Downtown Greenville Restaurants & Cuisine

Calling Greenville, South Carolina, a “tasty town” doesn’t begin to do it justice. Counting more than 200 restaurants in downtown alone, Greenville has racked up numerous accolades for its food scene by the likes of Zagat, Esquire, and Southern Living. And it’s no wonder. In 2024, the renowned James Beard Foundation nominated two local restaurants and one chef as semi-finalists in different award categories: O-Ku Sushi for Outstanding Restaurateur; Scoundrel for Best New Restaurant; and Tania Cienfuegos Harris of Topsoil Kitchen + Market in Travelers Rest for Outstanding Pasty Chef or Baker.

Bubbling over with fine restaurants, Main Street is a great place to begin your hunt for curated cuisine. Along the 12 blocks of Main from NOMA Square to Fluor Field, you’ll find a world of cuisines, from modern twists on Southern dishes to classic French preparations. 

Prime your palate for a luscious adventure! Here’s a guide to eating your way down Main Street.

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Across the street, chef/owner Max Godo turns out authentic Japanese fare at SUSHI GO. Yakitori, udon, teriyaki, nigiri, and an enticing list of specialty sushi rolls provide plenty of choices. The chef goes the extra mile in preparations such as Flower Harumaki, fresh-wrapped spring rolls with avocado, snow crab, cucumber, and bright edible orchids.

Craving crawfish étouffée? You’ll find that and a host of other bayou basics a block down Main, at The Lost Cajun. Indulge in Jambalaya, Seafood Gumbo, Po’ Boys, and Red Beans and Rice—just be sure to leave room for Traditional Beignets for dessert.

North Main Street & ONE City Plaza

Take a trip to Northern Italy on the corner of Coffee Street at Ristorante Bergamo. Now under the ownership of Chef Gian Petro Ferro, who moved here from New York City, venerable Bergamo brings the cuisine of Italy’s Lombardy region to Greenville from antipasti to dolci. House-made pasta, Gamberoni (shrimp) in Brandy Cream Sauce, and Scallopine con Porcini have the delizioso bases covered.

Society Sandwich Bar & Social Club, also on Coffee Street, is a two-level sandwich bar that specializes in an internationally inspired selection of sammies with names like Seoul-Mate, Pezzo di Paradiso, and Chicken Cordon Bleu, in addition to a variety of ramen bowls.

At the intersection of Coffee & Main Streets, ONE City Plaza incorporates more dining options. Cantina 76 is popular for its tacos and margaritas, while Tupelo Honey flaunts its Southern roots with fried chicken—with or without waffles—and fluffy biscuits. Also on the plaza, Basil Thai turns out a taste of Thailand with specials like the Crispy Red Curry Duck.

Back on Main Street, Bonjour Main speaks in Gallic accents with its menu of crêpes—both sweet and savory. The Far East meets the Southwest at TakoSushi, where Chicken Taquitos and Chile Relleno share menu space with Makimono Rolls and Pork Potstickers.

Central Main Street

Carolina Ale House is the place to watch your favorite sports team while you wash down Slow-Roasted Carolina Baby Back Ribs with a long list of brews, ranging from pale ales to dark lagers. A casual but elevated vibe permeates NOSE DIVE, a gastropub with a cozy lounge above the dining room. Comfort food runs the gamut from Fish & Chips to Parmesan-Crusted Salmon.

Next door, white tablecloths signal the elegant atmosphere at Spoonbread, which serves breakfast, lunch, and a popular Sunday brunch with Southern flair in an airy, natural-light-filled room inside the historic Westin Poinsett hotel.

The place that helped spark the restaurant renaissance in Greenville when it opened in 1997, Soby’s New South Cuisine occupies a two-story brick building across the street from the Westin Poinsett. Consistently good contemporary Southern fare brings diners back for the likes of Fried Green Tomatoes with Pimento Cheese Fondue, Crab Cakes with Sweet Corn Maque Choux, and the signature White Chocolate Banana Cream Pie. One visit to The Jones Oyster Co. next door and you’ll be hooked by Greenville’s answer to a New England seafood shack. Choose among a changing selection of raw oysters, New Orleans-style grilled oysters, lobster rolls, and some of the best hush puppies around—all wrapped up in a snappy nautical ambience.

