Greenville’s recent explosion onto the southeast’s culinary scene as a top-shelf foodie destination now has the city comfortably rubbing shoulders with well-established epicurean havens Atlanta, GA and Charleston, SC. This food renaissance has unveiled a wealth of unmatched restaurants, so get ready to to eat-your-way-through Greenville. The secret is out…. and it is yours to enjoy. You won’t leave disappointed – or hungry!
THE SECRET IS OUT!
Within just a few years, an emergence of restaurateurs have transformed Greenville’s downtown into a gourmet paradise of over 100 restaurants. The majority of these are locally owned and operated, reflective of Greenville’s unique character and charm. A short walk up or down Main Street will yield a diverse offering of dining opportunities that’s sure to please every palate
World-class chefs eager to introduce new tastes to the region were attracted by what makes Greenville such an attractive place to live: the temperate climate, an unparalleled quality of life, and low cost of living. These advantages, combined with a steady supply of patrons and a plentiful source of farm fresh foods, has well positioned Greenville to become one of the hottest new places to dine in the south.
Greenville boasts one of the most diverse dining experiences you’ll find anywhere. It’s got all the traditional Southern staples you’d expect find: bar-b-que joints, chicken shacks, steakhouses, and after-church comfort food lunch places. But if you’re after Malaysian, Italian or Greek cuisine, you’ll find it in Greenville, too. And the array isn’t confined to downtown – more than 600 restaurants are located in the immediate Greenville area.
One of the most unique downtown restaurants is Addys, a place where the cozy old-world atmosphere and distinct menu reminds diners of the finest European restaurants. Addys menu is an eclectic combination of Dutch cuisine and Dutch/Indonesian selections. If you go, you’ll want to sample the house soups that are a local favorite and personally prepared by the owner.
City Range is another local favorite that provide diners with familiar American cuisine served up with a twist. Each item on the menu is made fresh daily, utilizing only the best ingredients. City Range specializes in Black Angus steaks, comfort food with a flair, and fresh salads and sandwiches.
Among those attracted by Greenville’s love of good food is Carl Sobocinski, the owner of a group of restaurants dedicated to the highest standards of hospitality.
Sobocinski, a native of New Hampshire, came south to study architecture at Clemson University but decided that food, rather than architecture, was a better creative outlet for his restless mind and entrepreneurial spirit.
Soby’s New South Cuisine was Sobocinski’s first restaurant. Opening in 1997, Soby’s was praised for both its excellent food and its pioneering renovation of a century-old downtown building. Soby’s quickly became a Greenville favorite, but Sobocinski, still eager, began seeking out his next challenge. Sobociniski didn’t disappoint, and since then he has pioneered a string of hugely successful and innovative restaurants that now include Soby’s on the Side, Devereaux’s, The Lazy Goat, Nose Dive, Passerelle Bistro, and Papi’s Tacos.
Another restaurant representative of Greenville’s thriving and creative dining scene is Sassafras Southern Bistro, where owners Joe, Jennifer and Brant Kennedy serve up a fantastic selection of Low Country favorites. Sassafras isn’t just a local favorite; the bistro has earned dozens of top awards and reviews from food critics and was selected by NY City Magazine as one of its 101 Favorite Restaurants in the US.
Greenville’s growing reputation for quality food made it inevitable that a world class food festival would follow. Euphoria Greenville is the city’s premier annual wine and food festival, and was founded by platinum-selling singer and songwriter Edwin McCain and Carl Sobocinski. For nearly a decade, Euphoria has educated, enticed, and entertained food, wine and music lovers from across the country.
Euphoria kicks off in late September with a Friday night dinner highlighting local chefs at the popular ‘A Taste of the South’ event, followed on Saturday with cooking demonstrations, a grand wine-tasting and a beer garden. The Festival concludes on Sunday with a Jazz Brunch and a Culinary Cook-Off, capped with a fabulous Southern Sunday Supper at day’s end. Check out euphoriagreenville.com for details and mark your calendars because Euphoria is definitely a destination event to visit year after year.
If your time is limited but you’d like an overview of what Greenville’s top restaurants and Chef’s have to offer, then check out “At the Chef’s Table” Culinary Tour from Greenville History Tours . Offering visitors behind-the-scenes access to restaurant kitchens, “At the Chef’s Table” gives guests small tastings and the opportunity to meet the chefs from several of the area’s leading restaurants. Go to greenvillehistorytours.com for
Greenville’s emphasis on impeccable food isn’t only about eating. If you want to sharpen your culinary skills during your stay, there are a number of cooking classes to suit both amateur and accomplished cooks alike. Classes cover everything from basic knife skills to the fine points of preparing a four-course French dinner. Be sure to check the availability of the classes offered at Charleston Cooks on North Main Street, The Cooks Station in the West End, and Foxfire, near downtown.
Make no mistake, the secret is out and Greenville is firmly on the culinary map. We invite you to get out and explore any of the restaurants mentioned above and browse through the A Look at Greenville dining guide. With so many outstanding choices, you won’t be disappointed!