The Best Restaurants in South Carolina
Collected by Stratton Lawrence, AFAR Local Expert
Carolina cuisine can mean many things, from mustard-based whole-hog BBQ in the Piedmont to bountiful seafood along the coast. Thanks to Charleston's rising star in the international culinary realm, the state is now a foodie destination, attracting talented chefs from around the world who are experimenting and discovering new ways to use the rich soil's year-round harvests.
302 Carteret St, Beaufort, SC 29902, USA
Half market, half restaurant, this brightly colored kitchen proudly serves exemplary shrimp and grits and crab cake sandwiches, among a menu of locally sourced sandwiches and salads. After enjoying breakfast or lunch, take home a jar of pickled...
732 S Main St, Greenville, SC 29601, USA
Greenville's premier outlet for locally sourced food is also its most creative, with a menu that includes braised beef tongue and lamb heart. Vegetables are well-represented though, as are grapes, in the form of an impressive, carefully curated...
84 State Rd S-28-2, Rembert, SC 29128, USA
Rural Piedmont South Carolina isn't necessarily where you'd expect to find a high-end steakhouse, but Mill Pond is a destination in and of itself. Generous cuts of beef are the centerpiece of the traditional surf-and-turf menu, all served in a...
2063 Middle St, Sullivan's Island, SC 29482, USA
Just blocks from the beach, the Obstinate Daughter focuses on Italian favorites and local food, with a heavy dose of seafood appropriate to its Sullivan’s Island location. The space is nautical without feeling cheesy, featuring walls covered...
76 Queen St, Charleston, SC 29401, USA
At this Charleston hit, James Beard Award–winning chef Sean Brock reinterprets traditional Southern dishes with a steadfast commitment to local and regional ingredients—the restaurant even has its own garden. Constantly changing, the...
920 Gervais St, Columbia, SC 29201, USA
Set in a historic brick building that once sold engine supplies, this Columbia stalwart helped pioneer the state's local food movement. The daily menu draws from meats butchered in-house, fresh seafood, and handmade pasta. There's also a popular...
544 King St, Charleston, SC 29403, USA
A two-story dining room with an always-packed raw bar, The Ordinary serves some of the South’s best seafood. Here, chef Mike Lata dishes up must-try options like a seafood tower, crab toast, fish chowder, and triggerfish with fingerling...
2 Unity Alley, Charleston, SC 29401, USA
The restaurant where Sean Brock got his start, McCrady’s has a long history as a neighborhood watering hole and pub that goes all the way back to the 1700s. In 2016, however, the cozy building, with its brick interior and homey bar, got a...
1081 Morrison Dr, Charleston, SC 29403, USA
This cavernous brewpub has a wide-open kitchen, a long bar, tall communal tables, and a patio shaded by live oaks. If you can, grab a seat at the chef’s counter and watch the team spread creamy aïoli on locally made rye...
207 Rutledge Ave, Charleston, SC 29403, USA
For those seeking a true taste of Charleston, it’s hard to recommend anywhere better than Hominy Grill. You’ll likely have to wait for a table, but just grab a drink in the front courtyard until it’s your turn to sit. Meals...
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