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Greenville SC restaurants

Going to Greenville over the July 4th week. Any suggestions on restuarants or bars I need to visit. My wife and I love food and woulkd like to find a place with outdoor seating with a great wine list.

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  1. There is a wine shop downtown (Northhampton Wines) that opened a restaurant a few years ago. I haven't made it in yet. It's expensive, and seems a bit formal, but I hear it's good, and I know they have an outdoor patio. You can order anything from the shop w/ a $10 corkage. I think that would be by far the best wine "list" in town.

    Will you be in the downtown area? I'll try to offer some other suggestions if I know where you are. Greenville is very scenic, but not the greatest food town.

    1. My wife tells me we will be on the west end. I am not familiar with Greenville at all. Thanks for the recommendation we look forward to it, I understand Greenville is a beautiful city.

      1. Sorry can't help that much other than to say Greenville is a chain restaurant city. It has about any chain you've ever wanted. When we've visited looking for restaurants albeit not upscale (travelling with soccer kids), you can't find anything. Have the chains driven out independent restauranteurs?

        3 Replies
        1. re: catsailor

          No, the chains haven't driven out the independents - the desires of the populace have brought in the chains. The vast majority could care less about what they eat, and chains are just fine with them...chains are special occasion restaurants for many. And when people DO try to move upscale from the chains, they tend to want "fine dining". That's why you see all the "upscale" joints downtown that have beautiful surroundings and ambitions menus, and disappointing food. There is practically nothing in the category of high quality, creative, casual dining - which would be my preference and sounds like yours.

          For the OP , a few more ideas:

          Oysters on the WEst End - casual oyster bar with a nice enough roof top and decent , although not stellar, raw bar offerings.

          Chicora Alley - no outdoor, but a huge window that opens over the park. If you can get one of those tables it's very nice. Casual place, decent Mex-Carribean food.

          Solid Jamaican but no outdoor - Island Blend

          ap: where is the outdoor seating at O ?

          1. re: danna

            Hey Danna!

            O's outdoor seating is on the right side of the building if you are facing the entrance. It's on the side with the entrance into the Carolina First Lobby. Only about 9-12 tables or so. The live music (on Th) usually sets up outside of the actual seating area - so it's not cramped up by that.

            1. re: ap65065

              Oh, the area that Two Chefs uses during the day. Interesting.

        2. Maybe it's the stars in my eyes as I'm 9 months new to Greenville, but I find it to be an excellent dining city and quite the opposite of a "chain restaurant city". There are areas outside of downtown with something for everyone (ie chains) but you won't find that downtown.

          The West End is walkable to all of downtown Greenville, so that's a bonus or there is a trolley that runs end-to-end on Main, for a lift.

          My first choice for all 3 of your requirements (great food, great wine, outdoor seating) would be Restaurant O (located in the Poinsett Hotel). Spectacular young chef, the food is upscale american (great oysters, duck confit, steaks, etc), and they have a small outdoor patio. If you are in town the whole week, I would recommend Thursday night - they have live music outside. They also do a $35 prix fixe menu every night, in addition to their regular menu. Great wine list. Personable staff.

          Second choice with all 3 requirements would be Soby's. It's Southern "bistro" and the menu items rotate pretty regularly. Some are really good, some are underwhelming. Good wine list and a really nice outdoor area right on Main Street - so fun people watching.

          3rd choice would be Larkin's on the River, based on the requirements. Personally, I think the steak is the only thing on the menu that can be considered great food - but they have a large outdoor patio and a good wine list.

          Couple of other options:
          Great food, great wine, no outdoor: Devereaux's (upscale american, great chef, creative, uses a lot of organic ingredients).

          Good food, great wine, no outdoor: Rick Irwin's Steakhouse (upscale steakhouse)

          Good food, good wine, no outdoor: The Cazbah (tapas)

          Enjoy your time in Greenville!

          6 Replies
          1. re: ap65065

            Anybody been to the new High Cotton on the river downtown? The one in Charleston is a fixture of the penisula dining scene, but, of course, that's no guarantee of quality here.

            1. re: Jeff C.

              my bosses have both gone and been unimpressed. in particular they mentioned the service being lousy, so perhaps the food ok. I haven't tried it yet. sorry.

              I never tried the one is Charleston either. Do you like it?

              I GOT PUMPKINS TICKETS!!!!! ahem, pardon me. Now I must decide where one dines prior to the coolest show ever.

              1. re: danna

                my wife ate at Soby's recently and loved it. she was there on a conference and most of the people she talked to enjoyed their meals.

                for thai, try lemongrass.

                1. re: danna

                  danna did you get tix to the Asheville shows??? I live here and was unable to get tickets...believe me i was persistent. Have a great time at the show!

                  1. re: bethd127

                    Yep, the first night at the Orange Peel. perhaps you should try again. right now.

                    I'm thinking Zambra has the most rock-n-roll vibe...plus I'm going to wear something funky, so Grove Park is out (just kidding, i wouldn't go there anyway) Or maybe Rosetta's kitchen if I go REALLLLY funky.

                  2. re: danna

                    I have not been to either High Cotton, either. Most of my friends and former co-workers in Charleston seem to think it is pretty solid if increasingly (high end) touristy.

              2. There are numerous really good restaurants in Greenville. My absolute fav is Trattoria Georgiou's on Main St. They typically close for a week in the summer - hopefully they will be open when you are there. Georgiou is from Bergamo Italy and the food is excllent. Also go to North Hampton Wines / Cafe for a phenomenal dining experience. For a casual lunch - try Two Chefs - everything is yummy. Soby's is interesting southern food with a twist - not my fav - but a local favorite.
                Go to Stax Omega for breakfast ( there are several Stax's restaurants.) There is another newer restaurant on Woodruff Road by the Whole Foods - I think it's called Saphire's or Saphire Blue? You will have many choices without having to visit a chain restaurant.
                For middle eastern food - I love the Pita House on Pleasantburg. If you like falafel, gyro's, lamb, hummus - etc - you will love this casual and family owned spot.
                There is also a yummy sushi place right off Main Street - and I've totally forgotten the name - Tsunami? Enjoy - oh and for coffee and dessert - go to Coffee Underground.
                Bon Appetit

                2 Replies
                1. re: shebenn

                  Oh my God, I just started to drool thinking of the breakfast at Stax...I've been gone from Greenvillle for over three years, but I still miss late nights and early mornings there!

                  1. re: Suzy Q

                    I've recently started to discover the wonderful restaurants in G'ville! Soby's has an excellent (and not too pricey) Sunday brunch. Trio is fun downtown for a great pizza. O is great for a late night drink- really cool upscale bar.