Greenville’s food scene has blossomed over the past several years, between homegrown talent returning to set up shop and nationally acclaimed chefs relocating to the Upstate. Food festivals like euphoria (September 16 through 19) and Fall for Greenville (October 8 through 10) showcase both the city’s top restaurants and the booming community support that sustains them
As with any town, Greenville residents lost their share of favorite spots in 2020, but as the community rallied behind the F&B industry, they were met with a slew of new openings that have continued well into this year.
Where to Eat
Greenville native Drew Erickson cut his teeth at local mainstay Soby’s New South Cuisine before relocating to Napa Valley to stage at the French Laundry. In 2020, Erickson returned home to Greenville and in 2021, opened CAMP as the executive chef, serving inspired dishes from steam buns filled with barbecue short ribs to stuffed shells in a squash blossom béchamel.
Wine bar and restaurant Urban Wren reads more like an impossibly cool lounge with the best charcuterie board in town. Still, don’t sleep on the menu of sharable plates like lobster-chorizo corn dogs and semolina dumplings stuffed with smoked gouda and mascarpone.
For the beer-minded among us, there’s a new hidden treasure inside Yee-Haw Brewing Company: the only outpost of Prince’s Hot Chicken outside of Nashville. Dig into a hot chicken sandwich and an ice-cold kölsch while watching a game on the big screen in Yee-Haw’s newly renovated outdoor area.
Reinventing the Wheel
The past year-and-a-half was ripe with reinvention in the restaurant industry. Enter Husk Barbeque, which follows the same hyperlocal ethos of its predecessor but with a focus on the barbecue traditions of the region. And with reinvention comes expansion, as was the case with Oak Hill Cafe & Farm. Situated on the restaurant’s expansive property, the Farmer’s Tap is a shipping container turned bar and food stall surrounded by fire pits, a covered seating area, and stage for live music.
Three friends honed their hospitality skills at the Greenville outpost of Charleston mainstay Halls Chophouse before striking out on their own to open Coral this year. While the seafood selections are stellar, the real standout is the bar menu: think duck fat fries, oyster sliders, tempura-fried shrimp. Down the street in Gather GVL, the city’s new thirteen-restaurant food hall, sits Myami Bites, a Miami-inspired spot serving up plancha-pressed sandwiches, croquetas, and empanadas from a 150-square-foot stall.
Greenville Bars and Where to Grab a Drink
Greenville’s craft brewery scene saw its own boom in the past year-plus. Among the openings is Crafty Cats Brewery, Coffee & Tea, a Brazilian-owned spot. They serve everything from kefir matcha and espresso con pannato housemade empanadas and, of course, plenty of craft beers. The team behind Think Tank Brew Lab planned to open in the summer of 2018, but three years of delays and setbacks made its April 2021 opening all the sweeter. The beer garden hosts makers markets on weekends if you prefer your shopping with a cold beer in hand.
Situated along Greenville’s Swamp Rabbit Trail, Southernside Brewing Co. is the newest venture from Nate Tomforde, who created self-service brewery Pour Taproom. The bar bites menu includes favorites like pretzels with beer cheese and parmesan truffle fries.
Outside of the beer scene, there’s the quaint and colorful Distinct Cider Room. Check out their Friday Night Flights deal for a taste of four ciders for $7. For the vino drinkers, there’s Eagle Mountain Vineyards & Winery. Snag a reservation for the“wine and food experience” for a sampling of five wines, a full glass of your favorite, and a charcuterie board to snack on while you sip.
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