Have you and your friends ever had a hard time deciding where to go out to eat together? One friend might want tacos, another is in the mood for sushi, and you’ve been daydreaming about pizza all day. The solution? A visit to a food hall.
Modern food halls are a trendy foodie phenomenon born in the 2000s. Food halls are shared spaces for local restaurants and businesses housed in either new constructions or repurposed older structures. They’re like food courts, but instead of a dedicated common area in a mall where you order food from a fast-food chain’s kiosk, you’re surrounded by locally owned, locally sourced, one-of-a-kind restaurants and retailers.
South Carolina is new to the food hall trend, with locations like Gather Greenville arriving in the area around 2019. But local food halls take a proudly southern, small-town spin on a trend that’s trickled down from much larger urban centers. Greenville County has several excellent food halls to explore, with flavor options for every set of taste buds.
Gather Greenville is walking distance from other downtown favorites like Fluor Field and the Greenville Children’s Theater. This food hall is an outdoor venue composed of a colorful array of food stations housed in repurposed shipping containers arranged in a horseshoe shape around a common seating area. Gather Greenville is a community space where food is the main event, featuring local eateries like The Lob Father (lobster rolls), HenDough (fried chicken and doughnuts), YoLo Pizza Kitchen (fresh-baked pizza), KO Burger (classic burgers and fries), The Pasta Addict (dishes made with locally made pasta), and more. Gather Greenville is a great place to bring a large group of people thanks to ample group seating both on the ground floor and in a loft area.
The different food stations are open at different hours of the day, so to see what food is available when, check their website.
The Commons is another food hall in downtown Greenville located next to the future site of Unity Park. The Commons found a home inside a series of repurposed warehouses, renovated to fit a modern industrial aesthetic. With plenty of seating within a climate-controlled space, this food and business hall is a great place to eat during Greenville’s more temperamental weather seasons.
The Commons houses restaurants including Automatic Taco, the fast-casual Golden Brown & Delicious, Methodical Coffee and Bake Room among others. This community space is also home base for several local businesses, including GruffyGoat (website builders), Billiam (a custom denim company) and the Greenville Bike & Tri company.
Check the hours for The Commons’s businesses at their website.
Warehouse at Vaughn’s
The Warehouse at Vaughn’s is a community venue in Simpsonville, the southern end of Greenville county. The Warehouse is a space with food stations and seating located both inside and outside. Situated not far from quiet downtown Simpsonville, the Warehouse is a great place for sitting and staying awhile, removed from the rush of Greenville County’s fast-paced urban scene. Enjoy fresh Tex-Mex food from Tacos & Bla Bla Bla, a classic burger from Bourbon Street Burgers, gelato and paninis from Trade Street Market, or even a cup of South Carolina’s state snack from The Peanut Co., a boiled peanut stand.
Check the full list of businesses and business hours on the Warehouse website.
Taylors Mill is the least food-hall-style location on our list, but we’re keeping it in by virtue of its unique setting and combination of businesses. Taylors Mill is exactly that: a historic textile mill (complete with a towering smokestack) in the city of Taylors, near their small, quasi-rural downtown. This sprawling mill complex has retained its patina of age while slowly evolving into a happening community space.
Taylors Mill hosts businesses you might expect from other food halls in Greenville — a southern eatery, an indie coffee shop, a performance and event venue — but it also houses an axe-throwing hall, a pinball and arcade museum, a model railroad exhibit, a reclaimed lumber depot, a barbershop and photo studios.
This is one of Greenville County’s newer community revitalization projects, with plenty of room left within its massive red-brick walls to house more locally owned industries. Even now, there’s plenty at Taylors Mill to supply an afternoon of eating and entertainment.