Local Guide: Brooke Walter


I’ve thoroughly enjoyed following Brooke and the rest of the “girl tribe” over at “It Takes A VILLEage” (they also all have seriously great IG feeds). A little about Brooke in her own words:


I moved to Greenville two and a half years ago and count it as one of the best decisions I’ve made both personally and professionally.  I’ve never felt so at home, and felt welcomed right away.  Greenville has a blend of everything I enjoy: a thriving arts scene, restaurants fit for a foodie,  and space dedicated to outdoor enthusiasts. My hobbies include tennis, reading, photography, and going out and exploring all the new places popping up around Greenville! I love the vibrancy of our city.

Favorite Outdoor Spots:

Poinsett Bridge – Either a great short excursion, or stopping point on your way up to the Table Rock/ Caesar’s Head area, the Poinsett Bridge is both an interesting historic site and great photo spot. It is the oldest surviving bridge in SC.

Table Rock – Table Rock is home to some of my favorite views and also my favorite hike in the upstate. It is challenging but oh so rewarding!

Caesar’s Head – Home to many hiking trails, but more so known for its scenic overlook (that requires no hiking at all from the visitor center). Stunning panoramic view.



“Poinsett Bridge & Caesar’s Head”

Favorite Caffeine Fix:

Greenville is home to so many wonderful caffeine fixes, and constantly adding more with the likes of 101 Espresso Bar and Barista Alley in nearby Greer. However, my personal favorite is The Village Grind, with their carefully curated selection, delicious doughnuts, and rustic interior.


“The Village Grind”

Date Night:

There are so many great spots in the area to suit different moods, but I love Vault & Vator for its intimate environment and craft cocktails. The low lighting and limited seating capacity makes it a great spot for a couple to enjoy drinks.

(And no cell phones allowed! So you can have real conversations!)


“Vault & Vator”

Favorite Local Shopping:

I’m a huge fan of shopping local, but even more so in finding that “one of a kind” piece. In my opinion, there is no better way to do that then consignment shopping, where duplicates would be hard to find. My two favorites in the areas are Labels Designer Consignment and Saige.  Both have an excellent curation of designer clothes for a fraction of the price!

Best Spot for Locally Sourced Eats:

This was one of the hardest for me to decide, as I am a true foodie at heart! For locally sourced, I have to go with Bacon Brothers,  with personal bias as it’s close to my house, but also for the richness of flavor of every entree I’ve tried there. Their charcuterie board is both savory and a sight to see, and it has constantly rotating ingredients. Their burger is my favorite in Greenville!

Local Guide: Christen Eats

Christen Clinkscales – @christeneats – Christen Eats

Locally Sourced Eats

Farm Fresh Fast – One of my newest obsessions is Farm Fresh Fast, a quick-service restaurant that prides itself on its healthy, locally-sourced menu. Farm Fresh Fast uses the freshest local ingredients to make clean-eating delicious. Looking for something hearty and guilt-free? Try their Almost Heaven burger made with grass-fed beef, stuffed with low-fat cheese, and topped with lettuce and house-made pickles. Or their newest menu item, the Heritage Smokehaus Sandwich made with local pork, sugar & gluten-free BBQ sauce, and red cabbage slaw. They also have vegetarian & vegan dishes and offer meal-prep services.

FFF burger

“Almost Heaven” Burger


Best Cocktails

Vault & Vator – When it comes to sipping on craft cocktails, no one does it better than the speakeasy. With dim lighting, cozy couches, and jazz music, Vault & Vator‘s vibe is the embodiment of the modern cocktail lounge. There is a dress code. And no cell phones use inside. So you’ll have to discreetly snap that pic of your cocktail. And trust me, you’ll want to with Instagram-worthy drinks like the JJ Smash. My advice: order the Bartender’s Choice by picking two words from their list like “smoky and sweet” or “fruity and fizzy.” They won’t disappoint.

JJ smash

“JJ Smash”


Up on the Roof – If you’re looking for cocktails and a view of #yeahTHATgreenville, there’s no better place than Up on the Roof. This rooftop bar not only has great views, but bottled cocktails to die for! Grab a seat on one of their couches by the fire pit and order something pretty, like “It’s Strawberry Thyme,” a gin drink with Cointreau, muddled strawberries, and thyme. Or “Saints and Sinners’ with whiskey, prickly pear vodka, blueberry simple syrup, lime and grapefruit juice. If whiskey and gin aren’t your taste, they have vodka, rum, and tequila cocktails as well.

up on the roof


Date Night

Stone Pin Company – Looking for an unconventional date night? Stone Pin Company is right up your alley – pun intended. This boutique bowling alley is the perfect date spot- even a first date should you be so bold! Order “The Lebowski” with espresso vodka, Kahlua, and cream at the bar while you wait. Or “Split Happens,” a citrusy rum drink that’s totally apropos. Once you hit the lane, order the McMoat, a flatbread that basically tasted like a Big Mac. YUM! If you aren’t afraid of getting messy, get the ‘Smokey, Mark it a Zero’ nachos to share. You won’t strike out with those.


