To say that I have an infatuation with Charleston, SC is nothing short of an understatement. 6 years ago, my sister and I jumped in the car for a spontaneous road trip down the East Coast with Florida as our final destination. We hit Hampton Roads VA, Wilmington NC, Savannah GA, and Melbourne FL. But my favorite city and stop was (and will always be) Charleston.
Fast forward 5 years, and last summer I took to Charleston once more for a girl’s trip to visit one of my dearest best friends who now calls that southern city “home”. I had the insider’s look, and as a DC foodie, Lacey made sure to cull through the abundant list of restaurants to take me to her favorite places. I didn’t have a bad meal (or drink) and so I can wholeheartedly recommend the following stops while in Charleston, South Carolina:
Home Team BBQ – The moment I landed, Lacey determined I needed a good drink to welcome me to town. We stopped by Home Team BBQ for a delicious “Game Changer” (rum, juice, and a dash of nutmeg) and an order of wings. Our server was fantastic and I fell in love with the expanse of wooden tabletops. When in the south, order BBQ.
Xiao Bao Biscuit – This was on the short list when I was presented with dining options – set in a converted gas station. Xiao Bao is all about Asian soul food – a rotating menu of family style dishes and other favorites. If there was one item I would reorder from Charleston, it would be their Okonomiyaki – a cabbage pancake that you can load with bacon (yes!!), egg (yes!!) and pork candy (double yes!!!).
R. Kitchen – The foodie’s “wow” stop of the entire trip – a small kitchen (not restaurant) that is strictly a chef’s tasting every night. There is seating for a max of 16 in the kitchen, and the string of courses feels more like an intimate conversation in the kitchen with your favorite chef. I’ve had dozens of unique meal experiences in DC, but nothing like R. Kitchen – I’m taking Scott the moment we return. 5 courses, wine to pair if you like, and an adventurous menu to satiate any palette.
Tavern & Table – A lovely spot right on Shem Creek in Mt. Pleasant – creek views and a combination of rustic and glam elements provide a certain authenticity when cozied up to the bar. We enjoyed sparkling cocktails and conversation with locals, which made my “visitor” status seem more like “resident”. Another spot I would love to return and sample from the food menu – or just dig those creek views again…
Edmund’s Oast – If I lived in Charleston, this is where you would find me for happy hour regularly – I’d have my own special stool at the bar, and the bartender would know to keep serving me the Olde Tyme Punch. We sipped al fresco that evening with friends, and the large wooden tables were a perfect place to park for a cocktail (or several)….
Cannon Green – Cocktails were had at this chic downtown space – vibrant, fresh, and craft all day long. Though the space was slightly more appetizing than the particular beverage I chose that evening, it was definitely worth the visit, and I’d love to give it another try and order food as well.
We also swung by The Darling Oyster Bar before heading to the airport, as well as The Commodore the night before for a nightcap. Both are worth mentioning – though we weren’t there long enough for more than a quick sip.
As it turns out, I ate and drank my way through a quick 72 hour trip. Now I just have to get another visit on the books and take Scott to all of these spots to relive that food lover’s paradise.
Tell me – a) have you been to Charleston? And b) tell me what to put on the CHS Bucket List!