Eat + Drink

Hold the BBQ Sauce: Where to Eat Against the Grain in Greenville

Looking for places to eat in Greenville, South Carolina? Skip the barbecue and try something new. (Photo: Getty Images)

If there’s one thing that Greenville, South Carolina, is known for, it’s barbecue. But there’s more to the food scene than meat sweats and trying to get the smell of burning hickory out of your favorite jacket. When in Greenville, think outside the smoke box.

Repeat After Me: Bacon is the Cure

Humankind has reached new heights now that we’re replacing cupcake sprinkles with bacon bits. Bacon Bros. Public House is a celebration of such achievements.

Ordering a salad here is like asking an H&M clerk where to find relaxed-fit jeans. The pimento cheese jar, complete with bacon jam, is a creamy, cathartic snack, and their meat board menu reads like an encyclopedia of charcuterie cuts.

Insider Tip: Cocktails at Bacon Bros. are far from ordinary. The Cotillion, with green tea vodka and creme de violette, is light and refreshing.

Go for a Culinary “Oompah”

German grub isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think of going to a restaurant in Greenville, S.C., but eating like a local means reservations at Schwaben House.

Put bluntly, the restaurant looks like a barn, but inside you’ll find elegance with the sharp table settings and handsome bar.

Dishes like Maultaschen refine beer-n-brat stereotypes. Think ravioli, but bigger and bolder.

Insider Tip: A traditional pomegranate martini goes great with a big plate of schnitzel at Schwaben House. We kid. There’s real-deal German beer on draft, so fill up a stein of Warsteiner.

Dine on the Edge

If The Lazy Goat sat any closer to the Reedy River, you’d have to kayak to your table. The restaurant’s view of Falls Park makes it a great date spot that’s easy to get to from hotels in lively downtown Greenville.

Up the likelihood of a second rendezvous with the splittable Duck, Duck, Goat Pizza. Arugula and caramelized onions do their thing, and cherry vinaigrette gives duck confit and goat cheese serious zing.

Insider Tip: Other places pour merlot into a fruit salad and call it sangria. The Lazy Goat recipe calls for more care (aka, schnapps). Happy hour is 4-7 p.m. on weekdays, and wine is half off on Wednesday evenings.

Bypass the Obvious

Branching out from the barbecue at Smoke on the Water may seem counterintuitive, because the live music hot spot on charming Augusta St. is indeed known for what it pulls off the pit.

But unlike standard barbecue joints, the menu here doesn’t stop at brisket and potato salad. Get the blue cheese burger and a side of their bread crumb-topped macaroni because, well, cheese is life.

Insider Tip: Smoke on the Water has a bar full of micro-brews and happy hour from 5-7 p.m. on weekdays, but cap this meal off with fried bananas foster. The traditional rum-soaked dessert fell in love with a doughnut: Meet their beautiful baby.