Clemson is a vibrant and small South Carolina city boasting a rich culture, history, and tradition. It is also home to Clemson University, one of the nation’s top public research institutions in America.
If you visit Clemson, you will be surprised by the variety of dining options that suit your preferences and budget. Clemson has something for everyone, from fine dining to casual eateries, local specialties, and international cuisines.
In this article, we’ll present you with some of the best restaurants in Clemson that offer delicious food, outstanding service, and a lovely atmosphere.
You will find it here whether you are looking for a place to celebrate a special occasion, enjoy a relaxing meal with friends, or satisfy your cravings after a game. Whatever your mood or preference, you’ll find a fantastic restaurant to suit you in our list below.
Restaurants In Clemson
Rick Erwin’s Clemson
Rick Erwin’s is a popular spot for locals and visitors in Patrick Square. You can enjoy delicious dishes prepared by expert chefs, a wide selection of wines, and flawless service at this restaurant.
The menu presents the best of the region, using fresh ingredients from local sources and classic southern flavors.
From succulent steaks and fresh seafood to tasty salads and indulgent desserts, our skilled culinary team makes every dish with attention.
The restaurant’s well-informed servers are always ready to assist you through the menu and help you choose the ideal wine pairing to enhance your meal.
With ample dining areas, cozy seating, and chic decor, you’ll feel at ease when you walk in.
Inviting atmosphere at Rick Erwin’s, is the ideal setting for any occasion, whether you’re marking a special event or having a relaxed night out with friends.
Pixie & Bill’s
Located on Tiger Blvd in Clemson, Pixie & Bill’s has satisfied customers for over 40 years with its quality food and service.
This family-owned restaurant special serves delicious seafood and steaks in a friendly ambiance.
Whether you choose the tender filet mignon, the mixed grill with soy-ginger Dijon sauce, or the blackened shrimp, you will be satisfied with the taste and presentation of your dish.
The salads are fresh and crisp, the bread is warm and soft, and the wine list is extensive and affordable.
The only downside is that parking is sometimes tight, but you will always receive courteous and helpful service from the staff.
The SunnySide Cafe is the perfect spot to savor a tasty American breakfast in a comfortable setting.
This delightful restaurant offers large servings, kid-friendly dishes, and catering options for any occasion.
The atmosphere and prices are typical of a local cafe, giving you good value for your money. At the SunnySide Cafe, you can choose from various dishes to satisfy your appetite.
If you are looking for a hearty breakfast, you can try their Bearly Benedict. This dish features English muffins with fried onions and eggs cooked over easy, drizzled with hollandaise sauce. You also get a generous serving of cheesy grits on the side, which add a creamy and savory flavor.
Don’t miss this Clemson gem that will delight you with its tasty food and positive vibes!
Calhoun Corners Restaurant
Calhoun Corners Restaurant, situated in Clemson, South Carolina, has catered to guests for over three decades.
The restaurant has a reputation for providing a refined ambiance and exceptional cuisine that caters to all dietary requirements.
They provide an extensive selection of dishes crafted from superior ingredients and served by seasoned attendants.
Additionally, a secluded section is ideal for celebrations, a well-stocked bar, and a pleasant atmosphere to relish your meal.
If you decide to dine at Calhoun Corners Restaurant, do not miss the Escargot Florentine appetizer. It comprises prosciutto, spinach, fresh herbs, and garlic butter.
We highly suggest you try the Grilled French Cut Lamb Chops with parmesan pasta, red wine mint sauce, tomatoes, olives, and feta cheese for your main course.
The Esso Club
Regarding good restaurants in Clemson, The Esso Club is a must-visit. Since 1933, This spot has been a Clemson tradition known for its exquisite alcoholic drinks and mouth-watering food.
Its reputation as one of the top sports bars in South Carolina and its popularity among Clemson students who move across the states after graduation has made it famous nationwide.
Their menu features a variety of options, including sliders served with chips, French fries, or homemade onion rings, as well as a basket of deep-fried, smoked, grilled, or breaded wings tossed.
Located directly across from Memorial Stadium (Clemson), The Esso Club is a vibrant place that consistently sees a stream of locals funneling in and out.
The interior boasts a friendly neighborhood bar environment, with TVs everywhere and a completely stocked bar.
So if you’re looking for a restaurant with a lively atmosphere and excellent food and drinks, check out The Esso Club in Clemson.
Tokyo Japanese Restaurant
If you want delicious and affordable Japanese cuisine in Clemson, try Tokyo Japanese Restaurant.
Situated close to Clemson University and many small companies, this restaurant attracts many customers who come to enjoy a nice lunch or a fun hibachi experience with a party of people.
The lunch and dinner menu is very friendly price-wise, and the portions are decent. The sushi chefs are skilled and creative, and the kitchen staff is friendly and efficient.
As one of the top restaurants in Clemson, you can select from various options, such as sushi & rolls, hibachi, desserts, and appetizers and sides.
Sole on the Green
You can enjoy a casual southern food experience at Sole on the Green. Located at 230 Madren Center and near The Walker Course, the restaurant provides a beautiful lakeside scene to enjoy the meal.