Steps away on Court Street, stop at Grill Marks for a wide variety of burgers, “Freaky Fries” (Chili Cheese Dog Fries, anyone?), and a thick old-fashioned milkshake for the kid in you. Spiked “ShakeTails” are available for adults.

On the other side of Broad Street, Indaco and O-Ku Sushi are new additions to the downtown dining scene, courtesy of the Indigo Group. These two satellites of the original restaurants in Charleston occupy space next door to each other. At Indaco, succulent beef and pork Polpette (meatballs) make a perfect prelude to a plate of house-made pasta—perhaps Spaghetti “Straw and Hay” with clams and lamb pancetta or Doppio Ravioli with duck confit and mascarpone. Sushi and nigiri rule the menu at O-Ku, in a lively contemporary space. For an authentic experience, take a seat at the sushi bar and put yourself in the chef’s hands for a multicourse omakase feast.

Wine lovers will consider a short detour down Broad Street to Northampton Wine + Dine worth the few extra steps. You’re guaranteed to find a perfect pairing for such entrees as a Bison Ribeye or Blackened Canadian Salmon in the vast global collection of wines that crowd the shelves in the adjoining shop.

Camperdown Plaza

Camperdown Plaza holds a plethora of places to dine in style, beginning with CAMP. Reserve a seat at the chef’s bar and dig into small plates that show off global influences from Asia (Pork and Shrimp Dumplings) and India (Malai Chicken Tikka) to Spain (Jamon Iberico with cantaloupe) and Italy (Tortellacci with brown butter and caviar). Tucked into one corner of the plaza, the new location of Larkin’s boasts two outdoor dining spaces, in addition to its chic interior. Steakhouse classics and Larkin’s Famous She Crab Soup remain staples of the menu, along with updated dishes such as Elk Tenderloin and Crab- and Pistachio-crusted Mahi Mahi. If you’re hankering for a taste of Spain, stroll across the plaza to Paloma in the AC Hotel, where Chef Fernando Coppola dishes up Vidalia and Cheddar Buneulos (fritters), Gambas al Ajillo, Patatas Bravas, and classic Spanish paella, portioned for two. From mid-March through the end of the year, you can step up to the window on the plaza side of the hotel and order a juicy burger and Skinny Fries from Perfect Buns to take away or enjoy at one of Camperdown’s outside tables. And don't miss out on Carmella's Dessert Cafe and Dessert Bar to round off your night with one of their delectable cakes and other sweet treats!

South Main Street

Here, Halls Chophouse offers the quintessential steakhouse experience in their newly spiffed-up space, with USDA Prime beef cuts flown in from Allen Brothers in Chicago and excellent service, to boot. Below Halls, on RiverPlace, grab tasty Mexican fare to go at the original location of Papi’s Tacos; or settle on the patio at The Lazy Goat and savor river views while you tuck into Mediterranean specialties such as Moroccan Lamb and a Falafel Bowl—and don’t pass up the signature Fried Goat Cheese.

Limoncello lights up the corner of Broad and River Streets at night with its picturesque outdoor terrace, the place to come for pizza, pasta, Chicken Parmigiana, and other Italian-American favorites. From an 8-ounce Petite Filet to a 22-ounce Cowboy Ribeye, Ruth’s Chris Steak House in the Embassy Suites Downtown RiverPlace will set you up with custom-aged Midwestern beef, broiled at 1,800 degrees to seal in juiciness and flavor.

You’ll find Jianna at South Main and Falls Park Drive, where chef/owner Michael Kramer unveils his version of a modern Italian osteria. Linger over house-made pasta (think: Beef Short Rib Ragu) and Negroni-inspired cocktails on the second-floor balcony or pull up a stool inside at the raw bar and accompany the day’s selection of oysters with a refreshing glass of Prosecco.

Right across the street, at the entrance to Falls Park, Passerelle Bistro turns a French-influenced eye to dishes like Mussels with Saffron Cream, Salade Niçoise, and Bouillabaisse. Greenville’s mild year-round weather offers myriad opportunities to enjoy the shady terrace, which overlooks the park’s landscaped grounds.

