Midnight Rooster Puts Hartsville on the Foodie Map

By:Libby Wiersema

Date:5/11/2016

You can almost hear the cock crowing from the sign at the entrance to Midnight Rooster. That’s because this eclectic, cozy café and coffee haven has been helping downtown Hartsville greet the morning since 2002. At that time, it was largely a funky coffee shop where locals – mostly a college crowd – lingered over steaming mugs of fair trade java and live music. A small café was added shortly thereafter, but coffee, art and entertainment remained the focus. A change of ownership in 2014 brought balance that makes this establishment as appealing to the coffee house crowd as it is to foodies.

When you stop by today you'll find fewer lounging areas in the coffee house and more tables that invite diners to pull up a chair and call for a menu. The outdoor courtyard is romantic, charming and low lit, allowing for more intimate dining. Wine, beer and cocktails are a stronger focus now – a draw for those wanting an adult night out. Food is also in the spotlight, and that’s a good thing. The kitchen at Midnight Rooster might be small, but it churns out some of the freshest, tastiest eats in the Pee Dee. Head there after taking in an exhibit at Black Creek Arts Center or start your day here before soaking up the beauty of nearby Kalmia Gardens.

Breakfast is an inspired treat, with something to appeal to every morning craving. Think warm and buttery Belgian waffles, with espresso syrup for drizzling, sharing the table with savory bowls of Blizzard Branch stone-ground grits topped with avocado, pico de gallo and house-made pimento cheese. There are eggs served Benedict-style and Carolina Heritage sausage, too. Saturday is reserved for brunch and features a mix of sweet and savory goodies – including mouthwatering crepes – along with a mimosa and Bloody Mary bar. (The spicy Bloody Mary is particularly yummy.)

For lunch, served weekdays only, there are tasty sandwiches and wraps aplenty with standouts such as the Hot Mama (roast beef, cheddar, pepperoncini tapenade and sundried tomato mayo on freshly baked focaccia) and the Valley Girl (herb-roasted turkey, avocado, lettuce and sprouts, again, with that tangy sun-dried tomato-spiked mayo). There are meal-size salads, too, brimming with fresh veggies and heirloom greens, and plenty of vegetarian specialties. Bonus: All dressings are house-made; try the wasabi ranch for a kick. The tomato basil soup is another crowd favorite and pairs nicely with the quiche of the day.

Wednesday, Thursday and Friday are special – that’s when dinner is served and it’s guaranteed to please. (Thursdays are particularly popular for the rolled-to-order sushi, so arrive early.) Start your meal with a mini-biscuit slathered in pimento cheese, a cheese and charcuterie platter, or dip into some guacamole or hummus. For nibblers, there’s a pleasing array of tapas offerings you won’t find anywhere else in the Pee Dee: sweet and salty plantains, fried pistachio goat cheese, burrata on tomatoes, assorted olives and more. Heartier appetites will go for the shrimp and grits, tequila-lime pulled pork tacos, tender beef short ribs or a filet mignon cooked to order.

And, of course, there’s the coffee, which is still one of the best things about spending time at Midnight Rooster. The usual suspects are all there, and you can have it made your way. Indulge in French press, drip, single or table-side pour, or take on a small, but bold cup of Turkish coffee to begin or end your day on a satisfying note.

Related Content

Hike at Kalmia Gardens
Six miles of trail run along Black Creek and connect with neighboring Segars-McKinnon Heritage Preserve at Kalmia Gardens of Coker College. It’s not only a great place for hiking - it’s home to the tallest American Beech in South Carolina.
Discover Florence and the Pee Dee
Spend a few days in the Pee Dee and experience its rich history, culture, arts, natural beauty and more.

Featured Products

Kalmia Gardens of Coker College
Midlands

Hartsville

Midlands

Midlands

The
Midlands Region

Learn More
Located on the bluffs of Black Creek, Kalmia Gardens is on the site of the early 19th-century plantation of Capt. E. Hart for whom Hartsville is named. The Hart House is ...
City of Hartsville
Midlands

Hartsville

Midlands

Midlands

The
Midlands Region

Learn More
Located in the Pee Dee region in the heart of the state's agricultural belt, Hartsville combines big-city amenities with small-town charm and southern hospitality. Here v ...

Featured products and attractions in "Midnight Rooster Puts Hartsville on the Foodie Map"

Nearby Attractions

  • {{item.name}}