In Florence County, residents embrace new and old restaurants, especially locally owned. Around here, a meal isn’t just to nourish the body; it’s to enjoy the company we’re with, as well as our roots. So grab your family or friends to try out these local favorites:

Check out the Pee Dee State Farmers Market for some produce or the biannual plant and flower festivals, and while there, enjoy lunch at Julia Belle’s. This family-run restaurant has some terrific home-cooked meals. From country-fried steak to Daufuskie chowder-shrimp soup to the baked-goods items, the Snells have hit the Southern sweet spot. Should you try an appetizer — go for the barbecue egg rolls.

While you’re out on U.S. 52, stop by Young Plantations outlet store to sample a variety of scrumptious pecans. The shop also carries a full line of South Carolina food products, including scuppernong cider, locally grown fruit preserves and mixes for shrimp and grits. And while you’re sampling pecans, try Blenheim Ginger Ale from the earliest, smallest and some say finest independent soda bottling company in the country. The company is located on the grounds of the massive South of the Border tourist attraction in Hamer. First bottled in 1903, there are the “Hot” and “Not as Hot” formulas to choose from.

Just down Interstate 95 at exit 160A is the hospitality district. Among some great well-known chain restaurants, there are also some local eateries worth trying out:

1720 Burger Bar. Try the South Cackalacky Quesadilla. It’s stuffed with some of our home-state favorites: fried chicken, okra, thick-cut bacon, pimento cheese, blended cheese and tomatoes. Located on Woody Jones Boulevard.

San Jose: Tacos and Tequila. It’s the place to go for — well — tacos and tequila, but the favorite truly is the guacamole made tableside with your specifications. Located on West Radio Drive.

Percy and Willie’s Food and Spirits: Fall-off-the-bone ribs? Yes, please. And there’s also the Salmon BLT that’s a hit. This restaurant, named after the owner’s grandparents, specializes in steaks, housemade dressings and dishes. Don’t forget to try the croissants. Located on Dunbarton Drive.

Just down the road enjoy Southern hospitality at Red Bone Alley Restaurant and Bar, where you’ll feel like you’re dining outside in Charleston. The kitchen uses local ingredients ­­— try the risotto using Darlington’s Carolina Plantation Rice or the Sweet N’ Spicy Shrimp Salad featuring local vegetables. One dish to try before leaving town: the shrimp and grits. Located on West Palmetto Street.

Across the street, one of the many Greek-owned restaurants is also a local favorite: Starfire Grill and Restaurant. It features American and Mediterranean cuisine. Go for the salads, soups, pastas, burgers or gyros and stay for the delicious desserts.

Continuing west on Palmetto, there’s one of Florence’s first brew pubs. Locally owned and operated, Southern Hops Brewing Company’s focus in the kitchen is using local products and offering hand-crafted beer with great food. Nothing on the menu is fried; everything is baked. To top it off, the owners promote local bands, kids’ night, trivia night and provide the venue for Grateful Dog, a fundraiser for three local humane societies.

Continue on to Celebration Boulevard, where a new addition to the Toniolo family opened recently. The Toniolo family has been preparing Italian fare for more than 20 years in Florence, and Cibo’s is the casual extension of Stefano’s on South Irby Street. At Cibo’s, try the Eggplant Parmesan. At Stefano’s, the pizza is a favorite as well as the veal piccata.

Got a craving for something sweet? Sweet Café and Bakery Shoppe on Celebration Boulevard  inside Cibo’s will hit the spot.

And just down the road, Mi Tierra is well-received at its new location. Their flavorful dishes are matched with their hospitable service.

Moving on to Second Loop Road, visit Freeman’s Bakery, Florence’s own old-fashioned scratch bakery in its 52nd year. It’s wonderful to have an authentic from scratch bakery in town. Freeman’s Bakery is a full-line bakery, meaning everything from wedding cakes, custom birthday cakes to cupcakes, cookies, assorted cookies, pies and all kinds of pastries are available. You can pick up doughnuts, Danishes, sweet breads or ham biscuits to take to the office or order wedding cakes and other items for a dessert bar at weddings.

Looking for an authentic Neopolitan-style wood-fired brick oven pizza that defies the ordinary? Look no further than Rebel Pie Wood-Fired Pizza, which garnered attention as “favorite local slice in South Carolina” from Zagat. Owner and chef Alan Cooke has made a pizza-haven for those who crave amazing pizza. What’s more, the dough is handmade daily using all-natural ingredients and no added sugar. Cooke and his team use a slow-rise method that brings out the natural flavor of the grain. All pies are fired in the 800-degree wood-burning oven for 90 seconds. And if you’re eating heart healthy, let them know your dietary restrictions, and they’ll work with you. Rebel Pie also serves Seminar Brewing beers.

