10 Notable Restaurants in Greenville, SC

Greenville has become a destination for foodies hungry for regional and local fare, craft beer, curated wine and artisanal flavors in everything from gelato to cheese.

February 18, 2020

Photo By: VisitGreenvilleSC.com

Photo By: Heather Grilliot/VisitGreenvilleSC.com

Photo By: VisitGreenvilleSC.com

Photo By: VisitGreenvilleSC.com

Photo By: VisitGreenvilleSC.com

Photo By: VisitGreenvilleSC.com

Photo By: VisitGreenvilleSC.com

Photo By: VisitGreenvilleSC.com

Photo By: VisitGreenvilleSC.com

Photo By: VisitGreenvilleSC.com

Jianna

Foodies, take note: The culinary scene in Greenville is exploding. A strong economy, customers craving fresh, local and regional foods and a revitalized downtown are encouraging new restaurants to open and others to reinvigorate their menus, craft beers and hand-selected wines.

Ask for a seat near the window at Jianna, so you can overlook beautiful Falls Park in the heart of Greenville. Chef Michael Kramer, who puts a spin on the restaurant's classic Italian cuisine, participates regularly in culinary events and festivals around the United States. Pasta is made in-house daily, Prosciutto di Parma is sliced to order and extruded noodles with unique shapes, like Tonnarelli, are available. Don't-miss seafood options include fresh-shucked oysters and tender, chargrilled octopus served with potato, guanciale (a type of cured Italian pork), pistachio and sherry-lemon vinaigrette. Sit inside or out to order drinks from the signature 40-foot bar.

Habitap

The staff at Habitap say their friendly, upscale pub is like the bar in NBC's popular TV series, Cheers, where everybody knows your name. The menu features mouth-watering starters, sandwiches, burgers, flats and more alongside craft beer and wine. Bring your family and friends — or make new friends over board games, shuffleboard and cornhole. Even pups are welcome on the patio. Try the pizza tots loaded with marinara and Alfredo sauce, pepperoni, Italian sausage, bacon, banana peppers, jalapenos and Romano cheese. Then move on to the shaved ribeye Philly cheesesteak, or argue about whether pineapple belongs on a pizza named 'The Argumentative' (we vote yes).

Rick Erwin's West End Grille

Located in Greenville's Historic West End District, Rick Erwin's is the original, nationally acclaimed steakhouse in the Rick Erwin restaurant group. Valet parking is complimentary and the atmosphere is intimate, casual and elegant. Choose a starter of jumbo shrimp with barbeque butter and then feast on a dry-aged Delmonico ribeye with a dollop of truffle chive butter. Go for a side of au gratin potatoes layered with leeks, cream and Fontina and Parmesan cheeses; a butter cake with peach ice cream and salted peach caramel sauce puts a finishing touch on a meal. Leaning toward an Italian entree? Try veal with linguini and piccata or linguini with sauteed lobster, fennel, spicy sausage and linguini lobster cream sauce.

Kitchen Sync

Greenville's Kitchen Sync offers farm-fresh, made-from-scratch foods and lots of warm hospitality. With its handmade bar, reclaimed furniture and composting and recycling programs, it's been named the top independently owned, green-certified restaurant in the country. The banh mi, served with crispy greens, rice noodles, Asian slaw, bean sprouts, cilantro, mint, basil, peanuts and sesame soy vinaigrette, pleases eyes and palates. The shrimp burger, which is simply shrimp, Parmesan and spices on a bun stacked with lettuce, tomato, onion and Kitchen Sync's sauce, is a crowd favorite. Don't leave before you indulge in Miss Betty's Chablis Cake, a butter-and-wine soaked cake baked with pecans and served with fresh fruit.

Old Europe Desserts

Although he's surrounded by freshly made pastries, macarons and other high-end desserts, Bobby Daugherty, co-owner of Old Europe Desserts and a former football player for South Carolina's Furman University, still looks like an athlete. Stop in for a flaky chocolate croissant or warm slice of spinach and cheese quiche for breakfast, or indulge in a Lemon Bavarian, eclair or hazelnut Napoleon after dinner at a nearby restaurant or a performance at Greenville's Peace Center. Locally roasted coffees and other beverages are available, and staff are happy to recommend a wine or champagne to pair with a treat.

