9 Charleston Restaurants You Need To Feed Your Inner Foodie

9 Charleston Restaurants You Need To Feed Your Inner Foodie

Downtown and all around, Charleston is a foodie's playground.

Charleston, SC -- essentially the “Michael Phelps” of destinations. And by that, I mean that rather than being the most decorated athlete in the game, Charleston has proven time and time again that it is becoming one of the most decorated cities in the game. The Holy City continually receives the high praise it deserves as a tourist destination ranking “No. 1 City in the U.S.” as well as “No. 1 City in the World.” Even more than being a beach and tourist destination, the Charleston area has become quite the destination not only for chefs and food bloggers but also for self-proclaimed foodies such as myself.

Coming from a fast food infested city that at one point held the title of “Most Restaurants Per Capita Than Any Other City in the USA” on CNN, I was rearing and ready to make my way to a new and more locally-driven food scene by the time college rolled around. Luckily, my stomach and I had the great fortune of landing in Charleston upon my graduation from high school. However, I would use the term “landed” loosely because once I got a taste of Charleston, I hit the ground running. After you try the food, you’ll probably want to look into running too because when the food frenzy starts, it just won’t stop.

After spending almost three years assimilating the culinary establishments around me, I’ve devised a list. This list is the one that is often sent out upon request to friends and family visiting the city and looking for a local’s guide to Charleston gastronomy. This list includes, but is not limited to, a number of my preferred restaurants (in no particular order) and a brief description of their dining experience and/or offerings.

1. Stella's

You’ll have to go to Stella's for an entire week in order to taste all of the incredible items on the menu. Belly up to the beautiful bar and order a spread of mezzes and the Kotopoulo. You will not be disappointed.

2. Goat. Sheep. Cow

Skip. Jump. Run. to this all-time favorite of mine. Cheese and charcuterie galore, their menu will have you wanting more. Not to mention you'll walk out feeling both satisfied and as if you just hopped over to Europe for a quick "wine and dine" experience.

3. Butcher & Bee // the Daily

Two in one is just so much fun. Butcher & Bee specializes in "honest to goodness" meals offered in a refreshing and aesthetic environment. The Daily is a grab-and-go coffee spot/market established by the Butcher & Bee. "Bee"lieve me when I say you'll want to make either of these spots part of your daily routine.

4. Xiao Bao Biscuit

Probably the best gas station meal you will ever have (unless you prefer bagged pickles and pre-made egg salad sandwiches to an innovative culinary experience). Xiao Bao is housed in a restored gas station on Rutledge and has menu items that will leave you as speechless as trying to pronounce the restaurant's name does. This Asian-infused soul food is a must-try.

5. Caviar and Bananas

This Charleston staple is well-deserving of a spot on this list. Their concept and food will have you going bananas, b-a-n-a-n-a-s. They know how to make "fancy," fast and easy. The owners, Kris and Margaret, have infused their infectiously playful personalities into their salad mixing, sandwich building, baked goods making, go-to coffee hot spot a foodie's paradise.

6. The Ordinary

As one might expect, there's nothing "ordinary" about this place. The pictures surely speak for themselves.

7. 167 Raw

A little slice of the popular Nantucket fish market and raw bar in the Lowcountry. 167 will fix any seafood craving you might have, including (and especially) lobster rolls and oysters. Head down East Bay Street and look for the vintage, copper, deep diving helmet fastened to the front of their white-painted brick exterior.

8. The Darling

This darling spot deserves an A+ for their interior and for their food. Hit up this ace of an oyster bar for a night of nautical noshing.

9. Little Jack's Tavern

Last but not least, "You don't know, Jack" until you've tried Little Jack's. This old school inspired tavern is as charming as it is delicious.

The list could go on, but for now, our hearts (and stomachs) thank you, Charleston.

Cover Image Credit: Sophia Winter

Popular Right Now

9 Things All Mexican Food Addicts Know All Too Well

Don't come between me and my Mexican food.

In the city I grew up in, there is a Mexican restaurant just about every five miles. They are the after school hangouts and first date go-to's for most of the kids here, especially the high school girls.

I know the servers at my favorite one know my order almost every time I go in there (at least once a week). However, a lot of people apparently get tired of eating Mexican food about twice a week... but I sure don't. If you are a Mexican food addict like me, I am sure you know at least a few of these yourself.

