Where to Eat and Drink in Charleston

Charleston.

My husband and I took a quick little getaway last year for our 20th anniversary. We ended up going a month earlier than our anniversary because my husband was going to be starting a new job and also because Big Mr. was on spring break and would be able to get Miss Sunshine to school.

We decided to head down to Charleston, South Carolina to enjoy the gorgeous landscapes, amazing architecture, and delicious food that the Lowcountry has to offer.

My husband, whose father served in the Navy for 20 years, was actually born in Charleston but we’ve only passed through once.

Since it was a short trip, we didn’t eat at near as many places as I would have liked. However, we did squeeze quite a few.

Looking for great places to Eat & Drink in and around Charleston, South Carolina? I've rounded up some can't miss places. Which one is your favorite?

Folly Beach.

Rita’s Seaside Grille.

Location: 2 Center Street. Folly Beach, SC.

Even though it was March, this Florida girl is still always missing the beach. I’ve been wanting to check out Folly Beach for awhile. Known as the “Edge of America”, I’d heard the Folly Beach was a laid-back beach town with some good surfing.

While I only catch bunny waves on a longboard, Miss Sunshine and my husband love to surf so I thought I’d see if it was a potential spot for future vacations.

We drove down from Roanoke and arrived right around lunchtime.

Looking for great places to Eat & Drink in and around Charleston, South Carolina? I've rounded up some can't miss places. Which one is your favorite?

We decided on Rita’s Seaside Grille. Even though the fog was thick and low and it was a little cool, we still decided to sit outdoors.

Rita’s drink menu had many that I would have loved to try. I opted for their Strawberry-Basil Fizz mimosa. I often choose fish tacos when I’m in coastal towns and Rita’s sounded too good to pass up. They were actually fish and shrimp tacos. Blackened shrimp and Mahi with jalepeΓ±o aΓ―oli and sweet and tangy slaw. Mmmm…Mmmm…

Folly Beach definitely had the type of vibe that made me want to return in the future.

Charleston.

We were staying in downtown Charleston so all the places we frequented were within walking distance of our hotel.

Looking for great places to Eat & Drink in and around Charleston, South Carolina? I've rounded up some can't miss places. Which one is your favorite?

Peninsula Grill.

112 North Market Street. Charleston, SC.

If you are looking for a four-star dining experience, then you can find that at the Peninsula Grill. We did not eat here but were staying at the adjoining hotel, Planters Inn. The Peninsula Grill is known for its Ultimate Coconut Cake, a 12-layer coconut cake. I was very, very tempted to order one to take home but restrained myself. I’ve seen the recipe for a 6-layer version at marthastewart.com

TBonz Gill and Grill.

80 North Market Street. Charleston, SC.

After settling into our hotel, we really did not want to travel far to find dinner. My husband thought a steak sounded delicious so we walked down to TBonz Gill and Grill.

I love to try out the local craft beer when I’m traveling and TBonz did have some options for homegrown ales.

While southern cooking is not a new treat for me (I do live in Southern Virginia and the roots of many Floridians are deeply southern as well), I knew that She Crab soup was going to be a “must try” while in Charleston. If you go to Charleston, definitely find a place to try She Crab Soup.

Looking for great places to Eat & Drink in and around Charleston, South Carolina? I've rounded up some can't miss places. Which one is your favorite?

Toast of Charleston.

155 Meeting Street. Charleston, SC.

Toast was one of the restaurants that I knew we’d be going to for breakfast. It was named as a “must-eat” by the New York Times.

One of my favorite things when traveling is to find something new to try in restaurants. The Eggs Meeting Street fit that bill. A fried green tomato a crab cake, poached egg, and Lowcountry remoulade. I had mine with a housemade buttermilk biscuit and home fries.

Looking for great places to Eat & Drink in and around Charleston, South Carolina? I've rounded up some can't miss places. Which one is your favorite?

My breakfast at Toast was so good that we went there for breakfast again the next day! I love fried green tomatoes (and should really start cooking them myself) and ate them every chance I had.

I normally just drink coffee with a splash of cream but on day two I splurged the specialty drink on the board – an Almond Joy Latte!

Looking for great places to Eat & Drink in and around Charleston, South Carolina? I've rounded up some can't miss places. Which one is your favorite?

Tommy Condon’s.

