The climate and natural beauty of the Upstate lend itself beautifully to a host of outdoor dining options. Whether it is views of the mountains, Falls Park, or the Downtown Greenville skyline, there are plenty of ways to enjoy an afternoon or evening meal in the great outdoors. The experience can range from casual to sophisticated and anywhere in between, depending on your tastes and occasion.
Soak in the Downtown skyline and the Blue Ridge Mountains from your perch at Up on the Roof, Greenville’s tallest rooftop restaurant. Watch the world go by from a seat at Larkin’s Grill Marks or gaze out over Falls Park from Passarelle Bistro. Take a break from a bike ride on the Swamp Rabbit Trail with a pizza and a beer from one of the restaurants at The Commons. It is all yours for the taking, in and around the heart of this great city.
The hardest part about this list was narrowing it down to just ten places, but we did that just for you with our 10Best List of Outdoor Dining Restaurants.
Photo courtesy of Libby McMillan
Few views capture the essence of Greenville than the one from the patio at Larkin’s On The River. As you eat you will gaze across the lush, green Reedy River Amphitheatre, historic Wyche Pavilion, the slow flow of the Reedy River, and an artist’s row of galleries offering some of the best local art in town. This is Greenville at its finest and Larkin’s On The River serves up a front row seat to all of it. It helps that the food and service are both excellent and the wine list feels more like a novel, meaning you have much to discuss and choose from during an absolutely satisfying outdoor dining experience.
Recommended for Outdoor Dining because: Few views capture the essence of Greenville than the one from the patio at Larkin’s On The River.
Brett’s expert tip: Sit outside when the weather is nice and a concert is going on at the Peace Center Amphitheatre and you will have the best seat in the house.
Read more about Larkin’s on the River →
The second Larkin’s owned business on the list, Grill Marks offers the best Downtown Greenville has to offer in terms of watching the world go by. The patio’s bar top seating butts right up to Main St.’s sidewalk, offering a front-row view to everything the city has to offer. Watch the crowds as they stroll down the street to Artisphere, Euphoria, or any number of other events the city has to offer. Take note of the number of people following maps, illustrating just how much of a tourist destination Greenville has become. Even better, do all of this with top-notch house ground burgers, a good craft brew, or some of the most decadent milkshakes the city has to offer.
Recommended for Outdoor Dining because: Great burgers, service, and location make this a must visit Downtown dining establishment.
Brett’s expert tip: Upgrading to a dry aged patty for only $3.99 is always a good decision.
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When Willy Taco opened in Spartanburg, it became a big reason for Greenville diners to drive north on I-85, instead of the other way around. Fortunately, Willy Taco Feed & Seed brings the experience to Greenville, just outside of Downtown. The tacos are top notch, the service is always stellar, and the patio is just a fun, relaxing place to enjoy a meal and a couple of cervezas with friends. The restaurant does get full during prime lunch and dinner hours on the weekend so plan accordingly, get there early, and be prepared to grab a drink from the bar while you wait.
Recommended for Outdoor Dining because: Willy Taco became an overnight sensation in Spartanburg and the Greenville version presents its own unique dining experience.
Brett’s expert tip: Try the lunch special, two tacos served with black beans and rice, for $9.50 if you’re extra hungry.
Read more about Willy Taco – Feed & Seed →
The only not-actually-a-restaurant on this list, The Community Tap is still a great place to sit outside in virtually any weather thanks to a roof, fans, and heaters on the patio. Food trucks set up shop in the parking lot so there are often unique and creative dining options to make sure you do not go hungry (and if not, D’Alessandro’s Pizza is less than 100 yards away). The craft beer and wine bar features 24 rotating and carefully curated beers and ciders on tap, as well as nearly that many wine options to choose from. The friendly, knowledgeable staff will provide all the guidance you need before you cozy up on the patio with a bite to eat and great conversation with friends.
Recommended for Outdoor Dining because: The patio at The Community Tap is always a great place to eat, drink, and catch up with friends.
Brett’s expert tip: The Tap is a tap room, not a restaurant, so keep an eye on the food truck calendar to see who is rolling in.
Read more about The Community Tap →
Photo courtesy of Brett Barest
As great as White Duck Taco’s food is â” and to be clear, it is really, really great â” they are part of the larger experience that is a visit to Hampton Station. A significant green space welcomes you to the veritable oasis that is Hampton Station, beyond which you will find White Duck Taco, Birds Fly South Ale Project, Craft Axe Throwing, The Flow Depot yoga studio, and so much more. On a nice day, there is little more satisfying than grabbing a couple of tacos and a cold craft brew and sitting outside to soak it all in. When you are done eating, you can peruse the artist studios that call Hampton Station home, throw some axes, or just relax and watch the day go by.
