Perhaps you have gotten the impression that Greenvillians are a tad food obsessed. Guilty as charged! Book my therapy session right away (and please provide snacks)! With over 100 restaurants (and counting) downtown and 600 county wide, it's a fact. Entrepreneurial passions tend toward edible enterprises here and the trend shows no sign of slowing. Fresh, original, organic, artisan crafted, locally sourced... we're almost too tasty for our own good. In this post I will illustrate the virtues of the local pizza scene because it is going off (or is that on wood fire?) in Greenville!
Speaking of passions, pizza is a word that inspires many, as well as opinions. Everyone has their own ideas about what constitutes the perfect and "authentic" pie. The first US pizzeria opened in New York in 1905 and it's been a free-for-all ever since. Three main schools of thought have emerged: the classic New York thin crust style, Sicilian thick crust, and the Chicago or Greek deep dish style. All claim "original" status. Then there are the artisanal varieties, a mash up of crusts, methods, and toppings all seeking to attain core pizza consciousness. Do keep toiling away, because we love every one of you to the very last bite!
Let's start by giving props to some local staples before we greet the newbies on this saucy scene. All the shops in this post have accrued many local accolades, ranked on many "best of" lists and have gained hordes of faithful patrons.
Vic's Pizza at 12 E. Coffee is straight outta Brooklyn and provides Greenville with New York soul starting at $3 a slice. Their charitable giving enriches the community in the classic Italian style. La famiglia! They even have a White Pizza named for Mayor Knox White! The menu also includes calzones, stromboli, subs, gyros, wings, canolis and "highly addictive" garlic knots. Sigh!
Mellow Mushroom is (now) a chain with deep Southern roots that can be credited with getting the artisanal pizza dough ball rolling with alternative toppings, as only hippie dippy kids could in Atlanta back in 1974. Downtown Greenville has an outpost of their tie dyed goodness at 1 Augusta Street. Click the link for the menu and particulars that many in these parts have committed to memory.
Barley's Tap Room has been in operation for 20 years, starting in Spindale NC in 1996. We have been graced with a location in the heart of downtown at 25 W. Washington. Come for the 72 craft beers on tap, stay for the bar games (pool, darts, foosball) and PIZZA! This is one of the establishments on the boulevard that keeps Greenville nightlife hopping, so if you want a place to hang out with friends Barley's is a good spot.
When Sidewall Pizza opened just off the Swamp Rabbit Trail in Travelers Rest all creatures in the region big and small rejoiced. Everyone has a gift, some stumble upon it later in life, but once they find their niche it can be magical. Andy O'Mara is known for handsome canoe building but fell overboard and into his true calling with pizza. Sidewall Pizza has just opened a new location in Downtown Greenville at 99 Cleveland Street. Hooray!!! In addition to the handcrafted, brick oven pizzas made with premium local and Italian ingredients, extraordinary locavore salads, ice cream and old fashioned sodas, the new location will feature sandwiches. Sidewall has also demonstrated a commitment to hosting unique fundraisers for local causes and already, in such a short time, holds a place in our hearts.
Save the date! Bike to Lunch with the Swamp Rabbit Inn and Coastal Crust Greenville during Euphoria Greenville 2016! Where would the South be without its rogues and rebels? Enter Coastal Crust Pizza. It's a brick pizza oven on a truck and they are rolling up to Greenville this summer for Euphoria and planning to park around town awhile. Lucky us!
Their catering food truck is a newly restored 1956 Ford F600 that features a wood-fired Valoriana pizza oven that fires up gorgeous Neapolitan-style pizza. They've been a hit in Charleston catering for special events, corporate events and weddings. Along with the hot pizza, the truck also has a custom tap system that has drinks from local breweries. Coastal Crust Greenville will rely on fresh produce from local farmers.
Make sure you join us for Bike to Lunch on the Swamp Rabbit Trail Friday, Sept. 23 from Swamp Rabbit Inn & Properties to Trailblazer Park with Craig Rogers of Border Springs Farm, and enjoy lunch with Coastal Crust local TR eateries, and Williamsburg Winery. Tickets for Euphoria can be found HERE. Special Swamp Rabbit Inn Package HERE.
Urbanites in Greenville have been anticipating the opening of two major developments bracketing Downtown to the north and east. Near neighbor of Sidewall Pizza, the South Ridge complex at Church Street and University Ridge, with 350 luxury apartment units, will not go hungry! Joining much anticipated Biscuit Head will be The Toss Pizza Pub. Owned and operated by Greenville's Jacob Billingsley, who also owns Blueberry Frog and Gringo's Cantina, Toss will offer artisan wood-fired pizza and a full-service bar. Who wants to bet this will be a chic boîte to grab a bite during a night on the town?
As Main and Stone apartments are set to dominate the historic district of North Main, Stone Pizza is set to open at the corner of Stone Avenue and Park Avenue in July of this year. Moving into the space of the former Park Avenue Pub, the sports-oriented, casual concept will provide patio dining on wood-fired and craft brewed fare, and a bar service until 1 am. It's sure to be an instant hit to liven the neighborhood in a cozy way for locals and newcomers alike.
Anchoring the new pizza news with a vivacious venture from the fun bunch at Swamp Rabbit Café, they are making a shipping container into a brick oven pizza joint. Oh, yes, they are! Swamp Rabbit Pizza. And you can be a "piece of the pie" by donating HERE. Roll tape:
Now, we would be remiss if we did not include a couple of notable outliers who are yet integral pizza providers in the lives of many Greenvillians and deserve mention and praise.
Locally owned Frodo's Pizza at 511 S. Pleasantburg has been in operation for 32 years, and is a storied local favorite. Choose homemade crust in thick or thin with fresh ingredients for a tasty experience dining in, or take one home to the Shire and make all your hobbits happy.
The unassuming City View House of Pizza is a surprise and locals swear by it. At 702 Cedar Lane Rd it's a bit west past the Swamp Rabbit Café. They offer a solid menu of pizzas, home made pastas, salads, subs and more in a family friendly atmosphere.
Honestly, when you are in Greenville you are bounded by pizza on all sides! You could fill several weeks with investigative adventures on pizza alone. And then you could ride your bike. A lot. Or, ride your bike to the pizza! Either way, get yourself here and we promise to show you a delicious time. Buono appetito! Ciao!
Did we miss any great pizza places in Greenville, SC?? Let us know by posting a comment below!
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