In 2011, Greenville, South Carolina was listed as the 6th best place to live in America by Relocate America. That honor is due, in no small part, to the amazing number of fantastic local restaurants that fill our fair city. In fact, Greenville is one of the “Tastiest Towns in the South”, according to Southern Living magazine.
I’m joining a group of bloggers from across the United States and Canada to spotlight the best restaurants in our various cities, as part of a Blog Hop presented by the Social Fabric community.
When I began to compile a list of favorite local restaurants in Greenville, SC, I enlisted the help of my husband, sister, and my mom and step-dad. Our combined list was quite long, but after much debate, we’ve narrowed it down to a good mix of our favorite locally owned restaurants.
Travinia Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar
Travinia is at the top of our restaurant list on date nights. Their contemporary Italian cuisine is unmatched by the other Italian restaurants we have tried. Travinia has extensive lunch and dinner menus and a gluten-free menu. The Classic Fettuccine Alfredo is my husband’s favorite, and I usually go for the Chicken Parmesan. The restaurant offers many lunch and dinner specials, such as 25% off bottled wines on Tuesdays, and 1/2 off specialty martinis on Wednesdays.
Travinia is located at 1625 Woodruff Road, Greenville, SC 29607. Visit Travinia’s website for full menus and information on specials.
Saskatoon – Steaks, Fish & Wild Game
If you’re looking for a unique taste of the Pacific Northwest, look no further than Saskatoon! This steakhouse offers fresh, cold-water salmon, clear river rainbow trout, wild game, such as elk, pheasant, and bear, and many other interesting tastes – emu and portabella mushrooms, to name a few. The dining room at Saskatoon has the feel of an authentic Northwest lodge, designed to give guests a “warm, friendly escape from the hectic city life!” Saskatoon offers paleo, low carb, and gluten-free dishes on their menu. The current specialty entrees include kangaroo and ostrich filets, with wild game sausage as the specialty appetizer. Definitely an interesting place to step away from your busy life and enjoy delicious food!
Saskatoon is located at 477 Haywood Road, Greenville, SC 29607. Visit Saskatoon’s website for full menus and information on specials.
The Peddler Steakhouse
The Peddler Steakhouse is a Greenville, South Carolina landmark! Established in 1969, this fabulous restaurant is located in a nearly 100 year old stone building and has been described as “Greenville’s most unique eating place”. I actually had my (first) wedding rehearsal dinner at The Peddler, more than a decade ago, and it was the perfect locale for hosting an event. The Peddler offers a wide selection of grilled specialties – steak, chicken, fish, and whole pork tenderloin. So delicious! I highly recommend this beautiful historic restaurant – you’ll be converted into a regular right away!
The Peddler Steakhouse is located at 2000 Poinsett Highway, Greenville, SC 29609. Visit The Peddler’s website for full menus and information on specials, receptions and catering.
Mike & Jeff’s BBQ
When I asked my step-dad his opinion of the best restaurants in Greenville, he immediately recommended Mike & Jeff’s BBQ. According to him, their BBQ pulled pork sandwiches and BBQ pork spare ribs are the best you’re ever likely to find in the Upstate of South Carolina… and this man loves his barbecue! The restaurant is very casual — stop by on a hot summer afternoon after walking the Swamp Rabbit Trail and enjoy a plate of excellent barbecue pork or chicken!
Mike & Jeff’s BBQ is located at 2401 Old Buncombe Road, Greenville, SC 29609. Visit Mike & Jeff’s BBQ’s website for their menu, specials and pricing.
Lieu’s Chinese Bistro
Lieu’s Chinese Bistro has the most amazing Chinese food! They were voted one of the ten best restaurants in Greenville by South Carolina Magazine in 2005, and their food and service back that vote up 100%. Lieu’s offers a wide selection of appetizers and lunch and dinner entrees. My favorite is their Ginger Chicken and Broccoli, while my husband prefers the Lieu’s Spicy Chicken. The dining room is classic and tasteful, and the service is prompt and friendly.
Lieu’s Chinese Bistro is located at 1149 Woodruff Road, Greenville, SC 29607. Visit Lieu’s Chinese Bistro’s website for full menus and wine list, plus information on catering and events.
