolate, Graham Cracker, and Toasted Marshmallows), and Cinnamon Toast Crunch (Rumchata, Fireball, and, of course, Cinnamon Toast Crunch).

And they have BeerShakes!  They are spun with Grill Marks’ housemade vanilla ice cream.  You can get Carolina Car Bombe (Jameson, Bailey’s, and Left Hand Nitro Milk Stout) or Perry Kilt (Left Hand Nitro Milk Stout, Trader Vic’s Macadamia Nut Liqueur, Maker’s Mark, and Espresso).

We did not have any of these, but we did have wine.  The Pinot Noir was good.

A picture of the Pinot Noir at Grill Marks in Columbia, SC

They also serve Pepsi products, but they do not serve Mountain Dew.  I say this if you are like me and order Mountain Dew whenever a restaurant has Pepsi products.  Just be aware this is not an option.


So as I mentioned earlier, the main reason we came here was for the burgers.  And they did not disappoint.

First of all, I love that you can build your own burger.  Often at burger places you might a few burgers that appeal to you but often not one burger has everything I want.  Like one burger might have a great topping I like, and another might have a cheese I like, and another may use bread I like.  But they often aren’t the same burger.

But you don’t have to worry about that here.  You can choose your patty, choose your bun, choose you have a choice of cheese, and then you have a large choice of additions (like bacon, roasted Jalapenos, green chili queso, etc.).

I chose a Brioche bun, added pineapple, and chose bleu cheese.  I was very excited about pineapple because I don’t always eat pineapple and was excited to bleu cheese.

But I was most excited about the patty because I chose bison!  Bison is not available everywhere, so I was really excited I got it.

By the way, all build your own burgers come with tomato, lettuce, onion, and a pickle.  So if you don’t like any of those, make sure you ask to hold those items (I held the onion and pickle).

Anyway, here is what my delicious burger looked like.

I ordered a build your own burger at Grill Marks in Columbia, SC. I got a bison burger with pineapple, lettuce, and blue cheese crumbles.

And the burger was even better eating it, too!  The burger was especially delicious.  To me, that was the best part.  The bleu cheese added to the flavor and my favorite bites were the ones with bleu cheese on it.

If I had any complaints, I wish they had had more cheese so I could have cheese on all my bites (if you like that, then you might want to consider getting another cheese that doesn’t come in crumbles, like American cheese or Swiss cheese).

Also, the pineapple was really good, but got a bit overpowered by the bison.  Not to say that was a bad thing, though.  It was more like the bison was just so delicious, that was the overwhelming taste.  And I loved it!  Additionally, the bun was soft and good, too.

Another choice at my table was a signature beef burger wth American, which was also delicious.

Grill Marks was voted the best burgers in Columbia, South Carolina. A picture of one of the burgers we ordered, which we loved

Here is another great burger we got, different from the other burgers.  And that is a signature beef patty with Swiss Cheese and Texas Toast.

A picture of a signature beef patty with Swiss Cheese and Texas Toast that we ordered at Grill Marks in Columbia, South Carolina

This was a good burger.  The burger itself was once again the best part, with the cheese being the second best part.  I will say, though, that the Texas Toast was disappointing.  The top one, in particular, was a bit hard.

But that was not the case with the other burger we ordered with Texas Toast.

A picture of a bison burger on Texas Toast with crispy haystack onions, a menu item at Grill Marks in Downtown Columbia SC

My mother got this and liked the Texas Toast.  She ordered a bison burger with crispy haystack onions and crimini mushrooms.  She said it was the best burger she had ever had in the Carolinas, which of course was huge praise!

In addition to burgers, we really liked the French Fries.  We got the Three Way.  Get your mind out of the gutter; we’re referring to getting three different kinds of Fries for the whole family!  We got Truffle Parm Fries, Skinny Fries, and Sweet Potato Fries.  All of the Fries were so good.  I think my favorite was the Truffle Parm Fries but all of them were great.  The Truffle Parm Fries in particular though had a special, delicious taste.  The seasoning was so good.

I loved the sweet potato fries, skinny fries &


We here at Green Vacation Deals highly recommend Grill Marks.  The food is delicious.  They have a great variety of shakes, drinks, and burgers, and we love you get to customize your burgers with unique features (like getting a bison burger).  So if you are in downtown Columbia, we definitely recommend going.

They also have locations in Greenville, which we haven’t been to yet but we guess you’ll enjoy those, too.  They have one in Downtown Greenville and one at Haywood Mall.  So if you are in Greenville, we recommend you going there, too.