Neighborhood market-meets-cafe tucked away on the corner of Queen and Logan Street. Serving up fresh smoothies, sammies, wraps, and salads—plus some of the best homemade cookies on the peninsula.
C: Sweet ‘n spicy jalapeño chips dipped in Charlestowne pimento cheese (and a Cuban if you’re hungry).
D: Chef’s Salad and a cookie (bigger the better) or a breakfast crepe if it’s early.
DOWNTOWN (Upper King)
One of the many quirky food joints planted by Bill Murray around Charleston, Harold’s Cabin is exactly what’s its name implies: a cozy, wood-paneled lunch shack serving up seasonal fare with fresh herbs from the rooftop garden.
D’s pick: Fried chicken biscuit smothered in homemade gravy.
C’s pick: Whatever French toast is on the menu today, plus an heirloom tomato Bloody Mary to wash it down.
Lost Dog Cafe
A beloved seaside cafe with everything you could want on a menu. Go here for BAD (breakfast all day) and cheap mimosas or Maui tacos at lunchtime. As the owners put it so perfectly: “Lost Dog Cafe is to Folly Beach what biscuit is to gravy.”
CD Tip: When ordering breakfast as a pair, it’s crucial to cover the sweet + salty bases.
SALTY –> Huevos Rancheros (grande)
SWEET –> French Toast (classic—or banana bread if it’s available)
Bull Street Cafe
Adorable neighborhood nook serving up fresh breakfast, lunch and wine by the glass. Go here for coffee and a snack or a mid-afternoon imbibe. Also, they have the most underrated chicken and waffles on the peninsula.
DOWNTOWN (Great option for groups!)
Innovative, beer-centric American fare with fresh seafood added daily. The focal point of Edmund’s menu are the boards: hands-down the most brilliant charcuterie combinations you’ll find in the Southeast.
CD tip: The burger is sensational (oddly reminiscent of the famous West Coast In ‘n Out patty) & only $13. Reservations are critical for groups. Also, a sip of the PB&J brew is essential.
Cute little sandwich shop along the main drag on Sullivan’s Island. Grab some local kettle chips, a BLT and frosé and you’re all set.
Known for its sweeping rooftop views of the peninsula and beyond, The Watch is a favorite for folks visiting Charleston for the first time. With decently priced drinks and drool-inducing truffle fries, this spot makes for a fantastic rest stop during a King Street shopping spree.
A sacred post-session haven in the heart of Folly Beach that can only be compared to Jeff Spicoli’s basement. Decked out in one-dollar bills and ‘90s board games, it’s the perfect place to post up with a painkiller and fries on a Saturday afternoon.
D’s move: Philly Cheesesteak with fries and a painkiller. No brainer.
C’s move: Ahi Tuna Tacos with onion rings and a margarita to wash it all down.
DAPS Breakfast & Imbibe
DOWNTOWN (Near Hampton Park)
Hands down, the best new brunch spot in the Hampton Park scene. NOT for those seeking traditional Southern fare. Go here to indulge in all your childhood cravings in a hip, retro setting (be sure to grab a cold brew while you wait).
CD Tip: When ordering breakfast as a pair, it’s crucial to cover the sweet + salty bases.
SALTY = Pay homage to the West Coast with a chorizo Breakfast Burrito (served wet).
SWEET = Cinnamon Toast Crunch Sticky Bun, or French toast—depending on what the chef’s feeling.
The best thing to come to Folly Beach since Surf Bar, Low Life is a quirky, open-air beach eatery with innovative drinks, mellow tunes and a laid-back bar scene.
C’s move: Food-wise, ahi tuna nachos are critical, followed by a burger (if you’re stomach is still growling). You can’t go wrong with anything on the cocktail list. Go for the spiked espresso if you can handle it.
D’s move: Waffle fries and a corporate beer.
DOWNTOWN (Hampton Park area)
As hippie-dippy as it sounds, Huriyali is an overpriced acai bowl shack in the hip Hampton Park area with infuriatingly delicious breakfast bowls. Try the vegan nachos, and I promise: you might become a believer.
Note: For adventurous eaters only.
Marina Variety Store
Exactly what it sounds like: a no-frills breakfast diner serving the same lineup of food since the 1950s. Go here to share a beer with an old fisherman or study up on South Carolina trivia (located on the back of the menu).
D’s move: The Classic Sunrise breakfast is a no brainer. If you have an iron stomach—the corned beef hash is also a winner.
C’s move: Three words—Chicken and Waffles. The Crab Cake Eggs Benedict also hits the spot (depending on the severity of your hangover). Throw in a Bloody Mary + all the fixings and you’re golden!
A beloved corner store jam-packed with an odd assortment of brand-name snacks, gourmet sandwiches, gas station hot dogs and other items that don’t make sense. No trip to Folly Beach is complete with a Bert’s visit.
