Few things deliver as much gastronomic pleasure as a good steak dinner. While high-end steakhouses are popular in fine dining circles, there are plenty of places where South Carolinians enjoy tasty cuts in unfussy surroundings and without breaking the budget.
Dreaming of a juicy, perfectly grilled ribeye? Or perhaps a thick New York strip? You can head to a nearby chain restaurant or opt instead to experience a bit of local flavor and tradition. Here are 10 restaurants, many of them family owned and decades old, known for serving up hearty, savory steaks.
Off the beaten path, Arthur Paul’s is one of the best-kept secrets in the town of Orangeburg.
Steak to try: Charbroiled ribeye. It’s especially good with a side of peppers and onions.
Owner Troy Dion is proud of this pair of restaurants, which date back to the 1960s. A one-time consultant to the former owners, he and his wife bought the business a few years ago and have admirably preserved the hometown feel. In addition to juicy, mammoth steaks, the friendly waitstaff and homemade desserts make it one of the best steakhouses you’ve never heard of.
Steak to try: Breck’s famous 30-ounce sirloin.
The building might be nondescript, but the food draws the Chesterfield crowd and backroad travelers seeking to satisfy their steak cravings.
Steak to try: Ribeye.
Since 1979, Chuck’s has been luring beachgoers with their certified Angus steaks and abundant salad bar—a winning combo, judging by the always-bustling dining room. The hunting lodge motif is the perfect setting for a sizzling steak dinner. Sip an expertly crafted classic martini while you wait for the main course.
Steak to try: Teriyaki sirloin.
Another small-town gem, Kelly’s hand cuts their steaks in house daily. That attention to detail has earned this old-school steakhouse, opened in 1960, a loyal following.
Steak to try: T-bone or New York strip.
For more than 40 years, this local institution has been the go-to place for steak in the Columbia area. Originally an Italian restaurant, the King family slowly added their own special touches, including the steak that put them on the map.
Steak to try: Aged ribeye.
This cozy, relaxing Upstate steakhouse is run by restaurant veterans who hand cut their steaks and grill them to perfection.
Steak to try: Hand-cut ribeye.
Another old timer, this charming restaurant has been serving up steaks in Tiger Town since 1971 and is considered a local tradition.
Steak to try: Filet mignon in a port wine reduction.
Race fans and locals make this their pit stop when the hunger monster strikes. The modest brick building is a landmark in Darlington and a favorite destination of NASCAR drivers when they are in town. While the hamburger steak is a house favorite, your eyes will pop at the size of those T-bones.
Steak to try: T-bone, of course.
This restaurant gets lots of love from locals—and for good reason. While fresh seafood is the main attraction, the steaks share star billing on the menu.
Steak to try: New York strip.