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SCBBQ Road Trip: Interstate 77

SC BBQ Road Trip I-77 Sign

In South Carolina, barbecue is both varied and abundant. This small state has so many, different styles of BBQ that anyone on a road trip in our state would need a guide to help them find the ideal spot from which to sample from the SC BBQ Trail. To help those travelers, we have created SC BBQ Road Trip: A Restaurant Field Guide for each interstate that traverses our state. This edition covers Interstate 77.

Interstate 77 in South Carolina extends from Columbia through the northern central section of the state before exiting in York County and becoming mired in the mess that is Charlotte, NC.

This journey has Interstate 77 passing through only two of the four primary barbecue regions in the state. Regardless, those who find themselves on I-77 have ample opportunity to sample the different styles of barbecue offered in South Carolina, and they don’t need to detour far from their travels to do so.

Interstate 77 runs only 90 miles along its journey through the state.  On this relatively short passage, I-77 spends about half its length in the region of SC most known for the sauce born in South Carolina: a mustard sauce.

Here is a look at rough breakdown of South Carolina’s BBQ sauce regions:

SC BBQ Sauce Regions

SC BBQ Sauce Regions

I-77 begins in the heart of the mustard region; however, it also briefly runs through our light tomato region.

Despite the map’s insistence, barbecue in our state is not necessarily as defined as the map dictates. This map generalizes and whitewashes regions based on historical precedence.

Today, you are likely to find any of the sauces in any corner of the state, particularly among the newer restaurants that are paying homage to the state’s grand history, but if you are looking for a particular sauce, now you know where to look.

Anyway, today you find yourself traveling Interstate 77. You know traveling this stretch of road you certainly ought to be able to find some of this SCBBQ you’ve been hearing (and reading) about.

But where should you look and how far do you have to go to get real SC BBQ?

We strongly suggest checking out and using our SC BBQ Trail Locator Map.

The map will find your location (with your permission) and show you the closest 25 SCBBQ restaurants within 100 miles of you. (We also suggest saving the map as an “app” on your phone by simply by visiting the page and tapping Share (iOS) or Menu (Android) and then tap “Add to Homescreen.”)

While our locator map is fantastic (if we do say so ourselves), we know you probably don’t want to drive 40 miles off the interstate just to get a taste of SCBBQ.

So, here we present to you all your options for enjoying real SCBBQ within 10 miles of a given exit along I-77.

In addition, we’ll recommend the “Must Visit” SCBBQ restaurants you will pass as you travel I-77.

Just a quick reminder about our criteria for selecting restaurants:

  • no national BBQ chain restaurants are included; all are SC-based restaurants and most are individual, family-owned shops
  • all are “on” the interstate; that is, within 10 miles of an interstate exit
  • inclusion in the list is not an endorsement and restaurants may be labeled “Must Visit” for reasons beyond the quality of their BBQ
  • we will only include one restaurant on a given route for any major SCBBQ chain; note, however, while there are many similar to Dukes restaurants in SC that are not franchises or members of a chain, so all will be included
  • mileage provided is not exact, but was calculated using Google maps so it should be very close
  • See SCBBQ Road Trip: Start Your Engine for a fuller explanation of our selection criteria.

Before we begin, some interstate highway fun facts you might not have known:

  • no matter which direction you are heading, the interstate exit numbers are the same for a given junction
  • one or two-digit, odd-numbered interstates run south-north, with lower numbered interstates starting in the west;  I-77 is clearly a south-north running, East coast interstate, being such a high, odd number.
  • mile markers for south-north running interstates begin at the southern end of each interstate

Thus, we will follow the exits along I-20 from where it begins in Columbia until it exits near Charlotte.

Buckle your seatbelt and away we go…


Note: Distances are approximate: Use our map for more precise directions.

SC BBQ on I-77 at Exit 5

SC BBQ on I-77 at Exit 5

Exit 5 (SC 48 (Bluff Road) – Gadsden)

Doc’s Barbeque and Southern Buffet

(NOTE: Click store name for more info, including address, links to social media and review sites, and other details.)