DOWNTOWN // SULLIVAN'S ISLAND // WEST ASHLEY
And then there’s Fiery Ron's" Home Team BBQ: the quintessential outdoor watering hole for Charleston locals, HT is the place to go for a frozen painkiller and smokin’ dry rubbed BBQ. With three locations (downtown, Sullivan’s Island, West Ashley), this casual joint is guaranteed to be packed but worth the claustrophobia.
Yummy French plates in an exquisite interior space. Go here for a Parisian cocktail, burger and fries after a long day strolling up and down King Street.
A snug European-inspired wine shop on Cannon Street serving up house-made pastries and coffee in the morning + hand-shaved truffle and espresso martinis in the evening.
Wiki Wiki Sand Bar
A mix between Nickelodeon’s Secrets of the Hidden Temple and Gilligan’s Island, this three-Story tiki hut is in its own category. Go here after a day on the sand for fresh poke and a piña colada (you can even bring home the cup as a souvenir).
D’s move: Spicy tuna poke bowl, no questions asked.
C’s move: Coconut fried shrimp and a chopped salad topped with tuna as rare as they can make it.
Miller’s All Day
A modern spinoff of your grandfather’s favorite breakfast joint, Miller’s is a must for old school Southern ingredients in a new-school setting. Go here to reward yourself after a long day of walking/shopping on King Street with a biscuit and Bloody Mary (golden, preferably). Pro tip: buy a batch of unicorn grits to take home while you’re there!
D’s move: Hoppin’ John, extra hot sauce.
C’s move: BLT salad (add shrimp) and a golden bloody with heirloom tomatoes.
A delightfully modern cafe in a historical setting with sky-high ceilings and exquisite crown molding. One Broad is a must for diners looking for an innovative bite along Broad Street. The menu offers everything from barbacoa tacos to Detroit pizza. GET YOU SOME.
Sorghum & Salt
A quirky eatery tucked away on Coming Street away from the bustle of King Street. Each night brings an exciting new lineup of seasonal concoctions, from spicy marinated SC cauliflower to ricotta gnocchi and lamb neck ragu. CD tip: the soy-cured steelhead trout made me (Caro) cry… Also be sure to leave room for dessert, AKA oreo “crack.”
DOWNTOWN (Way upper King)
A sprawling, progressive food hall further up King Street in Charleston’s modern “warehouse” district. You’re guaranteed to find a genre you enjoy.
Note: Recommended for adventurous eaters only.
Glazed Gourmet Donuts
Just as delicious as they look, these artisan beauties are made fresh daily and highly addictive.
A solid Mt. Pleasant brunch venue with high ceilings, delicious cocktails and plenty of room for groups. C’s move: Huevos Rancheros, all day.
Another lowcountry-inspired knockout coined by Mike Lata, the same culinary mastermind behind The Ordinary. Offerings on the rotating menu are all sourced directly from local farms and fisheries. CD tip: Don't bother trying to make dinner reservations less than three weeks out; instead, snag two seats at the bar around 4:45-6 p.m. and order whatever fish is fresh on the menu.
P.s. I still have the 10/22/17 menu nailed to my wall (if that tells you anything).
Grace & Grit
High ceilings and huge portions await at this Mt. Pleasant mainstay. A great intro for guests visiting Charleston for the first time, G&G offers classic brunch options like shrimp and grits and gravy-smothered biscuits.
The Daily/Butcher & Bee
If you’re familiar with Charleston’s food scene, chances are you’ve heard of Butcher & Bee, the hyper-local foodie haven with all the whipped feta you can eat. Want a quick bite? Visit B&B’s micro cafe, The Daily for some insta-worthy Avo toast.
D’s pick: Bacon-wrapped dates are a must.
C’s pick: Anything faintly Greek on the menu—or whatever the waiter recommends (menu changes weekly).
Surprisingly not as basic as it sounds, BK brings a healthier mix of dishes to the table, with its star being the tempura cauliflower chicken wings. BAM.
A chic seaside restaurant housed in 100% wooden digs combining Italian, French and Spanish flavors with classic Southern cuisine. Go for brunch, dinner or both.
CD tip: Always order at least one item from the raw bar menu before ordering. Also, the Old Danger pizza = mandatory.
DOWNTOWN (Meat-packing // Upper King area)
On the other hand, Lewis Barbecue is essential for drool-worthy Texas smoked BBQ served up cafeteria style in a sprawling open air setting. Take your pick of anywhere from 1/4 to 1 lb (or more!) of meat paired with classic sides and post up on the patio for the afternoon.
Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream
The only good thing to come out of Ohio….Totally kidding! Hehe. Jeni’s puts all other ice cream to shame with locally-sourced and hand-churned ice cream in the most imaginative flavor categories you can imagine: from osmanthus and blackberry crackle to Bangkok peanut.
Dessert-lovers: plan your visit immediately.
Pro tip–Jeni’s is on Uber Eats and Door Dash in case your midnight sugar cravings kick in!
A new fast-casual poke joint on King Street with all the obvious combinations you can imagine ($8 smoothies, avocado toast, and more). Grab a nutter danner to go and you can thank us later.
