Cantina 76

Cantina 76 Restaurant Review

Cantina 76 Restaurant Review Article

A group of friends from Columbia with a love for travel and food established Cantina 76 in Columbia, South Carolina. Currently, the restaurant has three locations, two in Columbia and one in Greenville.

Cantina 76 in Columbia, South Carolina
Customers are dining on Tex-Mex in Cantina 76 on Main Street in Columbia, S.C.

Cantina 76 Main Street Columbia

Inside, customers can watch TV and dine at the high top and low top tables or sit at the bar. Small lights string around the perimeter; and stars and metal lights hang from the ceiling creating an uncontrived atmosphere.

Outside, pansies flow from hanging baskets, and tables flank the restaurant on two sides. Furthermore, though the tables are under a metal awning, customers can still enjoy the sun. Cantina 76 has a come-as-you-are atmosphere. Casual to dressy attire is acceptable.


The Cantina Margarita is a low-calorie cocktail
The Cantina Margarita tasted refreshing and like a “Skinny Margarita. “

Cantina 76 Signature Margaritas

Cantina 76 features signature margaritas, tacos, enchiladas, salads and more. Plus, they tout an atmosphere where customers can relax and dine on Mexican-influenced cuisine made with fresh ingredients. Furthermore,  they pitch premium tequila and creative margaritas.

The Cantina 76 menu offers a variety of soft tacos on flour tortillas, but hard corn tacos are also available. Chicken Pesto, Teriyaki Chicken, Peruvian Shrimp, Barbecue Brisket, and Fish are a sampling of their 12 taco creations. In addition, they offer weekly specials.


Cantina 76
Cantina 76 on Main Street in Columbia, South Carolina offers outdoor dining.

Cantina 76 Tres Hombres Sampler

We sat outside where dogs lay under their owners’ tables, and we began with Tres Hombres Sampler. We dipped crispy salted tortilla chips in queso, salsa, and guacamole. The warm queso’s mild cheese tasted rich and creamy, and a touch of minced green pepper gave it a slight crunch and sweetness. Additionally, the salsa had a tangy kick with a hint of lime. Moreover, small pieces of avocado, onion, tomato, and garlic added flavor and interest to the guacamole. It was a great start.


Cantina 76, Main Street Columbia, S.C.
Cantina 76 tortilla chips with queso, guacamole and salsa are a good start.

I tried the Barbecue Shrimp Taco. Sautéed onions and feta accompanied perfectly seared shrimp topped with a Chipotle barbecue sauce. Moreover, the sweet, spicy sauce and the feta’s saltiness added a welcoming punch.

The Barbecue Brisket Taco sweetened with honey barbecue tasted down-home. Additionally, the Pico de gallo not only lightened the sauce but it balanced the sweetness. We loved it.

The Traditional Taco included chili-spiced-ground beef, melted cheese, lettuce, and tomato. There was no sauce. The ground beef tasted lean, and the taco was ordinary.

Everything was fresh, and the tacos were not overstuffed which made them easy to handle and not too filling.

Instead of dessert, I tried the Cantina Margarita. Rimmed with salt, the glass contained tequila, plenty of fresh lime juice, low-sugar-agave nectar, and a quartered-half lime. Moreover, the agave nectar blended with the lime juice and tasted sweet and refreshing.


To sum up, I would recommend Cantina 76 because they not only offer quality food and a great selection but Cantina 76 prices are palatable.


Cantina 76

Location: 1301 Main St., Columbia

Hours: 11:00 a.m. – 9:30 p.m. Monday – Wednesday; 11:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. Thursday – Saturday; closed Sunday; no reservations

Cost: Tacos start at $2.99.

Info: 803-543-3279

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