Swamp Rabbit Café & Grocery has earned its spot on any number of the Upstate's top 10 list, so it should come as no surprise that it is one of Greenville's best places for Sunday brunch. The café is serving up breakfast and lunch sandwiches all day long and with your choice of a house-made croissant or stecca bread, they are pretty hard to beat. Everything is made fresh with local ingredients sourced from local farms across the Upstate. Its location along the Swamp Rabbit Trail makes it the perfect destination after a morning ride and the grocery store means you can wrap up your shopping for the week after your bellies are full.
Recommended for Brunch because: Farm to table dining next to the Swamp Rabbit Trail doesn't get any better on a warm sunny Sunday.
Brett's expert tip: When the weather is nice, parking fills up fast but arriving via the Swamp Rabbit Trail is always an option.
The English publik house that is Velo Fellow is unique in every way so, of course, their brunch has to be included on this list. Classic pub fare like chicken and waffles, shrimp & grits, and eggs benedict are the order of the day, along with a ton of great bar offerings and live entertainment. Time your trip to arrive during one of the monthly "Speakeasy Sunday" shows when Donna Kay (of Donna Kay & the Carousers) and a rotating group of musicians turns the English publik house into a throwback speakeasy experience that just might be the most fun you will have at any brunch in town.
Recommended for Brunch because: The Velo Fellow is a fun place to hang out any day of the week but Sunday brunch is just a little extra special.
Brett's expert tip: The Sunday brunch menu is limited so call ahead if you are craving a burger that may or may not be on the menu.
Does it get any more Southern than this? If gravy practically runs through your veins, Biscuit Head is the place for you. Traditional biscuits and gravy are on the menu, but the gravy choices go far beyond what your grandmother used to make. We're talking espresso red-eye gravy, sweet potato coconut gravy and veggie chorizo gravy. If you can't decide, order a flight of three gravies to sample. Plenty of variations on biscuits are on offer as well, like the Mimosa fried chicken biscuit that comes with sweet potato butter, sriracha slaw and a poached egg. If you're in the mood for something more familiar, there's always the classic, with egg and cheddar cheese.
Recommended for Brunch because: Biscuit Head serves a sincerely Southern brunch, with everything made from scratch, daily.
Maggie's expert tip: The kitchen at Biscuit Head isn't gluten-free, but they do offer gluten-free items on the menu and do their best to prevent cross-contamination.
Part of a regional chain based in Asheville, N.C., Tupelo Honey Cafe has called Greenville home since June 2013. The cuisine is Southern at heart, to the tune of gigantic sweet potato pancakes and apple cider pork belly hash. The menu offers something for everyone, even those with sensitivity to gluten. Inside, bright yellow walls set a sunny vibe in the casual dining room, which is flanked by an open kitchen. Brunch is served on Saturdays and Sundays and features classic brunch favorites like fried chicken & biscuits, shrimp & grits, steak & eggs and a variety of omelets to choose from.
Recommended for Brunch because: Comforting breakfast food is Tupelo Honey's specialty and, as one might expect, they excel at brunch.
Maggie's expert tip: The entrance to Tupelo Honey Cafe is no longer located next to Anthropologie and is instead on the backside of the restaurant, across from Aloft.
Topsoil Kitchen & Market is one of the most unique destinations in Travelers Rest combining a cozy local market vibe with some really tasty plates coming out of the kitchen. Brunch offers a variety of options from "On Toast" menu items such as poached rhubarb or brown sugar and sweet tea baked salmon, or you can go a bit bigger with the breakfast sandwich or Bistro Steak & Eggs. A host of handmade a la carte options rounds out the day for the perfect brunch experience and kickoff to a Sunday of adventure in and around the inviting little town of Travelers Rest.
Recommended for Brunch because: Topsoil continues to serve up some of the best fare in Travelers Rest and Sunday brunch is no different.
Brett's expert tip: Brunch is Sunday only, from 10 am to 2 pm.
