An Insider’s Guide to Charleston
When I first heard about the inaugural Southern C Summit in Jekyll Island, GA last year, I was more than excited. It seemed too perfect to get to spend two and a half days surrounded by and learning from creative Southerner’s while attending cocktail parties by the beach. Jekyll Island was such an enchanting place to visit, it made the trip just that much more exciting.
As much as I love having a good excuse to visit other beautiful places, I am so pumped that this year, everyone gets to come visit the town that I call home. While I know the Southern C ladies will keep us busy with an agenda full of delicious food, good drinks, and great speakers, you should make sure to schedule some time to check out a few of the places that make Charleston so amazing.
Here are just a few of my favorites.
Five Loaves Bakery – at the corner of Cannon and Coming Street
The most amazing salads and sandwiches and great dinner entrees all for great prices. On Wednesday and Saturday nights they have half price wine night!
Queen Street Grocery – At the corner of Queen and Logan
A tiny corner grocery store turned creperie, sandwich/salad shop, and speciality beers and wines. Follow them on instagram and I guarantee you will make it a priority to stop in – their daily specials always make my stomach growl.
Bull Street Gourmet – On lower King – between Queen and Broad Streets.
Great breakfast sandwiches and the best “grown up mac and cheese” I’ve ever had – only made periodically. Definitely a great place to share a bottle of wine and a cheese plate with friends.
Two Boroughs Larder – 186 Coming Street – I order The Standard, their noodle bowl, every time.
Husk – Queen Street
Make reservations months in advance and request to sit on the upstairs porch. The menu changes every day based on what is local and available. If you can’t get a reservation, don’t miss out on their bar next door.
Halls Chophouse – 434 King Street
If you aren’t in the mood for a steak, stop by just for dessert and get the Whiskey Bread Pudding.
MacIntosh – Every person that comes to visit me has been to MacIntosh for their burger and truffle fries. I will confidently tell you it is the best burger in town.
Butcher and Bee – Only open for lunch through the week, dinner on Thursdays, brunch on the weekends, and late night Thursday through Saturday. Despite the odd hours, this place is phenomenal and I don’t think you can go wrong no matter what you order. Let me just say, I may have ordered the brussels sprouts 5 times in one week.
Indaco – The house made burrata is a must, along with the brussels sprout pizza (sensing a trend here?).
Fig – 232 Meeting Street – Now let me be honest, I still haven’t been to Fig but if you ask just about anyone that lives here 9 times out of 10 they will tell you this is their favorite restaurant.
CAFFEINE & SUGAR
Black Tap Coffee – 70 1/2 Beaufain Street
Known for their pour over but I always order the Black Julep or their chai lattes with espresso. On Friday’s they have Affogato Afternoon’s – a $3 Affogato topped with homemade toffee.
(Opened by two UVA grads)
Wildflour Pastry – 73 Spring Street
Sticky Bun Sundays – Get there early. This will change your life.
Sugar Bakeshop – 59 Cannon Street
I was never a big cupcake person – but best cupcakes in the world hands down.
Some weekend mornings they have $3 mimosas that you can sip in the courtyard. Stop over after visiting the farmers market.
Cocktail Club – 479 King Street – Above The Macintosh
Wonderful cocktails and a great environment.
Husk Bar – 76 Queen Street
The bar to the recently named Best New Restaurant in the U.S.
The Gin Joint – 182 East Bay Street
Try their Mint Julep or the Bartender’s Choice. The owners of Gin Joint are the makers of the new cocktail mixer Bittermilk.
Bin 152 – Wine Bar 152 King Street
Get one of the two window seats with a bottle of wine and cheese plate.
The Blind Tiger – Broad Street
Grab a drink in the courtyard. On Sunday’s they have $3 mimosas, bellinis, and bloody mary’s.
The Aiken Rhett House – 48 Elizabeth Street
I’ve toured most of the homes that are open to the public but this is by far my most favorite.
Goat, Sheep, Cow – 106 Church Street
My favorite cheese shop South of Broad. (Also, the only cheese shop South of Broad)
The Farmer’s Market in Marion Square
Go early to avoid the crowds and plan to eat breakfast there.
Mac and Murphy – The most adorable stationary store on the peninsula with great owners.
The Curiousity Shoppe – Tucked away down an alley off of Queen Street. Great vintage finds.
Margarita Monday Sunset Sails – AquaSafari – Leaves from Shem Creek in Mt. Pleasant
Monday’s are ladies nights for only $20. (Guys, sorry it’s still $35 for you)
- Church Street
- Tradd Street
- Legare Street
- Stolls Alley
- Colonial Lake
- Washington Square Park
- Hampton Park (further up the peninsula)
West of the peninsula
Red Orchid- best Chinese food in all of Charleston
The Fat Hen- Order the creme brûlée Grand Marnier french toast with a side of grits.
East of the Peninsula
Village Bakery – 125 Pitt Street
One of my favorite lunches – you can never go wrong with the special, whatever it is.
Out of Hand – 113 Pitt Street
One of my favorite stores in the Charleston area. Stationary, things for the home, clothes, and flowers. If I could own a store, this would be it.
Pitt Street Bridge/Park – After lunch at Village Bakery and browsing Out of Hand, go all the way to the end of Pitt Street to walk halfway to Sullivan’s Island where the original trolley bridge to the Island once stood.
Sullivan’s Island- In my opinion… best beach in the area. Go early Sunday mornings for doggy time at the beach. It will leave you smiling all day.
Mount Pleasant Farmer’s Market – 645 Coleman Blvd.
Open on Tuesday afternoons.
Wander all the way out the pier and there is a good chance you will see some dolphins playing in the waters.
Great list – I have never been to Charleston but this seems like a perfect place to start!
Thank you for sharing this list! I’ve been trying to make my way to Charleston for years and try to eat local no matter where I land.