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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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Dishes of collards, green beans, corn on cob, mashed potatoes, gravy, slaw, sweet potato casserole
Delicious sides are the building blocks of every Southern meal.

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, they are considered part of our meal-time vegetable line-up. Go ahead and side your fried chicken with both mashed potatoes and rice and gravy, if  you wish. Carbs don’t count in these parts, so load up your plate with a heaping helping of these signature sides. We won’t tell.

Bowl of potato salad with slices of boiled egg on top.
A beautiful bowl of homemade Southern potato salad is must at potlucks or barbecues.

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 Swig & Swine in Charleston, Summerville or Mt. Pleasant where the delectable baked potato salad reigns supreme.

Liver Hash

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.

Browned cornbread in iron skillet
The brown butter cornbread at FARM is simply irresistible.

Cornbread

The great debate about cornbread is whether it should be sweet or savory. Either works well on a Southern plate. 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.

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.

Mac and cheese being forked from a skillet
Gooey and full-flavored, Crave’s mac and cheese routinely wins national accolades.

Macaroni and 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.

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 featuring a mix of five different beans in a zesty house-made sauce.

 

Ready to make your own great South Carolina side dishes? Check out these tried-and-true recipes.

Discover Writer
Discover Writer
More from "Discover 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.