160 Church Street. Charleston, SC.

I love a good pub! While they do have food, we visited Tommy Condon’s Irish Pub for drinks. I decided to have one of their pub creations. A Black & Red. While I have tried a Black & Tan, which they offered as well, I had never tried a Black & Red. I like Red beers but rarely find them. This one had Tommy’s Irish Red. And who doesn’t love Guinness?! Okay. I’m sure some of you don’t. But they have plenty of other options for you.

Looking for great places to Eat & Drink in and around Charleston, South Carolina? I've rounded up some can't miss places. Which one is your favorite?

Amen Street Fish & Raw Bar.

205 East Bay Street. Charleston, SC.

Amen Street was another restaurant that I had decided that we must eat at when I was planning our getaway.

Most people are surprised to hear that even though I grew up in a coastal Florida town, I did not like seafood until I was an adult. And even still, I like it to be very fresh and rarely eat it outside of a coastal town.

I decided this would be the trip where I would try raw oysters for the first time and had decided this would be the place.

Looking for great places to Eat & Drink in and around Charleston, South Carolina? I've rounded up some can't miss places. Which one is your favorite?

We started with appetizers choosing classic southern fare.

We chose fried green tomatoes with hot n’ sour okra and a side of pimento cheese (I told you I had fried green tomatoes as much as I could!). We also chose the hushpuppies with a side of local wild flower honey.

They were both delicious.

Looking for great places to Eat & Drink in and around Charleston, South Carolina? I've rounded up some can't miss places. Which one is your favorite?

It should come as no surprise that we also tried some local beers on tap.

Amen Street also has an award winning Oyster Shooter. I wish I’d tried it but I can only be so brave in a day.

Looking for great places to Eat & Drink in and around Charleston, South Carolina? I've rounded up some can't miss places. Which one is your favorite?

As worried as I was that I wouldn’t like raw oysters, they were actually pretty good.

I tried them with the hot sauce, the horseradish, the cocktail sauce, and the vinegar sides.

I wouldn’t say that I “loved” them but after hearing Mackenzie say that it took her four or five times before she really loved them, I’ll definitely be trying them again.

Looking for great places to Eat & Drink in and around Charleston, South Carolina? I've rounded up some can't miss places. Which one is your favorite?

Not only was the food amazing, but the interior of the restaurant was beautiful. Don’t let the empty seats fool you. We were there for a late lunch in March as a cold front was coming through. This restaurant has the option of reservations for a reason.

Looking for great places to Eat & Drink in and around Charleston, South Carolina? I've rounded up some can't miss places. Which one is your favorite?

Pearlz Oyster Bar.

153 East Bay Street. Charleston, SC.

Pearlz was the other restaurant that I had noted as an option for raw oysters (and the location that you may recognize from 11 Things to do in Charleston). Since we had eaten them at Amen Street, we came here during happy hour for drinks.

Looking for great places to Eat & Drink in and around Charleston, South Carolina? I've rounded up some can't miss places. Which one is your favorite?

Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit.

476 1/2 King Street. Charleston, SC.

and 188 Meeting Street. Charleston, SC.

I had read rave reviews about Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit. I wasn’t really hungry when we passed here and biscuits are really filling. The line was out the door just a few minutes before my husband snapped this photo. I was trying to read the menu to see if I wanted to bring something back to the room. I decided I would only want it fresh and hot so I opted not to get anything.

Looking for great places to Eat & Drink in and around Charleston, South Carolina? I've rounded up some can't miss places. Which one is your favorite?

It wasn’t until our last day as we were walking through the City Market that I realized there was a location there as well.

Sweetwater Cafe.

137 North Market Street. Charleston, SC

Sweetwater Cafe is not located in the graveyard, but how we ended up at this cafe does have to do with the graveyard.

I had decided that I wanted to eat at Hominy Grill (now closed). I had my heart set on some fried green tomatoes and its signature dish, the Charleston Nasty Biscuit. A biscuit with a fried chicken breast, cheddar cheese, and sausage gravy. Plus, there was a mural on the wall outside and I love snapping murals (see: Walking the Mural Trail in Glasgow).