1. Cheese dip tastes like heaven and you have to have it.

That amazing creamy white cheese dip put on a perfectly salted chip is enough to make your day better. Forget the actual food---we'd be content living off of cheese dip and chips for the rest of our lives. Our restaurant trip is not complete without an order of it and if you are lucky enough to get your favorite waiter, maybe even get a large bowl for the night.

SEE ALSO: An Ode To Queso, My First And True Love

2. You never have to look at the menu.

We know when we decide to go what we are having and it is probably the exact same plate we order each time. I am sure the servers laugh after I order some days because there is only three things I rotate between. My burrito is always my go-to, unless I am feeling fancy.

3. Some of the servers know who you are when you walk in the door.

Either by first name or by order they know us. You are the ones that they tell to pick your own seat and already have your drink order placed by the time you sit down.

4. Your boyfriend/ girlfriend puts you on Mexican restaurant restriction on date night.

You drag them there so much, they get tired of eating there. So much so, they flat out say no when you ask to go there on date night. I mean, how does someone get tired of Mexican food to begin with though?

SEE ALSO: The Perfect Skin Color For A Mexican?

5. You can hum some of the songs that come on.

We may not know what they are saying in the song, but we know the song---trust us. We are in there so much we remember them. Don't ask any questions when we start humming.

6. You "have" a parking spot.

Do not park in my parking spot that is not actually my parking spot, but is my parking spot. Got it? Just do not do it. That starts my meal bad when you take my normal spot.

7. You used to hangout there all the time after school.

It was the hangout spot. Forget the nasty school lunch--- everyone goes to eat Mexican after school. It's the cool thing to do and it started your addiction.

8. You always want to introduce new people to your favorite restaurant.

Oh, you aced that exam? Let's go eat at this amazing Mexican restaurant I love! We always want to find people to go there to eat with so we always introduce new people to it.

9. People always pick on you about your addiction.

Yes, I love Mexican food. Go ahead and tag me in all the memes on Facebook about tacos. As long as I have my Mexican food, I am fine with that.

All in all, we LOVE our Mexican food and our go-to restaurants--- so here is your warning. Don't come between me and my Mexican food.

Cover Image Credit: jenaroundtheworld

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Green Tinted Moisturizer As An Alternative to Pepcid

Self-treating your "Asian-glow" with over-the-counter Pepcid may be more dangerous than you think.


Many people (including some of my best friends and family members) suffer through what is colloquially referred to as the "Asian glow." Although this term has become racialized to refer to Asians who appear red after a few drinks, it is better defined by understanding the biochemistry behind it.

When ingesting alcohol, also known as ethanol, it is first converted to acetaldehyde via alcohol dehydrogenase. Acetaldehyde is then converted to acetate via aldehyde dehydrogenase. Alcohol is thus converted to acetate by two enzymes mentioned above. For those that do get the "Asian glow," the second enzyme – aldehyde dehydrogenase – is not present. As a result, acetaldehyde is not converted to acetate, and there is an accumulation of acetaldehyde. Acetaldehyde is consequently the culprit, causing the release of histamine and the blood vessel dilation that lead to redness.

An over-the-counter drug, Pepcid, is commonly used to combat this facial flush. This is because Pepcid is an antihistamine, disabling histamine to come into play. In a study as early as 1987, antihistamine administration have shown a "significant reduction in the skin flush" compared to placebo control. To date, however, there is not a single study that has directly looked at the effects of Pepcid and alcohol interactions on the human body, and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved the use of Pepcid AC to treat the flush. Perhaps there is an underlying danger that the scientific community has failed to address.

A more recent study in 2009 found that "ALDH2-deficient patients" or those who do get the Asian glow, "have an increased risk for esophageal cancer if they drink moderate amounts of alcohol." Interestingly, "ALDH2 deficiency does not influence esophageal cancer risk in non-drinkers." So isn't it a good thing that your body is glowing red because it is notifying you about the internal, physiological state?

Regardless of the fact that dangers have not been meticulously studied, the combination of Pepcid and alcohol remains dangerous because of the exact reason people take Pepcid in the first place. By inhibiting the glowing, it is more difficult to notice the physiological cue and pace drinks, leading to overconsumption. Pepcid may temporarily help with how you may appear to others, but it does not change the fact that alcohol is a carcinogen. Without a peer-reviewed study on the interaction between Pepcid and alcohol, I would be skeptical to mix the two. Using green-tinted moisturizers (often used to cover the redness for acne) may be a better alternative for the time being. I wouldn't risk my health or my life to appear less red at a party or a few.

Related Content

Facebook Comments