You gotta love a city that is known as “The Peach Capital of South Carolina” and represented by The Peachoid, a 135-foot-tall water tower in the shape of a peach. It’s visible for several miles and referred to by Gaffney locals as “The Peach.”
Locals chose it for their symbol to remind people that at one time, Cherokee County produced more peaches per year than the entire state of Georgia which calls itself the “Peach State.” Gaffney is a small city in Cherokee County, South Carolina.
You might be tempted to pass Gaffney by, but it has a pivotal place in US history. Had the Patriots not won at the fateful Battle of Cowpens, all the South might still be English territory.
You can visit the battlefield which has two interesting videos about the battle and then you can walk the actual battlefield. The battlefield is just one interesting place to visit here. From Michael Gaffney’s 1800s log home to the Cherokee County Museum, it’s a fun city.
The Cherokee County Veterans Museum reminds you life is not always fun.
The 9 Best Restaurants in Gaffney SC
1400 W Floyd Baker Blvd, Gaffney, SC 29341, United States // +18644877427
Daddy Joe’s Beach House BBQ and Grill is not on the beach, but it’s BBQ will make you just as happy as splashing in the water. The only bid to beach-going are a few surfboards on the wall and in the exposed beam attic.
They have an extensive menu with several choices but trust me, go barbecue here. It is special! Owner, Shag Stepp has designed his restaurant like a great old-school barbecue shacks you used to pass on lonesome roads.
There’s indoor dining and if the weather ever gets cooler, their patio outside looks great. It is also dog friendly. I heard they have their own mascot, Joe Cool, but I didn’t see him when I was there.
They use a vinegar-based style of sauce with a bit of red pepper heat to it. It’s usually found in eastern South Carolina and most of North Carolina. Southern Living Magazine rates Daddy Joe’s as one of six Southern restaurants where they recommend ordering ribs.
I chose the St. Louis ribs and had no regrets. They are dry-rubbed with Daddy Joe’s own special rub and then drenched with the restaurant’s sauce before grilling.
For sides, I added baked beans and potato wedges. Thise ribs were delicious and fall-off the bone tender. A sign on the wall says, “it’s okay to lick your fingers.” Yes, I did.
You don’t have to take my word for it as to how good the barbeque is. The South Carolina BBQ Association named this place one of the Top 100 BBQ houses in the state. It’s definitely one of the best restaurants in Gaffney SC.
602 N Limestone St, Gaffney, SC 29340, United States // +18644899153
Harold’s Restaurant is a small hole-in-the-wall on Gaffney’s historic N. Limestone Street. You would never guess how famous it is. It was featured on one of Guy Fieri’s Diner’s, Drive-ins, and Dives first year’s episodes.
It’s been featured on Food Network and the South Carolina Educational Television and included in South Carolina Off the Beaten Path by William Price Fox and Star Magazine. It’s now featured in my guide for the best restaurants in Gaffney SC.
Harold’s Restaurant opened in 1932 by Harold Tindall. He wanted a restaurant with a down-home feeling that served homemade food.
Two owners later, the goal is still the same: fresh food cooked from scratch, right here in our historic downtown building. It’s obviously working to get that kind of star attention.
They are known for their hot dogs and chili burgers, but they do have a lot of other choices. I was tempted by their chicken wings which are a Golden Peach Award winner, but I went with their hot dog with cheese and bacon. It was stuffed with bacon and very filling.
Good food, friendly servers, and a touch of fame. What more can you ask? But there was another good sign, the servers seemed to know everyone by name so it’s a local favorite.
117 State Rd S-11-440, Gaffney, SC 29341, United States // +18646491414
Strawberry Hill USA Roadside Market is the place in Gaffney to find fresh produce especially peaches, strawberries, and blackberries in season. Its story began with the Cooley Family Farm in neighboring Chesnee, SC.
The farm has been in the Cooley family since the early 1900. First as a cotton farm then after WWII, Gene Cooley began growing peaches. In 1995, his son James who now runs the farm began diversifying since they had lost a lot of peach crops due to excessive cold.
He planted six acres of strawberry plants. The strawberries were such a success they became known as “Strawberry Hill USA.” They gradually added blackberries and other crops.
They opened first a café and ice cream parlor on the farm and in 2008 added this roadside market in Gaffney. James earned South Carolina state Swisher Sweets/Sunbelt Expo Southeastern Farmer of the Year award in 2013. No wonder it’s one of the best restaurants in Gaffney SC.
I learned all this later, so when I stepped into this market, I was amazed at the beautiful array of produce offered there.
There were peaches, blackberries, plums, assorted greens, plus pies, honey, jams and jellies, and lots more. You could do your regular grocery shopping here.
310 N Limestone St, Gaffney, SC 29340, United States // +18642064356
Peach City Brewery is right in the middle of the historic district for when you just got to have a brew. They are fairly new, having opened on May 21st, 2022. Peach City Brewery is a DIY concept brewery that is owned and operated by beer lovers.
You will find a diverse selection of brews and a knowledgeable staff to help find the beer that is right for you.
The Dark Web gets my interest but it’s high IPW so I’d go with a Peachoid, or one of their hard seltzers, The Strawberry Seltzer. They have wine choices as well.
Peach City Brewery is a family friendly establishment that has a large selection of made to order thin crust pizzas.
They have the usual plus a couple of unusual dessert ones. My choice is the Peach Dessert Pizza with white chocolate, peaches, meringue, and cinnamon.
In addition to great food and excellent beverages, Peach City offers a variety of cultural and entertainment activities such as sip and paint/crafts, trivia and bingo nights, and live music. It’s definitely one of the best restaurants in Gaffney SC.
