10 Best Hidden Gem Restaurants in South Carolina

It's time to head off the beaten path. Some of South Carolina's most amazing restaurants are not standing in plain sight so it's time to give these tucked-away hidden gems the credit they deserve. From eateries housed in former post office buildings to lakeside spots with gorgeous views, here are the 10 best hidden gem restaurants in the state.  

Top of Carolina, Columbia, SC

This place is by far one of Columbia’s most unique dining experiences. Sitting atop the 18-floor Capstone House, guests can get a 360-degree view of the city and dine on fine fare. You’ll want to get reservations in advanced, and they’re not open every day, so consider getting a table here the equivalent of striking gold.

Vault & Vator, Greenville, SC

You’ll need to go underground if you’re looking for this hidden speakeasy. Tucked inside a building that used to house the Dr. Pepper Cola Co., they still feature the original vault and elevator that gives the place its namesake. They only serve craft cocktails and small plates here, but what they lack in menu variety is more than compensated with the one of a kind ambiance.

The Secret Garden, West Columbia, SC

The name is perfectly fitting, considering the modest exterior of this cozy little eatery. It’s a bit off the beaten path, but their $13 all-you-can-eat buffet makes it worth the hunt. It’s a farm to table concept that everyone can afford!

Driftwoods Seafood and Steak, Myrtle Beach, SC

Tucked well outside the main thoroughfare of the Grand Strand, visitors to Myrtle Beach can eat like the locals at this long-standing steakhouse. The food is better than some of the beach’s most popular tourist eateries, and usually a lot less crowded. Their food is also reasonably priced compared to some of other area restaurants, giving you more value with every meal.

Yousef’s Kitchen, Westminster, SC

Though on the main highway in Westminster, you’ll likely drive right past it unless you’re looking for it. This country-style restaurant is serving up food just like grandma used to make. They’re known for their juicy hamburgers, chicken fingers, and family-friendly service that makes you want to come back again and again.

Harambe Ethiopian Restaurant, Columbia, SC

Ideal for vegans and meat eaters alike, you’re in for a tasty culinary experience! It’s a bit hard to find and doesn’t look like much from the outside, but the inside is warm and inviting and makes you want to linger a little longer. It’s something different, so leave your expectations at the door and savor every moment.

Private Property, Lexington, SC

Hidden inside a historic home, it’s easy to miss this charming little cafe. The garden-style ambiance is truly the stuff daydreams are made of. Serving up brunch, lunch, and dinner, their Lowcountry-inspired menu will leave you wanting for nothing.

Old Post Office Restaurant, Edisto Island, SC

You guessed it—this offbeat restaurant is housed in the former post office building that remains a part of the area’s history. Many of its original elements are still in place, including mailboxes and antique stamp machines. Featuring a Lowcountry menu, visitors to the area go out of their way to come here for a combination of dinner and scenery.

Nami Asian Bistro, Anderson, SC

You won’t pass by this lakeside restaurant unless you’re intentionally looking for it. Hidden well off the beaten path, visitors can indulge on saki, sushi, and other Asian fare with views of Lake Hartwell. In addition to an all-star lineup of Asian fare, you’ll find a fully stocked bar with the most creative cocktails in town.

Peninsula Grill, Charleston, SC

The casual passerby will glance toward this Charleston emblem and see a garden entrance, and nothing more. But those in the know will pass right through the iron gate and straight into a lux experience. This four-star restaurant has earned every accolade, with a combination of food, ambiance, and romance other restaurants strive to duplicate. 

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