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Category: Restaurants

Charleston’s Culinary Scene – Why Chefs Are Flocking to Charleston

Charleston’s culinary scene is booming, and chefs from across the country are flocking here to put down their roots.  If food is your passion, then Charleston is your dream destination.

Who can blame them? Charleston’s food scene is hot right now. Restaurants are popping up everywhere, featuring both traditional and modern dishes bursting with flavor from farm-fresh ingredients. The city’s diverse neighborhoods and unbeatable hospitality only enhance the culinary experience.

Charleston is a vibrant dining destination that is luring food enthusiasts from all over with its delicious food and southern charm. Here is a deeper look into why the Holy City’s expanding food scene is causing chefs to pack up their knives and move to Charleston in droves.

Charleston's Culinary Scene

A Diverse Food Scene

As a historic port city, Charleston was destined to become a mecca for aspiring chefs. Spurred by the Spoleto Festival in 1977, the Holy City quickly became a prominent food destination to accommodate the influx in tourists drawn by the performing arts scene.

Today, many chefs, bakers, craft brewers, local food artisans, and more have found their perfect home in Charleston. This has made the city not only the ideal setting for aspiring chefs to flex their creativity, but also a great place to live and explore the diverse food scene.

A Taste of Lowcountry Cuisine

Whether you’re ordering shrimp and grits, she-crab soup, oysters, okra, or Frogmore stew, you won’t be disappointed with Charleston’s traditional Lowcountry cuisine. With its fertile lands, coastal location, and varied cultural influences, Charleston was destined to stand out with its own exceptional culinary dishes.

Traditional Lowcountry cuisine draws from African, French, English, and European influences to create a one-of-a-kind comfort food that locals and tourists can’t stop craving. Here, you can find local chefs cooking up Lowcountry classics, while others branch out and put their own unique spin on traditional dishes.

Charleston's Culinary Scene

Award-Winning Restaurants

Foodies come from all around the globe to taste the flavors of the many award-winning restaurants in Charleston. From fine dining to casual restaurants, Charleston has made a name for herself by offering some of the best food in the country.

Husk, FIG, and Hominy Grill are culinary hotspots in Charleston, and all are winners of the James Beard Award. Many restaurants in the city have also been featured in prominent food magazines, such as Bon Appetit and Food & Wine.

Food Trucks

Want to take your culinary skills to the streets? Food trucks are expanding in Charleston, as both locals and tourists demand greater variety in their street food.

Whether you’re looking to nosh on Caribbean Creole, Southern BBQ, gorgeous Greek food from the beloved Platia food truck or a tasty dessert from Sweet Lulu’s Bakery, there are some amazing food trucks here—and room for more if you act quickly.

The Tourism Industry Continues to Thrive

Each year, Charleston attracts more than 5 million visitors for its historic downtown, bustling art scene, and culinary offerings!

In fact, South Carolina’s tourism is now a $19.1 billion industry, driven largely by the Charleston metro region. According to the 2016-17 Outlook Forecast from the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce, the city’s economic forecast shows continued growth in the tourism industry over the next two years.

The thriving tourism industry is great news for chefs in Charleston. Locals and tourists alike are hungry for a taste of Charleston cuisine, and they have no shortage of options when it comes to exploring the city’s eclectic food scene. From guided food tours to the highly-anticipated Charleston Wine and Food Festival, the Holy City provides many reasons for foodies and chefs to visit year after year.

Culinary Tours

You know you’ve reached culinary success when your restaurant is one of the stopping points on a Charleston food tour. The city’s burgeoning food scene has grown so much over the past decade that tasting tours are a must for people visiting the area.

Charleston is a walkable city, making food tours extremely popular here. Give your taste buds a thrill and take a culinary tour on historic Upper King Street to sample the city’s finest food offerings.

Charleston's Culinary Scene

Legendary Oyster Roasts

Ready to shuck some oysters? The Lowcountry Oyster Festival is the world’s largest oyster festival and attracts people from all over to devour steaming pots of oysters.

Of course, it isn’t the only oyster roast that is popular in Charleston. From Kiawah Island to Folly Beach, there are plenty of legendary oyster roasts scattered around the peninsula.

The Charleston Wine and Food Festival

Each year, foodies descend upon Charleston to attend the annual Charleston Wine + Food Festival to sample the rich flavors from the area’s best chefs, beverage makers, and artisans.

Now in its 35th year, the festival brings people from around the globe to celebrate and experience Southern culture and cuisine. This five-day event is just one of the many festivals that attract tourists to America’s Best City, with the Spoleto Festival drawing approximately 70,000 visitors each year.

Food Inspiration Is Everywhere in Charleston

If you need a bit of inspiration to fuel your passion for food, you won’t have to look far in Charleston. Inspiring figures are everywhere you look, from prominent chefs to local food artisans and Lowcountry farmers.

Top Chefs in Charleston

Charleston has already attracted the top culinary talent from across the country and currently boasts many famous chefs, including James Beard Award-winning chefs Sean Brock of Husk, Mike Lata of FIG, and Robert Stehling of Hominy Grill.

Other notable chefs include culinary legend Nathalie Dupree, Michelle Weaver (executive sous-chef at Charleston Grill), and Frank Lee of S.N.O.B. (Slightly North of Broad Restaurant). Each of these culinary experts has left a lasting mark on Charleston and has helped shaped the city’s food scene.

