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Must-Try Florence SC Restaurants | 10 Best Restaurants In Florence, South Carolina

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Nestled in a sweet spot halfway between New York and Florida is Florence, South Carolina. This charming southern town was once known for being at the intersection of three railways and is currently at the intersection of Interstates 20 and 95. 

With a population approaching 40,000 and a newly revitalized downtown, this All-American city lives up to its motto “Full Life Full Forward”.   Best appreciated attractions include the Florence County Museum, Florence Veterans Park, and Pee Dee State Farmer’s Market. Other enjoyable spots are Francis Marion University and Florence National Cemetery. 

Stock car fans like Florence Motor Speedway, while NASCAR fans prefer to drive ten miles to Darlington for the famous Southern 500. In addition to Florence Veterans Park, other nice parks within the city limits include Jeffries Creek, Lucas, Maple, and Timrod.

Most travelers love learning about local food cultures and traditions. In Florence, that would be the South Carolina Pecan Trail. Many Florence SC restaurants and specialty stores throughout Florence are proud to highlight the pecan in a variety of unique beverages and foods. Here are my top nine recommended Florence eateries.

Not in the mood to go out to eat tonight? Click here to have Grubhub deliver directly from the best restaurants in town to your doorstep. 

Visiting other destinations in South Carolina? Check out our other delicious guides:

The 9 Best Florence SC Restaurants

Lula’s Coffee Co. (Downtown) 

160 S Dargan Street // 843-407-1033

Every Tuesday through Saturday until 7 pm, you will find excellent coffee in an environment that is cozy and casual. Choose a barstool, a stylish silver straight-back chair, or a comfy black wing chair.

What else will you find at Lula’s downtown location? Friendly staff and customers, brick walls, unique art. Look up because some of that art is even on the ceiling. The expert baristas can explain all options, including sugar-free.

Florence SC Restaurants: Coffee
Photo Credit: Lula’s

Let’s not forget that Lula’s also has frappes, smoothies, bagels, croissants, and more. It is the perfect spot for enjoying the aroma right before you walk over to Andrew H. Griffin Plaza to look at both the fountain and the Lorax.

Florence SC Restaurants: Lula's
Photo Credit: Lula’s

Tubb’s Shrimp

1500 2nd Loop Road // (843) 799-5579

Seafood and beach life influenced owner Kyle Hardee through his grandfather in a major way. He is more than happy to share great stories of all the above when you visit Tubbs. In fact, he is one of the most likable and most entertaining restaurant owners you could ever hope to meet.

Tubb’s Shrimp & Fish Co. is housed in an old refurbished gas station and filled with seafood and beach décor. Take a look at the tantalizing menu and you could soon be filled with she-crab soup, crab rangoons, or Hoppin’ John. Try the Mexican hush puppies, too. 

I tried all that and topped it off with an amazing sweet potato cheesecake topped with crushed pecans. That dessert is complete foodie bliss. Tubb’s has seafood galore that is locally sourced as much as possible and is always fresh.

Florence SC Restaurants: Sweet Potato Cheesecake
Photo Credit: Florence CVB

There are lots of specials and sometimes live music or other surprises. Lots of love and hard work goes into this restaurant. The food, drinks, and service have won several regional awards. Kyle Hardee says it is a most rewarding venture and would love for you to be one of the next friendly travelers who pass through his doors.

Seminar Brewing

551 W Lucas Street // (843) 665-9200

Florence SC Restaurants: Seminar Brewing
Photo Credit: Seminar Brewing

The first commercial craft brewery in Florence, South Carolina features an always evolving selection of more than a dozen choices on tap. Learning about the various brews is truly fascinating. General Manager Vincent Preteroti often tours people through and explains the machinery, the process, and some subtle differences in taste.

Florence SC Restaurants: Seminar Brewing
Photo Credit: Seminar Brewing

If you wish to know more about ale, lager, porter, and stout then Seminar Brewing is the perfect place to find out. If you want a great variety of entertainment options, then this is definitely the destination. From axe throwing to pool and arcade games, there is always a lively twist on a fun night out. The indoor space is large and in charge, while the outdoor beer garden is a lovely and relaxed area that is also neat and sweet.

Florence SC Restaurants: Seminar Brewing
Photo Credit: Seminar Brewing

Seminar Brewing has recently launched its own kitchen. While classic pub grub such as burgers or pretzels exists, there is a purposeful focus on healthier choices. Consider a Chickpea Sloppy Jo with cauliflower nuggets and pasta salad. Per Vincent, the Seminar hosts live music regularly as well as events focused on bringing the community together. It takes the top when it comes to the best Florence sc restaurants.

