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Charleston

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You’ve heard Charleston is genteel and mannerly, yes…perhaps.  But it is also loaded with plenty of raucous fun. Whether you’re headed down South for the amazing Spoleto Festival or just a weekend stroll among the palmettos, you are in for a good time.  Epic shopping, sprawling mansions, outrageous food–this is a town for indulgence.  But fear not, there are loads of scenic views to inspire your morning run.  You could even paddle your way through cypress filled swamps, or on saltwater to the barrier islands.  Or make it a leisurely day ambling through the farmer’s market on Marion Square, catching some Jazz or an indie band and watching the sunset from Sullivan’s Island.  The Lowcountry is calling…

South of Broad

D=Do; E=Eat/Drink; S=Shop

Corrigan Gallery 7 Broad St. (S)

Normandy Farm Bakery/Bar Normandy  19 Broad St. (E)

Utopia is an eclectic women’s fashion boutique on the Row. You’ll find contemporary urban clothes, funky Cydwoq shoes and Hobo leather satchels. But what we really love here are the pieces crafted by local artists like Currie Kilpatrick Boyd of Currie Jewelry. 27 Broad St. (S)

Brown Dog Deli 40 Broad St. (E)

goat. sheep. cow  We were so distracted by the righteous selection of wines, cheeses and gourmet goodies in this tiny little shop that we didn’t even notice they sold sandwiches. Our bad. The lovely ladies prepare a daily sandwich special. For instance, imagine biting into Sarah’s: Prosciutto cotto, Big John’s Cajun cheddar, Vermont Creamery butter, French dijon mustard and cucumber on an EVO semolina baguette. We’re there. 106 Church St. (S)

The Charleston Beer Exchange  With “over 900 bottles of craft beers and 9 rotating taps filling growlers,” these guys are the local experts on hops.  Beerophiles can check out CBE’s manager and Certified Cicerone, Brandon pontificating at Edmund’s Oast Beer Classes this fall.  Alternatively, you can just walk in and ask about a random micro-brew–chances are CBE has it. 14 Exchange St. (S)

Blind Tiger Pub and Courtyard  Walk through to the outdoor area. Though we appreciate the historic significance of the pub, the courtyard is where we want to be.  Complete with its own free standing bar, the brick arches, oak barrels, and intimate seating provide the courtyard with a mystique all its own. 36 Broad St. (E)

Fast and French (hardly anyone can pronounce Gaulart & Maliclet) This is a great little find, indeed.  Inexpensive and delicious–Fast and French has been pleasing its lucky patrons for thirty years.  The quarters are a little snug, so don’t be expecting a quiet corner by yourself. 98 Broad St. (E)

French Quarter

D=Do; E=Eat/Drink; S=Shop

Fleet Landing Restaurant 186 Concord St. (E)

5Church 32 N. Market St. (E)

Pawpaw  209 E. Bay St. (E)

Charleston Cooks! Maverick Kitchens  Everything you might need to take your culinary skills to new heights including cooking classes, if it strikes your fancy. 194 E. Bay St. (S)

Slightly North of Broad  Whether you’ve come for the Local Beef Carpaccio drizzled with red wine Dijon vinaigrette, or the BBQ Tuna topped with fried oysters, S.N.O.B. delivers beautiful, impeccably prepared dishes. Or it could just be we’re there for the basket of tender cornbread, we’re not saying. 192 E. Bay St. (E)

Magnolia’s  Don’t let the white tablecloths fool you. This is decadent Southern food, the kind we all secretly crave. Dig in to Shellfish Over Grits with lobster butter sauce and fried spinach, or the brunch favorite, Pigs in a Blanket–buffalo Chipotle sausage wrapped lovingly in orange buttermilk pancakes and topped with two happy sunnyside-up eggs. You’ll be so pleasantly sated, it will be hard not to put your elbows on the table. 185 E. Bay St. (E)

The Gin Joint is a media darling. But how could you not like a place that describes its Mint Julep as “overpoured Noah’s Mill Cask Strength Bourbon, Demerara sugar, fresh mint, and Angostura bitters.” 182 E. Bay St. (E)

Be on the lookout for Jack Rudy Cocktail Company artisan tonics made in Charleston. They’ve got what you need to take your cocktail to the next level.