The Swamp Rabbit Cafe & Grocery
The Swamp Rabbit Cafe & Grocery is an amazing place! The owners are committed to the community and this shows in every aspect of the cafe and grocery. Located just two miles from downtown Greenville, SC, just off the Swamp Rabbit Trail (for biking/running/walking), the restaurant and grocery are accessible by car, foot, or bike. The Swamp Rabbit Cafe provides high-quality, delicious baked goods and coffee and in the grocery, you will find that at least half of the inventory is grown within 150 miles of Greenville. That’s mighty impressive to me! The cafe’s menu offers a selection of sandwiches, muffins, soup & desserts – with vegan and vegetarian options! Eat great food while feeling great about supporting the Upstate South Carolina’s farmers!
The Swamp Rabbit Cafe & Grocery is located at 205 Cedar Lane Road, Greenville, SC 29611. Visit The Swamp Rabbit’s website for their menu and information about their weekly produce boxes, as well as community events and music!
The Lazy Goat
The Lazy Goat is a Mediterranean-themed locally owned restaurant located in one of the most beautiful spots in the heart of downtown Greenville, SC. From the outdoor dining patio, you can look out beyond the decorative waterfalls to the Reedy River and the Peace Center. The menu features influences from Spain, Morocco, Italy, France, Greece, Africa and the Middle East. Choose from wide selections of pasta, pizzas (I recommend the Tomato Mozz – yum!), “graze & nibble” platters, meats & cheeses, and entrees such as Braised Veal Short Ribs and Moroccan Chicken with Falafel Waffles. You can’t go wrong with so many fantastic dishes at your fingertips. The Lazy Goat’s motto is “time well wasted”, and it truly is!
The Lazy Goat is located at 170 Riverplace, Greenville, SC 29601. Visit The Lazy Goat’s website for their menus and wine list, as well as to make a reservation or plan a party.
Smoke on the Water
While you’re enjoying the beauty of downtown Greenville, stop in at Smoke on the Water and try their award-winning Pimento Cheeseburger! Smoke on the Water is a saucy Southern tavern with an expansive menu offering everything from barbecue brisket and specialty burgers to mouth-watering steaks and grilled chicken… not to mention salads, sides, and decadent desserts! Smoke on the Water has live entertainment and patio dining, so you can enjoy the beautiful summer weather downtown.
Smoke on the Water is located at 1 Augusta Street, Greenville, SC 29601. Visit Smoke on the Water’s website to check out their menu.
Ford’s Oyster House & Cajun Kitchen
Ford’s Oyster House & Cajun Kitchen serves up New Orleans classics in a laid-back and casual dining experience. The restaurant is located in the building that once housed the first Ford dealership in the Upstate of South Carolina. The menu includes Seafood Gumbo and Gator Po’ Boys on authentic Gambino’s bread, as well as Jambalaya, Oysters Rockefeller, and an array of sandwiches. Ford’s Oyster House & Cajun Kitchen has a kid’s menu – chicken fingers, corn dogs and fried shrimp in a basket of fries. Check out this beautiful piece of Greenville’s history & enjoy the most delicious Cajun food in Upstate South Carolina!
Ford’s Oyster House & Cajun Kitchen is located at 631 South Main Street, Greenville, SC 29601. Visit Ford’s Oyster House & Cajun Kitchen’s website to view the complete menu — don’t forget to check the calendar to see which live bands are playing on the weekends!
Monterrey’s Mexican Restaurant
Monterrey’s Mexican Restaurant is my favorite restaurant! Monterrey’s restaurants can be found throughout the South, but my favorite location is in Greenville. The food is absolutely wonderful – I have never tried a single dish that wasn’t fantastic! This is an excellent restaurant for kids — there is a kid’s menu, as well as corn tortilla chips/salsa con queso while you wait for your meal to arrive. Monterrey’s has draft beer on tap and the margaritas are amazing. When we ask the kids where they’d like to go for dinner, they say “Monterrey’s!” about 90% of the time — that’s a pretty great endorsement, I’d say!
Our favorite Monterrey’s Mexican Restaurant is located at 1813 Laurens Road, Greenville, SC 29607. Visit Monterrey’s Mexican Restaurant’s website for their menus or to find other locations.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about our family’s picks for the Best Restaurants in Greenville, South Carolina! Make sure to stay tuned — many of my fellow Social Fabric bloggers are compiling their city’s best restaurant lists and I’ll be posting the complete list in two weeks! So if you’re not a Greenville native, keep an eye out — chances are, your city is on the list that’s coming soon!