Restaurants in Aiken, SC

Because it has long been a winter-colony destination for swells from the Midwest and New England, and also because the local nuclear bomb-making plant attracts brainy sorts from everywhere, the city of Aiken is cosmopolitan. Yes, it’s got all the Deep-South basics: great soul food, Dixie short-order cafes, BBQ, and fried chicken; but it also is home to worldly cuisine and sophisticated chefs who offer menus that appeal to bec-fins. To a large degree, Aiken’s personality is determined by the fact that it’s a horse town, hosting high-level competitions and offering top thoroughbreds a weather-friendly place to leg up in the winter. In the part of Aiken known as the Horse District, where roads remain unpaved for the sake of horses’ hooves, folks from the equestrian world convene every morning at the Track Kitchen for breakfast at communal tables. Tuesday night, after the Aiken Hounds club has ended its afternoon hunt, people from all disciplines of the horse world gather at the grand Willcox Hotel for drinks and the world’s best pate.

Aiken’s Most Famous Dishes

Burger on a tender bun with lettuce, tomato, onion, and mayo ... car hop service

Grilled Hamburger

Salad plate includes slices of orange drizzled with dark balsamic vinaigrette.


Pizza is crowded with meats, veggies, and feta cheese


Crisp-edge, creamy-center French fries sprinkled with salt

French Fries

Aiken’s Best Restaurants

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