If you’re headed to South Carolina, make sure that Simpsonville is on your itinerary. A short drive from Greenville, Simpsonville is a hub of independent restaurants offering authentic South American and Mexican cuisine. For your next American road trip, be sure to checkout The Culture Trip’s list of the 10 best restaurants in Simpsonville.
If home-style dining is your thing, then the Coach House Restaurant should be at the top of your list. This family-friendly restaurant has been feeding Simpsonville residents for over 20 years. Diners go for the relaxed atmosphere and traditional Southern plates, including fried farm-raised catfish and Philly cheesesteaks, as well as triple decker sandwiches, fresh specialty salads (sesame pecan chicken is great) and homey pot roasts. The colossal lunch and dinner menu, not forgetting the all-day breakfast, makes choosing rather difficult. Owners Johnny and Spiro are welcoming and helpful, plus children under the age of 10 eat for free.
Restaurant interior | Courtesy of Stella’s Southern Bistro
Stella’s Southern Bistro
Opened in 2008 by husband and wife team Jason and Julia Scholz who have a wealth of industry experience between them, Stella’s Southern Bistro believes in creating wholesome meals with locally sourced produce. Largely influenced by the Carolina coast and the American South, the bistro offers stylish upgrades to classic dishes, shrimp and grits, Stella’s macaroni and cheese, duo of Carolina quail and buttermilk fried okra, that are finely executed and well presented. The ideal balance between upscale and casual, diners love the easy-going elegance that Stella’s brings to Simpsonville.
Casual dinner stop or takeout joint, El Tejano Mexican Restaurant is one of Simpsonville’s most popular resturants. Using recipes passed down from her grandmother, owner Rosie serves fresh and tasty Mexican dishes, such as shrimp fajitas, bean and cheese dip, or spinach quesadilla with spiced rice. The atmosphere is warm and convivial, with snappy service and as many warm chips with homemade salsa as your stomach can handle. This more-the-merrier restaurant comes out on top for authentic Mexican food at very reasonable prices.
Located on Grandview Drive near the center of town, ARIZONA Handcrafted Fare & Drink Co. is a Southwestern bar and grill with flair. The menu is eclectic and indulgent, with dishes such as homemade stuffed meatloaf with Yukon gold mashed potatoes, whiskey and cola marinated strip steak, blackened mahi-mahi BLT, and buffalo chicken curly skins. All sauces and dressings are made from scratch, the Midwestern-farmed beef is tenderized in house and the burgers are hand-ground daily. ARIZONA’s brings the party to Simpsonville with themed nights such as Sangria Saturday’s and live music events featuring regional acts.
Uncle Berto’s Burritos is a Simpsonville institution. Fans of classic Mexican flavors will love the large helpings and relaxed atmosphere. Chile relleno (a poblano pepper stuffed with cheese), California gorditas (tortilla filled with cheese, lettuce, tomato and guacamole with sour cream), tortas (a Mexican sandwich with tomato, beans, chipotle peppers and more) and special combination meals are a snippet of the authentic dishes on the menu. Uncle Berto’s traditional guacamole is made fresh every few hours, and the chips to go with it are gluten-free.
Inspired by Cuba‘s exotic cuisine, Mad Cuban Café does sandwiches like nowhere else in Simpsonville. Amongst the delicious creations are pan con lechon, a 12-hour slow-roasted pork marinated in ‘mojo’ dressing or the ‘Cuban Gone Bananas,’ thinly sliced beef steak with plantain (their bestseller). Regulars say the Cuban flavors are spot on and great value for money, and the hospitality excellent to boot. In short, a real Havana gem.
Using the flavorful and tender Boston pork butt, which is slow cooked for 12 hours over hickory logs, Henry’s Smokehouse has a firm reputation as Simpsonville’s best BBQ joint. The traditional hand-pulling techniques may take time, but Henry’s believes that this (and the top-notch quality pork they use) is the secret ingredient to a winning barbecue menu. Highlights include the hog barbecue sandwich, three-way plate (skinless chicken, pork, 1/4 rack of ribs with pickles and Texas toast bread) and Henry’s full rack of ribs.
Exchange Co. is a locally owned café and bake shop offering delicious handcrafted coffee and baked goods, including an extensive gluten-free menu. Run by the husband-wife team Michael and Roxanne Bacaro, Exchange Co. was launched as part of a successful Kickstarter campaign to support the adoption and foster care progress in South Carolina. Enjoy one of the barista-made specialities such as café con leche, chai latte or hibiscus tea in the inviting and relaxed space. For something to eat, choose one of their freshly baked cakes and cookies or crêpes (try the strawberry cheesecake version). Giving a portion of revenue to local organizations that help with child support, Exchange Co. is a coffee shop with heart.
Family business Southern Catch Seafood Restaurant is Simpsonville’s premier fish restaurant. Wanting to offer a more intimate dining experience than your usual chain, the Parker clan founded the restaurant in 2013 and great success has followed since. With an emphasis on traditional Southern plates, ‘the fish house’ caters to the entire family with their extensive range of seafood meals. Popcorn shrimp, fried crawfish tails, stuffed crab, and fish tacos are just some of the delights you can expect from the menu.
Neighborhood Italian and Greek restaurant Napoli Pizzeria brings a taste of the Mediterranean to Simpsonville. The wide variety of dishes, which, in their words, is sure ‘to satisfy even the pickiest palate,’ and easy-going atmosphere makes Napoli a winner with both locals and passersby. Try the strombolis (homemade dough stuffed with three toppings of your choice and mozzarella), veal parmesan casserole, lobster ravioli as well as fresh garden salads and speciality pizzas. Napoli also specializes in Greek favorites, including souvlaki, gyros and spanakopita.