It’s way too easy to get stuck eating out at the same places, especially when those restaurants have a drive-thru. It gets even easier to get stuck in a fast-food rut when you live in a small college town like Clemson, SC. In this article, I’ve compiled a list of five local restaurants to spice up your eating-out routine.


clemson restaurants

Photo by Janna Hughes

Located on Highway 76 going towards Anderson, Columbo’s is an “off the beaten path” kind of place. With all the pizza options we have in Clemson, there’s one thing that puts Columbo’s above the rest: deep dish. They also have subs, pasta, and fresh salads, and specials to help you save a few $$$’s. Oh yeah, and they claim to make the biggest pizza in the world.

Yolk Asian Kitchen

clemson restaurants

Photo by Jared Rothell

It’s actually possible to get good Korean food in upstate South Carolina? Yes, yes it is. Yolk is located on Tiger Boulevard (Highway 123) in the same shopping center as everyone’s favorite sushi and hibachi restaurant, Tokyo. They have a selection of curated rice bowls you can choose from, or you can pick and choose ingredients to make your own. They also sell Kimchi and Asian ginger-ale made in house. 

Bake & Cook Thai Restaurant

clemson restaurants

Photo courtesy of Bake & Cook Thai Restaurant on

If you’re craving something spicy, Bake & Cook is the place for you. Located in the same shopping center as the wildly popular SunnySide Cafe, Bake & Cook offers authentic Thai dishes at various spice levels, so even the wimpiest eater can find something on their menu.

Pot Belly Deli

clemson restaurants

Photo courtesy of Pot Belly Deli on

Pot Belly Deli is definitely a Clemson favorite…if you know how to find it. Located behind the Dunkin’ Donuts on Tiger Boulevard (their official address is 109 Wall Street), you won’t find this place unless you’re looking for it. However, I think you should look for it. They’re serving up fresh baked pastries, bagel sandwiches, salads, subs and even burritos.

Paw’s Diner

clemson restaurants

Photo courtesy of Paw’s Diner on

Located just up Highway 123 in Seneca (only 2.3 miles from Death Valley), I had never even heard of Paw’s until my junior year. The first time I visited, I was hooked. “Meat and two” plus a sweet tea for under $7? It was my broke, southern girl’s dream. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, all at very fair prices. Only downside: they’re closed on Sunday’s.