Blurb: “I love pulled pork bbq and in Columbia, SC this is where I go!  The buffet is great! Hash and rice, chicken – fried or smoked, catfish nuggets – amazing, collard greens, pulled pork bbq with two different sauce choices, slaw, potato salad and more!  I usually walk out of here hating myself because I gorge myself on all of the delicious southern food!  Definitely a great spot to check out if you have a big appetite or if you love southern food!” John K, Yelp

Directions: Take Exit 5 and head northwest on SC-48 W toward SC-768 W. In about a mile, turn right onto Bates St. At the end of the street, turn left onto Shop Rd and Doc’s will be less than a half mile down on the left.

Doc's Barbecue in Columbia, SC

Doc’s Barbecue in Columbia, SC

Monday – Saturday: 11 am – 2:30 pm

Phone: 803.799.1532

 

The Palmetto Pig

Blurb: “Talk about some good food!? The BBQ is fantastic but that’s only part of the story.  The chicken is REALLY where it’s at!  Now that I think about it there wasn’t anything on the buffet that I didn’t just LOVE.  If you’re not from around here and you’re looking to try a good southern style buffet then look no further… this is your spot.” Jason R, Yelp

Directions: Take Exit 5 and head northwest on SC-48 W/Bluff Rd toward Maundy Dr. Continue straight for about 2.8 miles, past Williams Brice Stadium and the fairgrounds. When you reach the intersection of Olympia and Bluff, you will be at a stop sign. Follow Olympia Ave. to the left and continue on Olympia for about .7 miles. (Olympia will become Wayne St., as you cross over Hayward St.) Turn left onto Whaley St and go about .2 miles. As Whaley bends around a right angle curve, it becomes Huger St.  Follow Huger St for about a half mile and then turn right on Devine St. Palmetto Pig will be just ahead on the right.

Palmetto Pig of Columbia, SC

Palmetto Pig of Columbia, SC

 

Tuesday – Wednesday: 11 am – 2:30 pm

Thursday – Saturday: 11 am – 9 pm

Phone: 803.733.2556

 

Yep, in South Carolina now.

A photo posted by @joannadanielle on

 

The Southern Belly

Blurb: “A great place. Indoor and outdoor seating, a creative bbq based menu. Fresh and original combination. I had the Kahuna- with pineapple and sweet onions on a Hawaiian type bread and my son went for Django and it was truly unclaimed with jalapenos and spicy hot. Excellent, friendly and fast service. Just an all round awesome experience.” GaylordM, TripAdvisor

Directions: Take Exit 5 and head northwest on SC-48 W/Bluff Rd toward SC- 768 W. Pass by NAPA Auto Parts – Genuine Parts Company, on the right in 1.2 mi. Turn right onto SC-48 W/Rosewood Dr. Continue straight onto SC-16/Rosewood Dr. Turn left onto S Waccamaw Ave. Turn right onto Monroe St. Turn left onto Harden St. Make a U-turn at College St.

The Southern Belly at Five Points in Columbia, SC

The Southern Belly at Five Points in Columbia, SC

 

Monday – Saturday: 11 am – 10 pm

Phone: 803-764-3512

 

GET IN MY southern BELLLLLLAYYYYY

A photo posted by Holly Stewart (@holly0793) on

 


SC BBQ on I-77 at Exit 6

Exit 6 (SC 768 (Shop Road))

The Pot Smoker BBQ

Blurb: “The aroma of smoked pig greets you as soon as you park the truck, I was very impressed with the staff, offered up samples as soon as we walked in. The pulled pork and ribs were worth the trip, sauces were the perfect compliment. Had the Mac and cheese and baked beans as sides, the perfect compliment to the ribs and pulled pork. If I find myself back in Columbia SC I’ll be back! Also, the local lager on tap went perfectly with the meal.” Tim T, Yelp

Directions: After exiting at Exit 6, follow Shop Rd. for 3.2 miles. Then, turn right onto George Rogers Blvd. Continue straight for about 1.5 miles, the turn left onto Senate St. The Pot Smoker BBQ will be just ahead on your right.

The Pot Smoker BBQ Columbia on Senate St.

The Pot Smoker BBQ Columbia on Senate St.