In just under two years, Bar Margaret has established itself as an institution in the Village of West Greenville. From the ever-changing and wildly creative cocktails to the increasingly famous "Damn Good Burger" and this is a place you want to frequent with great regularity. It is no surprise, then, that it is a standout on the Saturday brunch scene with offerings like "Pop-Tarts" (lemon curd and sugared blueberries in a sourdough pastry) and "Sticky buns" (sourdough brioche bun, cinnamon sugar, honey glaze, toasted pecans) to name but a few of the options awaiting you every Saturday.
Recommended for Brunch because: Bar Margaret is unique in everything they do and that definitely applies to their Saturday brunch options.
Brett's expert tip: Saturdays are for brunch at Bar Margaret (they are closed on Sundays).
Oak Hill Café & Farm is a restaurant that I will venture to with classic buttermilk pancakes or French toast on my mind only to order something completely different when I actually get there. That is the beauty of a farm-to-table dining experience when the fresh, seasonal specials tend to woo you away from the standard menu items you might have been considering in the first place. Oak Hill is one of the few Upstate restaurants that has a small working farm on site so you can walk off your meal in the gardens behind the restaurant to fully appreciate where your food came from.
Recommended for Brunch because: Oak Hill Café & Farm is a delicious farm-to-table restaurant with some seriously delicious brunch options.
Brett's expert tip: While breakfast and brunch options are available all week, the Croissant Breakfast Sandwich is a Saturday/Sunday-only menu item.
Lewis Barbecue is the newest addition to the local barbecue scene but right out of the gates they have put every other restaurant in town on notice. This is Texas style barbecue right here in the Upstate and every bit of attention to detail is on full display. The first bite of their smoked brisket or classic Texas Hot Guts sausage lets you know they are bringing their A-game but things are dialed up each and every Sunday morning with a phenomenal weekly special. Chicken fried steak with green chile gravy and mashed potatoes comes with two sides you probably do not even need to kick off your Sunday. This a game changer that you really need to plan an entire day around and (spoiler alert) it is going to be totally worth it.
Recommended for Brunch because: Chicken Fried Steak is the Sunday special. That is all.
Brett's expert tip: Getting in line at 10:30 ahead of the 11:00 open time is not the worst idea.
Once upon a time, Resident Dogs was a local favorite hot dog cart that would pack the house every Monday at The Community Tap with their off-the-wall take on a classic American treat. Then, in what seemed like a blink, they were a full-on brick and mortar at both Gather GVL and on Main St. in Travelers Rest. Resident Dogs became Resident Diner and their menu expanded beyond hot dogs into sandwiches, meat & three nights, casseroles, and more. For those that think their regular offerings push all sensible creative boundaries, owner/chef Meredith Bost asks us all to hold her proverbial beer when it comes to Sunday brunch. The menu changes with the season and her mood with themes ranging from Madonna to professional wrestling and, really, it just needs to be seen (and consumed) to understand what Resident Diner is doing to the local brunch scene.
Recommended for Brunch because: Resident Diner blurs the lines between innovative and weird on a regular basis and brunch pushes the boundaries even further in all the right ways.
Brett's expert tip: The brunch menu is completely different from the regular menu so if you are looking for tried and true options, be prepared to switch up your plan.
Fork & Plough, a true farm-to-table dining experience in partnership with Greenbrier Farms, has a well-earned reputation as one of the best restaurants in town. Chef Shawn Kelly's menu changes every time you walk in the door and Saturday and Sunday brunches see a little extra innovation coming out of the kitchen. Recent Sundays featured items like a fried egg over grilled catfish, a Nashville hot softshell crab sandwich on Texas toast, and a waffle buried beneath a Greenbrier Farms pork chop and Sawmill gravy. All of this can be had in the Overbrook neighborhood just outside of Downtown Greenville making parking a breeze without all the congestion of Main St.
Recommended for Brunch because: Fork & Plough is putting out some seriously good food in a relaxed, casual environment just outside of Downtown Greenville.
Brett's expert tip: Brunch options fall off the menu at 2 pm so don't dilly dally.