Peach City Brewery is open Wednesday and Thursday 4:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m., Friday and Saturday 4:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m., and Sunday 12:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. with both indoor or patio seating.
1100 Factory Shops Blvd, Gaffney, SC 29341, United States // +18644891515
The Big E in Gaffney is a huge Pay-for-Play family entertainment center. There’s a theater showing first run movies, a bowling alley, tons of arcade games for every age, bumper cars, laser tag, and a mini golf course.
In case you need a snack while you are playing, the Big Eat and Play Café here has snacks from popcorn and giant pretzels to pizza, hot dogs, and wings.
200 S Limestone St, Gaffney, SC 29341, United States // +18644919190
Brett’s Bakery and Café where peaches meet cream to produce the best peach ice cream ever. Plus, lots of other sweet treats.
The cupcakes were freshly baked and looked delicious and the brownies really tempted me but since I was visiting peach country and it was hot outside, I went for peach ice cream in a waffle cone. It was delicious. Lots of peach pieces in it.
My friend got a piece of a luscious looking vanilla cake. If you need something a little more substantial, Brett’s also offers a variety of soups, sandwiches, hot dogs with homemade chili and coleslaw, and chips.
Brett’s won the Golden Peach Award from the Gaffney Ledger for readers’ choice of Best Bakery in Cherokee County for 2021. That’s why it’s also on my list for the best restaurants in Gaffney SC.
It’s a woman owned business. Owner, Brett McBee, recently bought a food truck and I met up with her again at the Food Truck Friday event.
201 N Limestone St, Gaffney, SC 29340, USA // +18644876244
Food Truck Friday was a dream of City Councilman Allen Montgomery, Jr. He dreamed of a way to bring the citizens of Gaffney and surrounding communities together in Downtown Gaffney for food, fun, and fellowship.
His dream became reality this past June with the inaugural Food Truck Friday event. Every first Friday from May through September, the Historic Downtown blocks off the main street to throw a big Food Truck party with a DJ and some craft vendors.
While having fun dancing, dining and exploring, be sure to sheck out the gorgeous city park in by City Hall.
Brett’s Bakery & Cafe, Delicias Verito, Jazz Catering, Cowboys, Hoppers Soul Food, Carolina Bubble Waffle, and Kona Ice, were some of the trucks there. Brett’s had her delicious cupcakes and ice cream. Delicias Verito serves traditional Mexican food with unique twists. It’s one of the best restaurants in Gaffney SC.
They also have fruit flavored sorbets. Jazz Catering and Cowboys are the trucks you want to pick if you are looking for ribs, chicken, or beef.
Hoppers Soul Food is your spot for traditional soul food. Carolina Bubble Waffle and Kona Ice are the dessert stops. Bubble Waffles are a unique take on ice cream cones.
I had to have a sno cone from Kono’s since it reminded me of the sno-balls I used to have in New Orleans.
The DJ, Mike Dawk, was doing a great job of playing some favorites. He got me with “Under the Boardwalk.”
One unique crafter was Dawn who does color or black and white caricatures in just minutes. Dawn is a Disney trained artist with a great eye for turning ordinary into cute.
210 W Frederick St, Gaffney, SC 29341, United States // +18644876244
Farmer’s Market is held on Tuesdays Thursdays and Saturdays April through November at the Visitor’s Center. The market opens at 8am. You’ll find more than just produce.
There might be eggs, flowers, honey, potted plants, and locally made craft items. I bought some fresh tomatoes. What a difference from the ones you get at a grocery.
THE FIZZ ICE CREAM, SODA & SANDWICHES
A new ice cream, soda, and sandwich shop will be opening soon in Gaffney’s historic district. I spoke to the gentleman doing the renovations and he said they should be open in a few weeks.
The menu will feature a selection of Holy Cow ice cream and floats, milk shakes, and homemade sweet cream toppings.
There will be specialty seasonal ice creams and milkshakes such as pumpkin spice during the Fall and different flavors for other holidays.
It is sure to be a hot spot for lunch with a variety of sandwiches. Paninis, chicken salad, and toasted peanut butter and jelly with powdered sugar sprinkled on top along with weekly surprise specials are sure to be some of their best sellers.
Conclusion: The 9 Best Restaurants in Gaffney SC
A good place to start a visit is the visitors center which can give you information about all the best places to visit and dine in Gaffney. It also has an art gallery.
The Revolutionary War Discover Center will be coming in the near future in the former Carnegie Library.
If you are looking for a unique place to stay, Peach Haven RV park, part of the Spacious Skies group, has cabins even if you are not RVing.
If you liked my guide on the best restaurants in Gaffney SC, check out our other delicious guides:
- Seven Lowcountry Summerville SC Restaurants
- 8 Must-Try Downtown Charleston Restaurants
- 6 Best Things To Do In Florence SC
- 9 Must-Try Florence SC Restaurant
I’m Kathleen Walls, former reporter for Union Sentinel in Blairsville, GA, currently publisher/writer for American Roads and Global Highways. I live in Middleburg, FL but travel extensively, mainly in the U.S. I’m the author of travel books, Georgia’s Ghostly Getaways, Finding Florida’s Phantoms, Hosts With Ghosts, and Wild About Florida series, and several novels. All available at my site, katywalls.com/.
Publications I write for include Travel the South, Roadtrippers, Travel Awaits, World Footprints, Snowbirds and RV Travelers, Family RVing, Deep South, Florida Country, and more. My photographs appear in many publications. I also do videos. I’m a proud member of International Food, Wine, and Travel Writers (IFWTA), Society of American Travel Writers (SATW), and North American Travel Journalists Association (NATJA).