Charleston's Culinary Scene

Local Food Artisans and Farmers

Nothing beats the taste of freshly caught seafood and farm-to-table ingredients. The local food artisans and farmers in Charleston take pride in providing locals and visitors with ingredients that are locally sourced and bursting with flavor.

Visit the Charleston Farmers Market held at the beautiful Marion Square on Upper King Street, and this passion will be on full display. Charleston locals are fiercely dedicated to supporting the community, and it’s an inspiring sight to see.

A Taste of History Through Gullah Cuisine

There is something special about eating a dish that was passed down in someone’s family for generations. Many restaurants in the Lowcountry have kept the recipes of their ancestors near and dear to their hearts, including the Gullah people, the direct descendants of the West African slaves.

Traditional Gullah restaurants are hard to find in Charleston, but places such as Bertha’s Kitchen in North Charleston still offer traditional Gullah dishes, such as stewed greens, okra soup and fried pork. Gullah recipes have been passed down for centuries, reflecting their collective memory through their delicious cuisine and preserving the Palmetto State’s rich culinary heritage.

The Perks of Living in Charleston

Whether you are an aspiring chef or not, Charleston is an undeniably attractive place to live, work, and play. In addition to its booming food scene, the city offers residents a wide variety of perks that makes living here a dream come true.

History Is Everywhere You Look

With over 300 years of storied history, Charleston is a history lover’s paradise. Many of the neighborhoods in Charleston are easily walkable, allowing you to stroll along cobblestone streets and view the stories etched in stunning works of art and architecture.

From its original settlement by English colonists in 1670, Charleston has been home to patriots, artists, and pirates. The city has also survived wars, fires, and natural disasters, making its history particularly diverse and enthralling.

Mild Weather

In addition to its historical architecture, Charleston residents also get to enjoy mild weather for most of the year. While summers can turn uncomfortably hot and humid, winters are mild, and residents love how sunny it is year-round.

If you plan to visit Charleston, consider coming in the spring. Not only are temperatures perfect this time of the year, but its food, architecture, and culture are on full display with the Wine and Food Festival in early March and the Spoleto Festival USA in May.

Charleston's Culinary Scene

A Great Place to Raise a Family

With its beautiful communities, friendly atmosphere, thriving economy, and excellent schools, it’s not surprising that Charleston is consistently named one of the “Greatest Places to Live” by Outside Magazine. If you’re looking to raise a family, you couldn’t ask for a better place to settle down.

In fact, that’s exactly what former NYC chef Michael Toscano did when he left Manhattan for Charleston and opened Le Farfalle in 2016. The Holy City’s reputation for Southern hospitality does not disappoint.

Big City with Small Town Vibes

Despite being the second biggest city in South Carolina, Charleston has managed to retain a charming, small-town feel. This is partly due to the friendly nature of the locals, but also because Charleston’s historic architecture makes you feel as though you have been transported back in time.

Charleston has managed to preserve much of its history and is bursting with culture. This is a source of pride for residents, many of them actively trying to preserve the many qualities that make the Holy City a unique place to live.

Beautiful Beaches

After working hard all day in the kitchen, chefs can unwind on one of stunning barrier islands and beaches that surround Charleston. Whether you are looking to catch some waves on Folly Beach, have fun with the family on Isle of Palms, or take a day trip out to Sullivan’s Island, there is a Charleston beach that will fit your mood.

Thriving Art Scene

One of the biggest reasons why Charleston’s food scene is so remarkable is because of the city’s thriving art scene. Although the city has been making delicious food for centuries, it wasn’t until the rise of the Holy City’s vibrant art scene that foodies began descending upon Charleston.

Spurred by the Spoleto Festival in the 1970s, Charleston’s art scene has been growing steadily ever since, bringing in both international artistic talent and local artists. Today, visitors and residents can catch a performance at the Dock Street Theatre or find a piece of fine art in one of the many art galleries in historic downtown Charleston.

Charleston's Culinary Scene

Conclusion

Food and culture have always been intertwined, and this connection has never been more prominent than in Charleston. With over 300 years of culinary history, the Holy City has made the national press in recent years, thanks to its eclectic mix of new and old dishes. From traditional Lowcountry favorites to modern takes on classic dishes, you will delight in every dish.

Charleston is full of culinary opportunities. With its Southern charm, mild temperatures, and historical beauty, it’s not difficult to see why so many chefs are putting down roots in the Holy City.

 

 

Where to Eat Oysters in Charleston this Season

Oysters in Charleston

The temperature is dropping, and you know what that means: oyster season is upon us. It’s time to gather your supplies — shuckers, gloves, towels — and grab your calendar to pencil in a season of oyster roasts. We’re way ahead of you! Can you tell we love oyster season yet? We’ve pinpointed a few spots that have already set a date to dump a steaming pile of delicious shellfish onto tables surrounded by hot sauce-wielding oyster lovers. Here are five spots to get your oyster roast fix this season, from 2017 and into 2018.

McLeod Historic Site
Take in some real history here and get your oyster fix all in one go. The Charleston Horticulture Society started its now-annual oyster roast last year and will return to McLeod Plantation on Sun. Nov. 5 at 3:30 p.m. Proceeds support the society’s educational outreach programs and you can feel good about that as you chow down on chili, hotdogs, and endless oysters, all under the oaks. There will also be live music, games, and kids’ activities.