Daily: 11 am – 9:00 pm

Phone: (803) 400-2251

When in the south… #bbq

A post shared by Emily Moses (@emilynina) on


SC BBQ on I-77 at Exit 9A

Exit 9-A (US 76 / US 378 (Garners Ferry Road) – Sumter)

Big T’s Bar-B-Que

Blurb: “This is the good stuff. Stopped in Columbia for the night and asked the hotel clerk where the good BBQ was located. She pointed me to Big T’s. This might just be the best BBQ I’ve ever had. Real home cooked food, great flavor and huge portions. Had the BBQ hash, a wonderful new experience and the pulled pork. This is what southern BBQ is supposed to taste like. Can’t wait to get to Columbia again.” Matthew S, TripAdvisor

Directions: Take Exit 9A for US-76/US-378/Garners Ferry Rd. Head southeast on Garners Ferry Rd for about 1 mile.  When you reach East Point Plaza on your right, turn in and Big T’s will be the unit just left of the center of the main building.

Big T BBQ on Garner's Ferry Rd. in Columbia, SC

Big T BBQ on Garner’s Ferry Rd. in Columbia, SC

 

Monday – Wednesday: 11 am – 9 pm

Thursday – Saturday: 11 am – 10 pm

Phone: 803.776.7132

 

Pulled pork 😁 I’m in food heaven

A post shared by Shamara Afia (@shamaraafia) on


 

SC BBQ on I-77 at Exit 10

Exit 10 (SC 760 (Jackson Boulevard))

Maurice’s Piggie Park BBQ

Blurb: “I am amazed by this place! It is a small family owned restaurant and as soon as I walked in the customer service was excellent. The kitchen is in plain view and you can see the kitchen staff cooking. The food is EXCELLENT!! I have never had barbecue that has tasted this good! It is a must whenever you are in Columbia, SC!” Roger H, Yelp

Directions: Take Exit 10 and head west on Fort Jackson Blvd. Stay in the right lane and at the intersection follow Devine to the right (which it really the only direction you can go).  Maurice’s will be about .2 miles down on your right.

Maurice's on Devine in Columbia, SC

Maurice’s on Devine in Columbia, SC

 

Sunday – Thursday: 10 am – 9 pm

Friday – Saturday: 10 am – 9:30 pm

Phone: 803.782.9547

 


 

SC BBQ on I-77 at Exit 15

Exit 15 (SC 12 (Percival Road))

Little Pigs Barbecue

Blurb: “Heard about this place from lots of friends and had to try it for our selves. Love the BBQ and all the food. I had so much to eat I was full for dinner after eating lunch here. So much to choose from off the Buffet line and everything was delicious. Prices were awesome and not expensive so you don’t have to worry about breaking the bank either. Easy to find and get too, only problem is that if you get there during heavy meal hours than the parking is going to be a problem. it is a small parking area, I’m guessing they never expected to be this popular.” brian0910, TripAdvisor

Directions: Take Exit 15 and head northeast on Percival Rd. for about 1.3 miles. When you reach the stoplight with Alpine Baptist Church on corner, turn left onto Alpine Rd  and Little Pigs will be just up the hill to your left.

Little Pigs BBQ in Columbia, SC

Little Pigs BBQ in Columbia, SC

 

Wednesday: 11 am – 2 pm

Thursday: 11 am – 8:30 pm

Friday – Saturday: 11 am – 9 pm

Sunday: 11 am – 3 pm

Phone: 803.788.8238

 

Today was a great day for a BBQ buffet

A photo posted by Sydney Peters (@squidsquaaaaddd) on


 

SC BBQ on I-77 at Exit 17

Exit 17 (US 1 (Two Notch Road))

Chewy’s BBQ and Grill

Blurb: “They were very friendly and the food was delicious. They got my order right the first time and remembered to thank me. I took a paper menu so I could call ahead next time. This is not a fast food restaurant so don’t expect to be in and out in 5 minutes but it is worth the wait.” Bernard Gregg, Facebook Review

Directions: Take Exit 17 and simply head southwest on US-1 S/Two Notch Rd for about 4.5 miles. Chewy’s will be on your left.