Three friends took “a leap of faith” to start a seafood restaurant after hitting it off with a pop-up fish market. Tubb’s Shrimp & Fish Co. has become a top-rated restaurant in the county. They started out selling fresh fish caught from Sunset Beach, North Carolina, out of a cooler on the side of the road in Florence. A few months later after the success of the pop-up market, the guys decided to quit their “grown up” jobs to open a fresh seafood restaurant. Their idea was to have the best quality food while giving customers a pleasurable experience, and they pledge to keep sustainability of the coast at the forefront of the operation.

From burgers to hot dogs to Jamaican Dishes, Locals Grill is a great getaway for the worker or traveler. The specialty sandwiches as well as the fried pickles are a hit with the locals.

Vallarta Mexican Restaurant. Go for the carnitas. Stay for the attentive wait staff and atmosphere. Located on South Irby Street.

1720 Burger Bar

The 1720 Burger Bar was named for the address where the owner lived while in college, and he's even decorated with some ...
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Apple Annie’s

Apple Annie's Deli and Pub is a hopping place at night, and they have a great lunch menu, too. You can choose ...
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Baker’s Sweets – SC Pecan Trail

Baker’s Sweets offers baked goods (from muffins to cookies to hand-made cakes for special occasions), bistro sandwiches, and coffee and ...
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Bazen’s Family Restaurant

Bazen's Family Restaurant is all about Southern style home cooking. They are open for lunch buffet Sunday - Friday, breakfast buffet ...
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Brown’s BBQ

Brown's BBQ 1243 W. Lucas Street Florence, SC 29501 (843) 731-9142 website  ...
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Cibo 1270 Celebration Blvd Florence, SC 29505 (843) 799-0500 menu ...
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Clean Eats

Clean Eats 1988 West Palmetto Street Florence, SC 29501 (843) 777-3131 website  ...
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Coast Line Cafe – SC Pecan Trail

Coast Line Cafe, located inside HopeHealth, serves breakfast and lunch with a Lowcountry twist! Try the delicious pecan encrusted catfish ...
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Corona Mexican Restaurant

Coronas Mexican Restaurant 2029 West Evans St. Florence,SC 29501 (843) 665-6508 ...
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Da Massimo

Da Massino Ristorante Italiano 821 South Irby Street Florence, SC 29501 (843) 472-5262 website  ...
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The Dispensary 101 West Evans Street Florence, SC 29501 (843) 472-5203 website  ...
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Dolce Vita – SC Pecan Trail

The double chocolate chip pecan muffin is a local favorite with a hot cup of special blended Dolce Vita coffee! ...
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The Drive-In restaurant in downtown Florence serves hamburgers, fries and fountain drinks the old-fashioned way. Also known as 301 Drive-In, it has ...
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El Agave Mexican Restaurant

El Agave Mexican Restaurant 147 West Evans Street Florence, SC 29501 (843) 472-5268 website ...
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Freeman’s Bakery

Freeman's Bakery 1307 Second Loop Rd Florence, SC (843) 662-3903 website  ...
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Freeman’s Bakery – SC Pecan Trail

Freeman's Bakery offers an assortment of baked goods, including cakes and danishes. Baking from scratch makes the world a better ...
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Golden Crown

Golden Crown 300 Whitman Ave. Florence, SC 29501 (843) 679-3838  ...
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Golden Dragon

Golden Dragon 1938 W. Evans Street Florence, SC 29501 (843) 662-8899  ...
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Jack’s Place

Jack's Place 1520 American Drive Florence, SC (843) 669-2320 website  ...
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Julia Belle’s – SC Pecan Trail

Julia Belle's is located in the Pee Dee Farmers Market, where they try to use only local ingredients in their ...
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Jumpin’ J’s

Jumpin' J's 898 S Irby Street Florence, SC 29501 (843) 665-84 menu  ...
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King Jefe

King Jefe 134 South Irby Street Florence, SC 29501 (843) 407-7695 menu   ...
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Lavelle’s Diner

Lavelle's Diner 359 S Ron McNair Blvd Lake City, SC 29560 (843) 374-3186  ...
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Mi Tierra San Jose

Mi Tierra San Jose 1280 Celebration Blvd. Florence, SC 29501 (843) 629-9903 website ...
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Miguel’s Grill