Just so you know, we didn’t need to be told that Robert Lange Studios was voted the best gallery in Charleston (for the last four years). We loved it from the first moment we walked in. We were even more impressed to hear of the gallery residency program for international and national artists. In addition, RLS artists donate more than $30,000 of art to local charities. Bangin’. 2 Queen St. (D)

Anglin Smith Fine Art  We can’t resist popping into Anglin Smith if we are anywhere near. Glimpses of the luminous color peeking through the windows of the historic French Quarter building draw us every time. “The gallery features works by Lowcountry painter Betty Anglin Smith and her triplets, painters Jennifer Smith Rogers and Shannon Smith, and photographer Tripp Smith.” They also represent other regionally known artists such as Colin Page. From contemporary landscapes to abstracts and city scenes, there is something about Anglin Smith that just feels like Charleston to us. 9 Queen St. (D)

Husk epitomizes the modern food scene–ingredient driven, farm-sourced, featuring regional heirloom products with an innovative, award winning chef at the helm. We would recommend reservations, even for lunch. This place is hopping and rightly so. 76 Queen St. (E)

Atrium Art Gallery 61 Queen St. (S)

SRO 62 B Queen St. (S)

Maris Dehart 32 Vendue Range (S)

Culinary god and James Beard award-winner, Sean Brock has brought Mexican street food to Charleston with Minero, now open on E. Bay. Minero sources its corn from Anson Mills, Geechie Boy, and Masienda. Then they grind it on site to make fresh masa twice daily (resulting in Brock-worthy tortillas). Their Grilled Corn gives a nod to the South with a dose of country ham. While we are salivating to try Brock’s Chilaquiles, we’re pretty big fans of Fried Whiting, Al Pastor, and Pork Carnitas tacos…maybe we should order up an El Satanico cocktail before making this decision. 155 E. Bay St. (E)

Carmella’s Cafe and Dessert Bar 198 E. Bay St. (E)

Meeting St. Shopping District

The Dewberry 334 Meeting St. (E)

Fieldshop is Garden & Gun‘s flagship retail venture. Eat at Henrietta’s, pop in for drinks, or just amble in from Meeting St. to peruse Hunt and Gather on the first floor of The Dewberry.

Theatre 99 is home to Charleston’s improv masters. Check out their shows Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Sign up for an improv class or muster up your courage for their Stand Up competition. Theatre 99 holds two popular festivals annually–the Charleston Comedy Festival in January and the Piccolo Fringe every Spring (May/June). For those that “groove to something saltier than the mainstream,” they occasionally offer cabaret, sketch comedy, music shows, and other lively entertainment. 280 Meeting St. (D)

FIG  Their tag line is “food is good.”  We’d second that. We would even go so far as to say “it’s all good” at this establishment.  We won’t assail you with countless accolades (there are many), but if you could just order us the Ambrose Farm Suckling Pig Confit with broccoli rabe. Well, maybe the Chocolate Crepes with cinnamon ice cream too… 232 Meeting St. (E)

34 West Theatre Company 200 Meeting St. #100 (D)

Gibbes Museum of Art is a mainstay in the cultural landscape. Gibbes houses an extensive collection of work representing Charleston’s own history as well as artists whose craft was honed in the South.  With its educational outreach programs and the prestigious 1858 Prize for Contemporary Southern Art, the Gibbes Museum seeks to foster emerging talent and an enduring appreciation for fine art. 153 Meeting St. (D)

Curiosity  Soy candles, an antique locker room bench, gramophone iPod docks–this antique store is on trend.  As a matter of fact, they were voted “Best Trend-conscious Antique Store in Charleston” by (Charleston) City Paper.  We have a feeling the category was created for them. 56 1/2 Queen St. (S)

Cru Cafe  Known for their gourmet comfort food, Cru Cafe is on the short list of many Charleston natives.  The mac and cheese is epic; it is served in a large gratin dish, so bring a friend. Try the Shrimp BLT with pepperjack; and if you have room, we hear the bread pudding is legendary. 18 Pinckney St. (E)

Kaminsky’s 78 N. Market St. (E)

Le Farfalle 15 Beaufain St. (E)

Harleston Village/Ansonborough

D=Do; E=Eat/Drink; S=Shop

Hank’s Seafood  10 Hayne St. (E)

Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art  Located in the College of Charleston’s School of Art, the Halsey offers educational tours, artist lectures, and independent film screenings as well as thought provoking exhibitions of contemporary art in diverse mediums. 161 Calhoun St. (D)