Chewy's BBQ & Grill in Columbia

Chewy’s BBQ & Grill in Columbia

 

Tuesday – Thursday: 11 am – 8 pm

Friday – Saturday: 11 am – 10 pm

Phone: 803-569-6653

 


 

SC BBQ on I-77 at Exit 18

Exit 18 (SC 277 south to I-20 west – Columbia, Augusta)

Big Boy’s Original Smokehouse

Blurb: “Alrighty then. Me and the boss yelped this lunch spot on the way to Myrtle Beach for lunch. I just happened to be in the mood for some off the road BBQ and this place popped up. Really huge portions of food. I split a brisket and rib platter with my son and we couldn’t finish it. The BBQ was EXCELLENT. I mean spot on. Unlike a lot of good BBQ place where the meat is good and the sides are store bought or frozen, this place has GREAT sides. The mac n cheese was a hit with my crew but yelpers listen up real close…… Get the gumbo and rice as a premium side. You will not be disappointed. Please do yourself a favor and stop in here for some really, really good BBQ. The staff is very friendly as well.” Michael R, Yelp

Directions: Take Exit 18 and Big Boy’s is right off the exit about .3 miles. Just head southwest on Farrow Rd and you will see it on your left, but because it is a divided highway you will have to pass it and circle back around to it. Just go to the light and turn left (or make a U-turn) by the Waffle House. There is a small road just behind the Waffle House you can take to reach Big Boy’s.

Big Boys Original Smokehouse in Columbia

Big Boys Original Smokehouse in Columbia

 

Wednesday – Saturday:  11 am – 6 pm

Sunday: 1 pm – 6 pm

Phone: 803.788.6822

 

Big Bull’s Bang’n BBQ

Blurb: “Oh my goodness! What a treasure and the food is some of the best we have ever had! Loved the ribs-loved the chicken! You have to try the baked beans, the potato salad and their ice tea is wonderful!!!! Small, impeccably clean and southern hospitality at its finest!!!!” jonesloop, TripAdvisor

Directions: Take Exit 18 and head northeast on SC-555 N/Farrow Rd. In about 1 mile, you will turn right onto Hard Scrabble Rd/State Rd S-40-83. Big Bull’s will be about .4 miles down on your right.

Big Bull's Bang'n BBQ in Columbia, SC

Big Bull’s Bang’n BBQ in Columbia, SC

 

Wednesday – Friday: 11:30 am – 7 pm

Saturday: 12 pm – 7 pm

Sunday: 12 pm – 6 pm

Phone: 803-479-4475

 

 

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Dem peoples know how to make dems #pulledpork. 🤙🤙🤙 #comfortfood #southernbbq #spicy

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SC BBQ on I-77 at Exit 27

Exit 27 (Blythewood Road – Blythewood)

Doko Smoke BBQ

Blurb: “Oh man, if you are in the area you have to stop in here!  This is the best BBQ I have had outside of Texas!  And I’ve tried A LOT!  I think it rivals any place in Texas as well.  It’s that good.  The mac and cheese is also very good.  Not a bad bite in the my 2 visits.  My only complaint is they aren’t open more days of the week. Folks, get off I-77 and try it.” Dave M, Yelp

Directions: Take Exit 27 and head east on Blythewood Rd/State Rd S-40-59. When the road ends in about a half mile, turn left onto Main St/Wilson Blvd. Doko Smoke will be about .2 miles down on your right.

Doko Smoke Barbeque in Blythewood, SC

Doko Smoke Barbeque in Blythewood, SC

 

Thursday – Friday: 11 am – 7 pm

Saturday: 10:30 am – 2 pm

Phone: (803) 730-6016

 

 


SC BBQ on I-77 at Exit 82

Exit 82 (US 21 / SC 161 – Fort Mill, Rock Hill, York)

The Dixie Pig

Blurb: “Stopped by the coin laundry next door and thought I’d give this place a try. Holy crap!!!! First off let me say Chelsea was just as sweet as could be and made all the right recommendations. Pulled pork with a mustard based sauce on the side. The sides are all homemade except the fries. I suggest the slaw (mayo based) and the bbq hash. I can’t say enough about their food. I will say as a truck driver, I travel the United States and try a lot of food. This food is top 3 in my book!  Second time in in as many days. This time it was ribs, full slab. OMG is all that should be said. Stand them up and pull the bones out clean. More than just tender. Sides today was of course the bbq hash, collards and black beans and hush puppies. I cannot say enough about this place.” Dan R, Yelp

Directions:  Take Exit 82 and head west on SC-161/Celanese Rd toward Riverchase Blvd. The Dixie Pig will be about 1 mile down on your left.