Miguel's Grill 1228 S Irby St Florence, SC 29505 (843) 661-2990  ...
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Missy’s Cafe

Missy's Cafe 257 North Coit Street Florence, SC 29501 (843) 472-5300 website  ...
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Orangeland Seafood

Orangeland Seafood 711 S Irby Street Florence, SC 29501 (843)669-1535 menu  ...
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Peddler Steakhouse

Peddler Steakhouse 2001 F Hoffmeyer Road # F Florence, SC 29501 (843) 661- 5518 menu  ...
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Percy & Willie’s

Percy & Willie's 130 Dunbarton Dr. Florence, SC 29501 (843) 669-1620 ...
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Pizza Roma

Pizza Roma 125 Sauls St. Lake City, SC 29560 (843) 394-3337 ...
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Railway Restaurant

Railway Restaurant 144 S Acline St Lake City, SC 29560 (843) 374-8422  ...
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Rebel Pie – SC Pecan Trail

How about a hot, right-out-of-the-wood-fire pizza that has the same toppings as the classic pecan danish? You can get in ...
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Red Bone Alley – SC Pecan Trail

Red Bone Alley uses local ingredients whenever possible, and a favorite Southern ingredient is the pecan.  The chicken salad is ...
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Revival Burgers

Revival Burger 846 S. Irby Street Florence, SC 29501 (843) 407-4447 website  ...
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Seminar Brewing – SC Pecan Trail

Seminar Brewing has a seasonal smoked brown ale with roasted pecans called Pecans Gone Wild. It's a collaborative effort with ...
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Starfire Grill & Restaurant

Starfire Grill & Restaurant 2130 W Palmetto St Florence, SC 29501 (843) 661-7827 menu  ...
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Stefano’s – SC Pecan Trail

Stefano's is a local favorite, serving authentic Italian cuisine since 1988. If you're in the mood for pecans, start off ...
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Stefano’s Italian Restaurant

Stefano's Italian Restaurant 2600 S Irby St J Florence, SC 29505 (843) 664-9191 menu SC Pecan Trail map ...
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Sunrise Drive-In

Sunrise Drive-In 3624 East Palmetto Street Florence, SC 29501 (843) 662-7771 website ...
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Sweet Cafe & Bakery – SC Pecan Trail

Sweet offers a variety of fresh and unique cupcakes baked in small batches daily. They are located inside Cibo's Italian ...
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The Clubhouse Grill

The Clubhouse Grill Lake City Country Club 160 Club Circle Lake City, SC 29560 (843) 374-2582  ...
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Thunderbird Country Buffet

Thunderbird Country Buffet 2004 W Lucas St Florence, SC 29501 (800) 522-9552 ...
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Top Hat Special-Teas – SC Pecan Trail

Sit a spell and enjoy a special blend of English tea and a pecan scone in a quaint and stylish tearoom ...
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Town Hall – SC Pecan Trail

Farm-driven and Southern-inspired, Town Hall's menu changes with the seasons. Try the braised oxtail ravioli, local sweet potato puree, and ...
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Townhouse Restaurant

Townhouse Restaurant serves up tasty fried oysters and grilled shrimp, lamb gyros, mouth-watering hamburgers, and even chicken liver and gizzard combos ...
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Truluck’s Seafood

Truluck's Seafood is worth the drive to Timmonsville. They offer fresh seafood cooked to your taste. It's a local favorite ...
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Tubb’s Shrimp & Fish Co. – SC Pecan Trail

The Sweet Potato Cheesecake at Tubb's Shrimp & Fish Co., made with locally grown sweet potatoes and pecans, is so ...
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Venus Restaurant and Catering – SC Pecan Trail

Start your morning out with locally grown pecans mixed in your Belgian waffle or Southern pecan pancake! Venus Restaurant and ...
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Victors – SC Pecan Trail

Start your Victors experience by tasting the pecan pie martini.  It's smooth, sweet, and pecan satisfying. Victors is Florence's 3-Diamond AAA Restaurant, ...
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Ward’s Fish Market

A traditional fish market, Ward's offers fresh caught fish and will even fry them up for you. The catfish is ...
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Wholly Smokin’ – SC Pecan Trail

Don't miss the Warm Goat Cheese Salad at Wholly' Smokin', made with mixed greens, red onion, cucumber, tomato and pecan ...
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Zapata’s Grill

Zapata's Grill 904 Pamplico Highway Florence, SC (843) 292-8980 ...
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