Recommended for Outdoor Dining because: Some of the best tacos in town are served next to a great brewery and a ton of green space at Hampton Station.
Brett’s expert tip: The menu changes regularly so be ready for fresh new surprises alongside classics like the steak & cheese and fish tacos.
Read more about White Duck Taco →
Gather Greenville is a great conglomeration of independently owned restaurant concepts just off of Main Street in Greenville’s West End. Indulge in some of the best Italian fare from The Pasta Addict, exquisite German cuisine from Prost, fried chicken and doughnuts from Hendough, as but a few of the options available. Wash it all down with a tasty beverage from The Greenville Beer exchange and hang check the concert calendar for live music all weekend long. The entire space is outdoors with plenty of coverage from the elements making it the perfect spot for more responsible pandemic era gatherings in any weather.
Recommended for Outdoor Dining because: You cannot have an outdoor dining list without a spot that features nearly a dozen businesses with exclusively outdoor seating.
Brett’s expert tip: There is plenty of parking available but try to avoid any city or private business parking lots that surround the area.
Read more about Gather GVL →
Photo courtesy of Brett Barest
The Commons is not a restaurant but, rather, an intersection of four great eateries and Greenville’s most popular taproom. The Bake Room, Automatic Taco, Methodical Coffee, and GB&D all reside under one roof, anchored by The Community Tap’s second Greenville location. All of this goodness resides just steps away from the Swamp Rabbit Trail, making it the perfect place for outdoor dining and libations. Whether you arrive by car or on foot or bicycle via the Trail, there is a little something for every appetite in this outstanding destination just a stone’s throw away from Main St. in Downtown Greenville.
Recommended for Outdoor Dining because: The patio is perfectly situated above a water feature and next to NOMA Square which is always abuzz with activity.
Brett’s expert tip: The private room is available for rent and perfect for everything from business meeting to birthday parties.
Read more about The Commons →
Trattoria Giorgio’s authentic Italian cuisine is all the reason you should ever need to visit. Perfectly prepared classic Italian favorites like the Pappardelle Bolognese and Veal Scallopine Picatta make for a special evening no matter where you sit but when the season is right, you will not want to eat anywhere else than the restaurant’s beautiful courtyard garden. The setting is relaxing and surprisingly private given the fact that you are seated just steps off of Main St. in Downtown Greenville. You will almost forget you are in Greenville with the flowers in bloom, a glass of wine in hand, and that special someone sitting across the table from you for an evening you will not soon forget.
Recommended for Outdoor Dining because: Authentic Italian cuisine consumed with a great bottle of wine in a garden has to be on the list.
Brett’s expert tip: Reservations are strongly recommended (by phone only – no online reservations).
Read more about Trattoria Giorgio →
Anyone who has spent any amount of time in Downtown Greenville can tell you that the city’s crown jewel is Falls Park, specifically the Liberty Bridge that spans high over the Reedy River. As such, Passerelle Bistro is tough to beat for outdoor dining as its patio overlooks the park and the waterfall below. The restaurant is located just of Main St. right in the heart of Downtown putting all of the city’s shopping and entertainment options right at your fingertips. The Bistro Burger is a solid option any time of day but for dinner, items like the Burgundy Braised Lamb Shank and Duck Cassoulet really capture the true spirit of the French styled bistro.
Recommended for Outdoor Dining because: Dining while overlooking Falls Park and the Liberty Bridge is tough to beat.
Brett’s expert tip: Weekdays are a good time to visit to make sure you get outdoor seating which can fill up quickly on nice days and weekends.
Read more about Passerelle Bistro →
For outdoor dining, there is no debate that Up on the Roof serves up the best views along with some really quality cuisine. Perched at the top of the Embassy Suites just a block off of Main St., the restaurant is eight stories up in the sky with plenty of outdoor seating. Diners and bar patrons alike will be treated to views of the Downtown Greenville skyline, the Reedy River as it meanders downstream to Falls Park, and the Blue Ridge Mountains off in the distance but plenty visible on a clear day. This all pairs nicely with a craft beer or cocktail from the bar and the Rooftop Prime Burger, Seafood Pasta, or any number of other tasty options.
Recommended for Outdoor Dining because: For outdoor dining, there is no better view than Up on the Roof, eight stories up just steps away from Main Street.
Brett’s expert tip: The garage can be a bit of a maze but the best bet is to enter through the Main Lobby which is actually on the second floor of the building.
Read more about UP on the Roof →