Victor’s

126 W Evans Street // (843) 665-0846

There are times when one has an affinity for an elevated ambiance. Upscale food and service to highlight hallmark events and celebrations have earned Victor’s a treasured spot in the hearts of loyal patrons. Creating a tasteful and unforgettable dining experience is what they do best.

Florence SC Restaurants: Pecan Pie Martini
Photo Credit: Florence CVB

Victor’s opens at 5 pm Tuesday through Saturday. Craft cocktails or wine pair well with steak and seafood. My meal had a foundation of mashed potato followed by asparagus. This was topped with a beef tenderloin medallion, fresh shrimp, and cajun cream. Be sure to ask about their pecan-inspired options when you visit.

Florence SC Restaurants: Crescent City Combo
Photo Credit: Victor’s

After the meal, it is pleasant to explore Victor’s lovely patio and the beautiful outdoor art at the adjacent James Allen Plaza in the heart of revitalized historic downtown Florence. One of the best Florence sc restaurants for sure!

Florence SC Restaurants: Bacon Scallops
Photo Credit: Victor’s

Wholly Smokin’

150 S Dargan St, Florence, SC 29506, United States // +18434077545

Wholly Smokin’ – where Southern hospitality meets culinary genius! In the ever-evolving landscape of the best restaurants in Florence, SC, Wholly Smokin’ stands out. 

Walking in, you’re greeted with spirited live tunes and that heavenly aroma of smoked meat. The blend of upscale and casual vibes sets the mood right. And that sense of warm hospitality? Our server embodied it, making our evening memorable.

Now, to the star attraction—the BBQ. Saying I’ve tasted the “best BBQ” is hefty, but Wholly Smokin’ makes that claim easy. 

Those ribs and pulled pork? Sheer perfection. Smoky, tender, and downright delectable. Not to overshadow the sides, their mac & cheese is reminiscent of the best I’ve ever indulged in. 

Craft beer? They’ve got that covered too.

Wholly Smokin’ offers a unique flavor palette that’s hard to match. If Florence is on your radar, ensure Wholly Smokin’ is on your must-visit list. Trust me, you’ll be planning your next visit before you leave!

Julia Belle’s 

2106 W Lucas Street // (843) 407-4686

Owner Fran Snell named Julia Belle’s in honor of her great grandmother, who always made meals seem like a family reunion. That is exactly what Fran aims for in the restaurant. Bright chairs of yellow, blue, and green face simple tables with blue and white tablecloths. One section of the wall has a vibrant floral wallpaper, while others are blocks of red, green, and blue.

As if that weren’t enough to make you feel cheerful, Fran’s twinkling eyes and authentic smile will make you think y’all are old friends. She cares deeply about everyone who walks in. She makes sure they are truly fed well. Monday through Saturday from 8 am until 9 pm you will find great portions of fabulous food at a reasonable price.

Most folks like the blue plate or chef specials. Others are partial to the sandwiches and salads. Still, others rave about the famous White Russian Pecan Pie. I much prefer the breakfast choices. The Carolina Crab Cake Benedict served over buttermilk biscuits and skillet potatoes is a heaping helping of heartiness. 

Florence SC Restaurants: White Russian Pecan Pie
Photo Credit: Florence CVB

Farmer’s Market Barn & Grill 

2513 W Lucas Street // (843) 407-4205

Great news, y’all!  Fran and Warren Snell have recently opened another new restaurant. The Farmer’s Market Barn & Grill is in the historic big red barn at the Pee Dee State Farmers Market. They are open from 10 am until 3 pm Tuesday through Saturday. The barn is over 100 years old and originally housed mules.

Locals and travelers are thrilled to find such menu items as fried green tomatoes, grilled shrimp salad, pecan chicken breast sandwich, and seafood combo basket. 

Florence SC Restaurants:

The owners love sourcing fresh produce so close at hand. They offer hope, joy, and some of the area’s best food to everyone who comes through the door. The Farmer’s Market Barn & Grill has a casual vibe with both indoor and outdoor seating. The food is cooked to order, served with a smile, and simply delicious.

Young’s  

2005 Babar Lane // (843)   662-2454

Pecans grow extremely well in the Pee Dee region of South Carolina. For almost one hundred years, Young’s has grown, shelled, and done quite well-selling pecans. Maturing through a few growth spurts, ownership changes, and rebrandings, today Young’s Premium Foods survives and thrives.

Customers can order by every imaginable means. The most charming and personable way is to visit the store in Florence. Sample pecans in 16 flavors. You will be completely amazed at all the cute gift items, in addition to the pecans.

Florence SC Restaurants: Pecans in Flavors
Photo Credit: Young’s

Inside, talk to Judy in the bakery and get a sandwich for lunch (10 am-2 pm Mon-Sat). I learned some great tips from her about making both pralines and sourdough bread. She loves working at Young’s and getting creative with bread and cookies. Young’s is a fascinating store to visit in person for gifts, for lunch, and especially for pecans. Is it one of the best Florence sc restaurants? Definitely!

