Must Eats in South Carolina

By:Chrysti Shain

Date:9/9/2016

Simpsonville Stella's Bistro
Stella's Bistro in Simpsonville is known for its unique farm-to-table offerings.

No matter where you travel in South Carolina, there's a hidden gem of a restaurant nearby. Chefs here have so much high quality, local foods to choose from, and the partnerships with farmers keep menus tasty all year long.

Here's some of the places not to miss when you're in small-town SC:


Stella’s Southern Bistro, Simpsonville

What it’s known for: This beautiful, friendly place combines the best of the Atlantic with what’s growing locally in the SC Upstate. It’s a Southern seafood house near the mountains, and you won’t find anything better. Everything is house-made, and many weeks feature a new handcrafted cocktail that celebrates something in season.

Style: Southern, seafood, farm-to-table, family-friendly, lunch, dinner

Address: 684 Fairview Road, Simpsonville

Phone: 864.757.1212


T.W. Graham & Co., McClellanville

What it’s known for: Take a short drive off US 17 through ancient live oaks and order the shrimp. It’s caught locally and no matter how you want it prepared, it’s great. If you’re lucky enough to be there when soft shell crabs are in season, get some of those too. Fresh and right out of the ocean. Nothing better.

Style: Seafood, casual, lunch, dinner

Address: 810 Pinckney St., McClellanville

Phone: 843.887.4342

Belton Grits Groceries
Grits and Groceries is worth the trip for its fresh farm-to-table ingredients.

Grits & Groceries

What it’s known for: Set in a white clapboard old country store, this is one of South Carolina’s finest restaurants. The chef/owners have a great back story and have created a welcoming, wonderful destination. No matter what’s on the menu when you visit, you can know that each ingredient will be elevated to its very best. Don’t miss dessert for sure. Pick up their cookbook while you’re there. Open for lunch and Thursday night dinner.

Style: Southern, farm-to-table, Lowcountry, casual, lunch, brunch

Address: 2440 Due West Highway, Belton

Phone: 864.296.3316

Rock Hill Pump House
The Pump House, in Rock Hill, has a one-of-a kind view.

Pump House

What it’s known for: This commanding structure on the banks of the Catawba River elevates the dining experience in Rock Hill. Locally sourced fish, meats and produce shine, as does the exquisite service and beautiful views from the rooftop bar. If you’re there for lunch, try the fried sweet tea chicken sandwich. Lots of Southern goodness here.

Style: Southern, farm-to-table, rooftop bar, fine dining, waterfront, lunch, dinner, brunch

Address: 575 Herrons Ferry Road, Rock Hill

Phone: 803.329.8888

Scott's Bar-B-Que
With this pitmaster behind the grill, Scott's Bar-B-Que is worth the trip.

Scott’s Bar-B-Que

What it’s known for: This is where tradition meets the plate in the barbecue world. Scott’s is considered the gold standard of SC barbecue. It’s whole-hog smoked, mopped down with peppery vinegar sauce and served up with white bread from the same small shack for decades. Every food writer worth his fork has written about Scott’s, and it’s all deserved. Open Wednesday-Saturday until they run out. Like it should be. And if you can’t make it to Hemingway, Rodney Scott’s Bar-B-Que will be opening in Charleston in late 2016 or early 2017.

Style: Barbecue, lunch, dinner

Address: 2734 Hemingway Highway, Hemingway

Phone: 843.558.0134


The Steak House Cafeteria

What it’s known for: No matter what the name says, this is the place to get fried chicken – really, really great fried chicken. Traditional Southern sides round out the experience, along with homemade dessert. No way to go wrong here.

Style: Cafeteria, lunch, dinner

Address: 316 E. Main St., Walhalla

Phone: 864.638.3311

St. Helena Shrimp Shack
Shrimp Shack on St. Helena has amazing food and a view.

Shrimp Shack

What it’s known for: You haven’t really tasted South Carolina until you have a shrimp burger from this little roadside spot. It’s local shrimp made into a patty, deep fried and served on a bun. Get the sweet potato fries as a side and take a seat at the picnic tables outside for the whole experience. Cash only.

Style: Casual, lunch, weekend dinner

Address: 1925 Sea Island Parkway, St. Helena Island

Phone: 843.838.2962

Easley Bella Vita
If you like Italian, Bella Vita is worth the trip.

Bella Vita

What it’s known for: You choose your main course at this true trattoria by land, sea or air, and the chef fills in the blanks. The menu changes weekly to reflect what’s in season, and Thursday is pasta night. It’s a real hidden gem in South Carolina’s Upstate.

Style: Italian, dinner

Address: 119 Gulf St., Easley

Phone: 864.859.1499


Dan the Pig Man Food Truck

What it’s known for: Slow-cooked meats, shrimp boils, crawfish, oysters, ribs – this truck is known for having a good time and eating very, very well. It’s not unusual to find something new on the menu each time you stop by, depending on what’s in season. It smells as good as it tastes. Almost.

Style: Southern, barbecue, seafood, family-friendly, casual, food truck

Address: Mainly Rock Hill, Lake Wylie, Charlotte region

Contact: DanThePigMan@me.com

Abingdon Manor
There is more than enough romance at Abingdon Manor.

Abingdon Manor

What it’s known for: Housed in a beautiful country bed and breakfast, the dining room at Abingdon Manor serves a six course prix fixe dinner. Dishes change nightly depending on what’s in season and available locally. It’s civilized fine dining you’ll talk about for years to come.

Style: Southern, traditional, fine dining

Address: 307 Church St., Latta

Phone: 843.752.5090

Juniper

What it’s known for: Juniper is known for making each dish just as good as it can be. Every ingredient is maximized. They serve great sandwiches and entrees, and don’t miss the daily lunch specials. Weekend dinners also offer a five course prix fixe that is just terrific.

Style: Southern, farm-to-table, family-friendly, casual, lunch, brunch, weekend dinner

Address: 640 E. Main St., Ridge Spring

Phone: 803.685.7547

Greer Bin 112
Bin 112 is a seafood lover's paradise.

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