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Foodie near Clemson for the next 2 months...

Hi Chowhouds. I'm a Toronto-Chow transplated onto Lake Keowee for the next 2 months. Looking for some help for searching out the following if it actually exists in Clemson/Seneca. First, any suggestions on must gets/must try while I'm here? I've heard and will be picking up some Clemson Blue Cheese as it gets good reviews. Anything else?

What I'm looking for is a good bakery, and more specifically a bakery that makes good baguettes. So far, Bloom Markets has been my shopping destination, the produce is good, seafood is better than average and they stock a good number of organic and natural foods.

Am I missing anything?


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  1. It's been a few years since I graduated and left Clemson, but I know Sardi's Den is still there. It's a bit of a dive across the street from the Clemson Bi-Lo that has fantastic ribs and wings. Also Peppino's has great New York style pizza. If you're looking for a "nicer" restaurant Calhoun Corners is the way to go. And you're right, the Clemson Blue Cheese is a must.

    Sorry I can't really help with the Seneca side of things or the search for a good bakery. Enjoy your stay!

    1 Reply
    1. re: CU Tiger Fan

      We went to Clemson for the VT-Clemson game last fall and had a blast. What a great town. Had dinner one night at Calhoun Corners and everyone loved their meals and I was the table winner with their phenominal shrimp & grits.

    2. There is a goat cheese farm in Pendleton called Split Creek Farms. Their cheese are great, in particular the marinated goat feta and the chevre ball w/ almonds and apricots.

      Clemson/Seneca is not much of a dining destination, IMHO, Greenville not much better, but we do have a Whole Foods if you get over this way. Have fun.

      3 Replies
      1. re: danna

        I second Sardi's - it's wonderfully divey. I spend every Thanksgiving in Clemson with friends and we always go there. There is a little Asian joint in a little strip mall in Clemson. It's on the left on 123 as you're heading out of Clemson toward Senecca. I can't remember the name of it, but it's run by a woman from Taiwan - she does everything herself - and it's a real find. Definitely more authentic than anything else I've ever found in SC - I lived in Asia for a while. There are also some decent authentic Mexican places around. There used to be a nice little Thai restaurant which burned down some time ago, but last I heard they were rebuilding it.

        1. re: suse

          Sardi's sounds like the kind of place I'm looking for. Do they serve (decent) fish and chips? Greenville seems to be lacking in divey joints offering fish fries, a dining option that I took for granted in Cleveland, land of the Catholics.

          1. re: buckeye.mary

            I'm not sure if they have fish n chips, kind of doubt it - but I can't imagine that they would be fabulous if they did. Try the ribs - we always get chicken wings and potato skins and drinks.

      2. Along with their blue cheese, I hear Clemson-made ice cream is pretty fantastic. Though, I haven't had the chance to try it yet.

        I've only been to Super Taco once, but my burrito was great, and it's supposed to be the best Mexican in Clemson.

        For BBQ, we usually get Big Dave's, because it's the best we've found between Clemson (hubby's work) and Easley (home).

        1. No bakeries around here, sorry! There are a couple of good places in Central - Main St. Deli and a nice little Italian place, Villa Novella.

          In Clemson, I totally second Big Dave's for BBQ. And the Pot Belly Deli is excellent.

          2 Replies
          1. re: annemj

            Thanks! These are great...keep em coming and I'll do my best to check out some of the places.

            1. re: kmoore

              Since you'll be there for 2 months you may want to take a ride up to Walhalla one day and try the Steakhouse Cafeteria. The owner Abed makes awesome fried chicken if you don't mind some local cafeteria style eating. I also am a fan of the Clemson blue cheese as well so try it if you like blue. I have heard people complain about the local mexican joints but I have been to about all of them and thought most were rather good. I heard Pixie and Bills was good for something more upscale but never been. Columbo's Pizza joint has an inexpensive buffet on Thursday nights I beleive, good place to go if you feel like gorging yourself. Both Pepinos and Todaros downtown have decent pizzas. There is a Moe's downtown as well (chain) that is a good place to pick up a burrito for lunch. Also take a ride to the Galley Restaurant at Portman Marina one day, a nice view and some good eats. They also have a sushi place there now that I haven't been to yet but hopefully will when visiting that way soon. Seneca doensn't have much to offer, probably a couple good places that I can't think of at the moment. Charlie T's in Anderson is a college type joint with decent wings and a great lake view. If you find anyplace good during your stay please share!

              some links:


          2. My husband and I always try to make it to the Pot Belly Deli when we're in town for Clemson games. They have great sandwiches. I love the Greek roll-up and he always gets something with turkey, cranberry sauce, homemade honey mustard, and maybe dressing (basically a Thanksgiving sandwich). I went to Pixie and Bills many years ago and vaguely remember it as being good but expensive (for a college town). Definitely get some Clemson ice cream! I've never been, but I've heard good things about Peppinos (which others have mentioned). I don't know about bakeries, but there's probably something decent in the Seneca/Westminster/Walhalla downtown area.

            1. I am a Clemson Senior and a MAJOR Foodie so I can understand that finding good restaurants here is a major issue... My reccommendation is, for lunch, Main Street Deli in Central. They have terrific salads and sandwiches that are unique and in expensive. It also has a veyr "New York" interior, which is nice. For dinner, I recommend (VERY HIGHLY) -- Villa Novella, also located in Central, SC. It is a very small Italian restaurant featuring authentic dishes, prepared by a chef who trained in Italy. The food and delish and moderately priced! Try them both!

              1 Reply
              1. re: azuider

                One place not mentioned in above is the Blue Heron in Clemson..the best shrimp and grits. Calhoun Corners is slightly nicer atmosphere than BH and the sister restaurant Pixie&Bills (also good). I agree about Villa Novella..have been several times and its pretty good.
                Don't agree about any place in Walhalla (i.e., Steakhouse).
                And yes..we need more good restaurants in this area!

              2. Do you have a car while you're there? If so, drive north on Route 11 (Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway) toward Gaffney. Outside of Chesnee, there is a place called that sells the biggest and juiciest strawberries I've ever seen. Each one was as big as the palm of my hand that they were so sweet - it was amazing. And they're $11/gallon! They'll probably have peaches now as well and the drive through the orchards is quite beautiful. On the way up, right near Campobello there is a divey "meat & three" cafeteria that has the BEST fried chicken that I've ever eaten bar none. It's called something like the Depot - I know it has to do with trains, but for the life of me I can't remember the name. It's a $7 all you can eat lunch buffet. The sides were nothing to write home about, but the chicken and pulled pork were heaven. A bit of a drive from Clemson, but a really nice thing to do on a Saturday afternoon.

                1. Remember this post as you will thank me profusely after you go to Grits and Groceries in Belton, SC, about 20 miles from Clemson. The owners are two native South Carolinians who had success in the New Orleans food scene (he was Emeril's pastry chef at the NO restaurant), but they've moved back home to open a kinda sorta down home restaurant in an old, converted country store in the middle of nowhere. I heard one customer say, "I heard this place was country, but I just don't know which country". Read the bios and read the menu. Highly, highly, HIGHLY recommended. (Note: only open for breakfast and lunch.)


                  One more place - if you're in the Greenville area, Henry's Smokehouse has good bbq and wonderful hand cut fries and Pho Noodleville has some good Vietnamese.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Magic Pig

                    I do have to thank Magic Pig profusely for this post! I remembered it and made the trip to Grits and Groceries from Greenville based on this recommendation and it was fabulous! I can't thank you enough!