Michael’s Hometown Must-Eats

63 MILES | 1 hr 38 min | by Michael Stern

Since moving to Aiken, South Carolina, I have wallowed in legendary BBQ, unsurpassed peaches, and impeccable seafood from the coast. These six restaurants are local favorites to which I return again and again. Shealy’s is BBQ’s big gun hereabouts – a massive eating hall with a cornucopia buffet. Across the river in Augusta, Perry’s Pig is a hidden gem where there’s no place to eat, but where the take-out BBQ sandwiches inspire rapture. For seafood, DeShawn’s offers the biggest crab legs around and JC’s Seafood makes a grand, classic Lowcountry boil. When it comes to dessert, the must-eat place is the Red Shed Diner, where fresh whipped cream tops ambrosial buttermilk pie. And no eating tour of the area is complete without peach ice cream at Peaches N Such, surrounded by the orchards where they’re grown.


Shealy’s Bar-B-Que

Shealy’s is the #1 BBQ in central South Carolina, a buffet-style feast that includes pork and pulley bones and countless southern classic sides.


JC’s Seafood

Hail the Low Country boil! JC's makes it with seafood from the coast along with succulent sausage, corn, and potatoes, all veiled in one of 3 degrees of spice.


DeShawn’s Seafood and Chicken

Top-quality, no-frills seafood and great fried chicken make DeShawn's a destination feast in North Augusta. It is renowned for all-you-can-eat crab legs.


Perry’s Pig

At this hidden Augusta BBQ, chopped pork sandwiches are garnished with succulent bits of crisp cracklin: one of the great smoke-pit sandwiches anywhere.