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Ramen at GB&D
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12 Spots to Visit in Greenville This Year

From bagel sandwiches to killer ramen to raw oysters

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Ramen at GB&D
| GB&D/Instagram

“Ridiculously friendly” could be Greenville’s motto, but “wow that’s delicious” could equally work. Reservations aren’t really a thing here, and if you have a wait, you’ll encounter chatty locals and engaging staff. This is a place of the unrushed and the ability to travel like a local feels especially attainable in “Yeah That Greenville.”

At its best, Greenville shines with produce-forward plates indicative of the Appalachian foothills. Its location, both deeply southern and historically agrarian, offers the voracious eater a four-season experience and its warm, easy vibe feels spot on. From the best bagel sandwich to heirloom produce and heritage meats exquisitely presented to beer brewed in a spectrum of rainbow hues, there’s a lot not to miss in Greenville this year. Here are our pick for a dozen places to have on your radar.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Rocket Surgery

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164-d S Main St
Travelers Rest, SC 29690
(864) 610-0901
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Wow, it was hard not to put Sidewall Pizza on this list, but its sister cocktail bar Rocket Surgery is stratospherically good. Now under the helm of chef Stephen Musolf, this modern mixer in tiny downtown Travelers Rest is a gourmand’s ideal hangout. The cocktails are consistent, and apps, features, and brunch (get the cinnamon sugar bacon maple donut holes) are photo-worthy time and time again. The nondescript building and barely-there signage only add to what’s inside.

2. Due South Coffee Roasters

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1320 Hampton Avenue Ext. 4B
Greenville, SC 29601
(864) 283-6680
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The renowned coffee roaster is now at Hampton Station, a former textile warehouse complex in the burgeoning Water Tower District and adjacent to the bicycle-loving Swamp Rabbit Trail. Due South amped it up adding chef Adam Cooke, formerly of Blackberry Farm and others; a mostly plant-based menu is a stand-out, with bowls and toasts aplenty, housemade ice cream, brunch and pop-up monthly dinners. Everything at adorable Hampton Station is worth a stop including Birds Fly South Ale Project, White Duck Taco Shop, and a Sunday Farmers Market, weather permitting.

3. The Community Tap

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217 Wade Hampton Blvd
Greenville, SC 29609
(864) 631-2525
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Greenville’s original growler stop is possibly the best beer and wine by-the-cup bar in the Upstate. Local owners, omnipresent, make for an informed experience and the surrounding neighborhood of North Main is apt in a way that makes you want to house hunt. This is Greenville’s best food truck stop including the ever-fantastic Thoroughfare, mentioned in all sorts of national publications.

4. S.B.H. BBQ

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5021 Pelham Rd
Greenville, SC 29615

Todd Smith had two loves — building restaurants and competing in barbecue. He combined them with S.B.H. BBQ, which just opened across from what will be Top Golf (near Michelin NA Headquarters). Smith’s claim to fame is Texas-style brisket, and he’s beat Lewis and Hometeam at sanctioned competitions, more than once. The pulled pork is phenomenal too, and there’s cheddar-stuffed sausage, St. Louis ribs, loaded beans and the pay-by-the-pound concept is new to GVL. Friday there’s brisket tail burgers while they last and on Sunday there’s smoked prime rib.

5. Willy Taco

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217 Laurens Rd
Greenville, SC 29607
(864) 412-8700
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The reuse of this 1934 Feed & Seed Building is astonishing and put Midtown Greenville on the map when it opened not quite two years ago. Better still, the diversity of the staff at Willy Taco and its funked-up vibe and blown-out interiors (by notable restaurant designer Sandra Cannon) are only matched by the twisted imaginings of SC chef ambassador William Cribb. The best margarita in town is here and bring the pup on the comfortable covered patio and deck.

Willy Taco [Official]

6. Aryana Afghan Cuisine

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210 E Coffee St
Greenville, SC 29601
(864) 236-7410
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Lunch is served nearly everyday and dinner is offered on Saturdays, but Aryana is a gem of a stop on Coffee Street and worth scheduling a trip around. For $10, visitors receive the menu of the day, which includes two proteins, two starches, and two vegetables along with pita. Proprietor Nelo Mayar, who is warm and lovely, believes in breaking down whole foods and teaching young people to cook and serve to her standards. Aryana is the place to eat in GVL for vegetarians and vegans, as every vegetable dish is independently sauced.

7. Sully's Steamers

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6 E Washington St
Greenville, SC 29601
(864) 509-6061
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Just a storefront off of Main Street, find an unassuming bagel shop you won’t forget. Robert Sullivan produces bagel sandwiches steamed in magic machines and oozing every imaginable ingredient together. Perfectly pedestrian ingredients become intertwined while dripping down your arm (even wrapped in wax-lined foil). Try the Late Night stuffed with a half bag of Doritos or the Pirate smeared with house-made spinach cream cheese, turkey, and banana peppers.   

