Hungry? Sure you are, or will be. If there’s one thing South Carolina is great at, and we’re great at many things, it’s delivering great food in amazing places. These 11 restaurants in South Carolina are steeped in local history. Some have been in business for ages and others are located in the coolest of historical buildings. Check them out.
1. Villa Tronco Italian Restaurant - 1213 Blanding St, Columbia, SC 29201
Since opening in 1940, Villa Tronco has been a Columbia tradition and is on the list of South Carolina's oldest restaurants, period. Still owned and operated by later generations of the original family, Villa Tronco got its start when Mother Tronco started making Italian food for some northern recruits at Fort Jackson who were homesick for their mother's cooking. The legend has it that Mother Tronco introduced PIZZA at this restaurant and had to give it away because no one in Columbia knew what it was.
2. Gaulart & Maliclet (a.k.a. Fast & French) - 98 Broad St, Charleston, SC 29401
Known by the locals as simply "Fast & French," Gaulart & Maliclet offers global cuisine with a emphasis on French. They opened on Broad Street in the Holy City in 1984.
3. Panini's on the Waterfront - 926 Bay St, Beaufort, SC 29902
Panini's is located in a building that's seen many rebirths. It was built in 1919 as the Bank of Beaufort, but closed in 1926. Since then, it's been a movie theatre, men's clothing store, and at least a couple of restaurants. Since Panini's opened here on the waterfront, this old building is enjoying the new life that walks in each day to enjoy Panini's great Italian food.
4. The Stables at Rose Hill Estate - 245 Greenville St NW, Aiken, SC 29801
The Stables at Rose Hill Estate in downtown Aiken is one of only a handful of historic working stables in the U.S. that have been successfully converted into a restaurant. Rose Hill Estate was built in 1898. What is now the restaurant was the well-appointed accommodations for the family's horses. Have dinner in this historic setting and treat yourself to a meal fit for a thoroughbred.
5. Lee's Inlet Kitchen - 4460 US-17 BUS, Murrells Inlet, SC 29576
Also one of the oldest restaurants in South Carolina, Lee's Inlet Kitchen opened in the 1940s in a country store that was converted into a restaurant. Fresh seafood is the hallmark of this Murrells Inlet landmark.
6. Shealy's BBQ - 340 E Columbia Ave, Leesville, SC 29070
Shealy's was opened in 1969, 47 years ago. They're known for their massive buffet, BBQ, and some of the best fried chicken in the South.
7. The Beacon Drive-In - 255 John B White Sr Blvd, Spartanburg, SC 29306
A landmark in Spartanburg since 1946, the Beacon Drive-In is loaded with local history and great food that keeps 'em coming back.
8. Hudson's Seafood House on the Docks - 1 Hudson Rd, Hilton Head Island, SC 29926
Hudson's has been serving up fresh local seafood in Hilton Head since 1967...that's nearly 50 years of oyster shuckin' by locals and tourists alike.
9. Bowens Island - 1870 Bowens Island Rd, Charleston, SC 29412
Bowens Island is a bonafide Institution among Lowcountry restaurants and serves fresh local seafood. They've been dishing up steaming hot oysters from this location since 1946.
10. Mill Pond Steakhouse - 84 State Rd S-28-2, Rembert, SC 29128
This truly unique restaurant in Boykin just outside of Camden, SC occupies three historic buildings including an old post office and a general store, both built in the 1800s. All three historic buildings are connected and have a wonderful view of Mill Pond.
11. Ink n Ivy - 21 E. Coffee St Greenville, SC 29601
The all new Ink n Ivy in Greenville opened on June 6 in a location made famous by the former tenant, a bar called the Corner Pocket. Corner Pocket was in business here for 50 years and the building became a landmark in Greenville because of it. By the looks of it, Ink n Ivy is destined to have the same kind of success and longevity.
Mmm. Good. Have you tried any of these restaurants loaded with great food and history? We’d love to hear. And of course, since we couldn’t list them all, feel free to add your favorite historical South Carolina restaurant in our comments.