The issue of where to find the best burger in town is an ongoing, spirited debate in Columbia . There are certainly plenty of great places to choose from, making it an enjoyable discussion. It’s an acquired taste, but many Columbians swear by the pimento cheeseburgers and the pimento cheese fries at Rockaway’s (2719 Rosewood Dr., 803/256-1075, daily 11 a.m.–11 p.m., $8), an under-the-radar, locals-only type place in a nondescript building on the south side of the University of South Carolina  campus.
For a brewpub, Hunter Gatherer Brewery (900 Main St., 803/748-0540, Tues.–Sat. 4 p.m.–midnight, $10) has an excellent kitchen, and many locals insist the best burger in town is actually here.
As for good old hot dogs, another Columbia staple near the USC campus, this one on the north side, is Sandy’s Famous Hot Dogs (825 S. Main St., 803/254-6914, Mon.–Thurs. 11 a.m.–9 p.m., Fri.–Sat. 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Sun. noon–9 p.m., $2–5). They specialize in the unusual but oddly endearing “slaw dog,” topped with ground beef, slaw, mustard, and diced onions. It’s a mess, is what it is, but one of the tastier messes you’ll ever have.