Florence SC Restaurants: Pecans in Flavors
Photo Credit: Young’s

Top Hat Special-Teas   

234 W Evans Street // (843) 629-8326 

Talk about a one-of-a-kind place, THIS is it! Before you walk in the front door you will love the “pinkness” of Top Hat Special-Teas on the outside. Once inside, your eyes are drawn to the cabinet displays of Royal Doulton teapots and tea accessories that could grace a museum. Now you wonder whether this is about to be edible and educational or fun and fantastical. 

Florence SC Restaurants:
Photo Credit: Top Hat Special – Teas

Simple answer: it is both! Owner Laurie Crouse works diligently to be sure her stylish tearoom is inviting and exciting. Favorite lunch fare seems to be a tuna puff or some chicken salad. I had quiche with potato chips and a watermelon slice. My tea of choice was a delightful mint. This was followed by an oh-so-yummy pecan scone with lemon curd and Devonshire cream.

Florence SC Restaurants: Chicken Salad
Photo Credit: Top Hat Special – Teas

Weekdays from 11 am until 3 pm come casual and feel like family. Or get all fancy and enjoy a Victorian tea. There is a choice of either four- or six-course tea. Laurie also does catering and the tearoom can be reserved for private parties. The city of Florence is fortunate to have such a beautiful lady and such a charming tearoom. One of the Florence sc restaurants to remember and revisit over again!

Chocobella 

114 N Dargan Street // (843) 702-2023

What does chocolate look like? If you just visualized a dull brown rectangular bar, then Chocobella can welcome you to a creative and colorful new experience. Artist Ranny Starnes and co-owner Marvin James are causing all sorts of sensations in downtown Florence with their imaginative gelato and bonbons.

Florence SC Restaurants: Chocobella 
Photo Credit: Chocobella

Their specialized Belgian chocolates and artisan gelato have an amazing aesthetic. Think eye-popping and jaw-dropping meets ethereal and elegant. Chocobella creations cover every color of the rainbow. The gelato has names like Cotton Candy and Mango Sorbet. The beautiful bonbons cover everything from cake batter to key lime pie and from passion fruit to pistachio.

Florence SC Restaurants: Cotton Candy and Mango Sorbet
Photo Credit: Chocobella

While the production process is quite a science, the result is all art. You really must come in on Wednesday through Saturday to see for yourself what these talented folks can do with milk, sugar, and cocoa butter. Ask about their most recently pecan-inspired choices. You’ll appreciate sweet treats in a whole new way.

Florence SC Restaurants: Chocobella 
Photo Credit: Chocobella

Frequently Asked Questions: Foodies Also Ask

What food is Florence, South Carolina known for?

Florence, South Carolina, like much of the South, is known for its rich culinary heritage rooted in traditional Southern cuisine. Some of the staple foods and dishes Florence is known for include:

  • Shrimp and Grits
  • Fried Chicken
  • Barbecue
  • Collard Greens
  • Biscuits and Gravy
  • Pecan Pie
  • Boiled Peanuts
  • Pimento Cheese

What is South Carolina most iconic food?

South Carolina’s most iconic food is arguably Barbecue, especially pulled pork. The state has a deep-rooted history with barbecue, and it’s renowned for its unique variety of sauces. South 

Carolina is the only state that traditionally boasts four different barbecue sauces: mustard-based, vinegar-pepper, light tomato, and heavy tomato. The mustard-based sauce, often referred to as “Carolina Gold,” is a hallmark of South Carolina BBQ, particularly in the Midlands region of the state. 

Pulled pork with Carolina Gold sauce, served alongside classic Southern sides like collard greens, coleslaw, and cornbread, embodies the state’s rich BBQ tradition

Florence, SC, enjoys popularity largely due to its strategic position as a significant transportation hub. Historically, its location established it as a crucial rail center, and even today, it remains a vital junction for railways and highways. 

This connectivity has spurred economic growth, making Florence a central business and industry point in the Pee Dee region. 

Additionally, the city boasts a rich tapestry of history, with landmarks reflecting its antebellum and post-Civil War heritage. Cultural venues, like the Florence Little Theatre and the Francis Marion University Performing Arts Center, further enrich its reputation.

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Travis

Friday 24th of September 2021

Seminar !!!

Mark KLEIN

Friday 17th of September 2021

You missed Da Massimos, Town Hall and King Jefe. If you didn’t try them make sure you do next time.

Angela Dowdy

Thursday 23rd of September 2021

@Mark KLEIN, Looking forward to those and more in your wonderful town! Thank you for the suggestions and for being a fine foodie!

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