Oysters in Charleston

Bowen’s Island Photo Courtesy of Instagram User @bowensislandrestaurant

Bowens Island
One of the best places (if not THE best) to get oysters all season long, Bowens Island is holding a roast to benefit The Lowcountry Autism Foundation on Nov 12 complete with live tunes, plenty of bevs, and a silent auction. As with most oyster roasts in town, it’s an all-you-can-eat deal, and plan to stick around, because the relaxed vibe here, aided by the water, sunset, and social aspect of any oyster roast, will make you want to stay a while.

Riverfront Park
Love animals and oysters? Get your ticket for the Charleston Animal Society’s Chili Cook-off and Oyster Roast set for Sun. Nov. 18 at Riverfront Park. Sample the best chili in town from over 100 competitors  that draws a crowd annually of nearly 10,000, around 25 of whom go home with a new furry best friend.

Oysters in Charleston

Photo Courtesy of Instagram User @chucktownfoodie

Boone Hall Plantation
The Lowcountry Oyster Festival is easily the most popular celebration of the beloved Atlantic delicacy — we’re talking 80,000 pounds of the stuff. We’re talking literally the world’s largest oyster festival, named one of the Top 20 events by the Southern Tourism Society. It comes complete with oyster shucking and oyster eating contests plus live music and a children’s area. The next one is set for Jan. 28, 2018. Knives and gloves will be provided.

Visitor Center Bus Shed
Back to this year, head downtown on Nov. 3 for the 13th Annual Oyster Roast and Silent Auction put on by Friends of the Hunley. Not just an oyster extravaganza, they’ll also be serving up barbecue (all you can eat). The silent action, which includes weekend getaways, Lowcountry arts, gift certificates, and more, is always popular, and its proceeds benefit Friends of the Hunley.

What’s your favorite place for shucking oysters?

Weekender’s Guide to Sullivan’s Island

Sullivan's Island, Cove Creek photo credit Donnie Whitaker

Photo Credit: Donnie Whitaker Photography

Sullivan’s Island is a great place to spend a weekend, especially if you’re thinking about making it your permanent island home. Over the years we’ve helped many families become Sullivan’s Island residents, but if you haven’t yet decided on the island, give it a spin for the weekend! With the balanced mix of historic and relaxed vibes, you can soak up the sun and chill but also take in a bit of knowledge. And the food. There is plenty of that, and beer. And Edgar Allan Poe!

Let’s go, shall we?

Friday Night:

Dinner, drinks, and good times: We’ll assume with the start of the weekend you’re ready to immediately kick back, eat some good grub, and have a ton of fun. Enter Home Team BBQ. Many, and I mean *many*, locals claim Home Team to have the best wings on the planet, and we’d have to agree. But there’s a lot more to the joint than wings. They also serve up a mean batch of BBQ and ribs, macaroni and cheese, banana pudding, collard greens, baked beans, slaw, pork rinds with pimento cheese – literally all of the best Southern foods you can think of. Home Team also offers a long list of local brews, so you can taste even more of the South, particularly the Lowcountry, and there is always really great, original live music from both national touring acts and talented locals. That’s right, kick back, snack til you burst, sip on brews, and enjoy the tunes and lively atmosphere – exactly what your Friday night needs.

Saturday Morning:

Breakfast: No time to nurse that hangover at home – get up and head to Sullivan’s Island Co-op, and they’ll ready you for the full-day ahead with biscuits, bagels, a breakfast burrito, or a meat lover’s sandwich. And coffee, of course, lots and lots of coffee.

Edgar Allan Poe Library: You should head to Fort Moultrie later, but on the way stop off for some oddball history at the wee library in a bunker named after the famous writer who was stationed here in 1828 – back then he was known as Army Private Edgar Allan Poe. The unique library is housed inside renovated Battery Gadsden, a former Spanish-American War four-gun battery. Poe spent only13 months on Sullivan’s,but  the island left an impression on him, as is well documented.

Sullivan's Island Fort Moutrie

Fort Moultrie:  From the beach, you can spot Fort Moultrie, a series of fortifications built to protect Charleston. Dating back to 1776, it is the first fort built there, famously composed entirely of Palmetto logs, that inspired the state flag and South Carolina’s nickname: the Palmetto State. There’s a lot more to learn on site, which is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.
Saturday Afternoon

Lunch: By the time you’re done exploring the library and fort, you’ll be famished, so what better place to refuel than at a locals’ favorite named also after Edgar Allan Poe? Poe’s Tavern is an open-air pub serving up everything from tacos to burgers (amazing burgers FYI) to brews and Bloody Marys. We highly recommend the Gold Bug Burger, named after Poe’s famous short story, and the Annabelle Lee, titled as such after Poe’s final poem.

Sullivan’s Island Lighthouse: You  may remember reading about this lighthouse in a recent post of ours, and now is the perfect time to check it out. If you recall, it’s significant in several ways: the triangular shape, its elevator (the only lighthouse with an elevator), and the fact that it is still a working lighthouse. You may not get a chance to actually go inside, but it’s still worth a stop for anyone with an interest in lighthouses! And it’s a great way to end your day of exploration before getting on to the business of relaxation.

The Beach: If it’s summer, it’s best around here to go to the beach after 2 or before 11 to avoid harmful rays, the hottest part of the day, and possible crowds. We find ways to work around the summer’s rising temps so we can still enjoy our pristine beaches. Now is the perfect time to get some sun, rest, and reflect on the day’s adventures. And you can start daydreaming of the dinner in store later on.

