Tag: Farmer’s Market
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Looking for things to do in West Ashley? From the always fun West Ashley Park to the brand new farmer’s market and Higgins Pier, there’s a lot of inexpensive (and free!) ways to spend your time outside west of the Ashley River. Here are four of our favorites:
The West Ashley Bikeway starts at Wappoo Road, crosses Highway 61/St Andrews Boulevard, and continues all the way to the beautiful Ashley River, connecting residential neighborhoods along the way, like Sherwood Forest, Maryville, and Ashleyville. And this is a particularly exciting time for the Bikeway, since this summer, Higgins Pier officially opened at the end of the path on the River. The last stretch of the path before the pier is a peaceful one surrounded by forests before giving way to the magnificent view of the marsh. At the pier, you may fish, launch a kayak, or simply meditate with a book under the covered pier head and while away a lovely Charleston Day.
The West Ashley Greenway is a sacred thing for nearby residents, who use the part-asphalt, part-dirt trail for running, walking dogs, and biking. The path is over eight miles long, extending from Wesley Drive (the South Windermere neighborhood) and nearly to Main Road, Johns Island. Along the way is everything from lush, wooded areas, where you can still find fireflies if you go at the perfect hour, to the breathtaking Lowcountry marsh. Go for a walk around 5.30 p.m. and you’ll likely pass many of your neighbors as it’s the most popular time of day to venture out. Don’t forget your bike lights if you go after dark, since the area is not well lit.
Ackerman Park – 55 Sycamore Avenue
This is a two-in-one spot, since you get both produce galore in the great outdoors, plus there’s a dog park — so everyone’s happy, pups included. Launching today, Wed. Sept. 21, 2016, the West Ashley’s farmer’s market is a huge, welcome addition to the area, since with it comes boocoos of both established and fresh, new producers and food products. Get in on the action while you can, because this farmer’s market only goes every Wednesday until October 26.
3601 Mary Ader Avenue
Off Glenn McConnell Highway, you’ll find an oasis from the freeway at West Ashley Park, one of Charleston’s largest recreational parks. The park is 260 acres large, comprising everything from playgrounds (two) and a basketball court to a soccer field and an 18-hole disc golf course, which brings sports lovers of all ages and levels of expertise. Walk on the lush path past gorgeous swamps to a serene pond, where fishermen cast their lines and watch wild birds wander about. Bring your pups, too, because the park also boasts a dog park.
What’s your favorite outdoor spot in West Ashley?
The first “official” week of summer has just passed and the Charleston sun has been blazing, making a day at the beach delightful and an afternoon snoozing in the shade even better. Summer in this city means farm fresh tomatoes, concerts in the parks, fireworks over the Harbor, dancing on the Pier and so much more. Here, in no particular order, is our list of the Top Ten Reasons to visit Charleston this Summer:
1.The Fourth of July: It’s always a great time to visit Charleston and this year it falls on a weekend, making a spontaneous last minute getaway a fun-filled option. There are tons of celebrations planned all over the city. Some local favorites include…
• Independence Day at Middleton Place: Middleton Place was the home of Declaration of Independence signer Arthur Middleton. Visitors can celebrate the contributions by the Middleton family as well as the Southern Continental Army with two days of period experiences including cooking and musket firing demonstrations. July 4th and 5th
• Fourth of July Blast at Patriot’s Point: This is an action-packed festival featuring rockin’ live music, a terrific one of a kind “Kidz Zone”, cold drinks and adult libations from the beverage garden, a tempting food village featuring some of the best restaurants in Charleston, and when the stars come out….a SPECTACULAR FIREWORKS show! Admission to the landside festival is FREE. Bring your lawn chairs, blankets, smiles and even dancing shoes!
• Sunset Sail on the Schooner Pride: July 4th is a very popular day to be on the harbor. After a long day at the beach or with the family, what better way to relax than a Sunset Sail on the Schooner Pride? The boat will be departing from the Aquarium Wharf at 360 Concord Street (just to the left of the SC Aquarium) on July 4th at 7:00 PM and returning at 9:00. If the Patriot’s Point fireworks display has not started yet, guests will be welcomed to stay on board the boat and watch from the dock, which is just about the best seat you can get for this amazing show. There are only have 49 seats available and this trip will sell out.
2. The Fourth Annual Palette and Palate Stroll: Throughout the year, Charleston boasts many festivals and events that highlight the Lowcountry’s unique culture, specifically art and food. The Palette and Palate Stroll combines the two and allows fine art and food connoisseurs to stroll through our historic streets sampling tastings from thirteen of the finest local restaurants at thirteen of the city’s most prestigious galleries. This is a fun event for the galleries, the artists, the chefs, and of course the lucky few who make reservations to attend. Space is limited but tickets may be purchased on-line at www.cfada.com. Come to Charleston and see why this is one of the most anticipated visual art and fine food events in the South.
3.BBQ: Nothing says summertime in Charleston like some good ole pulled pork barbeque. We do things a little different here than they do in Memphis, Kansas City and especially Texas. We like a mustard-based sauce around here, although you can find your tomato, vinegar, and pepper-based varieties as well. Some folks say that the mustard sauce was brought to SC by German immigrants in the 1730’s, but most agree that Joe Bessinger made it famous in his restaurant here in the 1930’s. No matter where it came from or who introduced it, we think the mustard-based sauce is KING!
There are lots of local spots that specialize in BBQ, but some of our favorites are:
1602 Savannah Highway, West Ashley
•Jim N Nicks Barbeque
288 King St., Downtown Charleston
•Home Team BBQ
2209 Middle Street, Sullivans Island
Looking for BBQ, Blues, and a Harbor cruise? Look no further. This summer you can tour beautiful Charleston Harbor aboard the Carolina Belle with a Home team BBQ buffet and live blues from Shrimp City Slim. For more info check out the Charleston Harbor Tours website.
