The largest and fastest-growing city in upstate South Carolina, Greenville has many great restaurants. Take a break from your tour of the many museums, galleries and shopping that the city has to offer, and take your pick from the best restaurants in Greenville.
American Grocery Restaurant serves refined, seasonal cuisine in an intimate, upmarket setting, with a custom wine room of over 100 wines from around the world. Pair with the inventive dishes here, made with locally and regionally sourced ingredients. Highlights of a regularly changing menu include cornbread-encrusted trout, salt crusted grass-fed rib-eye steak and venison with baby Swiss chard.
Breakwater updates classic ‘old school’ South Carolina dishes with its own unique twists, creating an inventive menu that has a strong seasonal emphasis. Classic examples of low country cuisine include the South Carolina staple of pimento cheese and the Breakwater burger. The Carolina coast is also represented by dishes such as traditional fried oysters and pan-fried, sushi-grade tuna.
If Dark Corner Distillery’s claim that it is home to the world’s best moonshine doesn’t entice you, nothing will. The range of spirits on offer draw inspiration from those distilled by the original Greenville County moonshiners in the Glassy Mountain Township 175 years ago, albeit with a slight twist. In addition to more traditional moonshine, such as Lewis Richmond hand mash and special moonshine corn whiskey, the distillery offers blends such as apple-achian shine and Carolina peach shine. Try in the tasting room and bar in the back; buy from the gift shop out front.
Larkin's on the River, Greenville | Courtesy The Lazy Goat
Known locally for its excellent service and romantic ambience, Larkin’s On The River has a menu that is upscale traditional American; specialties including filet mignon, crab soup and shrimp and grits. Take advantage of the outdoor seating area when there is a performance on at the TD Bank amphitheater adjacent to the restaurant for a ringside seat with your meal. Larkin’s also hosts the weekly outdoor beach music concert series Rhythm on the River during the summer months.
The Lazy Goat offers fresh Mediterranean cuisine in the west end of the city, taking influences from Spain, Morocco, Italy, France and the Middle East. Unsurprisingly, the menu is substantial, spanning pizza and pasta to Moroccan lamb and Atlantic swordfish. Split across two levels, the interior mixes classic and contemporary Mediterranean style and has lots of light thanks to large windows.
A food truck without wheels, Papi’s Taco‘s simple menu serves tacos, tortas, and dips crafted from traditional recipes handed down through generations of Papi’s family. The traditional Mexican street food is made using fresh ingredients, with taco fillings that include shrimp, vegetarian, pork, chicken and steak and salsa that’s handmade on the premises. Papi’s gelato bar is a real treat too, with traditional flavours such as vanilla bean and those with a twist, such as Mexican chocolate.
The Peddler Steakhouse is one of Greenville’s most popular restaurants, sitting outside of the main Greenville dining district, but worth the visit due to its historic surroundings and high-quality steak. The property was originally built as the residential home of the Floyd family in 1916 and it still the traditional stone brickwork and wooden shutters. Make sure you’re hungry when you visit; portions are generous.
A must for all barbecue fans, Smoke On The Water offers traditional, perfectly cooked barbecue food including beef brisket, pulled pork, baby back ribs and the award-winning pimento cheeseburger. As a local favorite, Smoke on Water gets busy and it is worth calling ahead to secure a table. The well-stocked bar is a lively place to be at happy hour, and the outdoor seating area has regular live music. Sony’s Soby’s uses fresh, local ingredients to create contemporary dishes with Old South influences. The restaurant has a selection of dishes that showcase ‘southern taste’, such as fried green tomatoes and bacon mac and cheese to accompany its New South dishes, which include antebellum shrimp and bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin. The building itself previously housed a cotton exchange, grocery store, bicycle and shoe store and it has retained some of its historical character by leaving the brickwork, hardwood floors and wooden beams intact.
The Trappe Door takes its inspiration from Belgium, with over 150 different Belgian beers and traditional Belgian-inspired food. As with most Belgian restaurants, The Trappe Door’s specialty is moules frites,with six different mussel stocks to choose from, including mariniere and Provençale. Look out for periodic “all you can eat” moules frites nights too. The restaurant sits beneath Barley’s Taproom, and this subterranean setting means a snug ambiance, with low ceilings, exposed brick walls and wooden features that give it a Belgian gastropub feel.