Read Travel

Word of Mouth: Greenville, South Carolina

Exploring the food-lover’s paradise, from gourmet popcorn to handcrafted cocktails

At the northern tip of South Carolina, just south of Asheville, lies Greenville—a place that’s been quietly making a name for itself as a culinary destination in the south. Starting in 2007 with the opening of American Grocery, the farm-to-table movement began in Greenville. Today, it is now de rigueur for eateries to list the exact farm each dish or product was sourced from and waitstaff will proudly share details on the fresh produce from the area. This pride in homegrown produce has begun to extend beyond the plate with the addition of creative ventures from artists and artisans alike. With a walkable downtown, a burgeoning art scene, and a Farmer’s Market that shuts down a main thoroughfare, it’s no wonder Greenville has caught the attention of the entire country.

Hotel Domestique

Cyclist George Hincapie’s Hotel Domestique is technically in Traveler’s Rest—a 30-minute drive from Greenville—but the journey is worth it. The sprawling property offers a buffet of activities from cycling to fishing and hiking. They’re also quick to encourage guests to simply relax. Sitting outdoors among the trees, burbling fountains, and a postcard view of the Blue Ridge Mountains, it’s easy to mistake this South Carolina escape for a chateau in France.

For those who prefer to be in a more centralized location, the Westin Poinsett on Greenville’s Main Street is the site of the original Poinsett Hotel, and a historical landmark in the downtown area.


The arrival of Sean Brock’s Husk solidified Greenville’s status as a food-lover’s town. Situated in the historic West End district, Husk is the newest and most celebrated arrival to the area, but don’t sleep on the old classics in town either. Just a few short blocks over the Reedy River puts you in the heart of Greenville’s downtown, and steps from Poppington’s. A mecca to popcorn, be sure to stop by for a treat from salt and vinegar to unicorn-flavored with vegan options as well.

Vault & Vator

The first prohibition-style speakeasy to arrive in Greenville, and perhaps the first true cocktail bar here, Vault & Vator provides an alternative to the pubs and tap rooms speckled around town. Conceived by the owners of American Grocery, the place is difficult to find, but worth the search. Located in the West End off a dark alley, keep your eyes peeled for sly signage. Once inside, the atmosphere is decidedly pared back. Brick walls and eggplant-colored curtains frame the space, while banquets and loungers encircle the central bar. The cocktails here have a slightly sinister touch, from Don’t Fear the Reaper—named for the Carolina Reaper, an exceptionally hot pepper—to Melancholy Ninja which features cold brew from local brand Ninja Warrior.

Billiam Jeans

It’s worth venturing outside Greenville’s popular downtown area for a visit to local Bill Mitchell, the founder of Billiam Jeans. Mitchell’s shop is a white airy space split by the rows of sewing machines that create his product on site, and while Billiam Jeans may be one of several fashion-forward locations in the area, they are also inclusive. All the jeans can be custom fit, allowing shoppers who struggle to fit into typical store sizes to create their ideal wardrobe. They’re also planning to offer FaceTime fittings to allow for out of state custom purchases.

Hero image by Leora Novick, Hotel Domestique image by Nara Shin, Husk image by Andrew Cebulka, all other images courtesy of respective venues


More stories like this one.