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South Carolina’s Signature Side Dishes

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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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It won’t take long for you to figure out that South Carolinians take their sides seriously. From rich mac ‘n’ cheese to fluffy cornbread, this is our version of vegetables—and we’re happy to tell you that carbs sure don’t count when you’re visiting. So load up your plate with a heaping helping of these signature sides. We won’t tell.

Potato Salad

Whether you prefer a light potato salad or a hearty one, this go-to side is a Southern staple. Try it: Make tracks to Pop Pop’s Pit BBQ in Myrtle Beach—the delectable bacon cheddar ranch potato salad reigns supreme here.

Hash and rice

Often served over Carolina Gold rice, this delicacy is a savory blend of minced pork liver cooked in barbecue sauce. Try it: A time-honored dish that doesn’t use short cuts can be found at Roger’s Bar-B-Q House in Florence.

Baked Beans

Barbecue baked beans make a steadfast companion dish to juicy pulled pork. Try it: Head to The Pompous Pig Barbecue in Anderson for their fan favorite baked beans, a mix of five different beans in a zesty house-made sauce.

Grits

Ground cornmeal cooked to creamy perfection yields a delicious side that can be eaten morning or night. Try it: Dip your spoon into the creamy Adluh stone-ground grits at Mr. Friendly’s New Southern Cafe in Columbia.

Cornbread

The great debate about cornbread is whether it should be sweet or not. Try it: FARM in Bluffton serves up a warm skillet of brown butter cornbread sweetened with cane syrup and topped with a generous sprinkling of flaky sea salt.

Mac ‘n’ Cheese

Count this decadent concoction of macaroni noodles and creamy cheese as a veggie—you’re in South Carolina, after all. Try it: Crave Kitchen & Cocktails in Mount Pleasant elevates its mac ‘n’ cheese with 10-year-cave-aged sharp cheddar.

Collard Greens

Typically braised with ham hocks, collard greens have an exceptional depth of flavor, making them South Carolina’s official veggie and a coveted side when in season. Try it: At Gillie’s Seafood & Soul in Charleston, the collards are a perfectly seasoned tastebud pleaser.

 

Bring some of South Carolina’s most famous dishes to your table with these recipes.

South Carolina is The Birthplace of Barbecue and the home of the Official Four Sauces.

SECRET SAUCE

Sample South Carolina’s four official barbecue sauce flavors—sometimes mopped on, sometimes served on the side—to discover your favorite.

Mustard: South Carolina’s signature gold sauce lends a sweet and tangy flavor.

Vinegar & Pepper: A bit spicy, this zingy sauce works wonders on pork.

Light Tomato: This is essentially a vinegar and pepper sauce with added ketchup for sweetness.

Heavy Tomato: Sometimes called a tomato and sugar sauce, this is sweet and savory.

 

Discover the time-honored traditions of South Carolina's "slow and low" barbecue that keeps visitors coming back for seconds along the SC BBQ Trail.

 

Featuring a variety of great stories and exciting trip ideas, the 2021 South Carolina Vacation Guide makes planning your next getaway to the Palmetto State easy. Request your free copy or download the guide today.

Staff Writer
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.