We recommend their spinach dip appetizer and steak salad, as they offer a flavorful combination of taste and presentation.
Besides salads and sandwiches, Sole on the Green offers delicious options such as chicken and fries and barbecue sandwiches with fries and coleslaw. They also have a Taco Tuesday with tacos and margaritas you don’t want to miss.
The atmosphere inside the restaurant is spacious and comfortable, with plenty of booths and a quiet ambiance that lets you enjoy your meal without any distractions.
Palmettos Smokehouse and Oyster Bar
Palmettos is a popular dining spot in Downtown Clemson. The restaurant features a cozy dining room and a full-service bar where skilled chefs prepare fresh oysters from the Atlantic and North Atlantic right before you.
The menu features a variety of Southern-inspired dishes, including Shucked Oysters, New Orleans-style Grilled Oysters, Low-country boil, smoked beef brisket, and pulled pork.
Palmettos is the second closest restaurant to the Clemson University Football Stadium, making it a popular destination for pre- or post-game dining.
To ensure a smooth experience on special event day, we suggest making a reservation and verbally confirming it with the restaurant.
Joe’s New York Pizza
Joe’s is just nine minutes from Clemson University and offers ample space for large groups with its open design and sectioned-off areas.
You’ll love the lively vibe that the restaurant creates, making it the perfect spot for a great pizza experience.
We recommend trying their mouth-watering cheese pizza with three toppings. They have pepperoni, beacon beef, and sausage pizza if you’re a meat lover.
Additionally, if you’re searching for something lighter, their Antipasto salad is also a must-try, and its salami and mozzarella cheese are sure to satisfy any craving.
The restaurant features Clemson-themed decor, and Joe’s has a big TV for sports fans to catch all the action.
Pot Belly Deli
This Clemson restaurant has become a beloved spot for locals and visitors since its establishment in 1994. Pot Belly Deli caters to a vast clientele, focusing on breakfast, lunch, and catering.
They offer an extensive menu of hot and cold sandwiches, salads, and sides, including vegan options. Customers can enjoy daily fresh veggies, sliced deli meats, and sauces that are made in-house.
Pot Belly Deli also provides pickup and catering services for individual, corporate, and Clemson University customers.
Apart from the delicious food, the calm atmosphere at the Pot Belly Deli is laid-back, making it a perfect location to chat with friends over a specialty coffee or enjoy a leisurely lunch.
Loose Change Bar & Grill
Loose is an American restaurant famous for college students and locals. At night, Loose transforms into a lively bar with live music every Friday night.
Soon, adding a back deck will provide an outdoor space for patrons to enjoy the warm weather and cold drinks.
The food, such as chicken, steak, fish tacos, hamburgers, and quesadillas, is made with fresh ingredients. The burgers served with fresh-cut pub chips at Loose are a delicious option you shouldn’t miss.
The restaurant’s walls are covered in dollar bills, adding to the dive-like atmosphere. Loose is the perfect spot if you love a better night out.
Red Bowl Asian Bistro
Gateway Village in Clemson is home to the restaurant called Red Bowl Asian Bistro, which puts a new spin on traditional Asian cuisine.
The restaurant’s range of Asian dishes includes an award-winning sushi bar, and a welcoming atmosphere suitable for families.
All meals are prepared from scratch in an immaculate, open kitchen, utilizing only the finest ingredients.
Red Bowl employs Asian cooking techniques to produce outstanding pan-Asian cuisine that exceeds customer expectations.
With its distinctive ambiance, excellent service, and delicious menu options, it’s no wonder both locals and visitors consider Red Bowl a popular choice.
Evolve Kitchen + Table
Evolve Kitchen + Table is the perfect place to savor delicious food and cocktails made with superior ingredients in Clemson. This restaurant works with local farm partners who share their passion for fresh and locally raised food.
You will love their dishes, such as the pimento cheese fritters, Cuban sandwiches, and the ham and pimento sandwich. The burgers are also tasty, and the guac burger has a unique twist.
And if you are a beer enthusiast, you will appreciate the 10-ounce draft beers just enough to quench your thirst. Evolve Kitchen + Table is a wonderful spot to have a fun and satisfying meal with your loved ones.
What are the best restaurants in Clemson?
Our top pick restaurants in Clemson include Rick Erwin’s Clemson, SunnySide Cafe, Pixie & Bill’s, and Calhoun Corners.
What type of cuisine can I find in these Clemson restaurants?
You can find a variety of choices, such as American, Southern, Italian, Mexican, Japanese, Asian, and more.
Are these restaurants in Clemson supply vegetarian or vegan food?
Yes, several restaurants cater to vegetarian or vegan food. Some popular places include SunnySide Cafe, Pot Belly Deli, and Red Bowl Asian Bistro. They offer a variety of plant-based dishes, including salads, sandwiches, and sushi rolls.
Is it required to make a reservation before visiting these restaurants in Clemson?
It depends on the restaurant and the time of day. Making a reservation in advance is recommended for some restaurants during peak hours, while others do not require reservations.
Note: Since all the information in this article is based on the date of publication, for some reason (health, economic, social), these businesses may be temporarily or permanently closed or moved to another location.