Saturday Night:

Sullivan's Island, The Obstinate Daughter

Photo Courtesy of Instagram User @theobstinatedaughter

Dinner: After you’ve waded in the water, gotten a tan, and maybe had a nap, get dolled up and head to The Obstinate Daughter, named after the island’s rich Revolutionary War history. Make sure you have a reservation, because this is one hot spot for an upscale experience. Dine on such delights as Frogmore chowder, roasted beets, local Mepkin Abbey mushrooms, grilled octopus, smoked local fish, Lowcountry shrimp roll, chicken bog, sweetbreads, swordfish, and seafood stew. They also serve up tasty pizza and pasta specials, not to mention plenty of stunning wines.

Drinks: Another local favorite, Dunleavy’s Pub is a cabin-like structure with all the character you could possibly want in a neighborhood joint. There’s always live country, acoustic, or Irish music on the weekends particularly. The drinks are cold and most importantly, the staff and regulars are warm and friendly – the perfect way to end your last night on Sullivan’s.

Sunday Morning:

Yoghurt Bowl and the Beach: Take it easy and head to the beach one last time this morning but not before you stop at gogogreens on Middle Street for a to-go bowl of greatness, like the Purple Haze – frozen acai, banana, mango, coconut water, raisins, seasonal berries, bananas, green grapes, toasted coconut, and hemp seeds. Refreshing and just right for the beach. Proceed to the shore and relax for a spell before you have to head back to reality.

Sullivan's Island, gogogreens

Photo Courtesy of Instagram User @gogogreens

Brunch: If you’re in the mood for one last hurrah before departing the island, check out High Thyme, the island’s best-kept secret. Local singer-songwriters are often on deck to serenade you, and the place has a stellar reputation for delivering the brunch goods. Choose from crab cake benedict, country ham benedict, braised beef brisket omelet, biscuits and gravy, French toast, burrito, breakfast casserole, and more, including starters like rare seared tuna, scallops, and mussels.

If you have time for a walk or bike ride, Sullivan’s Island is a charming and (mostly) shady spot to get some exercise. Around 3.5 miles from end to end, the island is a great place to burn off some of the weekend calories!

Hope you had (or will have) fun on Sullivan’s Island and don’t forget, once you’re ready to move to the island, we’ve got just the folks to help you find the perfect home.

What’s your favorite spot on Sullivan’s?

5 new Charleston restaurants, Spring 2017

new charleston restaurants

Photo Credit: Instagram User @sorghumsalt

With Charleston being a foodie destination with a reputation that gets glossier with every new restaurant opening, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with what to try next. We’ve taken the liberty of sifting through all the new restaurants in Charleston this spring and compiling a list of those serving up grub worth your dough.

Sorghum & Salt, 186 Coming Street Downtown

Sorghum & Salt opened in April, and this spot has already racked up a reputation among locals – not bad for a restaurant in its infancy.The menu changes, but as of now you can stop in and choose from their Garden and Grains, Meat and Fish, or Larger Plates menus, all of which are reasonably priced. We can’t vouch for everything, but you can rest assured that the Collard Green Tagliatelle with Shrimp Sausage – Calabrian Chili – Collards and Bread Crumbs — phew, that’s a mouthful, in more ways than one — is a meal to remember.

new charleston restaurants

Photo Credit: Instagram User @rodneyscottsbbq

Rodney Scott’s BBQ, 1011 King Street Downtown

If you haven’t been here yet, you’re doing yourself no favors. Scott’s slow-pulled pork, chicken, and ribs alone will make you moan (that reaction is actually their claim to fame) but you have to also try the fried catfish sandwich — not to mention the fixings. Take your pick of fresh-cut fries, cornbread, hushpuppies, cole slaw, potato salad, baked beans, mac ‘n’ cheese, greens, perlo rice, and, yes, of course, grits.

Benny Ravello’s, 520 King Street Downtown

Love the Mt. Pleasant Benny Palmetto’s? Then you’ll also dig the new downtown sister restaurant Benny Ravello’s, which hit King Street in mid-April. Serving up slices bigger than your hand, Benny’s is in the former George Loan Co. pawn shop and has been operating off the same menu as its predecessor — except this time no beer and wine. But you’ll forget all about your thirst for alcohol once you get a taste of some of the best pie in town.

new charleston restaurants

Photo Credit: Instagram User @workshopchs

Workshop Charleston, 1503 King Street Downtown

The hottest of hot spots right now is Workshop — an upscale food court that, after less than a month in business, is the talk of the town already. Workshop boasts minimalist decor and maximum flavor. Choose food from Pink Bellies (featuring Thai Phi’s Animal Style Burger), JD Loves Cheese (coming to you from Cynthia Wong, the baker over at Butcher & Bee), or Kite Noodles (Korean food from Jonathan Ory). John Lewis of Lewis BBQ has also taken up residence with his Tex/Mex concept called Juan Luis. There’s also pizza by Slice Co. and Bad Wolf Coffee (also from Ory). The food court seats 100, so grab a seat soon to test the waters for yourself.

Martha Lou’s No. 2, 2000-Q McMillan Ave North Charleston

Morrison Street’s soul food institution Martha Lou’s has long been a favorite among locals, but a mention by the New York Times in 2011 gave the restaurant an extra, and welcomed, boost. In April, the 87-year-old proprietor opened a second locale in North Charleston, officially called Martha Lou’s No. 2 Love and Happiness Catering, where they’re serving all the faves — fried chicken, mac ‘n’ cheese, green beans — every day of the week.

