When most people around the country think of South Carolina restaurants they immediately start thinking of Charleston. The rest of the state however has some amazing places to eat too. Here is a list of the best restaurants in each South Carolina county as determined by Charleston Food Bloggers and a hand picked small group of other like minded foodies around the state (BachTalking, ColaTownFoodie, PalmettoFoodie, Alesa Holden, Rick Meehan and subreddit users from South Carolina, Charleston, Greenville etc). This is the first list of its kind. If you have other spots that you feel deserve this award for 2016 please let us know by voting …(click here to vote). All those that enter a vote will have a say in our 2016 edition!
Highway 301 North, Allendale, South Carolina
1000 William Hilton Pkwy, Hilton Head Island, SC 29928
336 E Main St, Moncks Corner, SC 29461
904 Bridge St, Saint Matthews, SC 29135
10 Hayne St, Charleston, SC 29401
2 Unity Alley, Charleston, SC 29401
479 King St, Charleston, SC 29403
Wentworth Mansion, 149 Wentworth St, Charleston, SC 29401
2063 Middle St, Sullivan’s Island, SC 29482
242 E Washington St, Walterboro, SC 29488
207 W 5th N St, Summerville, SC 29483
Carolina BBQ Company
965 W Carolina Ave, Varnville, SC 29944
7715 E Main St, Ridgeland, SC 29936
1427 Eutaw Rd, Holly Hill, SC 29059
100 Colleton Ave SW, Aiken, SC 29801
1070 Barwick Rd, Barnwell, SC 29812
249 Columbia St, Chester, SC 29706
108 Courthouse Square, Edgefield, SC 29824
141 S Congress St, Winnsboro, SC 29180
2435 Main St, Elgin, SC 29045
1668 Memorial Park Rd, Lancaster, SC 29720
100 State St, West Columbia, SC 29169
1117 Boyce St, Newberry, SC 29108
920 Gervais Street, Columbia, SC 29201
2135 Devine Street, Columbia, SC 29205
1531 Richland St, Columbia, SC 29201
Matthew’s Oak and Hickory BBQ
212 S Rudolph St, Saluda, SC 29138
5303 Concord Rd. York, SC
126 Main St, Chesterfield, SC 29709
480 N Brooks St, Manning, SC 29102
514 S 5th St, Hartsville, SC 29550
419 SC-38, Latta, SC 29565
234 West Evans Street, Florence, SC 29501
1536 S Waccamaw Dr, Murrells Inlet, SC 29576
1111 3Rd Ave, Conway, Sc 29526
The Market Common, 1160 Farrow Pkwy, Myrtle Beach, SC 29577
719 Sumter Hwy, Bishopville, SC 29010
400 N Main St, Marion, SC 29512
2828 Stantons Road, Bennettsville, SC 29512
4 W Hampton Ave, Sumter, SC 29150
2734 Hemingway Hwy, Hemingway, SC 29554
110 Trinity St, Abbeville, SC 29620
2440 Due West Hwy, Belton, SC 29627
702 Hyatt Street, Gaffney, SC 29341
732 S Main St, Greenville, SC 29601
3620 Pelham Rd, Greenville, SC 29615
495 S Pleasantburg Dr, Greenville, SC 29607
307 W Cambridge Ave, Greenwood, SC 29646
212 Hillcrest Dr, Laurens, SC 29360
4064 US-378, McCormick, SC 29835
1528 Blue Ridge Blvd, Seneca, SC 29672
6606 Calhoun Memorial Hwy, Easley, SC 29640
401 E Kennedy St, Spartanburg, SC 29302
930 E Main St, Spartanburg, SC 29302
551 Thompson Blvd, Union, SC 29379
Most of the Charleston area residents I know or work with are on a budget. So here are 4 ways everyone I know can still come and enjoy this year’s 10th anniversary of the Charleston Wine + Food Festival (CHSWFF) scheduled for March 4th-8th 2015.
The CHSWFF has several contests for people to WIN FREE tickets! My favorite one asks people to share images of an “X” which is also the Roman numeral for 10. Since it is the 10th anniversary of the festival this is the year of the “X”. Take a photo of an “X” and post it on social media with the hashtag #CHSWFX. The festival staff will be picking winning photographs for the next several weeks for people to win free tickets. You can post them on your Twitter, Instagram or on the festival’s Facebook page.
Here was my contribution: a pen and a fork. Make it into what fits you or what you run across. Most of them are food pics but not all. The more creative the better.
