Eating Out in Aiken, SC
Aiken, SC, is the largest city in Aiken County, with a population of more than 30,000. It draws families and individuals who appreciate its southern hospitality and proximity to other cities, including Augusta, GA, and Columbia, SC. Whether you are visiting the area or establishing new roots, you’ll want to be sure to scope out the local restaurant scene. Here are a few of our favorites.
Malia’s: This established local favorite is an ideal location for special occasion dining. The restaurant serves their own take on American cuisine, ensuring that almost everyone will find something they like on the menu. The entrees aren’t inexpensive, but fans of Malia’s will tell you it’s worth it. For a more budget friendly experience, try Malia’s daily lunch menu, with a variety of options under $15.
The Willcox Restaurant: This restaurant is located within the Willcox Hotel. Diners can choose from indoor or outdoor seating options and their menu offers a variety of dishes, including vegetarian and gluten free options. They also serve a variety of artisan pizza combinations, if you’re staying at The Willcox and interested in pizza by the pool.
New Moon Cafe: If you are seeking delicious coffee and a creative, healthy breakfast and lunch menu, look no further than New Moon Cafe. Since 1995, this popular location has served up sandwiches, soups and smoothies, made in-house from locally sourced ingredients. New Moon Cafe also roasts their own coffee and bakes their own breads. Plus, their walls are covered in the works of local artists, many of which are available for purchase.
Aiken Fish House & Oyster Bar: This restaurant only opened in the spring of 2019, but it’s quickly established its reputation for delicious seafood served in a modern environment, but with plenty of familiar coastal charm. Choose from a variety of fish and shellfish options with sides like collards, hush puppies or mac and cheese, or try one of their specialty entrees. (And if seafood isn’t your thing, try one of their burgers!)
Cabanas Salvadorean Restaurant: If you’re ready to try something a bit different, try Cabanas. This restaurant serves authentic Salvadorean and Puerto Rican food. If you’re less familiar with this cuisine, be sure to try the pupusas. These griddle cakes are typically made from cornmeal or rice flours and can be stuffed with a variety of delicious combinations.
Taj Aiken Indian Cuisine: Continue to expand your palate with Indian food from Taj Aiken. Locals rave about both the quality of the food and the customer service, ensuring that even the most cautious of eaters are likely to enjoy their experience. The restaurant is also reasonably priced, so you don’t need a special occasion to stop by.
What’s Cookin’ Downtown: If you’re in search of lunch after a morning of exploring Aiken’s downtown shops, try What’s Cookin’ Downtown. This classic lunchtime eatery serves a variety of soups and sandwiches, along with breakfast. It’s a family owned restaurant that is committed to serving food that tastes like it came from your own kitchen, but with no dirty dishes to clean!
Like many mid-sized cities, Aiken’s local business and restaurant scene continues to grow. If you’re in the area (or live in the greater CSRA), be sure to include the restaurants in Aiken when you’re planning your next lunch or dinner out.