It’s no secret that Charleston’s culinary world has drastically changed over the past few years. There are so many new restaurants it’s difficult to keep up with all of them! Being a southern town, Charleston has always been known for its Lowcountry cuisine. But recently a wide array of flavors from Asian Soul Food at Xiao Bao Biscuit to Chinese at Lee Lee’s Hot Kitchen have sprung up all over town. The Charleston City Paper touched on this in a recent article about finding the balance between restaurants that have been here for years that have stayed true to their southern roots compared to those that are new and are trying new things.
When you walk down East Bay and King Streets you still walk by many of the familiar names that have given Charleston its amazing reputation like FIG, Slightly North of Broad, Cypress, and Charleston Grill. The best element about the dining scene in Charleston is that you have restaurants like these that serve Lowcountry cuisine that are also surrounded by others serving different types of fare. The number of French and Italian restaurants in Charleston are never ending, with popular names such as 39 Rue de Jean, Gaulart & Maliclet French Café, Trattoria Lucca, Il Cortile del Re, Pane E Vino.. I could go on forever!
The latest trend seems to be a modern approach using local ingredients. Sean Brock’s award-winning restaurant Husk is still just as much of a hit today as it was when it first opened in 2010. Not only is it unique with a menu that changes daily, but the only ingredients used are from the South.
Brock says that “If it doesn’t come from the South, it’s not coming through the door,” and that the food “is not about rediscovering Southern cooking, but exploring the reality of Southern food.”
Since Husk opened, a slew of delicious restaurants have popped up all over Charleston. Some of those feature southern styles, such as The Ordinary, which specializes in “fancy seafood,” while others like CO and Bon Banh Mi serve Vietnamese. And, of course, the most recent openings welcome more French and Italian fare with Brasserie Gigi and Chez Nous.
Whether you’re visiting Charleston to try the infamous crab cake at Charleston Grill or are a local in the mood to spice it up at Xiao Bao Biscuit, there really isn’t anything that this historic town doesn’t have to offer. With many more openings planned for 2014, the options are endless.