Located inside The College Laundry, Persimmon Cafe serves up craft sandwiches, homemade soups and frozen custards. Who would have ever thought you could walk into a laundromat in the city and order a Crab Panini with charred onion mayo and sherry gastrique or a Basil Limeade (not to mention a Chai Dolce custard). Sod it.  We’re happy to do so, and we suggest you do the same. 226 Calhoun St. (E)

Le Farfalle 15 Beaufain St. (E)

The Port Mercantile 75 Wentworth St. (S)

The Rise Coffee Bar 75 Wentworth St. (E)

Sapphire Boutique 72 Wentworth St. (S)

Candlefish 71 Wentworth St. (S)

Black Tap Coffee  This is a great stop before you hit Gibbes Museum, or if you are just seeking a little zen retreat from King or Meeting St. We adore the persimmon orange exterior and light-filled, white washed interior.  Black Tap serves pour over craft coffee, cold brewed iced coffee on tap, and specialty drinks such as the shakerto–espresso poured over ice and shaken. 70 1/2 Beaufain St. (E)

Queen Street Grocery and Cafe  Did someone say crepes?  We’re there. Mr. Weed’s Cold Pressed Coffee is just putting us over the top, but that could be the caffeine talking. If you’d rather, any Hot Pressed Sammie made on their rosemary sea salt ciabatta is an equally solid choice. Queen Street Grocery is always a fun little stop. 133 Queen St. (E)

The beloved Vegetable Bin is relocating to TWO new spots downtown.  Keep your eyes peeled.  Get it?  Vegetables…peeled.  They carry all your favorite locally sourced food products too. 96 Spring St. in November and 241 Calhoun St. sometime early next year

Lower King Design District/ Downtown

Caviar and Bananas  Pick up some wine, cheese, gourmet goodies–whatever your heart desires at this cafe and market. Just be sure your heart desires the S’mores Kits crafted locally by Haypenny Confections and lauded by Gun and Garden magazine as the best in the South. 51 George St. (E)

Kudu Coffee and Craft Beer 4 Vanderhorst St. (E)

Dandy 43 John St. (S)

Macaroon Boutique  Can you deny the power of a french pastry? 45 John St. (E)

Filigree 47 John St. (S)

Julep 154 King St. (S)

OOBE 161 King St. (S)

South of Market carries antiques sourced from France and Belgium.  They describe their aesthetic as “clean, rustic, unique and sophisticated.”  We can’t resist winging through when we’re in town. We are always inspired by S.O.M.’s masterful use of color and scale. 173 King St. (S)

D=Do; E=Eat/Drink; S=Shop

Atelier Gallery  Re-center yourself with a little culture. This gallery is known to represent new and exciting work from regional artists as well as those from New York, California, Maine, & elsewhere. 153 King St. (D)

Peyton William Jewelry Studio  Handmade by local artist Gabrielle Egan, Peyton William Jewelry will  dazzle you with its elegant simplicity. You’ll want to layer her Bohemian Tassel Bracelets with everything. You might have a problem deciding which gemstone speaks to you the most–should it be Chrysoprase and Vermeil Flower earrings, a Blue Lapis Horn necklace,or an amazing Dark Sparkling Drusy ring? 241 King St. (S)

Worthwhile 268 King St. (S)

Allen and son bbqNick’s Bar-B-Q  is part of the Jim and Nick’s Community BBQ family, so don’t be confused when the restaurant’s waxed paper liners hail Jim ‘N Nicks.  Just focus on those heavenly cheese biscuits and hickory smoked meats. Yum skilley. 288 King St. (E)

Have no fear, the rest of King St. is after the Boroughs!

Make it down for Second Sundays on King and one big street party, sans cars, all the way down King St.  The second Sunday of every month be prepared for live music, dining in the street, cats and dogs living together…

Cannonborough/Elliotborough

Parking Tip:  Streets marked “Residential 1 Hour” means you can park for up to an hour without a residential parking decal on your car. File that under “good to know”.