I set the walking address into Google maps. It was supposed to take 25-30 minutes. We walked, and walked, and walked some more. After about 30 or so minutes, my husband was asking how much farther. We still had another 15 minutes to go! We decided to turn back and just grab some food closer to the hotel. In about half the time we found ourselves back near the hotel. We were flabbergasted. Our only explanation was that right before we headed off to lunch, I had dropped my phone when we were walking through the Unitarian Church Cemetary (which has a reputation of being haunted) and a spirit must have sent us through a time warp.

…and that’s how we found ourselves eating a Sweetwater Cafe. It’s a classic diner and so we split a Reuben and a BLT. I had my heart set on the other food and I might have been a little hangry by this point but the food was good. I’ve read good things about their breakfast as well.

Looking for great places to Eat & Drink in and around Charleston, South Carolina? I've rounded up some can't miss places. Which one is your favorite?

Kaminsky’s.

78 North Market Street. Charleston, SC.

Prior to our trip I had read about Kaminsky’s. They serve signature dessert martinis and they look very pretty. I don’t usually drink martinis so I went there to check out the other options.

I was drooling over the drink options and the pies. I don’t eat a lot of sugar so I needed to choose on or the other.

Looking for great places to Eat & Drink in and around Charleston, South Carolina? I've rounded up some can't miss places. Which one is your favorite?

WE OPTED FOR PIE.

My husband is good at sharing so we we’re out somewhere new we usually pick two things that we can share. That way we get to try more new things.

We chose a slice of Bourbon Pecan Pie.

Looking for great places to Eat & Drink in and around Charleston, South Carolina? I've rounded up some can't miss places. Which one is your favorite?

And a slice of Key Lime.

All I have to say is mmm…

This was a late afternoon dessert stop and as much as I wanted to be able to have another dinner out in order to taste as many good foods as possible, I had no room and the sugar overload was a bit too much for me.

I planned to round up a baguette and maybe some cheese to take to the hotel room.

I found a place and off we went.

Looking for great places to Eat & Drink in and around Charleston, South Carolina? I've rounded up some can't miss places. Which one is your favorite?

Normandy Farm Artisan Bakery.

19 Broad Street. Charleston, SC.

Sadly, the site I had looked at had the wrong closing time and the bakery was already close.

However, I was in the perfect place at the perfect time to watch a beautiful sunset.

One cannot think well, love well, sleep well if one has not dined well.

-Virginia Woolf

Some other places that I would have liked to have been if only I’d been there longer.

  • Husk. – 76 Queen Street.
  • Poogan’s Porch – 72 Queen Street.
  • The Rooftop Bar at Vendue – 19 Vendue Range. (the cold front blowing through made it too windy for us to venture here)

Have you been to any of these spots?

Do you have any to add to the list?

Be sure to check out my other post on Charleston: 11 Things to do in Charleston.

Let your light shine!

Amy

Pin for Later.

Looking for great places to Eat & Drink in and around Charleston, South Carolina? I've rounded up some can't miss places. Did your favorite make the list?

26 thoughts on “Where to Eat and Drink in Charleston

  1. Now I’m hungry!! That coconut cake looks incredible. I feel as though a trip to Charleston is needed soon πŸ˜‰

  2. Looks delicious. It is the one place on my bucket list I never to visit, and now my days are numbered before retirement. It’s a long trip from Italy! But you never know! Thanks for sharing.

  3. Amy, I get it on sitting outside even when cool. It immediately says vacation. I am drooling reading your post. Seafood, cake (even if you didn’t eat it I can dream), craft beer, amazing coffee. What’s not to love! I have not tried raw oysters. I don’t know whether I will. A great, informative post with amazing photos! Charleston has a great reputation for a reason.

    1. I wasn’t sure I’d ever try raw oysters either. I even had my husband film it so we could laugh about it later. (and so I had proof). Charleston certainly has a great reputation for a reason! πŸ™‚

  4. It all looks wonderful — especially the oysters, OH EM GEE, Amy! I love raw oysters! πŸ˜› I’d take a crab cake, too. But just one, cause more room for oysters!
    I have been to Charleston twice but couldn’t tell you where I ate. I like Charleston. It’s good.
    Great photos!

    1. Thanks, Joey! I’m definitely going to give raw oysters another try. Maybe I’ll even try a famous oyster shooter. Crab cakes are definitely filling!! I needed lots of room for fried green tomatoes. Mmmm…Mmmm… Actually, all of Charleston was tasty (and gorgeous).

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