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:
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
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.
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
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
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