Although there’s more than one Greenville (in fact, 48 states are home to a city or town of the same name), only one is dubbed one of the “South’s Best Foodie Cities” and “Best Up and Coming Food Destinations.” From authentic Italian cuisine to southern style steak houses, here are 20 reasons why a visit to Greenville, South Carolina will leave you with a full stomach and a happy heart.
1. Ink N Ivy
American cuisine with an elegant twist, Ink N Ivy is best known for its raw and fresh seafood, certified angus steak, cool cocktails and both local and international craft beers. For lunch or brunch, or an edgy date night or late night out, Ink N Ivy has a place for everyone with three floors of space, including one of the only and most unique garden rooftops in Greenville.
This Mediterranean style restaurant is best known for its food made from scratch with Spanish, Moroccan, Italian, French, Greek, African, and Middle Eastern influences. Enjoy house made drinks or private dining events in this relaxing and scenic environment overlooking the Reedy River and Greenville’s gorgeous west end.
Located in the heart of Greenville, Tupelo Honey is a southern staple with a touch of Asheville, NC. They have all your favorite old family dishes with a few unexpected ingredients. Be sure to stop by this summer to try their new watermelon salad, southern shrimp taco, or s’mores cake.
Aged steaks, fresh fish, and old wine make Larkin’s on the River the ultimate white-tablecloth dining destination in the Upstate. Add their Thursday night Bourbon and Beef Dinner to your summer bucket list or enjoy a Sunday brunch on the Reedy River shore.
It’s no surprise that this is one of OpenTable’s Diner’s Choice winners. The eclectic atmosphere of this 1800s renovated cotton mill pairs perfectly with their new south cuisine. Plus, they have over 500 wine selections and so not surprisingly a Wine Spectator Magazine winner for the past eight years. We’ll drink to that!
Three words: sweet potato cake. Need we say more? You can also choose from coconut cake, pineapple cake, chocolate cake (or gooey German chocolate cake), carrot cake, paddy cake, or strawberry cake to satisfy your sweet tooth craving.
This saucy southern tavern is Greenville’s hub for classic, southern style barbecue and People & Places’ best pimento cheeseburger. Located between main street and Falls Park, it’s the perfect location for brunch or a fun night out on the town.
8. Grill Marks
This isn’t your regular, boring old burger joint. Grill Marks brings the classic American dish to the next level with their signature burgers of the week like “Papa Don’t Peach” and “My Big Fat Greek Burger.” Be sure to top off your dining experience with their truffle fries or one of their monster-sized milkshakes.
Nose Dive is Greenville’s relaxed, refined, and casual gastropub with an array of urban comfort food. The name perfectly sums up this creative and modern culinary environment: “nose” for the first sense involved with food, smell, and dive, “a rare place where high and low rub elbows—bums and poets, thieves and slumming celebrities. It’s a place that wears its history proudly.”
High quality bar and food ingredients, a full breakfast buffet seven days a week, and the best dinner view of main street, what more could you ask for?
One of the best Italian restaurants in Greenville, this family style brick oven cafe is best known for its gourmet, wood-fired pizzas with their famous homemade pasta and sauce. Immerse yourself in the Italian culture by choosing from over 25 wines from the glass surrounded by an eclectic atmosphere of rustic brick walls and handcrafted glass lanterns.
12. Rick Erwin’s
This award winning steakhouse that’s locally born and locally owned has four locations in Greenville so that you can experience fine dining in a location that’s convenient for you. Enjoy a fancy night out at any of their downtown locations, or go for a more casual lunch with house made sandwiches, salads, and more at the Rick Erwin’s Deli & Market.
13. Trappe Door
Belgian beers, mussels and waffles, oh my.
Put Greenville’s best Middle Eastern restaurant on your bucket list, and enjoy half off bottles of wine on the patio surrounded by Iranian artwork.
Coffee house by day and comedy club by night. Grab a fresh, house-made coffee or pastry on the go, or enjoy their full breakfast, sandwiches, appetizers, smoothies, and more in this cozy atmosphere.
Located off the Swamp Rabbit trail, this locally grown and locally made grocery and café offers fresh beverages, pastries, and lunch. Take a break on your walk or bike for a snack, Taco Tuesday, or a cooking class!
Passerelle, which means “footbridge” in French, perfectly describes this bistro nestled beside The Liberty Bridge overlooking Falls Park. Feast on your favorite French cuisine like Ratatouille, mussels, Cassoulet, and wine with breathtaking views of Greenville’s Reedy River.
18. Green Lettuce
Greenville’s Green Lettuce boasts incredible Mediterranean cuisine with freshdishes like avocado salad, lentil soup, kebabs, kebab plates, baklava, and other Persian goodness.
You’ve never had brunch if you’ve never been to Mary’s. This is where classic southern food meets elegance for weddings, graduation, corporate events, and, of course, brunch or lunch. Soak in the gorgeous views of Mary’s garden overlooking Falls Park while enjoying maple walnut pumpkin break french toast, gourmet chicken salad, or the grilled salmon.
20. Biscuit Head
Last, but certainly not least, put some south in your mouth with Greenville’s brand new Biscuit Head. Choose from one of their house made gravies—I recommend the chorizo sweet potato coconut or fried chicken gravies—to add to your regular or gluten free biscuit. Plus, everything is compostable or recyclable. Go green, go biscuits, go Greenville!