8. The Anchorage

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586 Perry Ave
Greenville, SC 29611
(864) 219-3082
Visit Website

Greenville swooned when The Anchorage got a James Beard nomination last year and for good reason. Chef Greg McPhee’s treatment of Southern ingredients feels direct and relevant in the succinct interiors of his West Village eatery. The cocktails are the perfect mate to a delightfully restrained wine and beer list and patrons will find themselves toggling between the drinks as half-plates arrive one after the next. McPhee’s love of seasonal vegetables is apparent and protein cuts are sauced with clean, acid-leaning flavors

9. Golden Brown & Delicious

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1269 Pendleton St
Greenville, SC 29611
(864) 230-9455
Visit Website

Chef Alex George is a darling of the Village of West Greenville scene with three family-owned businesses: Carol’s Ice Cream, The Village Grind coffee shop (his sister Lindsey’s), and the flagship eatery: Golden, Brown & Delicious, known locally as GB&D. The once lunch-only modern diner is in full swing with dinner service. Greenville’s most celebrated burger is often available lunch and dinner, but the daily ramen, bibimbap, or mac n cheese variation is return worthy. A much anticipated bar with its own food menu opens early 2019.

10. Jianna

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600 S Main St #2
Greenville, SC 29601
(864) 720-2200
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This second story restaurant, bar, and terrace is a beautiful place to dine or sip in the heart of downtown GVL overlooking both Main Street and Falls Park. Chef Michael Kramer is a pasta-extruding dynamo and the 360-degree oyster bar is a place where pretty people hang late afternoon and throughout the night. A honeyed whipped ricotta with toast is a quiet standout on the menu as well as braised dishes.

Jianna [Official]

11. Otto Izakaya Downtown

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802 S Main St
Greenville, SC 29601
(864) 568-5880
Visit Website

Go to this kitschy sake bar for its interiors, but the hyper-crafted, super fresh sushi and twisted apps will keep visitors here well into the evening. Phrases like “Sake to Me” and “Make Pour Decisions” create enticing backdrops and the spicy tuna crispy rice appetizer will make you a believer in this Peter Lieu concept. Generic looking fries are deceptively addictive and a randomly named avocado salad is the thoroughbred on the menu, doused in perfect ponzu and including some of the best omelet I’ve tasted stateside.  

Otto Izakaya [Official]

12. 8th State Brewery

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400 Augusta St
Greenville, SC 29605

The Skittles commercial “taste the rainbow” will ring through your head while at 8th State Brewery, located in the basement of the original Greenville Claussen’s Bakery Plant. Is it beer, ale, juice, sours or some type of pumped up smoothie? Who knows, but count this unabashed lab experiment delicious. Beer arrives in shades of natural red, orange, yellow and green. And, blue? Yep, that too. Local bands play on weekends and bar snacks arrive savory in all the right ways.

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1. Rocket Surgery

164-d S Main St, Travelers Rest, SC 29690

Wow, it was hard not to put Sidewall Pizza on this list, but its sister cocktail bar Rocket Surgery is stratospherically good. Now under the helm of chef Stephen Musolf, this modern mixer in tiny downtown Travelers Rest is a gourmand’s ideal hangout. The cocktails are consistent, and apps, features, and brunch (get the cinnamon sugar bacon maple donut holes) are photo-worthy time and time again. The nondescript building and barely-there signage only add to what’s inside.

164-d S Main St
Travelers Rest, SC 29690

2. Due South Coffee Roasters

1320 Hampton Avenue Ext. 4B, Greenville, SC 29601

The renowned coffee roaster is now at Hampton Station, a former textile warehouse complex in the burgeoning Water Tower District and adjacent to the bicycle-loving Swamp Rabbit Trail. Due South amped it up adding chef Adam Cooke, formerly of Blackberry Farm and others; a mostly plant-based menu is a stand-out, with bowls and toasts aplenty, housemade ice cream, brunch and pop-up monthly dinners. Everything at adorable Hampton Station is worth a stop including Birds Fly South Ale Project, White Duck Taco Shop, and a Sunday Farmers Market, weather permitting.

1320 Hampton Avenue Ext. 4B
Greenville, SC 29601

3. The Community Tap

217 Wade Hampton Blvd, Greenville, SC 29609

Greenville’s original growler stop is possibly the best beer and wine by-the-cup bar in the Upstate. Local owners, omnipresent, make for an informed experience and the surrounding neighborhood of North Main is apt in a way that makes you want to house hunt. This is Greenville’s best food truck stop including the ever-fantastic Thoroughfare, mentioned in all sorts of national publications.

217 Wade Hampton Blvd
Greenville, SC 29609

4. S.B.H. BBQ

5021 Pelham Rd, Greenville, SC 29615

Todd Smith had two loves — building restaurants and competing in barbecue. He combined them with S.B.H. BBQ, which just opened across from what will be Top Golf (near Michelin NA Headquarters). Smith’s claim to fame is Texas-style brisket, and he’s beat Lewis and Hometeam at sanctioned competitions, more than once. The pulled pork is phenomenal too, and there’s cheddar-stuffed sausage, St. Louis ribs, loaded beans and the pay-by-the-pound concept is new to GVL. Friday there’s brisket tail burgers while they last and on Sunday there’s smoked prime rib.

