4 Foodie Destinations to Visit in Downtown Greenville, South Carolina

Hello Greenville sign

Do you enjoy traveling to try new foods as much as you enjoy traveling to visit new destinations? If so, you’re not alone. Culinary tourism has exploded in recent years, and with good reason. While trying new foods in a chosen destination is delicious, it also allows for a full immersion in the city’s history, traditions and culture. 

But before you jet off to Rome to eat your weight in pasta, don’t forget there are loads of great foodie destinations right here in the U.S. – and the small South Carolina city of Greenville is one of them. The city’s diverse range of high-quality restaurants and slick venues will keep you coming back again and again. With over 600 restaurants in a town of just under 70,000 residents, visiting is sure to sate your hunger just as much as your wanderlust.

Bicycling in downtown Greenville, SC Check out downtown Greenville's many murals, such as this artwork outside The Anchorage restaurant.

Even better, Greenville is located within a three-hour drive from popular destinations – like Charleston, South Carolina; Charlotte, North Carolina; and Atlanta, Georgia – making it an ideal option for a foodie getaway. Fly in directly and pick up your Alamo rental car at Greenville-Spartanberg International Airport (GSP) to start your culinary tour of the environs in style. Be forewarned, Greenville’s abundance of eateries may make choosing where to eat a bit overwhelming. Here are four of my favorite Greenville restaurants to help you decide.

For the Breakfast Lover: Roost

Nobody does Southern-fare like Roost, a stylish-yet-affordable spot located in downtown Greenville’s bustling NOMA Square (a popular outdoor plaza located in the heart of the city). With a focus on organic, locally grown and seasonally sourced ingredients, this restaurant has a distinct “soil-to-city” dining concept that is both sustainable and admirable. While the breakfast menu is their strong suit (their stone ground grits, fresh-baked pastries, and eggs Benedict are my personal favorites), they’re also open for lunch and dinner. Roost’s outdoor seating and location on downtown Greenville’s busy Main Street makes it a great place to have a meal and people watch (which is half the fun).

Roost Restaurant, Greenville, SC Roost's location on downtown Greenville's busy Main Street makes it a perfect people-watching spot.

Travel Tip: Once you’re done with breakfast, check out another type of roost: the South American Aviary Exhibit at Greenville Zoo, located just over 1 mile from the restaurant.

Pastries at Roost Start your day with a wide selection of breakfast favorites at Roost.

 

For the Nature Lover: Swamp Rabbit Cafe

Want a side of exercise with your sandwich? If so, you’ll love the Swamp Rabbit Cafe, located on Swamp Rabbit Trail in Falls Park near the river. You can bike, walk or run the 20-miles of lush, paved greenway in this natural oasis. It starts just a few miles from Greenville’s downtown core, which is also highly walkable and filled with several popular attractions like the Greenville County Museum of Art. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, the cafe is an ideal pit stop for delectable local eats: Its farm-fresh food is sourced from over 100 grocers in the area. With large portions and a rotating menu that offers everything from sandwiches (my personal favorite) to wood-fired pizza to charcuterie boards, the Swamp Rabbit Cafe is well worth a visit.

Sandwich at Swamp Rabbit Cafe Whether you prefer to sink your teeth into a sandwich or wood-fired pizza, the rotating menu at Swamp Rabbit Cafe is sure to satisfy any appetite.

 

For the Person Who Loves Views: Up on the Roof

Love skyline views? Then you will enjoy your time at Up on the Roof, the restaurant and bar serving up tasty food atop the Embassy Suites Hotel. With modern decor and al fresco setting offering scenic vistas of the Reedy River and Blue Ridge Mountains, Up on the Roof is a great place to unwind. If you’re looking to fill the hunger gap, never fear; the restaurant serves lunch, dinner and appetizers. However, it’s the breakfast poutine that takes the proverbial cake, consisting of home fries, sausage gravy, fried chicken, bacon and fried egg. This meal will leave you more than satisfied. Thirsty? They also have regionally brewed craft beers and creative cocktails available.

Travel Tip: Take a post-meal stroll to Falls Park, which is about a 10-minute walk from the hotel along the Greenville Health System Swamp Rabbit Trail. Walk across the uniquely designed Liberty Bridge and admire the numerous public art pieces scattered throughout the park.

View of downtown Greenville from Up On The Roof restaurant Dine next to an unbeatable view of downtown Greenville at Up On The Roof restaurant.

 

For the International Cuisine Lover: Pomegranate on Main

For those craving cuisine with international flair, look no further than Pomegranate on Main. Located on Main Street, the tree-lined thoroughfare that bisects downtown Greenville, this restaurant offers up sumptuous Persian eats, in an airy dining room decorated with authentic Iranian art. Pomegranate on Main specializes in serving up traditional recipes made fresh daily, so be sure to try the hummus and flatbread, or the beef, lamb or chicken kabobs, which are cooked over an open flame on a two foot skewer. Whatever you choose, you’ll definitely enjoy this taste of the Middle East in the American South.

If the way to your heart is through your stomach, be sure to add Greenville to your travel list – you’ll absolutely love it!   

 

Alamo COVID-19 FAQS

Is Alamo open during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak?

Yes. Alamo is an essential services provider that remains open to meet critical transportation and personal mobility needs.

How do I rent a vehicle from Alamo during the COVID-19 outbreak?

You can make reservations via our website or Alamo mobile app. To save time at the rental counter, you can check in online with your driver’s license information and rental confirmation number.

To streamline your rental experience further and enable you to safely practice social distancing when picking up your rental vehicle:

  • You can skip the counter (for select locations) in advance after activating Online Check-In. Then, you can go straight to your car without visiting the counter or kiosk.
  • Another option is Alamo’s Self-Service Kiosk at select locations. All you need to check in is your driver’s license and credit card. When you’re finished, just show your rental agreement and driver’s license at the exit booth before you hit the road.

What steps are being taken to clean the rental cars?

Clean vehicles have always been important to us, but at this moment in time, we know vehicle cleanliness is even more critical. Each rental vehicle is thoroughly cleaned between every rental and backed with the Complete Clean Pledge. This includes washing, vacuuming, general wipe down, and sanitizing with a disinfectant that meets leading heath authority requirements, with particular attention to more than 20-plus high-touch points including:

  • Key / key fob
  • Steering wheel
  • Steering column
  • Seat belts
  • Center console
  • Door interiors
  • Door pockets
  • Interior door handles
  • Exterior door handles
  • Seat pockets / seat surfaces
  • Areas between seats & consoles
  • Areas between seats & doorjambs
  • Cupholders / compartments
  • Instrument panel
  • Accessory panel / touchscreen
  • Rearview mirror / side mirrors
  • Visors / visor mirrors
  • Dashboard / vents
  • Gear stick / gear shift
  • Trunk release
  • Among other high-touch areas

As part of the Complete Clean Pledge, we've also extended our already rigorous cleaning protocols to our shuttles and rental locations.

Read more COVID-19 FAQs.

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About the Author

Oneika Raymond

Oneika is the voice behind "Oneika the Traveller", an award-winning travel blog dedicated to inspiring, encouraging, and empowering women and people of color to see the world. A thrill-seeker who's always in the midst of planning her next trip, Oneika has bungee jumped over the Zambezi River, fished for piranhas in the Amazon, and climbed active volcanoes in Guatemala and Ecuador.