10/03/2011 03:13 pm ET | Updated Dec 03, 2011

Surprisngly Good Grub In Foodie Haven Greenville, South Carolina

Just a short drive from Asheville, North Carolina and Atlanta, Georgia, you'll find Greenville, South Carolina. I really enjoyed taking a guided tour of this quaint city recently, as it had all the pluses of a large city without the overwhelming crowds, with great food being top of the list. The downtown is wonderfully charming, too, complete with a river and waterfall right smack in the center, with a neat suspension bridge over the whole park. But the highlights were the great eats in downtown Greenville -- as well as in the burbs.

One great spot in downtown is Cantinflas, a Mexican restaurant with an extensive vegetarian menu. I was stoked that my dinner guests where all able to find something they enjoyed while I munched on fresh made guacamole and the Mexican chipotle vegan meatballs with rice, beans and plantains. I really loved that there was something on their menu for everyone. Very friendly staff, good margaritas and super accommodating too!

Lemongrass Thai
is a fantastic place for dinner. Greenville surprised me with an establishment that catered quite nicely to the veggies. Starting with the fresh basil rolls and ending with a generous helping of the vegetarian massaman curry-and-coconut milk action, I was happily stuffed. With a soothing atmosphere and a delicious menu, Lemongrass Thai is definitely on my Greenville hot list!

For some good ol' casual Italian, pop over to Trio Brick Oven Cafe. The pizzas, salads, pastas and sandwiches are all tasty and easily customizable per your diet. I vegan-ized a sandwich and salad and didn't sacrifice a bit of taste. I was even able to enjoy some dessert as they had a killer sorbet to finish off my meal.

Heading out of downtown for a taste of the east, I lunched at Saffron. It was some of the best Indian I'd ever had, and my lunching partners who don't normally eat Indian food agreed. Family owned, Saffron offers up a great lunch buffet as well as a full vegetarian menu. No matter how spicy you like your chana masala, what your dietary restrictions are or even if you are an Indian food novice, Saffron is the perfect place for a great meal, with wonderful service to boot.

Another great find outside of downtown is the Pita House. Another awesomely authentic, family owned eatery and market, the Pita House is the place to go for Middle Eastern in Greenville. They bake their own pita bread fresh every morning and make all of their pastries, hummus and other goodies in house. A band of brothers keeping their family food and traditions alive and well in the American south, the Pita House is a must.

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