5 Delicious Upstate Restaurants To Visit (Plus A Bonus!)

The Upstate is filled to the brim with amazing places to eat. Greenville and the surrounding area is truly a foodie paradise. 

To help you explore, here are five (PLUS A BONUS!) delightful restaurants that we personally love.

S.B.H. BBQ CO. (Greenville)  – There’s a difference between “barbecue” and “competition barbecue.” Barbecue is that beautiful combination of tradition, hard work, love and (sorry people from out west) pork. That’s right, I said it, barbecue is pork. For most of us, competition barbecue is the kind of thing we see on TV but never get to experience, typically involving a bunch of bearded men in aprons staring at their smokers and cooking beef brisket. I don’t mind the beards and aprons, but in my experience brisket doesn’t make very good barbecue. It’s finicky, hard to cook, and if it isn’t done right it’s like eating an old dry leather belt. One exception is the brisket at S.B.H. BBQ Co. Competition Style BBQ.  They’ve got plenty of ribbons, trophies and awards in their restaurant to prove that they know what barbecue is all about. Their brisket is tender, juicy, buttery, thick cut and sublime in every way. Try their brisket sandwich with cheese on top, hand cut fries and a little slaw on the side. I recommend the “sweet” barbecue sauce, but they’re all good. S.B.H. also has smoked pork and chicken, but I just can’t pass up the brisket (please don’t tell my southern friends). Eat local y’all!

JAVA BISTRO & CAFE (Simpsonville) If you’re hungry, and in the Five Forks area of Simpsonville, you’ve got to visit Java Bistro. Good coffee, great food, friendly staff and a laid back atmosphere. My family has been going there for about 10 years and it’s a permanent fixture on our breakfast and brunch rotation. Try the sausage egg and cheese breakfast sandwich on a buttered croissant or the patty melt with their fresh cut home fries – you won’t be disappointed!

ALPHA RESTAURANT (Taylors)  – A lot of people are afraid to try new restaurants.  “How do I know if the food is good?”  Use your nose. Drive into the parking lot, roll down your window and smell.  At Alpha you’ll smell the glorious aroma of grilling meats and crispy thick cut fries.  Mmmm. I like to order their “Philly Cheese Steak” plate. Tender thin cut steak, caramelized onions and bell peppers on a soft roll. Give it a try! 

NEW ENGLAND SEAFOOD (Greenville)Good seafood can be hard to come by when you’re away from the coast. If you’re anywhere near Haywood Mall and in the mood for a good, solid seafood meal without the pretentiousness of a fancy restaurant atmosphere give New England Seafood a try. My favorite is the fish and chips (#17 on the menu). It’s a big beautiful piece of golden fried haddock that comes with slaw, shoestring fries and thin cut onion rings. Even better with a cup of “chowdah!”

KITCHEN SYNC (Greenville)Kitchen Sync has a fun, creative southern comfort food inspired menu with lots of locally sourced ingredients. This is a great place to step out of your comfort zone and order something you normally wouldn’t, like their incredible tomato pie (cheesy, gooey, flaky, awesome), the catfish fish and chips (so good!), or the “Beets by K” organic fried beets appetizer (I know, I don’t like beets either, but these are crazy good). The relaxing back patio is a great place to spend the evening eating and sipping a cocktail or two. Eat local, y’all!


Anyone who knows me, has read my other food blogs, or has seen my waistline knows that it would be very rare for me to use the words “salad” and “satisfying” in the same sentence, but the ribeye salad at Palmetto Fine Foods on Laurens Road in Greenville qualifies without question.  A large portion of perfectly seasoned thin cut diced steak, crisp greens and the best house made buttermilk ranch dressing you’ve ever had.  Super good.  They even add the old south traditional pickles and hard boiled egg – simply perfection.  

If you’re in the neighborhood please don’t pass up Palmetto Fine Foods.  Family owned and operated, you’re likely to be greeted by the owner himself. This isn’t your average diner. High quality ingredients, friendly service and a part of this town that I hope lasts forever. I’ve tried almost the entire menu and have never had a bad meal. Try the steak fingers with tots,  gyros or anything else on the big menu board, you won’t be disappointed.  

P.S. If you have kids, make a day of it. Go to the Greenville Zoo (about 2 miles away) then take your family to Palmetto Fine Foods.

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