Soby's

Soby's, known for its new Southern cuisine and rustic charm, has received the Wine Spectator's Best of Award of Excellence for its wine program since 2003. After the wait staff greets you with a basket of Soby's signature cheddar biscuits, choose from regional classics with a modern twist. Chef Shaun Garcia inherited some of the recipes from his great-grandmother. Want a vegan or vegetarian dish? Soby's will work with you. Dine al fresco on the patio or inside the historic building; the restaurant says more than 175,000 bowls of Soby's shrimp and grits have been served here throughout its 20-year history, along with some 420,000 crab cakes and 93,000 slices of delicious, white chocolate banana cream pie.

Stella's Southern Brasserie

Features change daily at Stella's Southern Brasserie, Parkside Provisions and Cafe, where the French/European cuisine has a Southern flair. Grab-and-go foods are available for busy patrons, or you can dine outside on the charming patio for breakfast, lunch or dinner. This classic cafe sources its foods locally and regionally first, pairs local and international beers on tap with its dishes and makes in-house jams and pickles. Two favorites, out of many: the Black Rice Grain Bowl with roasted carrots, pickled celery, shaved squash, cashews, Green Goddess dressing and forbidden black rice (a heirloom rice with large amounts of antioxidants); and Croque Madame, a griddled sourdough sandwich topped with a fried egg, made with Parisian ham, Mornay sauce and grainy mustard.

Grill Marks

Voted best burger in Greenville by the Greenville News, Grill Marks has two in-town locations: downtown on South Main Street and in Haywood Mall. (A third Grill Marks is in Columbia, South Carolina.) Come early for a table or visit the website; a wait-list feature will be added soon. This popular burger joint often spills out onto the street as customers line up for burgers made from a blend of certified Angus beef chuck, brisket and short ribs, dressed the way you like them. Choose a salad, "unburger" (sandwiches that aren't burgers) or a weekend brunch item. Grill Marks is known for its drinks, which include "shaketails" (milkshakes with liquor instead of milk), "beershakes," spiked floats, "freakshakes" (milkshakes with tons of toppings) and yes, regular milkshakes. Our fave: the banana pudding milkshake, a blend of sweet, ripe bananas and vanilla wafer-type cookies.

Oak Hill Cafe

"We have some of the best water in the nation," says Lori Nelsen, co-owner of Oak Hill Cafe and a former lab manager in the Earth and Environmental Sciences Department at Furman University. The local water, she adds, makes for good soil, which allows Nelsen and co-owner/chef David Porras to grow fresh, healthy produce for the cafe on Oak Hill's organic farm. Their creative menu includes a quinoa power bowl made with winter squash, seasonal greens, in-house pickled vegetables and Asian sauce; rabbit scrapple served with butternut squash with grapefruit and hibiscus gels; and a savory, purple huckleberry tartlet baked in a shell made of pumpkin seed flour. Shown here: catfish with creamy Carolina gold rice, sunflower masala and marigold flowers.

Husk

South Carolina native Jon Buck is the executive chef at Husk in Greenville's Historic West End. His menu changes depending on the availability of fresh, regional and local produce. It might feature a Cherokee bean cake made with heirloom White Acre peas or an Appalachian-inspired dish like the crispy pigs' ears, shown here, served with pan-fried cabbage, turnips and summer sausage.

There's more to taste in Greenville. Savor a from-scratch gelato or sorbetto or sip a craft cocktail at Luna Rosa, a gelato cafe and restaurant; stop for grass-fed beef carpaccio at Fork and Plough, a butchery/market/restaurant where you can dine in or carry-out; or sample the artisan flavors at Molly & Myles, a 'Today Show' pick as one of the best ice cream shops in America. Don't leave town without sampling the small plates, craft cocktails, beer or sustainable wine at The Anchorage. Located in the Village of West Greenville, its focus on simple, local and regional ingredients made it a James Beard semi-finalist for the best new restaurant of 2018.

Shop This Look