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Must Eats in South Carolina

Chrysti Shain Chrysti Shain
Discover writers share all of the places, activities and adventure that South Carolina has to offer. Read more from some of South Carolina’s locals and discover what’s happening in the Palmetto State.
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No matter where you travel in South Carolina, there's a hidden gem of a restaurant nearby. With an abundance of high quality, local foods and partnerships with farmers, chefs keep menus tasty all year long.

Here are places not to miss when you're visiting some of South Carolina's most charming small towns:


Must Eats in the Upstate

Beyond the Bull, Seneca

What it's known for: This cozy eatery in Seneca is known for its hospitality and unexpected ingredients that come together to form delicious dishes that leave guests feeling both happy and healthy. Chef Angela Bell has gained many fans through dishes like her wild boar stuffed with asparagus and chocolate pot de crème. And don't even get them started on the homemade bread!

Style: Healthy, Eclectic, lunch, dinner

Address: 8095 Keowee School Road, Seneca

Phone: 864.508.1254


Stella's Southern Bistro, Simpsonville

What it's known for: This beautiful, friendly bistro combines the best of the Atlantic with what's growing locally in the SC Upstate. Located in Simpsonville, 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


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, so head to Walhalla.

Style: Cafeteria, lunch, dinner

Address: 316 E. Main St., Walhalla

Phone: 864.638.3311


Cribbs Kitchen

What it's known for: Headed by South Carolina Chef Ambassador William Cribb, Cribbs Kitchen is known for its diverse menu and family-friendly atmosphere. Enjoy everything from gourmet burgers and toasted wraps to handcrafted cocktails and delicious wines at this Hub City gem.

Style: family-friendly, burgers, sandwiches, cocktails

Address: 226 B West Main Street, Spartanburg, SC 29306

Phone: 864.699.9669


Willy Taco

What it's known for: Placing an emphasis on fresh ingredients and Day of the Dead decor, Willy Taco separates itself from other restaurants in Sparkle City. South Carolina Chef Ambassador William Cribb heads the kitchen at Willy Taco and keeps the menu fresh with delicious creations. Get your fiesta on and be sure to try the tacos, tortas and tequila!

Style: Mexican, casual, family-friendly, lunch, dinner

Address: 930 East Main Street, Spartanburg, SC 29302

Phone: 864.327.8228



Must Eats in the Midlands


What it's known for: Juniper is known for making each dish just as good as it can be. Every ingredient is maximized by Chef Brandon Velie, who served as a South Carolina Chef Ambassador in 2015. The restaurant also serves 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


The 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 Pump House 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


Dan the Pig Man Food Truck

What it's known for: Slow-cooked meats, shrimp boils, crawfish, oysters, ribs—this food 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



The Flipside Restaurant

What it's known for: At The Flipside Restaurant, 2017 South Carolina Chef Ambassador Amy Fortes has made it her passion to bring delicious food to the great people of Rock Hill. Serving locally inspired comfort food in an upscale environment, The Flipside Restaurant is the perfect place to grab a bite with friends and family!

Style: bistro, Southern comfort food, brunch, family-friendly, casual

Address: 129 Caldwell Street, Rock Hill, SC 29730

Phone: 803.324.3547


The Flipside Cafe

What it's known for: Stationed in beautiful downtown Fort Mill, The Flipside Cafe brings the community together with locally inspired fare from breakfast to dinner. Led by South Carolina Chef Ambassador Amy Fortes, this small-town cafe is the perfect place to stop in for coffee or enjoy brunch with friends.

Style: cafe, breakfast, brunch, family-friendly, casual

Address: 3150 Highway 21 North, Fort Mill, SC 29715

Phone: 803.802.1711


Abingdon Manor

What it's known for: Housed in a stately country inn, 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. Note: Because availability pivots on the number of overnight guests dining on any given night, you must make a reservation - no exceptions. 

Style: Southern, traditional, fine dining

Address: 307 Church St., Latta

Phone: 843.752.5090



Must Eats on the Coast

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


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


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

Chrysti Shain
Discover writers share all of the places, activities and adventure that South Carolina has to offer. Read more from some of South Carolina’s locals and discover what’s happening in the Palmetto State.