There’s food for every mood in South Carolina. Take a break from golfing, shopping and soaking up the sun to try these seven truly delicious classics that make the Palmetto State a great place to get a bite to eat. If you’re a foodie on vacation in Myrtle Beach or Charleston, you’ll never go hungry.
From the most Southern of barbecues to authentic shrimp and grits, alongside Frogmore Stew, which isn’t at all like it sounds, and onward to peaches, peanuts, oysters and cheese, each of these dishes together on a table would make the best Southern dinner you’ve ever had in your life. Read on.
South Carolina BBQ
When it comes to mouthwatering meals, barbeque is the at the top of the food chain in South Carolina. Most connoisseurs and cooks consider pork the best meat to use, especially in a smoky pit. Pulled pork is piled high and served with fixins like baked beans, coleslaw, Jalapeño cornbread and hush puppies. This is always a popular menu item. Of course, brisket, chicken and beef are also available, and all are great choices for those with hearty appetites who crave the ‘cue. Typically, four types of barbeque sauces are available at every table: mustard; vinegar and pepper; heavy tomato, and light tomato. Whether you like the bark or burnt ends, you can savor both, and then some, in the Birthplace of American Barbeque.
Shrimp and Grits in Charleston
Of all the cuisines served along the Atlantic coast, shrimp and grits is a must-try southern dish in South Carolina. The freshness of the shrimp pulled straight out of the ocean is one of the reasons this combo is an all-time favorite with locals and vacationers alike. Slightly North of Broad® in Charleston is one of the top restaurants to sample this legendary meal. Their version is made with succulent Maverick shrimp, house sausage, country ham, tomatoes, green onion, garlic and Geechie Boy grits.
Frogmore Stew is Not What it Sounds Like
Don’t let the funny name fool you—this southern favorite is a tasty medley of ingredients from both the land and the sea cooked up in a great big pot and served piping hot. This centuries-old formula includes shrimp, corn on the cob, potatoes and smoked sausage with Old Bay seasoning. Onions, beer, hot sauce and blue crab can also be added, but are not part of the traditional recipe. This is a messy creation and best enjoyed in a casual outdoor environment. Many restaurants use newspaper as a tablecloth to give the ambiance a little extra casualness. That, and it doesn’t require you to be a dainty dining guest.
The Oyster Roast Season in Charleston
For a truly unique dining experience, be sure to take part in an authentic South Carolina oyster roast. Oyster season begins in September/October and runs through April, so plan to slurp some down. There are also many festivals that celebrate these bivalve mollusks. If you can’t attend, don’t worry—you can shuck them in many great restaurants across the state. Bowens Island Restaurant® in Charleston is a great place to dig in. This popular destination roasts its oysters in a pit, scoops them up with a shovel and scatters them across the table for you to enjoy.
Millions of Peaches
The neighboring state to the south may be known as the Peach State, but South Carolina actually yields twice as many peaches per year than Georgia. If you’re a fan of cobbler, pie or straight off the tree, that’s good news. May through August is primetime for these juicy treats. Stop by just about any restaurant and you can sink your teeth in. Or, visit one of the roadside produce stands for a bushel of the freshest peaches available.
The Official State Snack: Boiled Peanuts
No vacation is complete without trying the official state snack: boiled peanuts. Summertime and early fall yield the best batches, so search out a roadside stand and place your order. Make sure you’re getting green peanuts that haven’t been dried—these are perfect to boil and bring out the flavor.
And finally, yummy, creamy and delicious are but three tempting ways to describe this southern staple. You can find tubs in the grocery store or order a homemade sandwich to go at a mom and pop restaurant—then head out on a picnic.
As Southern as Southern can Get
A sample of just some of the above dishes, prepared in the true Southern style, and you’ll feel right at home with a full belly, too. That Southern hospitality from the best South Carolina restaurants doesn’t hurt, either! And Bluegreen is offering a really fun way to discover vacation ownership at the fabulous Harbour Lights® resort, with a week-long stay for only $85.59 per night. Like the delicacies featured above, it’s just too good to pass up!