Greenville, South Carolina — yeah, that Greenville — might not yet be top of mind for interesting and international eats, but maybe it should be. There’s definitely more to this charming Southern town than shrimp and grits! In fact, there’s something in this burgeoning metropolis nestled near the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains for every taste.
So whether you are headed to Greenville for a visit or just passing through, follow this guide to the city’s delicious dozen — that’s 12 of the best things to eat in Greenville, SC — and you’re sure to keep coming back for more:
The southern staple shrimp n’ grits gets an Upcountry upgrade at Roost Restaurant where Pulled Pork and Grits is the comfort food to crave. Packed with flavor, slow cooked pork sits atop the creamiest grits we tasted anywhere in the city!
A Greenville original, Sully’s Steamers serves mouth watering steamed sandwiches. One must-have item on the menu is the Griswold, which staff assured us would make “tastebuds cry” — with its combination of turkey, bacon, provolone, pepper jack, lettuce, bbq sauce and parm-peppercorn. Pro Tip: Choosing it on a cheddar jalapeno bagel adds just the right amount of heat.
Habiba Restaurant is a favorite for Mediterranean food, and its Lamb Roasted with Basmati Rice is a standout on its middle eastern menu. Slow roasted in an oven for three hours with eight different kinds of exotic spices, the lamb tops tender rice with a touch of rosewater essence. This dish is melt in your mouth… and swoon!
The Black Thai food truck doesn’t just have a clever name, it boasts some of the most scrumptious brussels sprouts you’ve ever tasted. Legitimately one of the most ordered items on the menu, the Brussels Box is a side — or a meal on its own — comprised of rice, fried brussel sprouts, and bacon, tossed in a honey ponzu sauce topped with fried shallots.
Persis Biryani Indian Grill is the only restaurant in Greenville that serves dosas in different variations, but its traditional Dosa is a hearty yet humble dish made with black lentils and rice, that comes with a potato filling and is served with a coconut and tomato chutney. Highly recommended for breakfast.
Charred on the grill and then slathered in spicy and creamy chili, garlic, and cheese, Sabroso Mexican Grill‘s Street Style Corn on the Cob — otherwise known as elote — is 1000% worth the chomp.
Combining the flavors of traditional Japanese sushi with American flare, Sushi Murasaki‘s best selling roll, the Crazy Boy Roll is a tempura battered and flash fried roll of crab, avocado, shrimp, cream cheese, crunch, spicy mayo, and eel sauce. This is a special one!
You haven’t had funnel cake until you’ve tried a Maple Bacon Funnel Cake made in front of you from Coffee Underground. This sweet and savory treat was obviously inspired by fun festival memories, and its homemade maple, cream cheese frosting, and crispy bacon crumbed toppings are a bite to remind you of the best of times.
Billionaire Smokies are perfectly smoked little hot dogs, wrapped in bacon, with pimento aioli and topped with candied jalapeno from Monkey Wrench Smokehouse. It’s lowkey decadence, we promise.
BBQ is synonymous with the South, so it’s an essential eat, especially when you find the best authentic Memphis-style ribs, wings, barbecue, and chicken in the Southeast. Sticky Fingers boasts a variety of barbequed meats, but the Ribs are particularly rockin’. We recommend them with the mustard sauce.
He’ll make you almost any cake to order, but we recommend the Pound Cake Man‘s Banana Pudding Pound Cake, a dessert that takes two traditional Southern favorites and combines them into an amazing taste sensation.
Papi’s Tacos Al Pastor Taco is so awesome it won first place in last year’s Fall for Greenville competition (Disclaimer – we were on the judging panel)! While this traditional taco dish is popular throughout Mexico, each family has its own unique take. Papi uses his grandmother’s recipe for his grilled, red shaved pork and adds just the right amount of salsa, cilantro, onions, and sweet pineapple. Each bite is truly outstanding.
We love these delicious dishes, but there are over 100 restaurants within a mile radius in the Greenville’s downtown, so whatever you have a hankering for — you’ll find it.
Bon appétit! Here’s to eating good in Greenville!
Kate Michael is a Writer, Emcee, On-Camera Host and Fashion/Commercial Model. Follow her at @kstreetkate