Eat Like a Local in Charleston!

By Diana Morales

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This is super delayed...mainly because I'm lazy.  But the time has come my friends to dive deep into eating like a LOCAL in Charleston.  The food in the Low Country is out of this world, I mean imagine the best food you've ever had and then think what if this was made in the south and multiply it by 1000.  The imagination and locations are just stunning and so perfect.  If there is one thing I took from the south it was a fond appreciation of how well they eat!  Again, a big thank you to my host Katie and Steve for taking me to the legit places and no tourist traps! Now I was thinking of doing each day by day but instead I'm going to split it into different meals so that you can view the options for each main meal of the day! 

BREAKFAST AND BRUNCH

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The Park Cafe 730 Rutledge Ave

This converted cafe is nestled in the Hampton Park neighborhood and is just the most perfect brunch place in all of Charleston!  It is in Northern Charleston so you will need a car to get up there... or an uber! 

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Inside the Park Cafe is the perfect mix of beach waves and lush garden.  The decor is ridiculously cute and the food...out of this world.  Now I'm an Avocado Toast addict and their Avocado Toast topped with a poached egg did not disappoint!  Also the Almond Milk Latte was delicious and just the perfect way to start the day.  Also get the Sugar Doughnut, Katie ordered one and shared....and I still think about it today.

Black Tap 70.5 Beaufain St

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I am addicted to ice coffee and the ice coffee at Black Tap is just the best I'd had in a while!    

I am addicted to ice coffee and the ice coffee at Black Tap is just the best I'd had in a while! 

 

Ok so claim to fame for me here... I actually knew one of the founders of this heavenly coffee shop from growing up! Blending in perfectly with the neighborhood adjacent to The College of Charleston this bright coffee shop is probably the best coffee shop in Charleston. The coffee tastes incredible, which means the owners have sourced it to perfection....which is harder than you would think.  The roast I had was lighter and not as acidic as most coffee is.  

This place is the perfect place to sit down and work, enjoy the sunlight and sip on the delicious coffee. 

The Daily  652 King St

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As many of you know I love Cold Pressed Juice so I was excited to try a coffee place that also makes it's own cold pressed. The Daily also in North Charleston is just the place to stop for breakfast and a juice to go! Owned by the people who started Butcher and Bee this place is the cutest coffee stop and go shop. They also have a heavenly Tahini Mocha that just blew me away! It is the perfect place to start a busy day of running around Charleston! Get the Green Juice, it's very well done!

Callie's Hot Little Biscuit 476 King St

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Right in the heart of Charleston sits the tiny Callie's Hot Little Biscuit.  Which is exactly what you imagine, a biscuit shop.  THE WORLD needs more shops just like this.  It was the butter oasis you think it was.  The smell of freshly baked gluten fills the air and stays with you the rest of the day.  I went for the mini cheddar biscuits and they did not disappoint. They melted right in my mouth and straight into my heart. Make sure you head here for a savory biscuit right before you leave town!

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The Rise Coffee Bar 77 Wentworth St

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Right on Wentworth, The Rise Coffee bar is an extension of the boutique Restoration Hotel. The space is super cute with gorgeous floors and so much light.  The fresh pastries are delicious and they have a great assortment of refreshing drinks. 

 

LUNCH

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Since I was in Charleston for a long time I actually got to eat lunch at a lot of great places. Which some are also awesome for dinner! 

Gnome Cafe 109 President St

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This place is a breath of fresh air. Right on Cannon this beachy dream of a vegan cafe is exactly what I needed. We arrived shortly after noon for lunch and were able to get a seat right inside.  We both went for the Taco Salad which OMG you guys is amazing.  The lentils used in the salad we're cooked to perfection and were accompanied with the most delicious creamy dressing.  We also split the fries BECAUSE WHY NOT?! Also, make sure you get a cookie. 

Huriyali  401 Huger St

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Housed in the cutest blue cottage this place is what beach juice and smoothie bars hope to be.  Not only do they offer Juice and Bowls but they also have the most perfect chicken wrap with purple potato! At the time of my visit they were still working on construction of the new addition so we start and enjoyed in the garden which was just the loveliest.  It is a little north of main Charleston, but well worth the hike.  

167 RAW 289 E Bay St

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Ok, so this was probably my favorite meal I had in Charleston.  I'm a big seafood person and if there is only one seafood place I'd say you'd have to try it's this one.  This place is the bees knees, it's just so freaking cool.  Now it's super tiny and to be honest if we had gone for dinner we probably would have waited forever so it's probably best to go for lunch or super early dinner.  Now before we went I actually did something I hate doing, I looked on Yelp. The reviews were awesome, someone said the poke had been the best they'd ever had....this statement went on to be accurate, it was the best Poke I've ever had.  We also started off with their Guac, which was some of the best I'd also had. This place is the real deal.  I also had one oyster, one because at this point it was my last day and I probably wasn't even hungry but just had to have one while I was there. We followed up the starters by each having some of their famous tacos, I had the fish taco which was everything while Katie had the 10 hour cooked Carnitas which I had a bite of and Hello gorgeous!

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 I can't even begin to honestly give this place the credit it deserves.  There is a reason it's known as the best seafood joint in Charleston, because it is.  Honorable mention for that day...Glam Meets Glam was having lunch there too.

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DINNER, DRINKS AND DESSERT! 

So I was lucky to stay with my pals and they were so amazing, and took me everywhere.  Having dinner with them every night was the best and I couldn't think of two better people to stay with. 

The Gin Joint 182 E Bay St

This darkly lit bar right of East Bay Street in the Battery area of Charleston is intimate and great for bonding over great custom gin drinks with frans.  The drinks are apparently always changing, however if you do go get the drink with the Bee Pollen and pretzel to share!

Leons, Fried Chicken and Oysters  698 King St

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If there is a fried chicken heaven this would be exactly it. This converted mechanic shop is in North Charleston and boy was it busy on a Saturday night.  When we first arrived the wait was about 45 minutes, not to worry though some one came by and got us Frose right on the spot.  Yes you read that right, frozen rose.  Ugh I can't even begin to think about it because I don't think I'll get a frozen rose that perfect ever again.  Once seated we got right to work.  We each got the fried chicken, the skin was the most crisp and delicious I've had.  For the sides I can't remember any of the ones we got except for the Scalloped potato because it was the best potato of my life. The cheese on top was melted to perfection and I'm not even kidding when I say every calorie was worth it at this place, because it WAS. 

Butcher and Bee 1085 Morrison Dr

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Ok so I've heard great things about this place and the food was good, it just took a long time to come out...like really long. However, our friend Brittney had come to join us so the conversation was amazing and the company did make up for how long the meal (over an hour) actually took to come out. 

Lewis Barbecue 464 N Nassau St

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Every time people ask me where my friends took me in Charleston and I tell them about Lewis Barbecue they say "dang you have good friends." Which I always respond to, yes I know. This fast casual BBQ joint is the best BBQ ever. No joke. It ranks in the heaven ranks with Leon's and 167 Raw. If you go get the Chopped Brisket, it is everything. Also I had this cornbread with it that was laced with happiness that I adored too.  If you go on a Sunday, get the platter. 

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I love me some Jeni's Ice Cream, so I was excited when we went there after dinner.  I hadn't been to an actual Jeni's before and had really only had it from the pints I've bought at Whole Foods so this was quite the treat since I was already of fan of the ice cream.!

If you're a food, love to eat, or are human you'll love the food scene in Charleston,  It's simply out of this world. 

-DM