Guy Fieri's 2007 visit to Harold’s Restaurant on Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” has lured many a fan of the popular food reality television series to the now-famed diner located in a historic brick building on the edge of downtown Gaffney.
But the Upstate institution, opened in 1932, isn’t the only place in town to enjoy a made-from-scratch meal. In recent years, several other local-minded restaurants have taken up residence in the historic district. Offering everything from soul food to pizza to Boston-style grinders, these independent eateries are sure to satisfy your hunger, whatever it is you’re craving.
At Harold’s, the big sellers are the “world-famous chili burgers and hotdogs.” You won’t break the bank with those two belly-fillers or any of the old-school Southern favorites on the menu, among them a homemade pimento cheese sandwich, fried green tomatoes and chicken stew.
Boston Annie’s bills itself as a classic American sub shop, serving an appetizing array of grinders, salads, soups and sweets. And much like the cozy Boston bar in the TV comedy “Cheers,” the friendly staff will make you feel like a regular.
Another newcomer to the downtown food scene is Zakary’s Coffee Shop, where you can sit back and savor freshly brewed, locally roasted coffee, tea or homemade soda in a decidedly casual, inviting space with tables, sofas and the work of local artists on the walls. Open mic night is held most Saturdays.
If you’re hankering for a slice of pie (the savory kind), head to Aegean Pizza. In this Greek/Italian restaurant, the dough and sauces are homemade and the toppings fresh. Along with a wide selection of specialty pizza, you’ll find Greek and Italian dishes, hot-from-the-oven subs, salads and a selection of desserts on the menu.
For Southern-style comfort food, you’ve got several great choices. Gravy’s Grill Gaffney is known for its wings, fried-in-butter fish and shrimp, chicken, steak and shrimp kabobs, and a “Big Country” burger you’ll have trouble fitting in your mouth. Leave room for one of the homemade desserts, too. The honey bun cake, banana pudding, turtle cake and strawberry swirl are to die for.
The Food Shed also offers traditional Southern soul food “just like Mama used to make.” You won’t go wrong with the fried flounder, fried chicken, beef tenderloins, baked ham or sweet potato cobbler. The portions are large and the prices are very reasonable.
The Corner Cafe is another locally owned favorite for home-cooked Southern dishes. While the specialty of the house is barbecue and hash, residents in town also rave about the turkey and dressing, fried pork chops, chicken strips and the many side options.
This being the South, don’t miss the opportunity to chow down on a plate of delicious slow-smoked barbecue. Among the best in Gaffney are Daddy Joe’s Beach House BBQ & Grill, GrandDaddy’s BBQ and Lisa’s Hawg-n-Dawg BBQ food truck, parked at the Ace Hardware Thursday through Saturday.
While you’re in town, be sure to stop at Sunny’s Donuts. Don’t be fooled by the simple storefront located adjacent to a filling station. At this hometown hot spot, you’ll enjoy donuts, croissants and pastries made from scratch from family recipes and baked fresh every morning. Sunny’s specialties include buttermilk bars, cinnamon rolls, apple fritters, tiger claws, donut holes and chocolate and maple raised bars.