This past weekend I took a whirlwind of a trip to Charleston, SC to celebrate my beautiful friend Kelly’s bachelorette party. I’ve been itching for the opportunity to check out this city after hearing about its up-and-coming food scene. It lived up to the hype too. In the 48 hours of time spent in the city, I had more giant flaky biscuits and jam than I’d like to admit, along with plenty of other southern favorites and a few unexpected gems along the way. But, in addition to meal after meal of fabulous eats and drinks, the pastel sunsets, palmettos, and quaint southern charm won me over. Charleston, it was a wild ride!
It’s a quirky spot. It's open for breakfast for unique breakfast sandwiches and then switches to a trendy bar in the afternoon complete with $3 cans of beer for happy hour and one of the best bowls of ramen I’ve ever had (It comes with crispy pork confit, a soft-boiled egg and housemade noodles but I highly recommend adding on the sesame greens). They also sell provisions and pastries in the front room.
If you know anything about the Jeni’s Ice Cream franchise you’ll know that they offer some crazy flavors along with the classics and to put it simply, it’s just really great ice cream. The 7 Layer Bar flavor was fab!
A great spot to grab some drinks and snacks with friends and definitely a place to order one (or more) of everything and have a tasting party. It’s got that speakeasy vibe and the drinks are seriously innovative. I went for a concoction called the “Banana Hammock” (Flor De Cana 7 Rum, Zaya 12 Rum, Banana, Pineapple, Vanilla Syrup, Lemon, Orgeat, Walnut Dram, Angostura Bitters) that had a distinct caramel nuttiness along with the sweet tropical flavors. Also definitely try out the grilled cheese that they somehow make it inside-out where the bread and meat are on the inside and it's concealed in a pouch of crispy, nearly-burnt cheese.
It’s called the best place for brunch in Charleston and I absolutely believe it. They have nailed the perfect southern breakfast, keeping things pretty classic in an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” sort of mentality. I ordered the shrimp and grits (it’s a splurge but it’s so worth it) but also heard lots of happy words from those who got the “Charleston Nasty Biscuit,” a biscuit stuffed with a fried chicken breast and smothered in sausage gravy.
Definitely add this on to your to-do list if you have a chance. It’s about a 30-minute drive outside of the city (stop to see the Angel Oak Tree along the way) but it's quite the experience having the opportunity to try both Charleston wines and spirits at the same location. They make their wine from several varieties of muscadine grapes which are native to the Lowcountry. The distillery lets you try 6 of the many varieties of spirits made by firefly with wild flavors like mint tea vodka, apple pie and caramel moonshine, many fruity flavors, and a 100 proof moonshine called while lightning which was quite honestly the smoothest shot I have ever had. Let me just say that after a combination of the two, you’ll definitely need to hang around and check out the farm animals for a bit before taking the drive back.
An excellent spot for a fancy celebratory dinner. There are lots of tempting appetizers so my suggestion is to team up with someone in your party and pick several options to share rather than just sticking with a main course. The deviled eggs were light and tangy and topped with ham and roasted red peppers. We also got a skillet of the truffle Kennebec potato fries which we continued to eat long after we were full until they were completely finished. The fresh blueberry salad with granola, yogurt, and white balsamic was a refreshing in-between course before the spit-roasted chicken with Moroccan flavors and roasted carrots and sunchokes. The S’more Pie also makes for a show-stopping dessert.
And last but not least, Toast!
Again, a classic southern breakfast. There will be a bit of a wait but if you can hold out it’ll be worth your time. Biscuits again are a must along with the fried green tomatoes.