D=Do; E=Eat/Drink; S=Shop

Bon Bahn Mi  Everyone from business types to grandmothers are cued up at this popular Vietnamese Sandwich Bar. Bon Bahn Mi lets you build your meal with three main options:  Bahn Mi sandwiches on toasty baguettes, tacos on warm corn tortillas, or salads with romaine lettuce and purple cabbage. The best filling choices are hotly debated, naturally–red curry beef, five spice pork or tofu, ginger lemongrass chicken, housemade pate with Vietnamese ham, or egg and Canadian bacon. Anyway you go, you’ll get their crispy shallots, pickled veggies, and a healthy cover of basil and cilantro. Dig it. 162 Spring St. (E)

Trattoria Lucca  This little neighborhood gem will blow you away.  Celebrated chef and proprietor Ken Vedrinksi rolls out his delicate pasta daily and marries it with the freshest produce and catch of the day brought to him by his local fishmonger. Trattoria Lucca’s sensational authentic Italian has kept it a city favorite since its opening. Make sure to order the Warm Cauliflower Sformatino with soft farm egg and arugula recently named one of the top dishes in Charleston. 41-A Bogard St. (E)

Elliotborough Mini Bar  This tres sweet little abode will be your favorite hang besides your own.  The Mini Bar is cozy in all the right ways.  They serve craft beers and wine from 5-10 p.m. on weekdays ( and 5-11 on weekends), plus clever snacks like “mock” griddles. Join them for Working Class Mondays with 20% off bar bevs. On Tuesdays, invited local chefs regale you with their newest creations from owner Anna Faenza’s micro kitchen. Live music nightly. 18 Percy St. (E)

Gnome Cafe 109 President St. (E)

Swing by Xiao Bao Biscuit, or XBB as the locals say, located in a former gas station on Rutledge. Bon Appetit nominated them as one of the best new restaurants in America and notes, “a husband and wife duo sling affordable, bang-up drinking food from across Asia.” Order the Okonomiyaki, the Japanese cabbage pancake to start. The black bean chicken over spicy papaya salad (Som Tom with Chicken), the Sichuan tofu in broad bean broth with chili oil (Mapo Dofou), Whole Fish, or Crispy Duck–XBB’s Asian Soul food will have you planning your next visit before you push out of your aqua chair. 224 Rutledge Ave. (E)

If you’re the type that loves to watch your foodie/chef friends cook, you’ll love the concept at R. Kitchen. They offer ringside seating for the action in the kitchen on two long interior bars and some outside patio seating. The food is receiving some early raves and spans multiple cuisines from gyros, to eggplant lasagna, and street corn to half chicken with red mole. Every Monday a guest chef commandeers the R. Kitchen to wow you with his/her culinary finesse. Be there to taste the magic. 212 Rutledge Ave. (E)

Fuel  Check out the patio out back, a favorite neighborhood hang. Whether it’s the $2 Fuel beers, or the feature on Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives, Fuel is nearly always popping. As for us, sometimes we just need a little Caribbean. The Grilled Tuna Tacos and Plantains will suit us just fine.  Try their signature Black Bean Burger with avocado-poblano spread. 211 Rutledge Ave. (E)

Hominy Grill  Food and Wine’s online mag (FWx) recently named Hominy Grill’s Charleston Nasty Biscuit one of the Best Hangover Cures in the U. S.  We’re not saying you need to be hung-over to enjoy the famous chicken biscuit with cheddar, dripping with luscious sausage gravy, but if you are you’re in luck.  Besides, you can enjoy a little hair of the dog while you wait in the inevitable line. No worries, it’s Charleston, you’re at the Hominy Grill–life is good. We’d probably go back for the Ginger Pumpkin Bread alone, line or no. 207 Rutledge St. (E)

Indigo and Cotton 79 Cannon St. (S)

You won’t want to miss Mac and Murphy to inspire your next epistolary relationship. You can even begin it in their gracious courtyard with a piece of their stylish stationary and a coffee. Warning: you’ll need to supply the coffee yourself; they’ll happily provide the inspiration. 74 1/2 Cannon St. (S)

For a sugary high, step next door to Sugar Bakeshop for the fabled Lady Baltimore Cupcake. 59 Cannon St. (E)

For a one-of-a-kind experience, make an appointment with Leigh @ Magar Hatworks for your very own millinery. Catch up with Leigh on Facebook to find open studio hours, or just to see a pic of Elvis Costello jamming in a Magar Hatworks original. 57 Cannon St. (S)

