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Best places to eat in South Carolina?

I'm going to be in SC for about 2 weeks crisscrossing the entire state traveling and visiting various family (and doing a little relaxing too). Would love to know a few of the best of the best around the state - everything from dives to fine dining. I don't mind driving out in the middle of nowhere for some good bar-b-cue either. So I'm looking for any and everything here - but hopefully just the best of the best.


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  1. What parts of the state will you be visiting?

    1. For a killer experience, stop in at the Mennonite restaurant for lunch near Blackville. It is a typical meat and three joint, but how many times are you able to have a nice meatloaf and sides under the watchful eye of a Mennonite family? In the adjoining store, they sell their fresh bread that is made on-site daily. When I'm in the area, I like to stock up on that stuff (it keeps in the freezer). Just up the road (north about 5 miles -- ask at any gas station) is a historical marker marking "Healing Springs", or "God's Little Acre." This is natural spring water that is rumored to have curative powers and people flock from all over SC to fill up water bottles there. It makes for an awesome afternoon.

      1. Don't miss "Grits and Groceries" in Belton, SC


        1. If you are visiting Charleston, here are my suggestions:
          Johns Island: Fat Hen - French restaurant, best fried seafood in town. Good wine and beer selection, wonderful specials and of course the Sunday brunch is also a sure bet.
          Mt. Pleasant: Landgon's, get the grouper, it's fantastic
          Red Drum - fish tacos and chicken enchilada's
          Downtown Charleston: Anson, get the crispy flounder;
          Basil - anything is good, trust me
          Monza - pizza
          Chai's - Tapas, get the angus mini burgers and rock shrimp
          Sullivan's Island: Poe's, get a burger and fries and a cold beer
          West Ashley: Al Di La, Italian...make a reservation if you want to eat. get the fig app, pork shoulder, pork tenderloin and usually the specials are great.
          Folly Beach: Taco Boy, Mexican - same owners as Poe's
          James Island: Club Fez, Moroccan

          1. if you get to georgetown, eat at the Rice Paddy on Front St. Open for either lunch or dinner...5 star.

            1. McCabe's BBQ in Manning. It is located on Hwy 301 going North out of town. It is a name often tossed around as the best BBQ in the state. Many "in the know" consider it better than Sweatman's. As with all of the best BBQ joints it is all still cooked the old fashion way over coals is only open Thur., Fri, and Sat. (just lunch on Sat.). They also generally take a week's vacation in the summer so I'd call to make sure they're open just in case.

              1. Sweatmans BBQ in Holly Hill, still the best. Whole hog. Only open Friday and Saturday 11:00 till 8:00 or so.

                4 Replies
                1. re: wagonwheel

                  It's not even second best.

                  Best: Scott's, near Hemingway

                  Second: McCabes

                  1. re: Cpt Wafer

                    I would agree...the meat is good but I just don't like how they serve it and I don't like their sauce.

                    1. re: GrillMaster

                      Like the old boy says, that's why they make chocolate, vanilla and strawberry.

                  2. re: wagonwheel

                    Love Sweatman's and some of the other places folks have mentioned. I've gotta mention Brown's BBQ in Kingstree - still my favorite after all these years.

                  3. Agree about Sweatman's in Holly Hill and Poes on Sullivan's Island.

                    Hit up Jack's Cosmic Dogs and SeeWee's in Awendaw.

                    Prossers BBQ in Murrells Inlet.

                    1. If you are going to be in Spartanburg, you have to go to The Beacon Drive-In (downtown at corner of John White Blvd. and Daniel Morgan Ave). It is a local instution and is famous both in and out of state - one of those places that has been profiled on the Food Network and about every presidential candidate visits.
                      The portions are giant - my favorite is to go for the real Southern breakfast plates, but they are known for the "a-plenty" dinners - order any sandwich "a-plenty" and the sandwich will be covered in a mound of fries and the best fried onions anywhere.

                      If you already knew all about The Beacon, sorry for the rehash.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: tom82

                        And if you do visit the Beacon, take plenty of Tums with you. The Beacon may be a local institution, but the food's generally swimming in grease.

                        If you go to Sparkle City, you may want to check out Wade's and Ike's. Wade's is a veggie/meat-n-three place, and Ike's is a dive bar that serves some of the best hamburgers I've ever had.

                        1. re: Suzy Q

                          agreed about Wade's - very good example of the genre (meat n 3)

                          agreed about Beacon - hash a plenty is a thing of fearsome beauty, but you better have a constitution well accustomed to grease bombs.

                          Honestly, from where I sit in Greenville, every food I crave is either in Charleston or across the border in WNC.

                      2. In Columbia for dinner? Try Hunter Gatherer for a unique casual experience. I have yet to find anything less than delicious. Runs the gamut from duck to pizza. Great burgers. Signature beers. Jazz on Thursday nights.

                        Motor Supply for lunch or dinner. Menu changes daily.

                        DiPrato's for a fine deli lunch. Don't miss the pimiento cheese with pita wedges. Best anywhere.

                        1. Yep, I know I'm 17 months behind on this posting, but in any case, - if you are in the Greenville area, check out what the book Hamburger America considers one of the top 100 hamburger joints in the United States - Northgate Soda Shop (918 North Main St) 864-235-6770. Enjoy a pimiento cheeseburger at its best.

                          1. My favorite restaurant is The Ball and Cue Restaurant in Georgetown, SC... They have down home southern cooking the way locals like it served. The fried flounder, fried chicken, apple cobbler, okra and tomatoes, Charleston style red rice and cornbread are to die for. Oh yea and the prices you can't beat !!! I knew this had to be a great place to eat the first time I saw it because the parking lot was packed.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: febiv

                              Docs BBQ in columbia sc is the best bbq place in town they have a awesome buffet.