With so many things to see (and eat), this bustling part of the state makes for a perfect weekend getaway. I’ve already provided a detailed itinerary for your first 24 hours… so you might as well stay and enjoy a second day of travel bliss (it’s totally worth it).
In this post, we’re continuing my South Carolina travel voyage through the Olde English District!
TANTALIZE YOUR TASTEBUDS AT THE YOLK CAFE IN ROCK HILL (8:30AM).
Executive Chef and Owner, Greg Collier, has set the bar for Rock Hill’s breakfast scene. I’m going to go ahead and flat out say it… The Yolk Cafe offers the best AM pick-me-ups in town. From sweet tooth confections to savory classics, this morning madhouse knows a thing or two about the most important meal of the day.
As we entered the space, we were immediately greeted with coffee, orange juice and some of The Yolk’s most popular menu items. Greg joined our group’s tasting and explained his passion for using local produce, “We’re at a good place right now, it’s about relationships we form with our local community and touching the most amount of people with our food. Breakfast’s price point allows me to do that, and I wouldn’t have it any other way”.
My personal favorites were the scratch-made biscuits and Southern Waffles (which come with little morsels of pecans tucked into its silky batter). Greg’s also known for his whimsical egg dishes (hence the restaurant name), so do yourself a favor and try one of his yolk-inspired inventions.
On your way to your next attraction, make sure to stop by the Olde English District Visitors Center & Market (10:15AM).
They have an extensive selection of local art, jewelry and condiments to ensure you bring a piece of South Carolina back home with you.
Get ready for a hefty dose of artful inspiration by visiting Bob Doster’s Backstreet Studio in Lancaster (11:15AM).
Conveniently tucked behind South Main Street, this gallery and garden showcases Bob’s 50-year expertise in shaping metal. He has taught more than 150,000 students and loves working with South Carolina’s young minds and local community. The studio also features paintings, abstract murals and sculpture from other locals and artists that Bob is fond of.
Now that you’re in the creative spirit, walk across the street to the Native American Studies Center! (Noon)
This 6,500 square foot gallery space is the hub to a growing collection of Native American art, history and indigenous pottery.
Aging back 5,000 years, Catawba Pottery is the oldest Indian Pottery in the United States… and it just so happens to be made from a vein of clay in Lancaster county. About 10 individual potters remain in practice today and you can purchase their works of art online or at the studies center seasonally.
Since you’ve now earned your appetite, pop-in next door to 521 BBQ & Grill for some lip-smacking ‘que from pit master Mike Dial.
After Dial retired from he US Navy, he worked with a company that catered for the Winston Cup Races. With so many folks infatuated with his barbecue, he decided to open up a place of his own in 2005 with his brother, Robert Dial, and friend, Mike Melton.
This no-frills bbq joint is filled to capacity with regulars on a daily basis. No joke, we snagged the last table available and that’s only because the staff reserved it for us. By popular demand, they’ve expanded to three locations (Lancaster, Tega Cay, Indian Land) and continue to make everything they can from scratch. Meats are dry rubbed and smoked for 12-14 hours in-house. They are served naked (except for the ribs) with a variety of sauces available at each table (ranging from velvety thick to slick vinegar-based).
We had the pleasure of spending our lunch-hour with Bryan O’Neal, owner and operator at Benford Brewing Company. His brews can be found on tap and I highly recommend trying one. He had such a cool backstory, and I can’t wait to share that with you in another post. Teaser: his beer is brewed in 30 barrel batches on his small farm… how cool is that?
To end our tour, my group headed over to Old Town Rock Hill for shopping and an early dinner at Five & Dine (2:45 – 5pm).
Located in the heart of downtown Rock Hill, Five and Dine is home to the iconic civil rights sit-in where the Friendship 9’s protested their “Jail No Bail” strategy that changed segregated history. The original stools and lunch counter still remain, and the restaurant is listed on the Civil Rights Trail.
We had the pleasure of tasting the menu with Selina Keleman, owner and fellow food enthusiast. Five and Dine is collaboratively run by her and her husband, and Selina also works as managing partner for Fish Market Bar and Grill in Fort Mill. Talk about a love for the restaurant life!
Chef Anthony Russo joined us and went through a rundown of his menu. From fresh salads to fried delights and comfort food classics, this eclectic list of scratch-made fare has a fun and funky twist anyone would appreciate. His Donut Sliders are a must try; I also recommend the Turkey Avocado Wrap and Pot Roast.
It was here where my travel companions and I parted ways. Since The Olde English District is in such close proximity to Charlotte, it serves as the ideal staycation for Queen City couples, thrill seekers and families. Once again, I would like to send a genuine thank you to all the establishments that helped shape our visit. I would also like to thank Susan and Des at DK Communications and Jayne with The Olde English District Tourism for organizing our activities (and joining us on them!).
IF YOU ENJOYED THIS POST, PLEASE MAKE SURE TO CONNECT WITH ME ON PINTEREST, INSTAGRAM AND FACEBOOK. FOR MORE CULINARY & TOURISM GUIDES, CHECK OUT OUR EATS DRINKS AND TRAVEL TAB. CHEERS, FRIENDS! ?