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Coley's American Bistro

Coley's American Bistro

Coley’s American Bistro in downtown Columbia is the epitome of America today: a melting pot of cultures and origins. Drawing inspiration from places far and near, from France to Louisiana, Coley’s has something for everyone. However, each item on the menu contains familiar ingredients, making it feel like national and international comfort food. With something for virtually every budget and palate, gluten-free and vege/pescatarians can rejoice: there’s plenty here for you too. Plus, with their small menu, Coley’s is continuously trying new things and replaces menu items frequently. In an interview with Vox Magazine, owner Brian Coley noted, “We know we have a small menu, so we try to keep things fresh.”

  • Appetizers ($7-$9.75)
  • Soups & salads ($3.50-$10.50)
  • Entrees ($13.49-$21.99)
  • Sandwiches ($8.59-$9.99)
  • Sides ($2.50-$3.50)
  • Wine, cocktails, beer & whiskey
  • Catering Menu
We sat on the patio and were surrounded by families, friends and solo diners alike. The wait staff was incredibly kind, efficient and helpful - constantly making sure patrons’ drinks were full and food was just right. With a well-lit patio space and fully-stocked bar, Coley’s is a place you may even want to stay and share a few drinks with friends. The bar stays open until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays, and they even feature a happy hour from 4-6 p.m. Monday through Fridays.
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Food -
My friend and I split two different meals: the Pulled Chicken & Slaw sandwich and the Fresco Chicken (pro tip: splitting meals is my go-to when I can’t decide what to order because it all looks good). Both were delicious chicken variations and came with sides that perfectly complemented. The Pulled Chicken tasted like the highlights of a mid-summer barbeque combined in one dish. Not too spicy or too sweet - the BBQ sauce tied the pulled chicken and slaw together. The fries on the side were thin, almost shoestring fry-esque, and were great to munch on between sandwich bites.
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Combining elements from below the Mason-Dixon line and U.S. border, The Fresco Chicken was juicy, moderately spicy and loaded with flavor. The cheese and avocado combination toned down the piquant flavors from the pico de gallo and chicken marinade. The jalepeño-corn fritters were crispy on the outside and gooey in the middle. Although fritters are widely popular throughout the world, corn fritters in particular come from the Southern United States - completing the southwest flavor tour of this disk.

One thing I was pleasantly surprised with (Coley’s being an American  bistro - we’re known for our generous portion sizes) was how perfect the serving sizes were. We were both left perfectly satiated, without feeling gluttonous or too full. Whether it’s date night, family brunch or night out with the gals, Coley’s is a place for any occasion.

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