Clemson ranks in the top 10 among colleges for having the "happiest students," so it's no surprise that the food is up to par. From affordable, all-you-can-eat southern cuisine, to high-quality sushi and seafood platters, be sure to add these eleven best restaurants in Clemson, SC to your bucket list. 

1. When you want a cheap slice of pizza: Todaro's

pizza, crust, cheese, sauce, tomato, mozzarella
Anna Freund

If you're ever curious about this place, check out Dollar Slice Night to get the low down on what Todaro's is all about. Similar to a New York-style pizza joint, this is the best place to go for dinner or after a night of drinking downtown.

What to order: Cheese, peperroni, or white pizza by the slice (ricotta and mozzarella cheese with no sauce, great with chicken, broccoli, and/or spinach). 

Location: 105 Sloan St, Clemson, SC 29631

2. When you're sick of Starbucks: Moe Joe's Coffee Co. 

Tucked away behind Publix, Moe Joe's is the go-to coffee shop for great drinks, food, and people. It's no accident that you'll end up staying for all three meals in one day once you get acquainted. And if you're 21, this is the place to be on Saturday mornings before game day with $12 bottomless mimosas.

What to order: The Tillman Turkey sandwich (turkey, apple butter, and swiss cheese toasted on wheat bread) with the only and best frozen hot chocolate in Clemson.

Location: 385 Old Greenville Hwy, Clemson, SC 29631

3. If you're craving sushi: 356 Sushi & Martini Bar

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356, also known as "Club Numbers" to some at late night, is great when you want to stuff your face with sushi made by your peers. Monday is all-you-can-eat sushi night for just $13.99, and select sushi rolls are only $3.56 on Thursdays. Be sure to add their Thursday night wine tasting special to your bucket list this year.

What to order: Solé Roll—tuna, crab, shrimp, avocado, and cream cheese topped with crab salad.

Location: 366 College Ave, Clemson, SC 29631

4. If you want to brunch: SunnySide Café

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SunnySide is one of Clemson University's newest additions and has the best brunch in town. They are committed to locally-grown ingredients and serve gluten-free and vegan options. During the fall and spring their patio is the perfect place to gather with friends and family to start the day off right.

What to order: SunnySide breakfast special or shrimp and grits.

Location: 405 College Ave #120, Clemson, SC 29631

5. When you're hungover: Pot Belly Deli

bacon, egg, cheese, sandwich, bagel
Caroline Marwede

PBD will satisfy your cravings every morning—it's essential for the morning of game day or any kind of hangover. Don't skip out on the grilled blueberry muffin or any bagel breakfast sandwich. If you don't want to be waiting in line all morning, waking up early is highly recommended. 

What to order: Bacon, egg, and cheese on an everything bagel.

Location: 109 Wall St, Clemson, SC 29631

6. When you have the munchies at 2am: Cook Out

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A southern fast food staple, Cook Out satisfies everyone's late night munchies with their quick drive-thru and large servings for cheap. You can get a corn dog, chicken quesadilla, and a burger all in one meal. Oh, and did we mention their menu includes over 40 different milkshakes?

What to order: $5 Cook Out Tray, no question. 

Location: 1055 Tiger Blvd, Clemson, SC 29631

7. If you're 21 and it's a Thursday Night: Wingin' It

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If you're wanting a great place to pregame before Thursday night festivities begin, Wingin' It serves $6 liquor pitchers till 8 pm. These pitchers are great for sharing with friends, or—if you're feeling confident—it's equivalent to four drinks all to yourself. Wingin' It is also home to the beloved jet-fuel machine, making it one of your game day headquarters this fall.

What to order: $6 Liquor Pitcher

Location: 359 College Ave, Clemson, SC 29631

8. When you're craving authentic Mexican: El Jimador Mexican Restaurant

El Jim is the place to be any night of week. With its authentic atmosphere and salt-rimmed margaritas, you'll want to stay until close. Known for the sweet white dipping sauce and salsa served with chips, your stomach will immediately be satisfied upon arrival. Any entree you order will leave you full for the rest of the night, and if you order their queso you're guaranteed to fall into a food coma the minute you get home.

What to order: Any combination—I personally go with #18, which includes a burrito, quesadilla, beans, and rice.   

Location: 1062 Tiger Blvd, Clemson, SC 29631

9. When you want to celebrate taco and tequila Tuesday: Loose Change

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Loose is everyone's go to lunch and dinner spot downtown because of their daily specials and famous zucchini fries. Taco and Tequila Tuesdays are the most popular days, and it's the best place to eat before going out for the night.

What to order: $6 Liquor Pitcher

Location: 359 College Ave, Clemson, SC 29631

10. When your parents are visiting: Blue Heron Restaurant and Sushi Bar  

One of Clemson University's fancier establishments, Blue Heron features high-quality sushi and seafood platters. All meals are provided with complimentary bread and butters that will have you asking for more. 

What to order: Char-grilled filet mignon or the blackened atlantic salmon.

Location: 405 College Ave #130, Clemson, SC 29631

11. If you want the best barbecue in Upstate: Smoking Pig

Only open Thursday through Saturday, Smoking Pig packs their restaurant at all hours of the day. Even though your wait may be 30 minutes or longer during peak hours, the atmosphere of community and the smell of barbecue will make your wait worthwhile. You'll never leave this place without a full stomach and happy heart. 

What to order: Pulled pork plate with two sides. I suggest the fried okra and sweet potato fries topped with powdered sugar and honey.

Location: 6630 Clemson Blvd, Pendleton, SC 29670