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Foodie Travel Guide: Charleston, SC

Posted by Terra's Kitchen on Sun, Jul 30, '17

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“Is it the cobblestone streets? The colorful, historic row homes? The fantastic food? Whatever it is, Charleston’s got everyone thoroughly charmed once again.”

Condé Nast Traveler

Quite possibly one of the most talked about locations in the southeast after being voted #1 Small U.S. City for the fifth consecutive year by Condé Nast Traveler Magazine. Charleston continues to top lists for Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Awards and leaves its enchanting mark on every person that strolls its historic streets or sundrenched beaches.

It should come as no surprise that Terra’s Kitchen loves Charleston too. Curated by a long-time Charleston resident, we bring you our very own Foodie Travel Guide to Charleston!

This list highlights our favorite downtown Charleston restaurants while still saving room for the new movers and shakers around town. We’ll give you tips on where to indulge, what to do, and how to escape when the heat is just too much.

 

The Institutions

FIG

“Food Is Good.” Hands down our favorite restaurant in Charleston. Farm-to-table since before that was even a ‘thing.’ The menu is innovative, ever-changing and inspiring. Servers are knowledgable without being snooty - ask them to recommend the wine. Reservations required so call ahead or take your chances of snagging a seat at the bar.

Trattoria Lucca

Tuscan italian from one of Charleston's top chefs, Ken Vedrinski. A hidden gem tucked away in the Elliotborough neighborhood serving family style dinner every Monday night. Local, handmade, mouth-wathering. Reservations recommended.

 

Lunch

Goat. Sheep. Cow. North

Charleston’s favorite wine and cheese shop recently opened an adorable European-style wine bar. Serving salads, gourmet sandwiches, soups and the best charcuterie board in town.

Fast & French Gaulart-Maliclet

Get to know your neighbor at the communal tables while you enjoy pressed coffee, wine, beer and “something very French” at this bustling café.

Stella’s

From Greece to Richmond, VA and now Charleston, SC, Mrs. Stella Dikos has been sharing her family’s recipes with diners since 1956. Serving lunch and dinner daily and a Mediterranean style Sunday brunch.

Butcher and Bee

Mediterranean style mezze platters, inventive sandwiches, rice bowls, cold-pressed juices… this place has something surprising for every palate.

Spero

Possibly the most underrated restaurant in town, serving creative sandwiches, french-press coffee and craft brews.

Huriyali Gardens

Meet your newest healthy addiction! Acai bowls, smoothies, salads, sandwiches all locally sourced and lovingly prepared. Don’t come in a hurry, true love takes time.

 

Casual and Delicious

Xiao Bao Biscuit

Casual Asian Fusion and creative cocktails. A favorite for lunch or dinner.

Workshop

The man behind Butcher and Bee brings you Charleston’s first shared food space. Six rotating kitchens bring flavors from around the world, vying for a shot to make it big in Charleston’s competitive food and beverage scene. Wander across the way to check out Edmund's Oast Brewing!

Rodney Scott BBQ

Whole hog, Carolina style.

Lewis BBQ

The new guy in town bringing Texas BBQ to the Lowcountry. Get there early for the Saturday only beef ribs!

Minero

Casual mexican created by James Beard award winning chef, Sean Brock. Try something very different from Husk.

Little Jack’s Tavern

Having recently won “Charleston’s Best Burger” this place already has a loyal crowd of local regulars. Don’t overlook the shrimp burger or the steak with chimichurri.  

 

Treat Yourself

The Ordinary

Sustainable seafood impeccably prepared. Located in renovated bank on Upper King street, this new favorite is the brainchild of FIG’s chef/owner, Mike Lata. Splurge on the shellfish tower! Reservations recommended.

167 RAW

First come first serve means you might have to wait a while, but this tiny seafood and raw bar gets rave reviews from the locals. Pricey but worth it. Try the lobster (lobstah’) roll!

Chez Nous

Chef Jill Mathias handwrites a new menu daily at this intimate neighborhood home turned restaurant. Serving Old World wines and French inspired plates, the menu hints at influences from across Europe. Romantic, seasonal, lovingly prepared and exquisitely plated. This is the place if you’re trying to impress a date!

 

Rooftops

Vendue Inn

Our favorite (multi-level) rooftop bar with unrivaled views of the city and harbor. The Inn downstairs is pretty darn cute too!

Henry's

This place has seen (and survived) it all! Located on the corner of Market St. and Anson, their rooftop offers the perfect view of Charleston’s historic City Market.  