What new Charleston restaurant has caught your attention?

Places to Grab a Cup of Coffee in Charleston

Coffee — for most of us it’s an everyday necessity, so where can you find the best cup of coffee in Charleston? Whether you need the perfect place for meeting with your real estate agent, need caffeine on the go, a place to plug in your laptop, or a quiet corner for reading, Charleston’s variety of local coffee houses has you covered — and caffeinated! Here are a few of our favorite neighborhood spots.

Collective Coffee, Mount Pleasant

Coffee in Charleston, Collective Coffee Co

Photo Credit: Instagram User @collectivecoffeeco

This upscale, hipster coffee shop is pretty cool indeed with its loft-like, airy space and tasty breakfast (pimento cheese biscuit is life-changing) and snack (avocado toast) items. We love the friendly service here at Collective Coffee along with the ample outdoor seating, community table, comfy corner seating, and plentiful parking, assuring that you and whoever you’re meeting up with will have plenty of places to perch your coffee cups and your cars. Not the cheapest place but they do take pride in preparing your lattes, we can assure you. They’re delicious. The wifi is free, and laptops are welcome here.

Orange Spot, Park Circle North Charleston

For the most adorable coffee experience, head to Park Circle. Orange Spot is nestled in a cute little house and consists of two rooms with plenty of tables, power outlets, cushioned seats, and sunlight. A spacious backyard patio means they can put on events, like mini markets and art openings, since they line their walls with local art. Wifi? Yep, and it’s free. Pro tip: get the the Cha Yen.

Classic Coffee, Avondale, West Ashley

Coffee in Charleston, Classic Coffee Avondale

Photo Credit: Instagram User @classiccoffeecharleston

Avondale residents love strolling on foot over to Classic Coffee for their caffeine fix, and it’s perfect for all kinds of situations. There are couches that make for cozy book-reading nooks, plus outdoor tables, a bar with bar stools, and several inside tables for all your meeting-up purposes. We also love their quiches, which come from nearby Wildflour Pastry, in-house roasted coffee, and fruit smoothies. Parking is a pain at times, though, be ye warned.

Normandy Farm, South Windermere, West Ashley

If you really want to feel fancy and French when you hit the coffee shop, make Normandy your new favorite. Visions and smells of fresh-baked breads, tarts, cakes, pies, and more will have you drooling, but the prices will make you stop in your tracks. Normandy, a light-filled space, is the most affordable coffee shop in Charleston — its pour-it-yourself in-house roasted coffee is only a buck-fifty. The only downside of this place is that the bathrooms are in the back, meaning you have to walk through the kitchen to get there. If you’re having lots of coffee, this can make you feel a bit self-conscious, but, really, they don’t mind at all. Oh and there’s free wifi.

 Kudu Coffee and Craft Beer

Coffee in Charleston, Kudu Coffee

Photo Credit: Instagram User @kuduchs

Kudu discourages folks from working on computers by denying guests their wifi password. So save Kudu for those days when you want to meet up with people (friends or clients) or you simply want to sit in their lovely courtyard and enjoy a book al fresco style. They serve coffee by the cafetiere and have a slew of great local craft beer selections. Kudu is also perfect for downtowndwellers; otherwise you’ll be circling the block in search of parking for an eternity.

Starbucks, Multiple Locations

  1. Starbucks gets a lot of slack for being corporate, and while supporting local is always best, Starbucks isn’t so bad. They treat their employees pretty wonderfully actually, offering benefits to even part-timers. In West Ashley and Mt Pleasant you’ll find Starbucks with drive-thru windows, which is key for busy moms who can’t just unbuckle all three kids and run in and grab a quick coffee. (There is no such thing as a quick coffee when you’re a mom, unless there’s a drive-through!). Plus if you need to do some work on your laptop, at Starbucks you’ll find all you need for that: plenty of outlets, free wifi, lots of two-top tables and community tables. Starbucks is literally made for all of you laptop workers — be it freelancers or students.  AND most locations stay open until 9 p.m., while most other places shut down much earlier (5 or 6 p.m.).


What’s your favorite local coffee shop?

5 Trendy NoMo Restaurants

NoMo restaurants are booming!  Located in the East Central area of the upper peninsula of Charleston, NoMo gets its name from being located on the north end of the peninsula on Morrison Drive — though many would argue that Morrison in itself is all north. You may know it as the north end of East Bay Street.

NoMo restaurants

Goat. Sheep. Cow. North, Photo Courtesy of Instagram User @goatsheepcownorth

The up-and-coming ‘hood’s location means cheaper rent and lots of room for development. And as the city continues to grow, so do the possibilities.

The name NoMo was really cemented with the construction of student housing on Morrison Drive, called 930 NoMo. Like the name or not — there was a bit of controversy! — NoMo has really taken off the past couple of years… but you can still call it East Central if you like.

Places like Tattooed Moose (the duck fat fries are the best) and Santi’s (great Mexican food and margaritas) made their claim to the area long before it got trendy. But other eateries have since arrived, turning it into a popular place to be.

Here are five new(ish) restaurants in NoMo that are helping the neighborhood make a name for itself.