The window of opportunity to do this for 2015 is quickly closing. You need to fill out the application at: http://www.formstack.com/forms/?1114203-h6jIFvVNl1 . Email Georgia@charlestonwineandfood.com if the link is inactive or for questions regarding volunteering. As a much needed volunteer for this great event you will receive:• An official festival embroidered apron
We all know time is money! The FREE and official mobile app of Charleston Wine + Food will launch on Valentine’s Day – February 14th. Download and use this helpful tool during the festival to maximize your time at each event and navigate with ease.
BBC America recently filmed an episode of the its new food show, Million Dollar Critic, in Charleston, SC. It will be episode 3 of season 1. The show features London food critic Giles Coren as the host. While in town they filmed at The Obstinate Daughter, Lee Lee’s Kitchen, Poogan’s Porch, The Lot, Rutledge Cab Co, and Alluette’s Cafe. The show will originally air Thursday night January 29th but is set to be rebroadcast several times in the near future including 11AM on Saturday Jan 31st 2015. I was able to hang out with Giles for quite a while he was in town during shooting. Ironically I was in London for the Chowzter.com Global Food Awards during most of the filming of the episode. I got back in time to still meet up with Giles and discuss my new perspective on the London food scene.
One of the best parts of the day was discussing the origins of Charleston’s famous shrimp and grits compared to London’s jellied eels. We discussed the origins of both and it was amazing how similar the history of them are but how polar opposite present opinion is on them. Both began as dishes that were easily accessible to the poor or working class of the region. Both contain a seafood protein. However shrimp and grits has become extremely popular in places like North America and Europe where as jellied eel is extremely unpopular in those places and finds more of a home in Asian cuisine despite its European origins.
Also check out the Bun Mi w/pate, the Porchetta sandwich that includes pork cracklins, or the refrigerator full of fresh cured meats that Chef Craig Deihl and his crew fix up!
**Disclaimer: Ok, so Nana’s is not newly opened….but it is NEW TO ME….and probably you. It is one of the few soul food places left in Charleston. I recommend it most for lunch/take-out/or delivery due to its limited seating. The garlic crab is the coolest dish but bring a pair of crab claw crackers if you want to really dig in and call ahead because some days the crab nets might be empty (843) 937-0002 . Other amazing dishes that frequent the menu is the oxtail, garlic clams, garlic shrimp, BBQ pig feet, fried turkey wings, and the various purloos. THEY ALSO DELIVER but call well in advance as this service can be limited. Click on the small menu above to view it in full size. This is the most adventurous pick on the list.
Like most of what Charleston’s totem Chef Sean Brock does, the magic is in the details. Following the success of McCrady’s and Husk Chef Brock is bringing some authentic Mexican flavors to Charleston. The charcoaled chicken taco is great and sure to please everyone at your table. The chicken in this taco is all dark meat that has been brined for 48-72 hours then grilled over charcoal. It is usually then vacuum sealed to lock in that smokey charcoal flavor deep down inside. The taco is then topped with unripe mango, cotija, lime pickled red onion, pasilla de Oaxaca….. $3 each. BAM.
The food and vibe of The Americano is so light and fun. The dishes have influences of Cuban and other Caribbean dishes with some small twists. Go there, have one of their playful cocktails like the Mexican Mule or the Hemingway Daiquiri and enjoy life. The Cubano Americano has roasted pork, chipotle black beans, pickled red onion, chihuahua cheese, mustard bbq, & avocado.
The Nutty Rooster is a creamy peanut butter and Sriracha hot sauce doughnut. Don’t let the flavors confuse you. It is AMAZING. This vegan doughnut food truck now has a brick and mortar location. Now all of Diggity Doughnuts’ fans have a consistent place to get their favorite flavors in addition to the Nutty Rooster like:
FLAVORS WILL VARY BY DAY AND SEASON
This small place puts out some big flavor. They do mainly take out but do have about a dozen seats to sit and enjoy your items. I recommend you go and try the breakfast sandwich with country ham: English muffin, bacon, smoked onion jam, pimento cheese and a fried egg. As you wait on the sandwich wander around and check out their other items like fresh juices and biscuits.
This new cafe and dessert bar is right on East Bay St across from several of the east coast’s top restaurants. It is a perfect way to end a night….have a drink or treat. You pick. The peanut butter explosion is a slam dunk way to go but you always have to try one of their ever changing special treats too.
One of my favorite photos from 2014 has to be the time Bill Murray was with The Peanut Dude. The Peanut Dude is a mobile food vendor that is typically parked in Mount Pleasant, SC on Coleman Blvd next to GDC. This photo says so much about Charleston to me. It shows entrepreneurism, music, peanuts, the SC flag pattern, ocean vibes…… and Bill Murray.
Bill, we need to catch up again and have dinner. Call me.
