Ring In The New Year With A Traditional Meal Near Greenville, SC

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Are you looking to ring in the New Year with a bit of luck? A traditional southern New Year’s Meal is meant to do just that! So start 2022 with some good fortune and a wonderfully prepared meal from a local restaurant!

We’ll explain where good luck comes into play, and honestly, who couldn’t use some of that?

For New Year’s Eve Fun for the Whole family, check out our guide to finishing off 2021 together – New Year’s Eve in Greenville, SC (with kids)

Lucky Southern New Year's Day Meal

Ringing In The New Year With Luck

As a “Yankee,” the southern tradition of serving pork, black-eyed peas, greens, and cornbread was foreign to me. So, watching these ingredients get ripped from the grocery store’s shelves in record quantities had me wondering what the deal was. My co-workers laughed that I was blissfully unaware of this tried and true tradition in the south. But, I figured, if a meal had even the slightest chance of bringing good fortune, then it was worth a shot!

The meal, broken down by each item, is said to bring you good fortune in different ways:

  • Pork
    Is thought to be a sign of prosperity because pigs root forward. That spiral cut honey ham you’ve enjoyed before on New Year’s Day, probably owes its popularity to this belief. Eating poultry is said to bring bad luck, because they dig backwards.
  • Legumes
    The beans or peas prepared on New Years day symbolize coins. It’s thought that if you eat legumes, the New Year will bring good fourtune to you in the form of money(coins). I’m not sure how many you’re supposed to eat, but I don’t think I’ve been eating enough.
  • Greens
    If beans bring you wealth, greens bring you the big money kind of wealth. The greens consumed on New Years symbolize the GREEN you want to see in your bank account. Cold hard cash. Again, I’m not sure how much is the right amount – but I need to eat more.
  • Cornbread
    OK. forget the beans and greens. You know how everyone goes on a diet in January? I’m going on a cornbread diet. The cornbread in your holiday meal symbolizes gold. Need I say more? Why mess with the other stuff, I’m just skipping straight to the gold.

Pork, Black Eyed Peas, Greens & Cornbread – Oh My!

As I’m sure most of you can imagine (after seeing the word “Yankee”), I failed in a grand fashion the first time I tried making this meal on New Year’s Day. My job was to teach people how to cook, so this was a humbling experience. However, my best friend took pity on me and brought me a plate of leftovers from her grandmother’s kitchen. This is how someone’s granny should prepare a traditional southern New Year’s meal. I stand by this statement, and you won’t change my mind. Wisdom adds flavor to the food that can’t be store-bought, and a granny’s New Year’s meal will always be superior.

However, there is still hope in the absence of a proper southern granny. You can enjoy a Lucky New Year’s Meal with a bit of help!

Find A Traditional New Year’s Meal in Spartanburg and Greenville, SC

Restaurants Offering a Complete New Years Day Meal

Dine-in or carry out a traditional southern New Years Day meal at these restaurants.

Photo Credit: Southside Smokehouse | Landrum, SC

Southside Smokehouse

726 South Howard Ave, Landrum SC | 864.457.4581
Enjoy a complete meal including two smoked pork chops, collard greens, black eyed-peas, chow-chow, and cornbread. Available New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, call for reservations or order.

Photo Credit: Home Team BBQ | Greenville, SC

Hometeam BBQ

Celebrate the arrival of 2022 with Home Team Catering and order some Collards & Hoppin’ John with the pork and other delicious items you love from Home Team BBQ.

Putting Together A New Years Day Meal At Home With Help

Pulling together a traditional New Years’ meal at home without cooking it yourself is possible! These Upstate restaurants and markets can supply you with the things you need.


Prepared Pork Entrees

black eyed peas

Prepared Black-Eyed Peas

collard greens

Prepared Greens


Prepared Cornbread

New Years Meal Traditions In Other Cultures

I figure if doing a little to help inspire lady luck is good, then doing ALL THE THINGS is better, right? If you want to pile on a bunch of lucky traditions to seal the deal with 2022, here are some more tasty traditions.

  • 12 GrapesMexico & Spain
    The Mexican (I’m Mexican) tradition of eating 12 grapes at midnight is said to bring you 12 months of good luck. Now that I mention it, I think I forgot to do that the last two years.
  • Tamales – Mexico
    The tradition of eating tamales isn’t so much of a luck thing, although if you have a tia or abuela that makes them for you – that is already good fortune. For those of you that want to partake of the Mexican holiday tradition, there are Places in the Upstate with Holiday Tamales.
  • Long (Soba) Noodles – Japan
    In the Japanese culture, people eat buckwheat soba noodles at midnight on New Year’s Eve to welcome the new year. The long noodles symbolize longevity and prosperity, and the practice dates back hundreds of years. Sakura Japanese Steakhouse has several Soba Noodle entrees on their menu to ring in the New Year.

About the Author
Melanie is a native New Yorker, who landed in the Upstate by way of Florida. She is the mom of two awesome kids, and the three of them love going on adventures!

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