NoMo restaurants

Lewis BBQ, Photo Courtesy of Instagram User @tracimagnus

Lewis BBQ, 464 North Nassau Street

Lewis opened last year with a bang, its mouth-watering Texas-style brisket giving its new Lowcountry fans a lot to moan about. Pitmaster John Lewis spent a decade perfecting his BBQ magic, a tradition that runs in his family, before arriving in downtown Charleston. But it’s not all brisket — and if you’re not in the mood for a line you can order a BBQ sandwich via a special window outside. The cocktails and craft beer are pretty special too, particularly when enjoyed on the patio.

Edmund’s Oast, 1081 Morrison Drive

Edmund’s Oast is upscale and a great spot for dining when you want to do it right. If you’re wanting to simply sample it first, go during happy hour for some killer food and drink deals. Top tip: the brunch is some of the best in town and a perfect destination for showing off the city’s culinary greatness to visiting friends and family.

Goat. Sheep. Cow. 804 Meeting Street #102

Goat. Sheep. Cow. earned a wonderful local reputation as a cheesemonger and cozy deli with a popular sandwich-of-the-day in its south of Broad spot before landing in NoMo late last year with a much more expansive space. If you’re looking for a fun place for wine, cheese, a bit of prosciutto, and plenty of conversation, bring a friend or two to the city’s premiere fromagerie.

NoMo restaurants

Butcher and Bee, Photo Courtesy of Instagram User @butcherandbee

Butcher & Bee, 1085 Morrison Drive

It was a sad day for Charleston, especially those in search of something to munch on late at night, when Butcher & Bee shut its King Street locale. So you can imagine the rejoicing when it re-opened last summer in NoMo. The restaurant wanted a bigger space, and that is exactly what it found, and then some, in its new spot. They also serve everything from brunch to lunch to, yes, late dinners til 2 a.m. Top tip: the burger is the best.

Home Team BBQ, 126 Williman Street

Home Team has enjoyed success in West Ashley and Sullivan’s Island, so naturally it was only a matter of time before it made its way downtown. Home Team arrived on the block before Lewis and, more recently, Rodney Scott moved in to turn the surrounding area into a BBQ destination. This location has the same favorites as the others — best wings in town, a comfortably casual feel. But downtown’s Home Team comes with more music, welcoming such greats as BB King’s son, because the blues and BBQ just go hand in hand.
What’s your favorite of the new (and not-so new) NoMo restaurants?

Dog-friendly Charleston: Where to eat and drink with your pups

In search of dog-friendly Charleston? Dining in the culinary haven of Charleston is always a treat, but it’s even sweeter when you can bring your furry best friend along.  We’ve found that there are several places particularly cool with pet customers, with some even providing water bowls so your pooch can stay hydrated in the Lowcountry heat.

Dog friendly Charleston Fuel @fuelcharleston

Chilling on the Patio at Fuel, Image Courtesy of Instagram User @fuelcharleston

Here are just a few of the spots we love the most — because they love the furry company we keep.

Downtown:

Fuel, 211 Rutledge Avenue

Formerly a gas station, Fuel is a fun spot for Caribbean-fused cuisine and comes complete with an outdoor bar, where pets and customers delightfully mingle.

Taco Boy, 217 Huger Street

An off-the-beaten-path local favorite, Taco Boy boasts delicious tacos, frozen screwdrivers, and a massive patio perfect for drinking in the sun with your pooch.

Kudu, 4 Vanderhorst Street

Kudu is known for its killer coffee and craft beer, and it’s particularly loved for its patio, where college kids, young, artsy professionals and more spend afternoons socializing or reading alone — with a pup in tow.

Mt Pleasant:

Two Blokes Brewery, 547 Long Point Road

Relatively new to the beer scene, Two Blokes Brewing serves not only well-crafted local brews, but on  the weekend it’s wild with both kids and dogs — so if you’re looking for a family friendly spot to consume an adult bev, this is a great spot.

Triangle Char & Bar, 1440 Ben Sawyer Blvd.

You may have to wait for a seat at brunch at Triangle, but at least your pooch can sit with you on the restaurant’s sun-blessed patio.

Dog friendly Charleston Poes Tavern @poestavern

Image Courtesy of Instagram User @poestavern

Sullivans Island:

Dunleavey’s Pub, 2213 Middle Street

What’s better than an Irish pub in a beach town? Not much. There are so many reasons to love this family-owned traditional pub, but great burgers, cool pints of Guinness, and dog-friendly outdoor seating top the list.

Poe’s Tavern, 2210 Middle Street

You may think an Edgar Allen Poe-themed bar and grill sounds a bit dark, but the lively, fun atmosphere of Poe’s Tavern will quickly change your mind. Nothing better than taking your four-legged kiddo for a walk on the beach and then heading to Poe’s for delicious fish tacos or one of their gourmet chicken sandwiches. Well-behaved dogs are regularly resting on the patio.

Folly Beach:

Lost Dog Cafe, 106 W Huron Avenue

Most Charlestonians don’t need a list of dog-friendly places to know about Lost Dog — this place was literally made for dogs. Well, the menu is very much for humans (and it’s all delicious) but you’ll see about a dozen dogs here on any given day — and more during Sunday brunch, which is basically our idea of heaven.

Jack of Cups, 34 Center Street

Also on Folly, Jack of Cups serves up Asian-infused food that’s so good you’ll leave satisfied and somewhat speechless. Their beer selection is top notch and ever-changing, and their backyard, as well as their front patio, complete with water bowls, are the reasons why you should bring your pups along.