4. Farmer’s Market: Our nationally-acclaimed market opens every Saturday at 8am in Marion Square to offer Charleston residents and visitors fresh locally grown produce and locally processed food products as well as distinctive hand wrought arts and crafts. Ranked in 2008 by Travel and Leisure magazine as one of the Top 10 Best Farmers Markets in the nation, the 2009 Market offers an expanded variety of food concessions that will tempt appetites from early morning crepes, omelets and donuts to luncheon shrimp and oyster Po-boys, barbecue sandwiches and vegetarian offerings; along with desserts, including Belgian waffles and pies, smoothies and refreshing hand-squeezed lemonade, plus specialized coffees and teas. This is a Saturday morning MUST in the summertime!
5. Historical Significance: As far as this goes, our city has few rivals. Charleston boasts a lot of “firsts” that make it historically significant besides the obvious “first shot fired in the Civil War” (although that one gathers a lot of attention and rightfully so). Here are just a few of our finer “firsts”:
•Few people realize that Charleston is also home to America’s first public Museum, The Charleston Museum which was founded in 1773 to preserve and interpret the cultural and natural history of the South Carolina Lowcountry.
•Our city was also the location of America’s first public library. In November 1700, a law passed by the S.C. General Assembly established a provincial library in Charles Towne and provided for its governance. This library, located on St Philip’s Street, remained in operation for 14 years.
•Henrietta Johnson, who arrived in Charleston in 1708, began painting portraits and became America’s first recognized female artist. Her work can be seen in the Gibbes Museum of Art on Meeting Street as well as many other museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.
•In 1736, America’s first building constructed solely for use as a theater opened with a performance of George Farquhar’s “The Recruiting Officer”. Currently, the Dock Street Theatre, located on Church Street, is under construction with extensive renovations but will reopen to live performances once again in May 2010 .
•Chartered in 1785, the College of Charleston is the oldest municipal college in America. Additionally, it is the only college in America to have four signers of the Declaration of Independence as founding members.
•The Best Friend of Charleston, the nation’s first regularly scheduled train offering passenger service, originated from Charleston in 1830. It was the world’s largest when the 140 mile rail line was completed to Hamburg, S.C.
This list could go on and on for pages and pages…..the first fireproof building, first golf organization, first tea planted, first musical society, first ballet performed in America, first and oldest landscaped gardens. Charleston is a city of true historical significance. Come see for yourself.
6. Folly Beach Moonlight Mixers: The Edwin S. Taylor Fishing Pier is a breathtaking landmark that stretches 1,045 feet into the sparkling waters of the Atlantic Ocean. At 25-feet wide and 23-feet above sea level, the pier is the second longest on the east coast and offers not only spectacular views, but a variety of fishing tournaments, special events, and dining. In fact, on certain Friday nights in the summer months (the following Saturday, if it rains) the Pier becomes Charleston’s largest dance floor with “Shaggin on the Pier”. These Moonlight Mixers offer folks the chance to dance under the stars to the hottest oldies and beach music around. It’s just a good time at Folly. For tickets call (843) 795-4386. July 10, July 31, August 14, Sept 4, Sept 25, 2009
7. Reggae Nights Summer Concert Series: Good Music. Good Vibes. The Reggae Nights Summer Concert Series features traditional old school roots reggae with a new school attitude in a beautiful outdoor setting. Bring your chairs or blanket. It’s Irie. Concerts will be held throughout the summer at both North Charleston Wannamaker County Park and James Island County Park. For a list of dates and bands, visit the Charleston County Parks and recreation website.
8. Water, water everywhere: Our city is surrounded by a water wonderland with plenty of boating, fishing, skiing, surfing, parasailing, kayaking, kiteboarding, jet-skiing….. you name it, we’ve got it on the Charleston Coast. There are so many options for getting out on the water that we cannot possibly list them all. Here are a few of our recommendations:
• A guided kayak tour with Coastal Expeditions includes interpretation of the human history, natural history, geology, and the flora and fauna connections as they relate to you as a paddler. These tours are led by a group of naturalists who believe kayaking is the least intrusive way to learn about the coastal waters. These tours are truly unforgettable.
• Private surf lessons with Shaka Surf School is the ideal way to stay cool this summer. They have a variety of packages to choose from and all equipment is included. If you’ve always wanted to learn, take advantage of those legendary Folly waves and get on a board!
• The Innisfail: This is an impeccably restored Mathis-Trumpy yacht, commissioned in the 1930s during America’s “golden age of yachting”. Today she has been immaculately restored and is currently berthed at the Charleston City Marina, a private luxury vessel and a floating work of art. This art deco beauty is available for charters. A bit decadent, but don’t you deserve it?
9. Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka: YUM. This truly southern concoction is distilled on nearby Wadmalaw Island, and thanks to a recent modification in SC’s distillery law tours and tastings at the facility have the green light. They will begin in August, every Tuesday through Saturday. This stuff is so smooth and so delicious it can be downright dangerous! Good thing the distillery is in such a gorgeous spot! You may have to rest and relax under a hundred year old oak before the 30 mile return trip to Charleston.
10. Pedal to Properties: This new and innovative way to see properties is one of the coolest new offerings from Dunes Properties’ agent Kristin Walker. Kristin leads prospective home buyers on bike tours through Charleston’s streets, really introducing them to the neighborhoods they are considering. “Island living is about hearing the ocean, the sun in your face and the wind in your hair, and you don’t get that in a car,” Walker said. “It’s the best way to get a feel for the lifestyle you’re about to lead.” Plus, it’s fun, environmentally friendly, and makes finding “parking” very easy.