Here are 8 of the best comfort food restaurants in SC for the cold winter months

With temperatures falling, a growing craving for comfort food just seems inevitable.

Be it a bowl of hearty soup, a slice of meatloaf or a plate of chicken and waffles, everyone has their favorite comfort food to enjoy during the chilly winter months.

And there is some science to back up why.

“Cold weather can create biological changes that make us want to eat more,” Emma Laing, professor and director of dietetics at the University of Georgia, said in a post on UGA’s website. “When the temperature drops, it’s natural that we would want to crave foods that provide us warmth.”

She added that increased dehydration during winter months, hormonal changes and fewer daylight hours can also contribute to greater hunger.

So if you will likely be hungrier as the temperature drops in South Carolina, you might as well eat some quality comfort food. But where should you go?

The Palmetto State is replete with places to get southern comfort food, but some restaurants rise above the rest.

Here are eight of the best comfort food restaurants in South Carolina from Google reviews, based on their overall ratings and number of reviews.

Mr. Friendly’s New Southern Cafe

Rating: 4.7 out of 5 (768 reviews)

Location: Columbia

Mr. Friendly’s started in the 1980s as a sandwich and cookie shop, but has since evolved into a restaurant that serves new southern cuisine. A little more sophisticated than your typical southern homestyle restaurant, yet no less comforting, the restaurant’s menu changes regularly, but there’s always fresh fish and seafood specials, along with innovative meat, poultry and wild game dishes. Examples include buttermilk fried flounder, bronzed Georgia snapper or a Low Country House Brined 12-ounce Compart Farms pork chop.

Big Bone Take Out

Rating: 4.6 out of 5 (329 reviews)

Location: Columbia

If you’re looking for comfort food, Big Bone Take Out has what you want. A self-described soul food restaurant, Big Bone has a simple but effective menu, with offerings such as chicken wings, fried chicken, pork chops, collard greens and yams.

Bertha’s Kitchen

Rating: 4.6 out of 5 (1,400 reviews)

Location: Charleston

Bertha’s Kitchen provides true comfort soul food. The restaurant was founded by the late Albertha Grant in 1979 and offers dishes that includes red rice and sausage, fried chicken encased in red-gold crust and pork chops. Don’t forget to order a side of macaroni and cheese fresh from the baking pan while you’re there.

Hannibal’s Soul Kitchen

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 (1,900 reviews)

Location: Charleston

Hannibal’s was opened in 1985 by the Huger family and got its name from the family patriarch, Robert Lawrence Huger. His nickname was Hannibal — also the name of the African general and ruler, famous for commanding the forces of Carthage against ancient Rome.

Hannibal’s is a soul food restaurant through and through, focusing on quality comfort food to satisfy customers. Try the restaurant’s signature dish, crab and shrimp rice. Salmon, shrimp and shark steak are also big favorites. And soul food wouldn’t be complete without hearty sides like lima beans, okra and collard greens.

The Dixie Family Restaurant II

Rating: 4.6 out of 5 (384 reviews)

Location: Greenville

The Dixie Family Restaurant II is a classic Southern comfort food spot. Their menu changes daily. For instance, come in on a Monday and you might find meatloaf and baked chicken and dressing on the menu. On a Thursday, prepare yourself for a helping of fried chicken livers, fried boneless pork chops or fried country-style steak. And there will be plenty of sides too, from pinto beans and potato salad to macaroni and cheese and green beans.

Stax Omega Diner

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 (4,700 reviews)

Location: Greenville

At Stax Omega Diner, customers will find a diverse menu featuring comfort food, familiar favorites with a twist, premium coffees, juices and smoothies. Some of the diner’s more popular menu items include creating your own signature omelette, fettuccine Alfredo, hand-made burgers, the chicken tender platter and the chicken souvlaki platter.

Victoria’s Country Cookin’

Rating: 4.6 out of 5 (1,400 reviews)

Location: Myrtle Beach

Victoria’s Country Cookin’ is another of your old school-style Southern comfort food places. Menu options change daily, from catfish with sides of field peas and fried squash, to BBQ ribs or fried chicken. And like any other self respecting comfort food joint, there’s a good selection of homemade desserts, including banana pudding, blueberry cobbler and chocolate pie.

Donald’s Pancake House

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 (3,300 reviews)

Location: Myrtle Beach

For many, breakfast food is as comforting as it gets. At Donald’s Pancake House, customers can get a wide selection of delicious breakfast foods or more traditional comfort foods for lunch. Menu options include a various types of buttermilk pancakes, shrimp and grits, omelettes, waffles, burgers, sandwiches and more.