“Smokey, Mark it a Zero” Nachos


Farmers Market Finds

No Evil Foods – One of the coolest booths at the Saturday market is without a doubt No Evil Foods. They sell completely plant-based meats – low in calories and fat, packed with protein, and devoid of cholesterol. Not a vegetarian or vegan? Me either. But I dare you to sample their products and tell me you don’t like them. One of my personal favorites is El Zapatista – their plant-based chorizo. I’ve used it in tacos and on top of a pizza. There’s also Italian sausage, chickenesque, and smoked BBQ. Check them out next time you’re at the market!

No Evil Foods

“No Evil Foods” @ the downtown Greenville Saturday Market


Nellie T’s Pimento CheeseNellie T’s Pimento Cheese is another great Farmer’s Market find. If you’re a true southerner, you can’t get enough of the caviar of the south. My personal favorite is their blue cheese spread made with Clemson Blue Cheese. It’s perfect for on top or inside a burger. If you can take the heat, get the Spicy spread. Pair any of their cheeses with their amazing Skillet Jam – just add bacon and you will be the hit of the party. They also make different kinds of nut butters as well like Salted Caramel Peanut Butter.

Local Guide: The Local Greenville

Hidden Gems

Grateful Brew – serving two of my favorite things: coffee and beer. But excellent coffee and local craft beer (growlers as well). The 1970’s ambience and feel set it apart from anything else going on in Greenville and I love the vibe. No food served here, but nearby places deliver (Pita House is next door, another hidden gem) and they have a line-up of food trucks on their events calendar. www.gratefulbrewgvl.com; IG: @gratefulbrewgvl *pictured below


Joe’s Place Bookstore – just moved to a new location in the Pettigru District; the renovations on the house are so well done and character is oozing from every nook and cranny. Another place where you can enjoy a coffee or a glass of wine (are you sensing a pattern with me?) while getting cozy with a book. They also do an array of events like trivia night, game night and book clubs. www.joesplacellc.com; IG: @joesplacebookstore *pictured below


Date Day/Night

Hampton Station – this once abandoned cotton mill has turned into one of my top day or nighttime picks to frequent as of recently. In the Water Tower District, just outside downtown, it’s home to Birds Fly South Ale Project and White Duck Taco Shop (match made in “tacos and sour beer loving” heaven). Great outdoor lawn area and outdoor seating. Favorite pastime = stuffing my face while watching the Lion’s Roar Crossfit folks sweat it out. Other businesses (like Dapper Ink and The Noble Dog Hotel) are already here or set to open soon. Word on the street is that an indoor farmers market will be starting up and that an extension to the Swamp Rabbit Trail will make access to Hampton Station even easier. www.hamptonstation.com;  IG: @hampton-station *pictured below


Village of West Greenville – Fridays from May-August feature the “Villive Summer Concert Series” and if you can also swing it on the first Friday of the month, many of the art galleries will be open to the public during this once a month giant gallery crawl. The Village’s food scene is one of my favorites in Greenville. Hitting up Eat GB&D and/or The Anchorage while you’re there is a must-do. www.villagewgvl.com; IG: @villagewgvl *The Anchorage pictured below


Greenville Drive Game @ Fluor Field – One of the first things we did when we moved here seven years ago and I still remember being in awe of how cool the ballpark was and how tight-knit this community felt. There isn’t a bad seat in the house and on Friday nights there are fireworks. IG: @greenvilledrive

Where To Stay

Swamp Rabbit Inn – self-proclaimed “coolest, modern B&B, hotel alternative, upscale hostel in downtown Greenville” and I couldn’t agree more. This is the place you need to stay at if you want something different from a hotel or AirBNB when you come visit. Walkable/bikeable to downtown (the Inn also rents bikes) and they host “Truck Inn Tuesdays” during the summer. www.swamprabbitinn.com ; IG: @swamprabbitinnsc


Methodical Coffee – Whenever I have an hour to spare before my day gets going, this is the place you will most likely find me. There is something that fills me with joy when I see those little blue and white coffee cups, everyone that works there legitimately seems to love their jobs and most importantly, their coffee selection is hands down the best. (Sidenote: they offer brewing classes for those of us who still can’t figure out the right way to do a pour over at home). www.methodicalcoffe.com ; IG: @methodicalcoffee *pictured below


Farmers Market Finds

*The Travelers Rest market has become my go-to as it has grown tremendously and most of my favorites all set up shop here. It is also far less packed than the downtown market, but perks for downtown are shade and a larger variety of vendors. Biggest tip for either: get there early!

Swamp Rabbit Cafe and Grocery – the fresh loaves of Stecca. Get there early or else they will be gone! I love to pick up basil and garlic while I’m there and make homemade pesto. And then eat the entire loaf without sharing. www.swamprabbitcafe.com ; IG: @swamprabbitcafe

Naked Pasta – makes one of my weekend dinners a no-brainer. Take-and-bake lasagnas, freshly made pasta, ravioli and sauces. So obviously I carb up at farmers markets. www.nakedpastasc.com ; IG: @naked_pasta

Looking Forward To…

Liability Brewing – excited for the entire Westone project, but particularly looking forward to the newest brewery that is going to call Greenville home. www.liabilitybrewing.co ; IG: @liabilitybeer

Husk – my very favorite Charleston restaurant is currently under construction in one of my favorite spots on Main Street downtown. www.huskrestaurant.com ; IG: @huskgreenville