We ate a lot in Charleston. I mean, a lot.
I don’t think I realized just how many different places we sampled in Charleston until we got home and started putting this list together!
The city, whose flourishing food scene was once a secret to locals, has become one of the top foodie cities in the country. And Charleston really does have a little something for everyone. Asking “where’s the best place to eat in Charleston?” is like asking “what’s your favorite food?”. There’s just too many different places to love in so many different ways!
You can find low-country classics like oysters and shrimp & grits on just about any menu, but good food in Charleston is not limited to just southern food – we had some stellar pizza, Thai food, and sweet treats too!
Here’s a round up of everywhere we ate in Charleston (which just so happen to be kid-friendly as well!)
Coffee & Mornings
4 Vanderhorst Street
Oh, Kudu. First, a word of warning…Kudu is not exactly…stroller accessible. I learned this the hard way when Evelyn and I strolled up to get coffee and found ourselves in a nightmare of how we would all get in and out of the place, lattes in hand. But, should you arrive with an extra set of hands, there is a very inviting courtyard patio outside that would make for a lovely morning.
Alas, sometimes you don’t quite get to savor the moment when you’re toting a toddler alone.
160 E Bay Street
Our visit to Bakehouse was quick. Matt saw the sign outside that read “Bakery, Coffehouse, Craft Beer”, and insisted…”It’s my 3 favorite things, we have to go inside.”
With a light and bright interior, we definitely could have spent some time there sipping morning coffee in a life before Evelyn, but this time it meant dessert was just the ticket. We took home a slice of the homemade Snicker bar dessert, and yes, it’s as good as it sounds.
Lunch & Brunch
33 Spring Street
We came to Artisan Meat Share for a quick lunch and, oh my gosh, these were some of the most flavorful sandwiches I’ve ever eaten. You can’t go wrong with the porchetta, along with a side of mac and cheese.
192 E Bay Street
SNOB is another old staple of the Charleston food scene where you’ll find plenty of “ladies who lunch”. It’s a great choice for low-country staples while you’re out exploring South of Broad and Waterfront Park. We also found the servers to be most friendly towards Evelyn, and even had crayons and coloring books to offer up.
476 King Street
Another one of our favorites, blink and you might miss Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit while you’re walking down King Street. The restaurant is super tiny, so plan on taking your biscuits to go.
They offer several mini biscuits that you can mix and match, along with a few daily specials that are more of a hearty lunch portion. I went with the crab cake biscuit, and it was gone in about 3 minutes, if that tells you anything about how much I enjoyed it.
Tip: For those who can’t make it to Charleston, you can get Callie’s bestsellers online too!
205 E Bay Street
We ended up at Amen Street on a whim after learning that Dixie Supply Bakery was closed permanently. 🙁 But we wound up pretty happy with our backup choice! Amen Street specializes in fresh, local seafood and oysters (like Matt’s Mahi Mahi above), though I ordered the tuna tacos (I know, weird), and was equally excited about how fresh and flavorful they were.
434 King Street
Halls is notoriously difficult to get a reservation for, and not exactly “kid-friendly”, with one exception: Gospel Brunch! Making a reservation two (yes, two) months in advance, we had an in to enjoy one of the most coveted brunches in town.
And it sure lived up to the hype. Known to always enjoy a good crab cake benedict, I think this one was the best I’ve ever had. Meanwhile, Matt enjoyed his cornflake and sugar crusted french toast with a few slices of thick cut bacon on top. It’s certainly not for the faint at heart!
All the while, a band sang Gospel tunes downstairs. They sat us far away from the music, probably thinking it would be best for a little one. I’d only wished we were closer – I think Evelyn would have been better behaved had she had the distraction of the music!
207 Rutledge Avenue
Hominy Grill is a staple on the Charleston food scene, and while it might be a little off-the-beaten path, it’s a must visit for classic southern dishes. While I wasn’t quite as impressed with my nasty biscuit (see above), the shrimp & grits at Hominy were our favorites of the entire trip!
232 Meeting Street
FIG stands for “Food is Good” and I would say that “good” is a serious understatement based on what we experienced! We went “light” on our dinner, sharing a few of their staples: chicken liver pate, fromagina cappalletti, and a tasty ricotta gnocchi with lamb bolognese!
You won’t find nearly as many kids at FIG, as it does have a bit of a more upscale feel, so be prepared for that awkward, nervous look when your server comes to introduce himself while your child is refusing to sit in a high chair. (not that I’m speaking from experience or anything…)
698 King Street
A cool vibe + delicious, unstuffy food and you’ll be a win in my book. We sat on the patio at Leon’s and ordered ourselves the restaurant’s signature combo — oysters (we did baked) and fried chicken! And, of course we couldn’t resist balsamic roasted sprouts on the side.
The fried chicken is a little on the spicier side, but super fresh and not greasy at all. It’s a bit of a walk from upper King Street, but we managed the journey in combination with the free DASH shuttle that will at least get you up to Spring Street.
59 1/2 Cannon Street
Be still my heart. If this isn’t the cutest little bakery ever – I could stare at this picture for days. Sugar is a little off-the-beaten-path, but if you’re on your way to Hominy Grill, plan a stop at Sugar for some dessert beforehand. I’d recommend anything as long as it’s topped with their strawberry frosting. To die for!
501 King Street
I wish we’d had more time to return to Jeni’s because their ice creams were so delicious! They nail the smooth, creamy consistency of gelato in my personal favorite: Intelligentsia Black Cat Espresso!
Tip: If you can’t make it in to a shop anytime soon, order online!
Take-Out/Casual Nights In
460 King Street
It’s pretty common for us to eat a couple of meals in while traveling, since we find that after a few restaurant visits Evelyn’s patience starts to wear thin and we need to take a break.
So we took our Airbnb host up on her recommendation of Basil Thai and it definitely hit the spot! Not exactly what you’d imagine eating in Charleston (Matt was certainly a little skeptical of my dinner choice), but their pad thai was pretty amaze!
526 King Street
Our final night in Charleston we wanted something quick and easy to go, so we rang up Indaco, an Italian restaurant on King Street. They don’t take take out orders by phone, but will let you carry out if you come in and order at the bar. So, naturally, I sent Matt up to town to get us some grub.
Just looking at this pizza again is making my mouth water. It was seriously one of the best things we ate in all of Charleston — a label I don’t give out lightly! So if you need a quiet night in, definitely don’t sacrifice good food and try Indaco!
There are so many good foodie spots in Charleston, we’re sure to have missed tons. Which are your favorites??
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