Rutledge Cab Co.
DOWNTOWN (Hampton Park)
Another Bill Murray brain child, Rutledge Cab Co. offers a refreshing respite from the uber-sophisticated Charleston restaurant scene. Enjoy all-American classics, including an award-winning burger and cognac milkshake.
Side note: the blood orange margarita is frighteningly good.
Leon’s Oyster Shop*
DOWNTOWN (Upper King)
Famous for its fried chicken and auto-shop exterior, Leon’s is the heart and soul of the peninsula’s food scene. Aside from the chef’s table, reservations aren’t allowed—so make plans to pop over to Little Jack’s for a cocktail while you wait.
D’s move: Start with peel ‘n eat shrimp, then quarter white (or dark) chicken with a side of potatoes to share.
C’s move: Family-style all day! Choose between fried Brussels sprouts, hush puppies, chargrilled oysters (or all three if you’re like us) followed by a Siam salad or fried chicken sandwich
Rodney Scott's BBQ
DOWNTOWN (Upper King)
Pork seekers, you’ve come to the right place.
In a hurry? Swing through Rodney Scott’s Bar-B-Que for a taste of the famous pit master’s James Beard Award winning whole hog BBQ. In addition, the menu includes spare ribs, pit chicken, fried catfish, and classic sides.
DOWNTOWN (Great for groups!)
Another long-standing Charleston staple, Magnolia’s is a solid pick for traditional Southern favorites in an upscale, yet unpretentious venue. The menu offers fun classics like the Down South Egg Roll and Boiled Peanut Hummus, as well as fresh ahi tuna and homemade pimento cheese.
DOWNTOWN (extremely difficult to snag a reservation)
Sean Brock's original institution for "New Southern" cuisine housed in a gorgeous 19th century home. Arguably the catalyst of Charleston's contemporary culinary renaissance, Husk is usually booked a month out (for good reason). CD tip: Try to reserve a table for lunch instead or wander to the secret "Bar" at Husk for bourbon and a burger.
A tiny, nondescript seafood counter with the longest line in the Holy City. Be prepared to sip rose while you wait at least one hour for a table. For oyster enthusiasts out there: we promise, it’s well worth the suspense. CD tip: for the ultimate appetizer, order the ceviche + guacamole hybrid (you can thank us later).
Xiao Bao Biscuit Kitchen*
Asian soul food in a hip, LA-esque atmosphere on upper spring street. Truly considered our second home, XB dishes out some of the most innovative small plates on the peninsula–all within the peeling walls of a refurbished gas station. Delicate taste buds, beware: the chili-infused menu may make you sweat.
CD tip: Unleash your culinary inhibitions and dive face-first into the Okonomiyaki (Japanese Vegetable Pancake) + add pork candy.
You can thank us later.
39 Rue de Jean*
Tucked away on John St. a couple blocks from the main thoroughfare, this bustling brasserie is perfect for larger parties and diverse palates. The menu covers all the based, from braised short rib to burgers, sushi and six preparations of steamed mussels. CD tip: Split a bowl of mussels for $11.99 and request bread service for sopping. You’re welcome.
Blind Tiger Pub
One of Charleston’s most storied watering holes (and the spot where Caroline and Daniel became “official”). This open-air Broad Street gem is a go-to for locals and visitors alike.
PSA: Wedding goers who make it past the reception; we’ll likely venture here.
Red's Ice House
SHEM CREEK (Mt. Pleasant)
Red’s is a wonderfully redneck joint on the water. Go here for sugary drinks and dolphin watching on the water.
SHEM’S CREEK (Mt. Pleasant)
Sprawling deck and wraparound bar on the water with Southwestern grub and Geechie Boy margaritas. CD tip: Show up an hour before the sun sets for stunning golden hour views.
Situated on the outskirts of King Street, this reclaimed disco bar is a magnificent blast from the blast.
Rule #1: do not enter before midnight (or you must be at least three drinks deep).
Revelry Brewing Co.
DOWNTOWN (Upper King area)
The most popular open-air brewery in Chuck Town. Only serves local craft brew; so Bud Light drinkers (like Daniel)—beware. Best enjoyed on the rooftop deck and conveniently located across the street from Home Team.
Mainstream rooftop bar in the heart of the King Street action. Claustrophobia guaranteed, but the views are worth it (maybe just for a minute or two).
A fun, expansive wine bar that suits drinkers of all ages. Go here for casual cheese and charcuterie paired with live solo artists crooning Ed Sheeran. The wine carafes are a must.
As boujie as it sounds, Cocktail Club is a bachelorette party atmosphere in the middle of the action downtown. Definitely a cool spot to visit if you’re feeling rowdy one night. Warning: drinks can be pricey.
Bar at The Dewberry
No matter what your age group or drink preference, a trip to The Dewberry’s iconic bar is essential for every Charleston novice. Luckily, we’re be partying right next door in the ballroom / courtyard on Saturday.