Tuesday, April 19, 2022
Spartanburg’s dining culture roots run deep. From the early days of Colonials using the area for hunting and crops, to textile mill employees eating at delicatessens across the county, to that slice of Americana of enjoying a burger a-plenty and tea from The Beacon. Our love of food hasn’t wavered, but the list of where to get a delicious meal keeps growing. It may become overwhelming and you may end up eating at your favorite restaurants over and over, but it’s okay to try something new.
Sugar and Spice, The Kennedy, Ike’s Korner Grill, Nu-Way, Cribbs Kitchen, and Wade’s Restaurant, all are restaurants you may have heard of or dined at during your time in Spartanburg. All of these places are great, but sometimes you may just want to switch it up a little bit and try something new. It doesn’t matter if you’re visiting Spartanburg for a weekend, week, or you’ve lived here your whole life, sometimes you have to explore those hidden gems and we’re here to help.
The former owners of the popular Le Spice Restaurant & Bakery opened Chef Ae’s in the former Baber Rhyne building near Wofford College. The restaurant offers delectable burgers along with Chef Ae’s personally-inspired French and Thai twists on sandwiches, salads and entrees.
The menu also highlights French-inspired desserts to add the perfect finishing touch to your meal.
This Black-owned restaurant sits in the middle of Spartanburg’s Northside revitalization. Monarch Café and Fresh Food Store isn’t just a quaint café offering a place to enjoy a fresh meal while overlooking the nearby Butterfly Branch Greenway, it’s a community-minded store connecting residents in the area to healthy food choices.
Monarch Café provides moderately-priced breakfast, lunch and “lite-bites,” and the Fresh Food Store features produce, dairy, meats and more from local and regional farmers. Monarch also offers cooking demonstrations and classes highlighting fresh produce.
Stone Soup Market & Café is more than a restaurant; it’s a community hub with a specialty food market in the lobby and a dog park out back. Chef Suzanne Strickland is as passionate about the Carolina Foothills region as she is about transforming local ingredients into specialties like shrimp & grits, tomato pies and pizzas and flatbreads made in Stone Soup’s brick oven.
Scoop into the savory salsa, sip on a margarita, and enjoy the authentic Mexican flavors when you dine at Maria’s Beer & Grill. This hidden gem serves up favorites from tacos and enchiladas, to their burritos and nachos so there is something for the whole family to enjoy. With robust flavors and generous portions, we’re pretty sure whatever you order will join your very own clean plate club.
Serving the Upstate for over 40 years, Lake Bowen Fish Camp isn’t a place you take your pet fish during the summer, it’s a staple of seafood dining in Spartanburg. Order your fried seafood sampler and enjoy the catfish, oysters, shrimp, and more while you take in the view of Lake Bowen; or take it to-go and enjoy your meal at Anchor Park across the lake.
Downtown Spartanburg’s Lemongrass Kitchen focuses on classic Vietnamese noodle dishes like pho, and the popular street food, the Banh Mi sandwich. Served on a French baguette, the Banh Mi features a variety of proteins and vegetables, typically including jalapenos, pickled carrots and daikon radish, and cilantro.
When you visit Spartanburg, you’ll only just scratch the surface of delicious dining across the county, so be sure to carve out plenty of time just to eat and enjoy some of the restaurants you have not tried before. While we’ve highlighted four of our top picks above, there’s still plenty we’d like to shout-out like Boots’ & Sonny’s Drive-In, which features the foods we’ve come to love and expect from a drive-in such as its cheeseburger with chili, onion, and mustard. When you dine at Granny’s Kitchen in Inman, you’ll feel like part of the family while you enjoy a bountiful breakfast of biscuits and gravy or embrace your Southern roots and get the meat and three.
Have a favorite hidden gem in Spartanburg that we didn’t mention? Share your recommendations and pictures with #OneSpartanburg for a chance to be featured on our social media (and obviously follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest if you don’t already).