Your guide to eating and drinking in Charleston, SC

charleston

I love Charleston.  Mostly because of the food, but also because of its charm, the friendly people and the cute boys.  Did you know Charleston was Conde Nast Traveler's Readers' Choice pick for top city in the U.S. in 2013?  Yup, it's universally loved.  Just don't park in the wrong spot or you'll be sorry.

I visited with some friends last summer and we loved it so much we made it an annual thing.  We stayed on Folly Beach but made it into Charleston a couple times.

Here's what we liked:

 

The Ordinary:  The Ordinary's tagline is "Fancy Seafood and Oyster Bar" which pretty much sums it up.  Amazing fresh seafood.  Great drinks.  Beautiful old bank building.  Awesome!  Get a dozen oysters, the lobster cocktail or a shellfish tower for the dramatic presentation.

Amen Street Fish & Raw Bar: Amen Street is little more casual than the Ordinary but also great for seafood.  Oysters!

 

Pavilion Bar @ Market Pavilion Hotel:  This is a must go stop on anyone's Charleston visit. Great views of the river.  Beautiful spot for drinks.

Stars Rooftop & Grill Room:  Another spot with a rooftop bar. The Grill is downstairs.  We just went straight to the roof.  Really spacious with lots of tables and little couches.  That's all I remember.

 

The Cocktail Club:  This is a speakeasy of sorts.  You can sign up for a membership or just visit as a layperson.  It has lots of intimate rooms and live music.  Really cool.  That's all I remember.

Halls Chophouse:  Obvi, this is a steak joint, but it's also well known for it's bar scene. Just don't tell the host you want to be seated "downstairs."  There is no "downstairs."  The restaurant is "upstairs" and the bar is on the main level.  Oops. (Embarrassing!)

 

Social Wine Bar: Social is housed in a "nineteenth century warehouse and features a stunning four-thousand bottle display cellar."  How cool is that?  Order a wine flight and enjoy the vibe.

Taco Boy:  Oh how we love Taco Boy.  I'm including it in my Charleston list because they do have a location there; however we only visited the location on Folly Beach.  We ate there several (truth: numerous) times both visits to the area.  Great tacos, nachos, guac and drinks.  Such a fun spot.

 

Here are some additional notes of places that were recommended to us that we didn't get to yet:

  • Husk: I hear this is one of the best plates of food you will find in Charleston from James Beard nominee Sean Brock.  On my list for next time.
  • Macintosh ("The Mac") is open for dinner and brunch (mmm, brunch).  It is actually located under The Cocktail Club, it's sister restaurant (listed above).  Home of the "Bacon Happy Hour" (mmm, bacon).
  • The Vendue Rooftop:  This is a boutique hotel with a rooftop bar.  You can't go wrong with a rooftop bar!  Good looking food and drink menus too.
  • Warehouse:  This place has a delish looking menu!
  • S.N.O.B.:  Stands for "Slightly North of Broad."  This is what their website says: "An eclectic lowcountry bistro that brings together an abundance of local ingredients..."  Sounds good to me.

And no, as of now I don't have any recommendations for shopping or sightseeing.  Give me another year.

Do you have any recommendations?  Send them my way!