Statesboro's Hidden Culinary Gems: Coconut Thai & Daily Grind

By Connor White
The longer you live in Statesboro the more you learn little tricks and tips that help make life in the ‘Boro a little more bearable. You should always avoid Wal-Mart during move-in week, the Farmer’s Market is the best place to get fresh vegetables and hitting a matinee at the Carmike on Stimulus Tuesday is always the way to go. And when it comes to grabbing a bite to eat any upperclassman will tell you that while well established chain restaurants continue to pop up in Statesboro and fast food places boast the cheapest prices, Statesboro’s best kept secrets are the many local restaurants that produce some of the most unique and delectable food in the area. Check out these five small town eateries that may be modest in style but are ripe with bold flavors and high quality.
Coconut Thai: Thai food has a lot to live up to. With their fellow Asian nations Japan and China offering foods popular with the younger crowd, Thai struggles to make a name for itself. Places like Coconut Thai are leading that struggle.
Thai cooking is more than just taste; senses like sight and smell are just as important. Dishes are aromatic and enticing, and are presented with a flair Michelin could be proud of. Perhaps the opposite of simple, filling fare, Thai combines multiple tastes in each dish in celebration of complexity and texture. Coconut Thai is no different, offering a wide variety of sweet, spicy and savory cuisines.
Perhaps their location is the reason this restaurant isn’t packed wall-to-wall. Located just across the parking lot from El Rinconcito, many of Statesboro’s residents drive past the restaurant every day without even knowing it’s there. Perhaps it’s time they stopped by.
Daily Grind: With Starbucks popping up like Facebook’s incessant Messenger reminders, more and more people are seeking out coffee houses far away from the gargantuan chain. The Daily Grind, while lacking in Pumpkin Spice Lattes, more than makes up for it with a quiet and comfortable atmosphere perfect for sipping on coffee.
There’s something deliberate and intimate about the shop’s layout. The seating is mismatched and easily moved around the floor, like someone raided an estate sale for worn and weathered wooden chairs, but it only adds to the Grind’s charm. It doesn’t feel industrialized and ‘perfected’ like Starbucks’ cookie-cutter coffeehouse, and there isn’t a ‘get-in get-out’ vibe. You feel like a welcome guest, instead of just another customer whose name is spelled wrong on the cup. Their selection of coffees, while smaller than Starbucks, is well-priced and delicious, and they offer some pastries and sweets as well. They also readily cater in the Statesboro area, an unusual offering for connoisseurs of caffeine.