The best places to eat in Greenville, SC for a romantic weekend getaway or anniversary dinner with your special one. We found the best restaurants running the range between casual and fancy.
My husband and I "ran away" for a romantic weekend getaway in Greenville, SC to celebrate 21 years of marriage.
We chose Greenville because it is an easy drive from Charlotte, NC and we knew there would be plenty of all the things we wanted to do, but most of all for the plenty of dining options for our trip.
There are dozens of fantastic restaurants to pick from in Greenville, but we had just a short 48 hours in town to make it count.
We needed a place to celebrate our fancy anniversary dinner, but we also wanted to include plenty of relaxed but utterly delicious options for the remaining meals.
If you're heading to Greenville for an adults-only getaway, here are our favorites from the weekend.
Why These are the Best Restaurants
When planning our 48 hours in Greenville, we wanted to focus on:
- Relaxing: We didn't want to rush around or be stuck with meeting timed reservations.
- Flexible: We wanted to pick on the spur of the moment and change our minds about what to do as the day went on.
- Delicious: We just really wanted YUMMY food, not necessarily candles and cliche romance.
- Unpretentious: I wanted to show up in a sundress and walking sandals and Tim in shorts and a nice shirt.
- Not Too Pricey: It's a splurge for us just to get away, we wanted budget friendly eats that wouldn't break the bank.
Each of the restaurants that we tried, completely fit that bill!
Here are our favorites:
Sassafras Southern Bistro
When we checked in at our bed and breakfast, we asked the hostess for recommendations on where to go for our anniversary dinner.
We wanted business casual, not uptight fine dining.
After a quick peek at both menus, we decided to go with Sassafras but it was a very tight race.
The one thing that stood out to us more than anything else was the service.
We haven't had such amazing service at a restaurant in years.
From the host to the manager to our server, every single encounter we had was warm, friendly, helpful, and prompt.
The atmosphere was just what we wanted and felt cozy and special without being stuffy.
We started our meal with southern BBQ egg rolls because my husband couldn't resist them.
For dinner, I chose blackened salmon topped with crab on a bed of grits with asparagus. Tim had the steak tips with risotto.
The food was modern southern and very delicious. It was served blazing hot and fresh.
We finished the meal with the best key lime pie I have ever had in my life. It is drizzled with raspberry sauce and everything on the dessert menu is made in house.
The location was perfect because after dinner we were able to walk around the downtown area and found lots of live music for entertainment for the evening.
Sassafras Southern Bistro, Greenville, SC
103 N. Main St. Ste 107
Greenville, SC 29601
You can see the map and parking ramp directions here.
Smoke on the Water Southern Gastropub
We opted for a heavier lunch on our full day of touring Greenville because we spent the morning at the Greenville Zoo and walking around the riverwalk area.
We stopped in at Smoke on the Water in the West End, a few blocks away from the Greenville bridge. It was a small hike in the July heat, but absolutely worth the walk.
The service at Smoke was just as incredible as at Sassafras and our sweet, outgoing server was pleased to give us more touring tips over the course of our visit.
I wish I would have known before I ordered that Smoke makes in-house BBQ sauces in four varieties and serves them tableside for your meal.
I ordered fried green tomatoes from the appetizer menu as my entree but as soon as I saw the BBQ sauce bottles I regretted my decision to not order some pulled pork.
Our waitress brought me a small bowl of french fries so I could taste test the sauces--the bright yellow mustard one is my favorite.
Tim wisely chose a pulled pork sandwich that looked amazing along with a side of baked beans.
That said, my fried green tomatoes had the option of coming with or without pimento cheese. My waitress strongly encouraged it and once I tried it, I loved it so much I had to come home and try to make homemade pimento cheese from scratch to share with the kids.
Smoke on the Water, Greenville, SC
1 Augusta St.
Greenville, SC 29601
Sip Rooftop Bar
After our hearty lunch and then a few hours of walking and shopping in Downtown Greenville, 4pm came and we needed a break.
We weren't quite ready for dinner when we stumbled upon Sip, a rooftop bar off Main St.
We hit the jackpot and discovered that Happy Hour runs from 4 - 7pm and features half off drinks under $20.
Since it was our romantic, no-kids getaway and we were within walking distance of our bed and breakfast, we took the opportunity to do a bit of sampling from the menu.
I tried a super delicious sparkling rose and Tim had fun with the bourbon menu.
If we'd been hungry, Sip offers charcuterie plates and bar nibbles to go with your drinks.
It was super hot during our visit so we stuck mostly to the inside portion of the bar but on a cooler evening, the outdoor patio looked amazing.
Sip Rooftop Bar, Greenville, SC
103 N. Main St. #400
Greenville, SC 29601
After we were refreshed from our cheap drinks with an amazing view, we were ready for a light nibble before heading home for the evening.
We asked our server at Sip for recommendations and the former Jersey Girl strongly recommended stopping in at Belladina's Pizzeria just down the road.
Belladina's has a bustling take out service but does have just a small handful of tables for dining at the restaurant.
We got the very last spot open, right by the window.
You might be wondering why I'd include a takeout pizza joint on a best places to eat for your anniversary list. Pizza is my husband's love language and we spent many dates in our college years around a pizza pan.
Anything that reminds you of falling in love with your sweetie counts as a romantic restaurant in my book.
We ordered the Potenza pizza which has Genoa salami, pepperoni, sausage, pancetta, and San Marizano tomatoes because it was the one our server told us was his own favorite.
It was heavenly.
Even if you're not in the mood for pizza, there are many other pasta dishes and delicious Italian appetizers to pick from.
Belladina's Pizzeria, Greenville
9 W. Washington St.
Greenville, SC 29601
Pettigru Place Bed & Breakfast
For our weekend getaway, we chose to stay at the romantic Pettigru Place Bed & Breakfast.
This place wins HANDS DOWN for best breakfast in Greenville.
We didn't even try any other breakfast places, but it doesn't matter. Nothing could possibly beat walking downstairs in the morning and having a delicious homemade breakfast served on fine china by the cheeriest host ever.
No lines. No worrying about getting a table. No fussy menus to order from.
Just amazing brunch food served in a homey atmosphere.
The breakfast would be worth staying a night but you can see my full Pettigru Place review here.
Runners Up to Try Next Time
We have no regrets about any of the dining choices we made for the weekend.
Everything we ate and drank was delicious and served by the best servers we've seen.
We loved our visit to Greenville so much, it is definitely on our list of places to return. Next time, we definitely want to try some of these fantastic options that came recommended to us by the waitstaff at various places:
- The Trappe Door: The one place we didn't have the option to visit because there were NO reservations left! It was obviously in high demand. It features a Belgian menu filled with intriguing options and is right in the middle of downtown.
- Soby's: It was a difficult choice to pick between this and Sassafras. For variety, we'll give Soby's a chance next time.
- Biscuit Head: If you don't stay at a bed and breakfast, try this southern biscuit place. I love biscuits.
- Bonjour Main: This French bistro has a delicious variety of crepes to offer. It would be perfect for a girlfriends' getaway.
- Better Than Sex Dessert Restaurant: Yep, this blush-worthy name is an intimate restaurant that serves nothing but dessert and drinks.
- Jianna: This Italian restaurant was mentioned as our server's all-time favorite Italian place in Greenville. Definitely worth a stop.