clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

2021 Takeout, Delivery, and Outdoor Dining Standouts for North and South Carolina

Carolinas food insiders discuss the meals that kept them going this year

A plate of barbecue from Rodney Scott’s BBQ.
A plate of barbecue from Rodney Scott’s BBQ.
Leslie McKellar

In keeping with Eater tradition, our closeout of the year is a survey of friends, industry types, and bloggers. To kick it off in the Carolinas, Eater asked the group seven questions, ranging from the restaurants they frequented for takeout to the saddest surprises of the year. Responses are in no particular order, and readers are encouraged to leave answers in the comments.

Q. What were your regular go-to destinations for takeout and delivery in 2021? [or outdoor dining]

Dave Infante, editor of Fingers, an independent newsletter about drinking in America
We basically rotated between Renzo, Edmund’s Oast (restaurant) and Lewis for takeout for the first four months of the year. Once we got vaccinated, we started eating outdoors at those three places, plus Estadio and Berkeley’s.

Jacob Pucci, food and dining reporter for The Fayetteville Observer
The first meal I ate when I moved to North Carolina was at Fonda Lupita in Sanford. It’s been a frequent stop for me ever since. Those chicharron prensado gorditas will forever hold a place in my heart.

Maggie Ward, events and marketing manager of The Local Palate
Nico for baked oysters and bacon clams, 167 Raw for lobster rolls, and Hannibal’s Kitchen for crab rice — 2021 was the year of seafood to-go for me.

Hanna Raskin, editor and publisher of The Food Section
Edmund’s Oast, Edmund’s Oast and Edmund’s Oast. Love that I can count on the same place for swanky cocktails out with friends and boxed-up burgers at home when work’s gone on too long.

Eric Ginsburg, independent journalist and Eater Carolinas contributor, covering NC
Thaiphoon Bistro, Sassool, and Pokano Poke Island Grill in Raleigh
• Vine Sushi & Thai, Na’Mean @ KoKyu, and Old North Meats in Durham
• Guasaca and Spanglish in Raleigh and Durham

KJ Kearney, founder of Black Food Fridays
Easy! Ma Gloria’s Trinidadian, Swank Desserts, Gillie’s, and Rodney Scott BBQ all got a lot of my money this year. I have favorite items from each spot. I don’t need no stinkin’ menu for these spots!

Jenn Rice, freelance writer and Eater Carolinas contributor, covering NC
Oakwood Pizza Box became a weekly date night takeout tradition while El Rodeo (for queso and a #11) frequently showed up on my stoop on weekends. It’s actually on my stoop as we speak! Jolie’s Le Rooftop remains my number one date night spot for incredible food and ambiance.

Erin Perkins, editor Eater Carolinas
I had quite a few bean-and-cheese burritos from Micho (RIP) on James Island. The burritos were perfectly griddled every time and came with a great green sauce and sour cream. Pink Bellies takeout was in regular rotation before Thai Phi opened the dining room. Once we discovered the giant breakfast sandwiches at Bodega at Uptown Social, it was difficult to not order one every Sunday.

Barbara Skidmore, Eater Carolinas contributor, covering SC and Savannah
Lewis Barbecue (Charleston) with an expansive outdoor eating area as well as the addition of the JL’s Southwest Burger Joint.

Melissa Howsam, editor-in-chief Raleigh Magazine
Cantina 18, Dos Taquitos, Mulino, Relish, Angus Barn

Matt Lardie, freelance writer and Eater Carolinas contributor, covering NC
We got lots of takeout from Lime & Lemon (Indian) in Durham, 2 Rim Khong (Thai/Lao) in Fayetteville, and Indochine (Thai/Vietnamese) in Wilmington. For pizza (and we ate LOTS of pizza) Sofia’s Pizza in East Durham has been our go-to.

Marion B. Sullivan, food editor of Charleston Magazine
FIG, The Ordinary, The Grocery, and Rodney Scott BBQ

Cele and Lynn Seldon, Seldon Ink
Beaufort’s Hearth for some of the Lowcountry’s best pizza. And Beaufort’s Maryland Fried Chicken, for some of the best fried chicken we’ve ever had! Also, Bluffton’s Farm.

Jai Jones, food writer and photographer
Daps Breakfast & Imbibe, specifically for the excellent breakfast club. Also the Garlic Crab Chicken Dinner at Edmund’s Oast.

Kenneth Andrews, Eater Carolinas contributor
Edmund’s Oast was a great go to this year with a menu including both favorites and new fun things to try and for some reason always able to be delivered rather quickly from downtown to the far end of West Ashley.