Countless Celebrities Have Loved This Iconic South Carolina Diner For Decades
Since 1939, Bessinger’s Bar-B-Q has been known for its legendary mustard-based barbeque sauce, a Carolina classic. Long acknowledged as the first family of BBQ, the Bessingers have seen many celebrities come through the doors of this iconic diner in South Carolina throughout the years. And we’ve got the scoop on all of their favorites at this joint!
You'll find Bessingers BBQ in Charleston on Savannah Highway (Highway 17), which is one of the main thoroughfares for traveling through the area.
LL Cool J, one of the earliest rappers to achieve commercial success, came to Bessingers for ribs and chicken.
Bessingers meat is cooked very slowly, for up to 18 hours, in a wood-fire pit using hickory and oak logs for unique flavor you won't find anywhere else. The ribs have also been ordered for delivery to the plane for Michael McDonald, Daryl Hall, and John Oates to eat on their way out of town after a concert.
Country music stars Charlie Daniels, Vince Gill, the Marshall Tucker Band, and Hank Williams, Jr. have all been in for some of Bessinger's legendary, out-of-this-world hash and rice (along with some barbecue pork) while in town for concerts.
Hash is a customer favorite, and you absolutely must get the huge onion ring as a side, unlike any you've ever had before and adored by many.
Politicians have also been into Bessingers, including Mitt Romney, Charlie Condon, and Elizabeth Dole. She especially loved the Southern Buffet as well as Bessinger's Original Gold Recipe Sauce.
The New York Times Magazine has described the sauce as "terrifically balancing the tangs of mustard and vinegar with a wood fire's charry flavor." It's a secret recipe, made from the finest ingredients. It's also low in carbohydrates and fat-free. It's become so popular that Bessingers mixes it in huge quantities using 350-gallon stainless steel mixing pots!
Sadly, in 2018, the buffet was served for its last time after a 40-year stint.
TV personality Andrew Zimmern from The Travel Channel also loves Bessingers.
He said, “I usually don’t like mustard BBQ sauces but I drink your 'spicy' version like it's water. Can’t get enough!” He loves the sauce so much that he has actually had two bottles in his fridge on occasion to be able to enjoy it at home!
The Bessingers have kept the business in the family, taking a hands-on approach to managing the restaurant. Thomas Bessinger and his sons, Tommy and Michael, have always sought to maintain a warm, friendly, and relaxed atmosphere that welcomes customers and makes them feel like they’re part of the family.
Visit the Bessingers Barbecue website and the Bessinger’s Barbecue Facebook page for more information and updates. Be sure to check out the award-winning nighttime adventure in South Carolina while you’re in Charleston!
Have you ever eaten at this iconic diner in South Carolina? Did you happen to see any celebrities while you were there? Tell us all about it in the comments section below!
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Address: Bessinger's BBQ, 1602 Savannah Hwy, Charleston, SC 29407, USA