Dog friendly Charleston The Barrel @thebarrelcharleston

Photo Courtesy of Instagram User @thebarrelcharleston

James Island:

The Barrel, 1859 Folly Road

If Lost Dog is first on everyone’s dog-friendly list, the Barrel is either tied or a close second. This is a great little spot for excellent craft beer pours, but the backyard is where it’s at. Unleashed dogs run free here, and there’s even a small pen for your tinier pups.

Bohemian Bull, 1531 Folly Road

Not far from the Barrel, the Bohemian Bull offers great food and cocktails but with a cool, outdoor, bohemian vibe where four-legged friends are always welcome.

West Ashley:

Home Team BBQ, 1205 Ashley River Road

The wings alone are reason enough to visit Home Team today and often, but nothing’s better than happy hour wings on the patio as you sneak a pork rind to your furry best friend.

Tin Roof, 1117 Magnolia Road

Tin Roof has always been dog-friendly, but it’s become increasingly so of late, with the back patio open for business with a back bar, so you can have a High Life while living the high life with your unleashed pups. Just don’t forget to clean up after them.
Where is your favorite spot to dine in dog-friendly Charleston?

 

5 Eateries Isle of Palmers Can’t Live Without

5 Eateries on Isle of Palms

photo from @donniewhitaker

Isle of Palms isn’t just touristy shops, cafes, and ice cream stands.  Many folks call the IOP home year-round and they have a few go-to’s with neighborly vibes and food that stands up to even the best of downtown Charleston offerings. Here are 5 eateries on Isle of Palms locals just cannot live without.

5 Eateries on Isle of Palms

photo from @therefugeiop

The Refuge | 1517 Palm Blvd.

Whether you’re looking for a workspace with coffee, bagels, and free wifi or a night out complete with live music, expertly crafted cocktails, and meals made with fresh, local ingredients, you’ll find refuge at the Refuge. It’s also a stellar spot for lunch. There are several soup and salads options, but the sandwich menu is where it’s at — hot, cold, signature sammies, or build your own. Our favorite? The Refugee Burger: bacon and fig jam, brie, arugula, and fried egg on brioche.

5 Eateries on Isle of Palms

photo from @codadelpesce_

Coda Del Pesce | 1130 Ocean Blvd.

Sunshine spills into the adorable, contemporary dining room of Coda Del Pesce located on Ocean Boulevard. Serving up homemade pasta and Italian seafood dishes, Coda is known for its fare as well as its splendid ocean views. Sit on the patio and enjoy both raw and cooked specialties, like oysters, octopus, smoked salmon, crab ravioli, triggerfish, and grouper. Primi pasta courses are all imaginative masterpieces, but our favorite has to be the Tagliolini with blue crab, anchovies, lemon, and bread crumbs.

5 Eateries on Isle of Palms

photo from long_island_cafe

Long Island Cafe | 1515 Palm Blvd.

Long Island Cafe has been an IOP staple for 30 years, surviving countless storms, including Hurricane Hugo. Inside, a simple but elegant dining room awaits along with everything from delicious bottles of wine to grits to creatures fresh from the sea. The walls are decorated with local art, while dishes are created with ingredients from places like Toby’s (clams) and GrowFood Carolina (veggies). Even if you’re just hungry for dessert, LIC has you covered with key lime pie, pecan pie, hummingbird cake, and mud pie, just to name a few!

5 Eateries on Isle of Palms

photo from @morgancreekgrill

Morgan Creek Grill | 80 41st Ave.

There’s nothing not to love about Morgan Creek Grill — it has personalities and moods covered: a casual, down-home outdoor bar that gets festive most nights, a quiet, beautiful dining room perfect for date nights, and an upstairs bar / dining area for folks needing a beer, a good appetizer, and a TV for watching the big game. On many evenings, there’s also live music from artists who hang their hats on the IOP, or not too far from it.

5 Eateries on Isle of Palms

photo from @boathouseatbreach

The Boathouse at Breach Inlet | 101 Palm Blvd.

The Boathouse at Breach Inlet has been a Charleston tradition for 20 years now. The mahogany interior and ceilings lined with vintage row boats sets the scene, as does the breathtaking views (top tip: best sunset on the island!). As for the food, it’s all Southern and the menu’s full of seafood greatness, like lobster, crab cakes, lobster tails, mussels, clams, and more. There’s even a raw bar. And if you find yourself at IOP on a Sunday, don’t miss the brunch, which includes our favorite: the Boathouse Benedict with crab cakes.

What’s your favorite meal on IOP?

5 Ways to Unwind in Mount Pleasant

Mount Pleasant may be look small on a map, but the town packs in a lot of punch with countless shopping areas, restaurants, and places to watch the sunset throughout the area. From Shem Creek’s offerings along Coleman Boulevard to the possibilities aplenty at Highway 17’s Mount Pleasant Town Center, adventure awaits at every turn.

Mount Pleasant

Spa time at Woodhouse

Anyone who’s been to Woodhouse Day Spa knows this place doesn’t hold back in its offerings of luxurious pampering. The spa gives all a little TLC, relieves stress, and nurtures your well being. Everyone gets a robe and reflexology sandals upon arrival before unwinding in the quiet room, where loose-leaf teas await to begin the day of everything from waxings and skin care to massage therapy and sleep treatments. Woodhouse also offers a girls getaway weekend package, complete with hot stone and four-handed massages, facials, microdermabrasion, pedicures, and more. Learn more at charleston.woodhousespas.com.

