Eating in Charleston, Part 1

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My husband and I have been vacationing in Charleston, SC for seven years now (thanks to our wonderful life-long friends, Jim and Carolyn Brown). When we were ready to buy a house, this city was the only other contender with Greensboro. While we have made Greensboro home, we just can’t seem to stay away from Charleston.  I am often asked for recommendations for places to eat in Charleston, so I decided it was time to make a list of my favorites.  Also, we are headed that way as soon as all this rain dies down, so be prepared for an onslaught of Charleston posts.  I have about a dozen coffee shops and bakeries I want to visit for the first time.

Breakfast

  1. Hominy Grill (pictured above):  Hands down, this is my favorite breakfast spot. We go multiple times when in town.  Their breakfast is reasonable and they offer traditional  breakfast along with some more adventurous creations. Hominy is known for their Big Nasty Biscuit, a fried chicken biscuit covered in gravy.  This is my husband’s favorite.  I typically go for the Country Breakfast or the Huevos Rancheros.
  2. Lost Dog Cafe: Lost Dog Cafe is located on Folly Beach.  Dogs are welcome on the patio and this is a great place to stop on your way for a morning walk on the beach.
  3. ToastToast is located in downtown Charleston on Meeting Street.  They offer bottomless mimosas for Sunday brunch and the Eggs Meeting Street (fried green tomato on top of a crab cake and a poached egg) is delicious.

Lunch/Dinner

  1. Poogan’s Porch: This is by far my favorite dinner spot.  Poogan’s is in the moderate price range (about $20 or so per plate) and the food is delicious. I rarely eat biscuits or bread, but the biscuits here are to die for.  I have had so many wonderful things here that I honestly don’t know that I have a favorite.  Be sure to make reservations for this one.  Open for lunch and dinner.
  2. Fat Hen:  This farm-to-table restaurant is located on John’s Island.  They have a mostly static menu with rotating specials.  Their pork chop is by far my favorite and you have to try one of their cocktails.  Get there early for dinner or make reservations well in advance. Open for dinner and Sunday Brunch.
  3. Hominy Grill: Hominy also serves up at pretty amazing lunch and dinner. Go for the shrimp and grits or the fried chicken.  They have a rotating offering of vegetables/sides that are all delicious.  Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They only take reservations at dinner time.
  4. Husk:  Oh, how I love this restaurant.  My wallet doesn’t love it, but it is SOOOO good.  My husband and I have only been here once when celebrating an anniversary.  We both loved it but said we would have to save up for a while to be able to go back.  Their menu changes daily and it can be found on their website. The chef, Sean Brock is AMAZING and he even has his own cookbook (Heritage).  Open for dinner only.
  5. Taco Boy:  Taco Boy has two locations, one in Charleston and one on Folly Beach.  We typically go to the one on Folly and this is often our after-the-beach meal.  Dress is extremely casual.  This is the place to get tacos and a margarita.  I also highly recommend the Salsa Trio. Their salsa and guacamole are wonderful! Open for lunch and dinner.

Coffee Shops

  1. Muddy Waters: This was the first coffee shop I discovered in Charleston.  It is located in the John’s Island area.  They make many of their own syrups and they have almond milk.  They serve up Counter Culture Coffee here which is another reason I was instantly hooked.
  2. Kudu: Kudu is located in downtown Charleston near Marion Square.  They serve coffee, bakery items, and are known for their craft beers.  I love hanging out on their patio when they have bands playing.

Drinks

  1. The Bar at Husk: In the lunch/dinner portion of this list, I mentioned Husk.  If you don’t want to spend a ton of money, but want the Husk experience, just go to their bar.  It is in a cool little building to the side of the restaurant and the ambiance of the place was enough to have me hooked. They offer a wide array of drinks, including some pretty awesome cocktails.
  2. The Gin Joint: This fun little place offers cocktails and snacks.  They have a huge cocktail menu and great appetizers as well.  The Gin Joint is located on East Bay Street and is a great place to hang out before going down to the Waterfront Park.

Dessert

  1. Cupcake:  I have a bit of a cupcake obsession.  This bakery makes the most amazing cupcakes.  They offer a different rotation of flavors seasonally and they offer gluten free options on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.
  2. Jeni’s Ice-cream: This ice-cream shop serves ice-cream made with milk from grass-fed cows.  They offer some very interesting flavors that I find to be just wonderful.  My favorites are the wildberry lavender and honey milk chocolate with salted almonds.
  3. Kaminsky’s: If you are looking for more variety, Kaminsky’s is the place to go. They offer cakes, pies, cobblers, etc.  My favorites are the tollhouse cooke pie and the mixed berry cobbler.

What are your favorite places in Charleston?  Please share so that I have some new places to explore during my next trip!

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