Charleston Recommendations

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Jorge and I are leaving for Charleston, South Carolina tomorrow, and I’ll have to admit that I’m a little behind on planning our activities and food stops.  We finalized our lodging and transportation early last year, but the trip snuck up on us a bit this year!  We looked at each other this past weekend, and said, “OMG we are leaving for Charleston in a few days!”

The purpose of this trip is to attend the wedding of a close friend of mine from college.  The weekend will mainly be spent catching up and carousing with old college friends, but we are arriving two days in advance to explore the city.  Given that our time in Charleston is so short, I want to make sure we hit up all of the must-see destinations, and sample all the must-have bites and beverages.  In Portland and Seattle, I was looking for unique, off-the-wall eats.  In Charleston, I want some damn good Southern food:  shrimp and grits, collards, fried chicken, bourbon everything, and plenty of fresh seafood.

So please comment below with your Charleson, South Carolina recommendations.  Thanks so much!!  Also, I’ll be sharing all of my travel adventures on Instagram.  Stop by and say hello :)!

Image Source: Fine Art America


  1. Val says

    For seafood, Bowen’s Island and the Wreck (of the Richard and Charlene), also Seewee is good but farther away. Those are assuming you will have a car and want to leave downtown. The Ordinary is a newish place downtown, seafood-focused (from chef of FIG, one of my faves).
    If you need something near the airport, EVO pizza and Phuong Vietnamese are great.
    Good lunch spots: Fast and French (G&M), Butcher & Bee, Bon Bahn Mi; Gullah Cuisine (away from downtown but worth the drive)
    Dinner: FIG; Husk=fancy southern; Hominy Grill is well regarded for Southern but did not do it for me on my one visit (was brunch so probably excused); Mcrady’s if you want to splash out and can get a reservation
    Eater website is a great resource.
    Enjoy the most beautiful city in the US!

    • Brandon Matzek says

      Hi Val, thanks so much for the recommendations!! We went to several of these spots. SO delicious :) We didn’t have a bad bite of food during our entire trip.

  2. alex says

    I’m a born and bred Charleston girl and foodie so bear with me this list could get long:

    Drinks- Husk bar on Queen St. (not the same as the restaurant) Gin Joint (East Bay St), The Belmont (King St), Warehouse (Spring Street), Cocktail Club (King Street), Social (East Bay Street), Bin 152 (a cozy wine bar on King Street)

    Dinner- The Ordinary for oysters, seafood towers, lobster roll (King Street) Hank’s for all kinds of seafood (Hayne Street)
    FIG (Meeting Street), Cru Cafe for excellent food in an old converted Charleston home (Pinckney Street), Basil for great Thai food (King Street), Lee Lee’s Hot Kitchen, a brand new hip little spot for Chinese (President Street), Xiao Bao Biscuit for Vietnamese (Spring Street)

    Lunch- Five Loaves Cafe for amazing (and cheap!) soups, salads and sandwiches (Canon Street), Butcher and Bee for an ever-changing but always great menu (King Street), Fuel for caribbean jerk chicken sandwiches, fish tacos, fried plantains (Rutledge Avenue)

    Full on southern- Martha Lou’s Kitchen, a dive joint with insane fried chicken (Morrison Drive), Husk (Queen Street), Poogan’s Porch for an amazing Southern brunch (Queen Street) and if you can spare Sunday morning- get yourself to Hall’s Chophouse for their Sunday Gospel Brunch (King Street)

    I’m away from Charleston right now and SO jealous of your trip- have a great time!!

    • Brandon Matzek says

      Hi Alex, thank you for the recommendations! We stopped at several of these restaurants. I wish I had another week in the city to try them all! I loved how everything was fairly close together.

  3. Angie says

    Here are my Charleston recommendations:

    You MUST stop in the Peninsula Grill for their world famous coconut cake. After, try:
    The Ordinary
    Fat Hen
    Two Boroughs Larder
    The Glass Onion-brunch
    Extra Virgin Oven (EVO) Pizzeria
    The Gin Joint – cocktails
    Butcher & Bee

    Enjoy!! We adore Charleston!

    • Brandon Matzek says

      Hi Angie, unfortunately, we didn’t get to the coconut cake. But we did try several of the other spots you recommended. Cocktails at The Gin Joint were crazy good! Thanks for your help.

  4. says

    I used to live in Myrtle Beach and we’d go to Charleston a lot! You’ve gotten some great rec’s already. Have a blast. The weather is usually lovely there this time of year, just warming up, not humid, not many tourists. The journey getting there can be a little long from San Diego and the pace of life is way slower and more chill. Have a blast you guys! :)

    • Brandon Matzek says

      Did you know that Charleston is about the same latitude as San Diego? Definitely not as big though. We were amazed that it took 6-7 minutes to drive anywhere we wanted to go. Thanks Averie!

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