Stroll across the Liberty Bridge and take in the view of the Reedy River Falls enroute to the other side, where the Grand Bohemian Lodge awaits. In addition to a priceless collection of Native American art, the hotel contains an all-day restaurant, Between the Trees. Taking its cues from the region’s Appalachian agricultural heritage, the dinner menu features Carolina Bison Tenderloin, Pecan-Crusted Trout, and regionally sourced cheeses. And that’s not to mention the natural wood and stone accents in the dining room, where large windows peer out on the rushing waterfalls below.

The West End Historic District

Foxcroft Wine Co., on South Main Street, opens for retail wine sales in the afternoon. Come evening, you can easily make a meal out of Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Four-Cheese Flatbread, and the irresistible Truffle Fries—paired, of course, with a glass of wine from their international selection. Iranian specialties rule at Pomegranate on Main. Dip some pita bread into house-made Hummus and Mirza Ghasemi (a smoky roasted-eggplant dip) while you sip on the restaurant’s signature pomegranate martini. This will whet your appetite for savory stews such as Fesenjan, chicken with ground walnuts and pomegranate, served with fragrant basmati rice.

Beef is what’s for dinner in the masculine, wood-paneled dining space at Rick Erwin’s West End Grille, along with jumbo lump Crab Cakes, Seared Ahi Tuna, and steakhouse sides from Creamed Spinach to Five-Cheese Macaroni. If Edamame Hummus, Shrimp Sui Mai, and deep-fried Karaage Wings are the types of dishes you crave, head down the street to Otto Izakaya. At this pub-like bar, treat yourself to the full menu of starters, small plates, and noodles, or hang out at the sushi bar to feast on specialty rolls, nigiri, and sashimi.

Veer left on Augusta Street at its intersection with South Main Street for more delicious finds. First up is the second location of Papi’s Tacos. Whereas the original has counter service, the new Papi’s offers full-service and includes a tequila bar and a large outdoor patio on which to appreciate the award-winning Al Pastor tacos. Nearby, Gather GVL has fashioned an outdoor food court out of former shipping containers. As an incubator for new restaurant concepts, the food lineup changes frequently. Lobster rolls, smashburgers, and fried chicken and donuts are just a sampling of what you may find. That variety, coupled with Gather GVL’s location just behind Fluor Field, means you can bring the whole family for a bite before a baseball game, and everyone will find something to like.

A bit farther down Augusta Street, Jasmine Kitchen nourishes the soul as well as the body. The lunch café serves as a social enterprise for the nonprofit Jasmine Road, a residential program for adult women survivors of human trafficking, prostitution, and addiction. A weekly changing selection of soups, salads, and sandwiches made with seasonal ingredients reflect the café’s scratch-made ethos.

Retrace your steps back to South Main Street and continue south to The Bellwether Public House. Perched right next to Fluor Field baseball stadium, The Bellwether is the place to stop for a pre- or post-game meal. While large-screen TVs suggest a sports bar, the kicked-up comfort food says otherwise. Case in point, Left Field Nachos are made with fried eggroll wrappers, while Poutine dresses up French fries á la Canadienne with cheese curds and gravy. All this, and a pup-friendly back patio, too.

Turn down Markley Street to reach Urban Wren. Housed in historic Markley Station, this upscale restaurant features cosmopolitan cuisine, with a wine and cocktail program to match. Shake up your evening with a seasonal craft cocktail, then move on to dinner: perhaps Ahi Tuna Poke and Moroccan Meatballs to share, followed by a Crispy Fried Red Snapper or a Cast-Iron Strip Steak. Wine was the original concept behind Urban Wren, so you can rest assured that their wine list will please your discriminating oenophile friends.

The Village of West Greenville

Last, but far from least, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention The Anchorage. Okay, it’s not walking distance from Main Street, but this restaurant in the Village of West Greenville should not be missed. You’ll appreciate why The Anchorage received a James Beard nomination for Best New Restaurant in 2018, once you taste its ever-changing selection of small plates, expertly crafted from local ingredients.


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