If you’re looking for a night-on-the-town experience, Greenville has a lot to offer. Those of you familiar with the area know that our town is a foodie city, with a wide range of restaurants catering to every set of taste buds. If you’re looking for a finer dining experience worth splurging for, here are some recommendations.
Oak Hill Cafe, Soby’s, Jianna and CAMP are recommended by BJU culinary arts chef instructor Rob Hansen.
Be aware that all of the locations on this list either strongly recommend or require guests to request a reservation.
Smoke on the Water
Located in the west end of downtown, Smoke on the Water has earned a reputation for being the place to eat in Greenville. The menu at this venue features the best of southern food, taking rustic recipes like pimento cheese, pulled pork, deviled eggs, and shrimp and grits and elevating them to new culinary heights.
Halls is a high-end steakhouse down the block from the Peace Center, downtown’s premier theatre. Their menu lists generous steak and seafood options. This restaurant sources its USDA-certified steaks from the Allen Brothers of Chicago, a company that prides itself on its high-quality, carefully-aged cuts of beef. This post is a great place for the foodie looking for both quality and quantity.
Oak Hill Cafe and Farm
Oak Hill specializes in both earth-consciousness and deliciousness. Staffed by culinary experts, this spot takes farm-to-table to a new level. Oak Hill has a restaurant, a market and a farm all in one location. For this reason, Oak Hill is located far from downtown on Poinsett Highway, closer to Travelers Rest. Their menu has something for every preference, including meals meant for sharing, such as charcuterie boards and tapas.
Jianna offers a five-star experience with an Italian flair. This downtown Greenville restaurant creates modern Italian flavors with fresh seasonal and regional ingredients. The owner, Chef Kramer, earned his culinary degree from the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco and his apprenticeship at La Folie restaurant, one of the finest restaurants in San Francisco’s thriving food scene. The menu includes familiar standards like expertly-prepared spaghetti alongside items like the Campanelle al Nero di Sepia (rock shrimp, Calabrian chili and beech mushrooms in a spiced Diavolo sauce).
Soby’s specializes in what it calls “new South cuisine.” This is another restaurant on our list that serves up creative twists on classic down-home Southern favorites, including braised beef short ribs, fine chicken, shrimp and grits, and local seasonal vegetable plates and salads. Soby’s sources ingredients from local farmers and growers whenever possible, assuring their guests will always taste the magic of the South.
CAMP’s menu includes chef-crafted creative plates such as the Wagyu Corndog and Xili Dumplings, five-star twists on dishes like BBQ pulled pork and fresh-catch fish dishes. They boast a “comfort food menu” according to their website, promising both perfectly prepared meals and a relaxed, comfortable atmosphere and dining experience. Their staff includes highly trained chefs with experience gleaned from cooking abroad and cooking close to home, lending authenticity to their eclectic menu.
The executive sous chef at CAMP is one of BJU’s local culinary arts alumni. Read about others in this Around Greenville article.
At the Chef’s Table Culinary Tour
Can’t decide where to go for that big night out? Register for Greenville History Tours’ culinary tour where you can experience a taste of several Greenville eateries, including Nose Dive, Table301 Catering & Kitchen, The Lazy Goat, Soby’s, Passarelle Bistro and Jianna.
Fun fact: Greenville History Tours is owned and run by BJU alumnus and Division of Art + Design faculty member John Nolan.
Don’t miss the rest of our Around Greenville series to see more of what our city and the area around it has to offer.