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Help Yourself to South Carolina’s Freshest, Tastiest Burgers

Libby Wiersema Libby Wiersema
Libby Wiersema lived in California and Alabama before settling in South Carolina 35 years ago, where she's covered the state's best culinary offerings and tells the stories behind the food.
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Man holding cheeseburger
Getting your hands on a great burger is an easy feat in South Carolina.

While there has always been disagreement about who first sandwiched a ground beef patty between sliced bread, most everyone agrees it was a delicious and brilliant idea. The evolution of the hamburger is also the evolution of the American fast-food industry, which popularized the sandwich and permanently ingrained it in our culinary landscape.

Though we’re far more famous for shrimp and grits, make no mistake about it, South Carolinians love a good burger as much as any red-blooded American.

Ready to indulge your hamburger hankering? Here are some of the state’s best burger destinations, each featuring fresh beef and fixings:


Pimento cheeseburger at Rockaway
The pimento cheeseburger enjoys rockstar status at Rockaway Athletic Club in Columbia.

1720 Burger Bar, Florence
Best burger bet: The Pittsburgher, with provolone, grilled peppers and onions, house-cut fries and shaved rib-eye on sourdough

Henry’s Restaurant and Bar, Columbia (multiple locations)
Best burger bet: Henry’s Signature Burger, with Dijon mustard-infused white cheddar, sauteed mushrooms and onion

Pawleys Front Porch, Columbia
Best burger bet: The Sullivan’s, with grilled pineapple, guacamole, citrus jalapeño mayonnaise, lettuce, tomato, red onion and pepper jack cheese

Rockaway Athletic Club, Columbia
Best burger bet: Pimento Cheese Burger, with renowned, house-made pimento cheese

Burger with bacon, onion, tomato, lettuce, cheese from Whiteford's.
Have both hands free – and room in your belly – for the giant cheeseburger at Whiteford’s Drive-in.

Joe’s Grill, Darlington
Best burger bet: House Burger, with mayo, lettuce, tomato, pickle and onion

Bill's Grill Cafe, Patrick
Best burger bet: Chesterfield County can't get enough of these old-fashioned burgers that come every which way: with pimento cheese, topped like a pizza, layered with bacon and cheese, and double- or triple-stacked. 

Burgers and Barley, Rock Hill
Best burger bet: The Daredevil, with roasted poblano cream sauce, jalapeño frites, chipotle mayo, lettuce, tomato and red onion on a brioche bun

Whiteford's Giant Burger, Laurens
Best burger bet: It's all about Whiteford's Giant Burger - made-to-order with all your favorite fixings.

Grand Strand

Psychoburger on plate
You'd be crazy not to try the Psychoburger at Pawleys Island Tavern.

Hamburger Joe's, Myrtle Beach (multiple locations)
Best burger bet: Straightforward, simple no-frills joint serving fresh-from-the-grill burgers most any way you please 

Joey Doggs and Burgers, Surfside Beach
Best burger bet: Double Bacon Cheeseburger, with two patties, crispy bacon and cheese

Pawleys Island Tavern, Pawleys Island
Best burger bet: Psychoburger, with pimento cheese, chili, sauteed onions, bacon, jalapeños, coleslaw, over-easy egg and hot sauce

River City Café, Grand Strand (multiple locations)
Best burger bet: Banana Pepper Burger, with fried banana peppers, lettuce, tomato and chipotle mayo

Charleston Area

Husk cheeseburger
The Husk cheeseburger is expertly charred to maintain juiciness and heighten flavor.

Husk, Charleston
Best burger bet: There’s only one burger at Husk, an artisan creation with two patties – a blend of chuck and bacon – two slices of American cheese, steamed white onion, house-made bread and butter pickles and a special sauce on a toasty buttermilk and sesame seed bun

Little Jack’s Tavern, Charleston
Best burger bet: Double Tavern Burger, with two 4-ounce half-chuck, half-brisket patties, sunchoke relish, American cheese and special sauce on a house-made, sesame seed bun

Moe’s Crosstown, Charleston (multiple locations)
Best burger bet: BLT Burger, with fried tomato, bacon, fresh mozzarella, pesto mayo and mixed greens

Poe’s Tavern, Sullivan’s Island
Best burger bet: Pit & Pendulum, with applewood-smoked bacon and cheddar cheese


Plate with cheeseburger, onion rings and fries
The Chili-Cheese A-Plenty is the Beacon’s crowning glory.

BGR the Burger Joint, Clemson
Best burger bet: The Clemson, with house-made pimento cheese, bacon, red onion and mojo sauce

Beacon Drive-In, Spartanburg
Best burger bet: Hands-down, the Chili-Cheese A-Plenty - a chili-cheeseburger sided with a heap of crunchy onion rings and french-fries

Grill Marks, Greenville
Best burger bet: Low Country, with pimento cheese, fried green tomato, coleslaw and lettuce

Ike’s Korner Grill, Spartanburg
Best burger bet: Chili-Cheese Burger, with mustard, house-made chili and onions

Northgate Soda Shop, Greenville
Best burger bet: Chris Evan’s Burger, with bacon, cheese and fried egg

Northwest Grill, Travelers Rest
Best burger bet: House Burger, with a ½-pound patty and your favorite accompaniments

NuWay Restaurant & Lounge, Spartanburg
Best burger bet: Redneck Burger, with lettuce, tomato, onion, chili, mustard, mayo, ketchup and pimento cheese

Libby Wiersema
Libby Wiersema lived in California and Alabama before settling in South Carolina 35 years ago, where she's covered the state's best culinary offerings and tells the stories behind the food.