Charleston is the type of town you want to eat up… literally and figuratively.
You’ll run around town attempting to eat all the biscuits and oysters and fried chicken. And you’ll want to squeeze its cheeks because it’s so adorable.
My first time in Charleston, a friend turned to me and said, “I could totally raise my family here one day.” This was before we left the airport…
Charleston is full of dreamy wraparound porches, pink everything, and major house goals.
Zero George is another lovely option, smaller and more boutique than the Belmond. I can’t wait to head back to experience this charming hotel, based on a rave review from blogger Julia Engel from Gal Meets Glam.
I would share a much shorter list if I were to name restaurants in Charleston that suck. Charleston just does food right.
Raw 167 – Prepare for a wait that’s well worth it. This little gem is packed with the freshest seafood and the friendliest staff. So friendly that we came back three times just for a snack and even met our waiter out for live music one night. Tip – Order the tuna poke with the guacamole. Make a mini tortilla sandwich. Take a bite. You’re welcome. Other stars on the menu include the raw sampler, ahi tuna burger, scallop po’ boy, and lobster roll.
FIG – short for Food is Good. #Truth.
HUSK– The quintessential Charleston restaurant. If you can’t get in, check out the bar for a cocktail and a fried chicken app.
MACINTOSH– Two words: Cab Deckle. What’s deckle? It’s the rich tasty part of a ribeye steak. And it’s mouthwateringly delicious. Macintosh is also a great (and hearty) brunch option.
THE ORDINARY– The CUSTOMIZED seafood tower of your dreams. Lobster and crab and oysters, oh my! Not to mention, the restaurant is gorgeous accented by the arched windows and high ceilings.
EDMUNDS OAST –I sometimes catch myself daydreaming about the cornbread with honey butter found on the brunch menu. Drink the coffee cocktail when you can’t decide between caffeine and liquor.
BUTCHER AND THE BEE– The late night snacks were on point. So was the DJ.
Poogan’s Porch – Don’t look further for the most perfect charming traditional brunch spot. Yellow house. Palmettos. White porch. Shrimp and grits.
The Grocery – A modern spot, go for the boozy brunch cocktails and the hangtown fry – fried oysters and green tomatoes with a farm egg and bacon frittata.
Slightly North of Broad– Otherwise known as SNOB
Maris Dehart– I was drawn to this shop by the crisp white aesthetic. I stayed for the goods – everything from bar cart décor to clothes to unique handbags from Shop Taxidermy.
The Port Mercantile – Connected to The Restoration hotel, this shop sells everything you didn’t even know you wanted – like vintage US maps, candles, and unique jewelry.
King Street – Lined with palmetto trees, it’s a more laid back (and southern) version of Rodeo Drive. Head here for mid- and high-end chains. The street is just so cute and fancy that you’ll think the J Crew is the sweetest new boutique you’ve never seen before.
Unitarian church and the graveyard – At first glance, it looks overgrown and neglected, but it’s actually gorgeous… and haunted. You just might see the ghost of Annabel Lee who is the subject of Edgar Allen Poe’s poem.
Houses South of Broad – House. Goals. Enough said.
Mansion Shopping – Okay, maybe you’re not in market. You can still tour some of them – like Calhoun.
Rainbow Row – Thirteen colorful historic houses that scream “Hey Y’all! I’m like really pretty.”
Carriage Ride –I would typically list this under cheesy romantic things to NOT do, but this one is different. For one, you’re in Charleston and everything is adorable and you’re feeling southern vibes and so why wouldn’t you hop on a horse drawn carriage in a floral dress and ride around town like you own the Calhoun Mansion? And two, it’s actually a really interesting history lesson.
Head To The Beach– Sand and ocean is just twenty minutes outside the city. Sullivan’s Island was my favorite due to a more local and relaxed vibe. You won’t find corn dog stands and souvenir shops like you would at Isle of Palms. Make sure to bring your own chairs and towels. Don’t miss brunch at the The Obstinate Daughter and ice cream at Beardcat.
Magnolia Plantation – Travel + Leisure named Magnolia Plantation one of America’s most beautiful gardens. I didn’t make it there this trip, but it’s on my bucket list for next time!
Commodore – Thanks to our friends at Raw 167, we drank and danced to live music at a local favorite. An old jazz club, everything is still in tact from the cigarette machine to the minimal air conditioning (prepare to dance… and sweat). Cool off in a ride home on a rickshaw.