The Watch

Sitting atop the fabulously chic Restoration Hotel, this is a casually swank place for cocktails, views & Southern-accented New American fare.

 

Drinks & Nightlife

The Belmont

Crafted cocktails, sexy barmen and homemade poptarts! What more could you want?

Warehouse

Industrial-chic drinking, dining and billiards. Specialty cocktails, drinks big enough to share, elevated American cuisine and a chef they call the “Empanada Mama.”

Blind Tiger

Dating back to 1803, this charming alehouse has one of the prettiest courtyards in town.

Bar Normandy

After 3pm Normandy Farms Bakery turns into Bar Normandy. Delightful wine and cocktails and a tiny, crafted menu in a very intimate local on Broad Street.

Revelry Brewing Company

Our favorite local brewery. Beer, food, rooftop views and live music every weekend.

The Alley

In addition to 8 bowling lanes and arcade games, the space features a 150 seat restaurant, 40ft. bar and event space. An activity and a meal all in one!

The Commodore

An old 70's Jazz club has become one of downtown's best late night spots for drinks, dancing, and live music. Pink wallpaper, mirrors, chandeliers, black & white photos lining the walls...you’ll feel like you’re grooving in a time capsule.

 

Hotels and Inns

The Restoration

A tastefully modern, exquisitely designed (and decorated) hotel that blends seamlessly with the aging buildings nestled around it. Just steps from the heart of the King St. shopping district, this place is a stunner. Lounge in the rooftop pool and private terrace, or see the sun drop from The Watch.

Zero George Street

Named one of the “Top 5 Foodie Hotels in the World” by Conde Nast Traveler Magazine, this boutique hotel is housed in beautifully restored brick buildings circa 1804. Relax in their private courtyard, dine at the acclaimed Zero Restaurant + Bar or take a cooking class  in the Kitchen Carriage house led by Executive Chef Vinson Petrillo and Sous Chef Tyler Chavis.

The Dewberry

This sophisticated hotel is one of Charleston’s newest (and swankiest) downtown hotels. Located across from Marion Square, in the heart of downtown and walking distance to happenin’ Upper King St. You could also just stop in for a cocktail in the Living Room lounge or stay for a meal at the the classy French bistro, Henrietta’s.

 

Arts & Culture

Charleston Gaillard Auditorium

Gorgeous (newly restored) non-profit arts center and concert hall (and. It’s worth visiting just to see the galle. Check their website for events schedule.

Charleston Music Hall

Intimate theater in the heart of historic downtown Charleston. The old Gothic Revival railroad station was transformed into an arts venue in 1995.

Theater 99

Community comedy shows, stand-up, improv. No subject is off limits here.  

Robert Lange Studios

Nestled in an old brick house on a shady block of Queen Street, this hyperrealist art gallery will blow your mind. No marsh scapes or majestic crane paintings here. There’s also a swing and grand piano upstairs.

 

Entertainment

EffinB Radio Podcast

Download this hiiiiilarious podcast to get the local scoop on the Charleston Food & Bev scene. Note that adult language is not censored (... and may be celebrated).

The Charleston Pour House (James Island)

Our all-time favorite music venue. Relaxed vibes, outdoor deck, and The Lot serving up some of the best food on James Island.

 

Wellness & Beauty

Charleston Medical Spa (James Island)

Best facials in town (ask for Mindy!)

Community Acupuncture (West Ashley)

Offering individualized treatment on a sliding scale so that everyone can afford the care they need. http://www.feelgreatcharleston.com/

Mission Yoga (Downtown)

Our favorite place to relax and reset and some of the most knowledgeable teachers you’ll ever practice with.

 

Parks & Nature

All the Plantations

An absolute must on any Charleston itinerary. Honestly, they’re all beautiful, and they all have unique histories and impeccably preserved homes and grounds.

The Schooner Pride

Charleston's only 3-mast tall ship. Modeled after an 18th century coastal trading schooner. Sails daily for dolphin sails, sunset sails and events. Private charters too!

Folly Beach County Park

Located on the West End of Folly island. Lifeguards on duty during peak hours. Stunning sunset views.

Morris Island Lighthouse

Park where the road ends on Folly's East end and walk out to see Morris Island Lighthouse. From here you can explore the back side of Folly Beach and see across the channel to Sullivan's Island.

 

 Once you get home from your trip you'll probably be ready for a break. Relax and leave the prep work to us. Order a meal delivery kit from Terra's Kitchen and we will deliver restaurant-worthy meals that you can cook in less than 30 minutes. Click below to see our full menu and to get started.

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Topics: Lifestyle