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Home to so many international businesses, Greenville has gained quite a diverse population over the years, resulting in a plethora of new dining experiences that coexist with the city’s tried-and-true favorites. When visiting Greenville, our Forbes Travel Guide editors recommend sampling these different types of food:
1. Barbecue. It’s what this area of the South is known for, so you can bet your bottom dollar this is a Greenville must. From ribs to chicken, there’s nothing like it — and every restaurateur has his own special way of preparing it. Henry’s Smokehouse serves up melt-in-your-mouth ribs, while Little Pigs’ claim to fame is chopped pork sandwiches with your choice of special recipe sauces.
2. Vietnamese. Like most cities, Greenville is home to numerous Chinese and Japanese restaurants; but it’s also fortunate to have several outstanding and authentic Vietnamese restaurants, the oldest being Saigon Fast Food. Located in a small strip mall, Saigon Fast Food seats around 25 people and is run by a husband-and-wife team. Don’t be overwhelmed by the phonebook-sized menu. While the legendary restaurant offers a wide selection of appetizers and entrées, the menu is printed in both English and Vietnamese and also includes photos of all the dishes.
3. Meat and Three. Back in the day when Greenville was nothing but textile mills and farmland, the big meal was served at lunch. Complete with lots of fresh vegetables, several meat selections, bread and butter and gallons of sweet tea, the tradition of good simple home cooking is still a popular option in the Upstate. Stax’s Original, OJ’s Diner and Tommy’s Ham House are all good choices for a stick-to-the-ribs plate of old-time Southern cooking.
4. Indian. For a town this size, it’s unexpected to find four exceptionally good Indian restaurants all within the city limits. Both Saffron’s and India Palace feature an all-you-can-eat lunch buffet with menu service in the evenings. Handi India Cuisine focuses mainly on dishes from the Punjabi region, while Swad is a vegetarian establishment complete with an Indian grocery store.
5. German. It’s not surprising that Greenville is home to many excellent German restaurants, thanks to the BMW manufacturing facility in town. The Bavarian Pretzel Factory offers rich homemade desserts as well as meat and cheese platters; the Schwaben House features Southern German cuisine; and Haus Edelweiss is a long-time local favorite.