5021 Pelham Rd
Greenville, SC 29615

5. Willy Taco

217 Laurens Rd, Greenville, SC 29607
Willy Taco [Official]

The reuse of this 1934 Feed & Seed Building is astonishing and put Midtown Greenville on the map when it opened not quite two years ago. Better still, the diversity of the staff at Willy Taco and its funked-up vibe and blown-out interiors (by notable restaurant designer Sandra Cannon) are only matched by the twisted imaginings of SC chef ambassador William Cribb. The best margarita in town is here and bring the pup on the comfortable covered patio and deck.

217 Laurens Rd
Greenville, SC 29607

6. Aryana Afghan Cuisine

210 E Coffee St, Greenville, SC 29601

Lunch is served nearly everyday and dinner is offered on Saturdays, but Aryana is a gem of a stop on Coffee Street and worth scheduling a trip around. For $10, visitors receive the menu of the day, which includes two proteins, two starches, and two vegetables along with pita. Proprietor Nelo Mayar, who is warm and lovely, believes in breaking down whole foods and teaching young people to cook and serve to her standards. Aryana is the place to eat in GVL for vegetarians and vegans, as every vegetable dish is independently sauced.

210 E Coffee St
Greenville, SC 29601

7. Sully's Steamers

6 E Washington St, Greenville, SC 29601

Just a storefront off of Main Street, find an unassuming bagel shop you won’t forget. Robert Sullivan produces bagel sandwiches steamed in magic machines and oozing every imaginable ingredient together. Perfectly pedestrian ingredients become intertwined while dripping down your arm (even wrapped in wax-lined foil). Try the Late Night stuffed with a half bag of Doritos or the Pirate smeared with house-made spinach cream cheese, turkey, and banana peppers.   

6 E Washington St
Greenville, SC 29601

8. The Anchorage

586 Perry Ave, Greenville, SC 29611

Greenville swooned when The Anchorage got a James Beard nomination last year and for good reason. Chef Greg McPhee’s treatment of Southern ingredients feels direct and relevant in the succinct interiors of his West Village eatery. The cocktails are the perfect mate to a delightfully restrained wine and beer list and patrons will find themselves toggling between the drinks as half-plates arrive one after the next. McPhee’s love of seasonal vegetables is apparent and protein cuts are sauced with clean, acid-leaning flavors

586 Perry Ave
Greenville, SC 29611

9. Golden Brown & Delicious

1269 Pendleton St, Greenville, SC 29611

Chef Alex George is a darling of the Village of West Greenville scene with three family-owned businesses: Carol’s Ice Cream, The Village Grind coffee shop (his sister Lindsey’s), and the flagship eatery: Golden, Brown & Delicious, known locally as GB&D. The once lunch-only modern diner is in full swing with dinner service. Greenville’s most celebrated burger is often available lunch and dinner, but the daily ramen, bibimbap, or mac n cheese variation is return worthy. A much anticipated bar with its own food menu opens early 2019.

1269 Pendleton St
Greenville, SC 29611

10. Jianna

600 S Main St #2, Greenville, SC 29601
Jianna [Official]

This second story restaurant, bar, and terrace is a beautiful place to dine or sip in the heart of downtown GVL overlooking both Main Street and Falls Park. Chef Michael Kramer is a pasta-extruding dynamo and the 360-degree oyster bar is a place where pretty people hang late afternoon and throughout the night. A honeyed whipped ricotta with toast is a quiet standout on the menu as well as braised dishes.

600 S Main St #2
Greenville, SC 29601

11. Otto Izakaya Downtown

802 S Main St, Greenville, SC 29601
Otto Izakaya [Official]

Go to this kitschy sake bar for its interiors, but the hyper-crafted, super fresh sushi and twisted apps will keep visitors here well into the evening. Phrases like “Sake to Me” and “Make Pour Decisions” create enticing backdrops and the spicy tuna crispy rice appetizer will make you a believer in this Peter Lieu concept. Generic looking fries are deceptively addictive and a randomly named avocado salad is the thoroughbred on the menu, doused in perfect ponzu and including some of the best omelet I’ve tasted stateside.  

802 S Main St
Greenville, SC 29601

12. 8th State Brewery

400 Augusta St, Greenville, SC 29605

The Skittles commercial “taste the rainbow” will ring through your head while at 8th State Brewery, located in the basement of the original Greenville Claussen’s Bakery Plant. Is it beer, ale, juice, sours or some type of pumped up smoothie? Who knows, but count this unabashed lab experiment delicious. Beer arrives in shades of natural red, orange, yellow and green. And, blue? Yep, that too. Local bands play on weekends and bar snacks arrive savory in all the right ways.

400 Augusta St
Greenville, SC 29605

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