Charleston Restaurant “Week” is here….again. Jan 7th-18th about 150 Charleston restaurants will feature a special set menu. Charleston Restaurant Week (CRW) has evolved quite a bit in recent years. Below are a few examples of the best and worst deals of CRW. This should caution you to choose your restaurant and food items wisely. Just a few of the possible choices on these menus could actually be more expensive than just ordering them off the menu and most of them include a dessert as one of the courses. Send us your feedback from your experiences this year by tagging us in your food photos on Instagram or Twitter (#charlestonfoodbloggers). Make sure you do your research this year so can be sure you are getting a good deal.
Charleston Restaurant Week:
Click here to see all of the offerings for Charleston Restaurant Week Jan 7-18
I love this offering. This is also happens to be one of the best places to eat in Mt Pleasant. If you don’t go for CWR be sure to try it soon. $40 for a butcher plate, lamb bolognese, a New York Strip, and a dessert. I would estimate this to be a $55 value for $40.
The only trouble with the Gin Joint is that it can fill up very fast. I recommend this menu and suggest you try to get there just shortly after they open at 5PM. The bar tenders serve serious drinks and the food is always nice. I value this offering at ~$16 for the price of $10.
Fish was one of the first new upscale restaurants to the Upper King area. They have a beautiful location and this menu is expansive, delicious, and flexible. There is value……when was the last time you went here? You need to head on back!
If you wanted an international restaurant to try during CRW I recommend CO. There is great value and the food quality and flavor have ALWAYS been great when I eat there. It is the middle of the King Street and remember if it looks crowded there is a community table in the back area downstairs, a bar area, and some upstairs tables.
Yes, I said it. Hyman’s Seafood which is typically overrated nationally and underrated locally is doing CWR right! They may have the best value of this CWR. I estimate this offering to be $47 worth of food for $25 when you factor in the free glass of wine.
Lunch is typically a great time of day to get a lot of value at restaurants. Places typically serve the same food as dinner but at ~25% lower prices. I was excited to see Jasmine Porch on the lunch list until I saw the offereing. That is about a $23 offering for $20 and only at lunch….not too exciting. They need to try harder especially considering the distance.
If you play your cards wrong (fountain drink, edamame, and the fish dinner) on this one you could actually overpay. . The winning combo here would be a glass of wine, some wontons, and the steak and shrimp. The value of a fountain drink is so small they should never be an option on the CWR menu.
I love eating at Rue de Jean. They serve some great food……however I rarely spend $40 when I eat there. I can typically get two of my favorite menu items and be full for under $20. This would just be too much and not much value. I value these meals to be about $44 regular price for $40. So I’d save $4 but have to spend twice as much as I usually do. This one is not good for me personally but again I do love eating here…..maybe at $30 I give it a try.
Click here to see all of the other offerings for Charleston Restaurant Week Jan 7-18
Other Suggested Reading:
This year Chowzter.com will be announcing the winners of it’s North American “Tastiest Fast Feasts” awards in New Orleans, LA on Saturday Jan 10th, 2015. A fast feast does not mean fast food but rather food is easily approachable and familiar but that has been prepared from high quality ingredients. For instance in the burger category you won’t find any chain restaurants but rather Chef Sean Brock’s Husk in Charleston, SC or Chef Linton Hopkin’s Holeman and Finch Public House in Atlanta, GA. The awards are divided into several categories including: Sandwich, Pizza, Asian, Burgers, Latin, BBQ, Pasta, and Bakery. The nominees were recently announced on Chowzter.com’s website and were chosen by a group of high profile food bloggers from cities around the continent. These food bloggers are referred to by Chowzter as “Chief Chowzters”. It is their job to update the top 7 dishes from their respective cities. ( Click here to see my list of top fast feasts in Charleston ) If you have suggestions Chowzter also has a mobile app that allows you to add your favorite food items from for any city in the world and help get them noticed. I also like to use Chowzter when traveling. It is a good way to see what dishes local foodies enjoy and provides links to that food bloggers’ social media so you can contact with any other questions you may have. I have enjoyed being Charleston, SC’s Chief Chowzter and I look forward to attending the award ceremony to be held at Commander’s Palace.
This small green space on the north side of Broad Street features a mini version of the Washington Monument as well as a statue of our first President George Washington. This is a little known spot that I just love. Great for a quick picnic too.
There are a ton of great places for a nice after happy hour with your friends or coworkers. A few of my favorites right now are Tavern and Table (on Shem Creek!), The Obstinate Daughter (Sullivan’s Island), Leon’s Oyster Shop (King St) or Big Belly Kitchen and Tap House (James Island)