Shop at Mount Pleasant Town Center

Spoil yourself with a day at Mount Pleasant Town Center, where not only can you update your wardrobe at Copper Penny Shooz, Banana Republic, Teal Boutique, White House Black Market, Victoria’s Secret, Belk, Chico’s, and Apricot Lane Boutique, and more, but you can also grab some tea at Teavana, some wine at the Wine Cellar, a pedicure at Sandals Nail Spa, and a Margarita at Qdoba Mexican Eats. To reward yourself even more, top it off with a film at the onsite cinemas.

Eat in the Old Village

Surrounded by beauty and charm, the six-room Old Village Post House Inn is a sweet wee spot for a staycation night away, but the restaurant is what makes the building renowned. Most days you’ll find seafood bliss with specialties like crawfish soup, broiled oysters, crispy calamari, chili-rubbed ahi tuna, grouper, crab cakes, shrimp & grits, lobster, crab-crusted salmon, and much more. But for Sunday funday, get brunch dishes, like deviled crab cake benedict and the Shem Creek omelet, with shrimp, crab, cheddar, and spinach. Don’t forget to start with a Sunrise Sparkler, a carafe of cava with peach nectar, blueberry pomegranate juice, and OJ. 

Mount Pleasant

Sunset drinks on Shem Creek

Speaking of Shem Creek and drinks, nothing says ‘this is the life’ quite like a sunset cocktail on Shem Creek. Whether you want live music at Red’s or a quiet view of the water at Vickery’s, there are plenty of places to perch and pass the hours. Tavern & Table, Shem Creek Bar & Grill, Water’s Edge Cabana Bar, and RB’s are just a few more spots where you can not only sip to the best sunset view in Charleston but you can also grab some of the freshest seafood around.

Dolphin watch cruise

The Charleston Water Taxi is always a fun way to travel on days you’re focused solely on adventure and relaxation, but the company also offers a dolphin watch cruise on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The ultimate way to unwind, the dolphin watch cruise lasts for an hour but $10 gets you an all-day pass so you can while away all the hours your heart desires. Departs from Patriot’s Point and the USS Yorktown. 

Locals Guide to Wagener Terrace

Hampton Park, Wagener Terrace

Hampton Park via Instagram user @tracimagnus

Wagener Terrace is where downtown locals love to live. Away from the bustle of the more touristy parts of downtown, Wagener Terrace is an oasis filled with wide sidewalks, Spanish moss-covered live oaks, quiet living, and friendly neighbors, the latter of which range from families to young professionals. Still on the Charleston peninsula, Wagener Terrace is biking distance to the city’s theaters, antiques, shopping, and nightlife.

Hampton Park, Wagener Terrace

photo taken by @leahsuarez

But there’s still plenty of fun to be had within walking distance inside this serene pocket of the peninsula. These are just a few of our favorite things to do in and around Wagener Terrace:

Play:  The biggest highlight to living in this area has to be the accessibility to Hampton Park, which is below Wagener Terrace in the Hampton Park Terrace neighborhood. The largest park on the peninsula, Hampton Park is 60 acres of green space where locals jog, bike, walk dogs, picnic, and play. Weddings are held in the park’s picturesque gazebo, books are read by the fountain, and there are plans for an abandoned concessions stand at the park to be restored by the neighboring Park Cafe.

Wagener Terrace

photo taken by: @theparkcafechs

Eat:  Speaking of Park Cafe, the bright, airy, and simplistic Rutledge Avenue restaurant is a neighborhood favorite for quality farm-to-table food, wine, and coffee. Just up the street, you’ll find Rutledge Cab Co., another popular local eatery and bar that’s half-owned by actor and Charleston local Bill Murray and features live local music each week. Very close to Wagener Terrace and Hampton Park Terrace is a trendy new spot called NoMo, where you’ll find tons of live music and great wings at Home Team BBQ, a killer brisket at Lewis’ Barbecue, a bar menu and brunch you won’t forget at Edmund’s Oast, and duck-fat fries, taxidermy, and good times at the Tattooed Moose.

Wagener Terrace

photo taken by @tattooedmoose

Drink:  Also close to Hampton Park is Moe’s Crosstown Tavern, a buzzing local dive bar with great grub and a casual, unpretentious atmosphere. For a local craft beer, head straight to Wagener Terrace’s own Cooper River Brewing Co. on Mechanic Street, where you can get anything from a glass of Nitro Stout to a growler of IPA. If you’re in the mood for the lighter stuff, check out Huriyali Gardens, a vibrant wee juice haven on Huger Street with nutrient-rich, organic foods and juices and an adjacent garden that will make you feel like you’ve stumbled upon a magical hidden gem.

Wagener Terrace

photo taken by @cherry_bryd

Dance:  If you’re in the mood for a boogie, head down to the nearby Faculty Lounge on Huger Street. Not only can you find a reason to dance on weekend nights, the Faculty Lounge also features a quality cocktail menu and a chic, local vibe every single evening.

Wagener Terrace

photo taken by @russelldpowell

Shop:  Locals can bike to Food Lion on King Street, the only large-scale grocery store near the neighborhood. As far as any other types of shopping — be it organic foods or clothes or antiques — there are plenty of great spots a short drive away in either the Historic District or over the Ravenel Bridge in Mt. Pleasant.

If this sounds like your kind of neighborhood, stop by the Real Estate Studio and see what adorable bungalows are for sale!

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