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Anderson Serves Up Great Eats with Southern Hospitality

Marie McAden Marie McAden
A former staffer with The Miami Herald, Marie moved to SC in 1992. She is passionate about the outdoors, and enjoys exploring the state’s many natural treasures from the Lowcountry to the Upstate.
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You might expect to find really good barbecue on the back roads of South Carolina. But in Anderson, visitors are delighted to discover the culinary offerings include everything from locavore cuisine to fresh sushi expertly prepared by a Japanese master chef.

Whether you’ve got a hankering for pizza, tacos or steamed oysters, you’re in for some fine eating in Anderson. Here are some excellent choices:



Creekside Bar-be-que offers a mouthwatering selection of brisket, pork and ribs slow cooked over hickory wood.

Pompous Pig – Barbecue aficionados will find all their smoked favorites, including fall-off-the-bone ribs, succulent brisket and pulled pork sandwiches and plates, plus made-from-scratch classic sides like collard greens, fried okra and sweet potato casserole. The meats are smoked daily for eight to 14 hours in the restaurant’s on-site barbecue pit.

Creekside Bar-be-que – The ‘cue here is smoked the old-fashioned way—low and slow—with hickory and pecan wood. Pitmaster Kurt Wickiser follows the smoking traditions of his great-grandfather and recipes handed down through the generations.



Enjoy locally sourced and creatively prepared dishes at Mr. Rivers Breakfast Joint.

Summa Joe’s – In this casual Main Street restaurant, lunch meats are roasted daily, pizza dough is hand prepared and sauces are made from scratch. Fresh ingredients and products from local farms are featured in their lunch and dinner dishes. The array of specialty pizzas will blow you away!

Mr. Rivers Breakfast Joint – Summa Joe’s owners also operate this popular breakfast spot and follow the same philosophy: simple, local, fresh. Virtually everything on the menu is made from scratch using locally sourced products.


Fine Dining

Chef Tsutomu Fukuhara of Nami Asian Bistro creates sushi dishes that are as beautiful as they are delicious. Photo courtesy of Nami Asian Bistro.

Sullivan’s Metropolitan Grill – You’ll love the vintage atmosphere as much as the Southern-inspired American cuisine in this sophisticated eatery located in a former 19th-century hardware store. Save room for one of the 15-20 desserts, including the signature peanut butter pie, featured on any given night.

Nami – A master chef from Nara, Japan, Tsutomu Fukuhara studied traditional Japanese cooking under the tutelage of master chefs specializing in sushi. Overlooking Portman Marina on Lake Hartwell, the restaurant features an amazing array of sushi rolls and entrees served like beautiful works of edible art.


Hamburgers and Hotdogs

The special blend of pork and beef hot dogs and secret-recipe chili have earned Skin's Hotdogs rave reviews.

Arnold’s Famous Hamburgers – Order up an American classic in this retro-style eatery. The price is right and the service is friendly. The menu also features a variety of sandwiches, including a signature club with ham, turkey, chicken or hamburger.

Skin’s Hotdogs – Established in Anderson in 1946, this iconic eatery now boasts 10 restaurants across upstate South Carolina. The special blend of pork and beef hot dogs and secret-recipe chili have earned it top dog ranking in Gourmet, Fortune Magazine, PBS and National Public Radio.


Meat and Three

Anderson offers two popular meat-and-three restaurants sure to satisfy the hungriest diners.

The Meeting Place – For Southern down-home cooking, this downtown cafeteria-style restaurant is one of the locals’ favorites. Open for breakfast and lunch, it’s best known for its fried chicken and turkey and dressing. Bring cash. Credit cards are not accepted.

Mama Penn’s – Another Anderson tradition for “real Southern cooking,” this family-owned restaurant offers breakfast, lunch and dinner. Specials include fried chicken, baked chicken breast, grilled ham and chicken tenders with plenty of veggie options and sides to complete the meat-and-three plate.


Local Favorites

Enjoy an array of oyster offerings at Shucks Oyster Bar in Anderson.

Shucks Oyster Bar – It may be the Piedmont, but you can get fresh raw, steamed or baked oysters right in downtown Anderson. This hip restaurant also includes mussels, Lowcountry shrimp, ceviche and crab legs.

Doolittle’s – Another downtown hot spot, Doolittle’s is a neighborhood restaurant offering local and coastal cuisine made fresh and in-house. The selection of entrees includes everything from Chesapeake Crab Cakes to Shepherd’s Pie to a Buffalo Surf and Turf Burger.

Earle Street Kitchen and Bar – Enjoy Southern comfort food with a twist at this rustic-chic downtown restaurant. Local favorites include the chicken and waffles and blackened mahi shrimp and grits.

McGee’s Irish Pub and Restaurant – This is just what an Irish pub should be —creative Irish and American food, a fun, cozy atmosphere; and a handsome bar with unique global beers, whiskeys and wine. Add to that live Celtic and folk music and you have one not-to-miss spot to add to your itinerary.

Figs Café and Farmacy – From fruit smoothies to frozen fraps, milkshakes to hand-dipped ice cream, Figs has something to satisfy every craving. Enjoy breakfast, lunch or dinner at this friendly café and shop the market for local produce and food products, including private label butters and preserves.

Marie McAden
A former staffer with The Miami Herald, Marie moved to SC in 1992. She is passionate about the outdoors, and enjoys exploring the state’s many natural treasures from the Lowcountry to the Upstate.