The Dixie Pig in Rock Hill, SC

The Dixie Pig in Rock Hill, SC

 

Monday – Saturday: 11 am– 10 pm

Sunday: 12 pm – 10 pm

Phone: (803) 324-3116

 

Meat sammiches is the best sammiches. ? #RockThrill

A photo posted by Chandler Crawford (@not.chandler.bing) on


 

SC BBQ on I-77 at Exit 85

Exit 85 (SC 160 – Tega Cay, Fort Mill)

521 BBQ and Grill

Blurb: “Huge fan of the restaurant.  We just moved to the area from Kansas City and we’re worried we would not find a bbq joint we would enjoy.   Big fan of their ribs and bbq.  Hush puppies and sweat bbq sauce are great.   Portions a huge but always enjoy the leftovers.  Highly recommend.” James W, Yelp

Directions: Take Exit 85 and head northwest on SC-160 W. In a little over 2 miles, you will come to a stoplight where you will turn left onto Stonecrest Blvd. Take your first left into the parking lot and 521 will be on your right in the corner unit of the first building.

521 BBQ and Grill in Tega Cay, SC

521 BBQ and Grill in Tega Cay, SC

 

Monday – Thursday: 11 am – 9 pm

Friday – Saturday: 11 am – 9:30 pm

Phone: 803.548.0123

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Oh. My. Word. Y’all! THIS is BBQ @521bbq!! Served with baskets full of hot, fresh, crispy hush puppies with honey butter, & the sweetest, kindest service from Ms. Connie! I mean….holy moly! Not only are we stuffed (have not had a single meal down here that hasn’t been delicious & didn’t come with true southern hospitality), but we felt like we absolutely belong here! Everyone treats you like family! Later tonight (when the ribs have settled a bit 😜), we have cupcakes from @cupcrazed. Definitely bringing home souvenirs of the “caloric intake” kind, but totally worth it!! • • • #bbq #ribs #beans #potatosalad #pork #bbqribs #southernhospitality #sofull #cupcakes #hushpuppies #carolinabbq #tegacay

A post shared by Michele (@themom3) on


 

SC BBQ on I-77 at Exit 88

Exit 88 (SC 460 (Gold Hill Road) – Tega Cay)

Fort Mill BBQ Company

Blurb: “Service was quick, friendly and attentive, food was excellent! Some of the best BBQ and sides I’ve had in awhile! Portions were pretty big too. I couldve stopped halfway through but I ate the whole plate! They have 2 sauces, their signature (tomato based) and mustard/vinegar. I tried both and they’re equally good, I switched back and forth or even mixed the two sauces! Luckily I work in Fort Mill otherwise it is a little far to get to from Charlotte. I’ll be back for sure!” Chris R, Yelp

Directions: Take Exit 88 and head west on SC-460 toward Wilson Bus Pkwy. Simply follow 460 until it ends at a stoplight in about 2 miles. 460 then becomes 98 as you cross the intersection with 160. Continue across the intersection onto 98 and take your first right into a shopping complex (Stockbridge Commons).  Go straight back and you will find it in the back corner of the complex on your right

Fort Mill BBQ Company in Fort Mill, SC

Fort Mill BBQ Company in Fort Mill, SC

 

Summer Hours (Daylight Savings Time)

Tue-Thurs 11:00 to 8:30
Fri & Sat 11:00 to 9:00
Closed Sunday and Monday

Winter Hours

Tue-Thurs 11:00 to 8:00
Fri & Sat 11:00 to 8:30
Closed Sunday and Monday

Phone: 803.548.7400

 

.. Ain’t she pretty!! #fortmill #bbq #scbbqtrail #pork #sandwich #foodstagram #food #foodporn #nomnom #bbqporn

A photo posted by Fort Mill BBQ (@fortmillbbq) on

 

SCBBQ Road Trip Articles:

The I-95 Corridor

I-26: The First 100 Exits (Landrum – Chapin)

I-26: The Final Exits (Columbia – Charleston)

Interstate 2o

Interstate 85

Interstate 77

 

  • Kim clark says:

    So excited to try these places out. Thank you so much for these great BBQ articles!!

  • Kim, apologies for the delay on this response. Apparently my comments notification system was turned off. Thanks for writing. I will try to update these Road Trip articles at least annually to keep them as up-to-date as I can. Places come and go and unfortunately, no one is required to tell me before they open or close, so we have to learn about that through continued research and word of mouth. Enjoy…SC has a lot to offer!

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