If you want to sample the classic Midlands style of South Carolina barbecue without leaving the city limits, just head over to Bessinger’s on Savannah Highway. It’s the outpost established by Thomas Bessinger, one of a trio of brothers from Orangeburg County who came down to Charleston in the 1950s and 1960s and opened drive-in barbecue joints. Now run by his sons, Tommy and Michael, the restaurant boasts a dual format, with a country buffet on one side of the building and a sandwich shop on the other. The buffet features everything from fried catfish to teriyaki chicken along with a parade of homestyle Southern sides. The sandwich shop still serves burgers and barbecue the way they did back in the ’60s. The savory hash and rice is a fine example of South Carolina’s classic barbecue side, and Bessinger’s signature yellow mustard sauce is one of the best around. You might not expect it from a barbecue joint, but the cheeseburger basket is the insider’s pick for a great old-school burger, too. —Robert Moss (Dish, Summer 2018)

Restaurant Details

Southern-style barbecue, sandwiches, and sides from a third generation, family-owned restaurant.

Features: , , ,
Hours: Lunch, Dinner (daily); Buffet: Dinner (Fri. - Sun.), Lunch (Sun.)
Price: $$

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