Hidden on Devine street is some of the best Thai food in town at Baan Sawan. Its hip, intimate dining room is filled with intoxicating smells, and servers are more than happy to walk newbies through the menu. Once a dish is selected, diners are asked what level of spiciness they desire, on a scale of one to five. The food is imaginative, with flavors from Thai chilies, fresh basil, peppercorns, duck, and boar. The best part is the herbs come fresh from the owner’s garden.
2135 Devine St, 803-252-8992, $$
In the mood for some pho (pronounced phuh)? This Vietnamese restaurant, boasting the freshest spring rolls in town, is a great addition to Five Points, The pho, a large dish of noodles with fresh bean spouts, Thai basil, jalapenos and beef, is fantastic. In the mood for something exotic? Try the eatery’s bubble tea, a tea and milk drink made with different fruits and tapioca pearls.
2011 Devine St, 803-779-4077, $
Hidden in West Columbia, this Mexican bakery is a treat. Their pastries and sweetened breads are baked daily in house. Check out the long breads with the powered sugar on top–they don’t disappoint. Rusty on your español? No worries. The staff is friendly and willing to help those of us who are less well versed.
103 North 12th St, 803-794-3323, $