Five Loaves Cafe  We love the three small soup pours option for lunch, mostly because all their soups are phenomenal. They make their own mozzarella, dressings and condiments. Everyone knows there’s nothing like a sandwich made on “good bread,” and you’ll find it at Five Loaves. 43 Cannon St. (E)

Dave’s Carry-Out 42 Morris St. (E)

Brown’s Court Bakery now serves seasonal ice creams. We’re thinking Spiced Salted Caramel would be perfect in an Affogato. Try one of their unique croissants like Peanut Butter and Chocolate or Sriracha.  The Sri Lanken Love Cake might be next on our list. Drop by at “happy hour” (after five) for deep discounts on whatever remains on the racks. We’re seriously hoping for some of those adorable Epi French baguettes. 199 St. Philip St. (E)

Chez Nous calls itself “a pint sized, convivial neighborhood restaurant.” This intimate eatery tucked into Payne Court will make you feel tres European. We admire the confidence of the limited menu scrawled on an antique mirror–just two appetizers, two mains, and two dessert choices conjured up daily by chef Jill Mathias. The cuisine features Northern Italian, Southern French, and Southern Spanish dishes. The old world rustic charm of Chez Nous will draw you as much as Mathias’ glorious food. 6 Payne Court (E)

D=Do; E=Eat/Drink; S=Shop

Sweet Radish Bakeshop, 207-A Saint Philip St., is your official gluten-free yumminess provider. (E)

While you’re in neighborhood, check out Artisan Tees for abundant screen prints and cottony goods as well as vintage jewelry. Andy’s printed leggings sell out quickly. 47 Spring St. (S)

It is definitely more of a bar crowd at Warehouse. Shoot some pool, eat a little grub, and hang with your friends. That is all well and good, but Warehouse–you had us at “deviled egg of the day.” 45 1/2 Spring St. (E)

Artisan Meat Share  It all started with Cypress’ CSA-style pick up for gourmands a few years back. You might have needed to be on the inside track to really take advantage of the Artisan Meat Share goods in the past, but no longer.  With their recently opened brick and mortar shop a scant block off King, Artisan Meat Share can now be enjoyed by “everyman.” Walk over for celebrated charcuterie and smoked meats.  It stands to reason that their in-house sandwiches are phenomenal, oh meat lovers. P.S.–Bacon jam is offered as a condiment, and they’re serving a little thing called barbecue baked peanuts. Happiness. 33 Spring St. (E)

Crooked Crown 21 Spring St. (E)

Warehouse

Candy Shop Vintage  9 Cannon St. (S)

The Grocery  Chef Kevin Johnson was named a semifinalist for the James Beard Foundation’s Best Chef of the Southeast this year. You may take that as a ringing endorsement for The Grocery’s food. As a bonus, you can enjoy it in their big, open, light-filled space on the corner of Cannon St. far from the madding crowd. Enjoy a Piggy Plate (it’s a real thing) and a cocktail, or a full out dinner. We are partial to a couple of Death by Mimosas with housemade orange cello and Prosecco along with Green Eggs and Ham at brunch. Or if we’re feeling a little carbtastic, we might just fork into the brioche french toast. Either way, you’ll leave a little happier than you came. 4 Cannon St. (E)

Village Repertory Co. at the Woolfe Street Playhouse  Go see them in their new digs in the Meddin Meat Packing Warehouse. Check out Season 14 here. 34 Woolfe St. (D)

Walk a few blocks to clear that sugar buzz to Redux Contemporary Art Center. Feel free to browse artists’ studios or even take the Sunday evening Drop-In Figure Drawing class. C’mon, you know you want to. 136 Saint Philip’s St. (D)

Pane e Vino is an cozy little Italian spot, tucked away on Warren St.  Go for the outdoor tables under the twinkly lights and the fresh pasta along with a little vino.  You’ll be spouting lines from Moonstruck soon. 17 Warren St. (E)

Ted’s Butcherblock  We’re partial to the Friday Night Cookouts.  Pick your cut, and they’ll fire it up on the Big Green Egg. Not to get all “Captain Obvious” on ya, but the 3-year Gouda Mac and Cheese will be one of our sides. With desserts like Chocolate Marble Cake with Cookie and Almond Crumble nestled in a ladle of Strawberry Consomme, it might be hard to keep us away.  Ted’s is a cut-to-order butchershop and carries loads of artisan goodies to stock your pantry. 334 E. Bay St. (E)

Bay Street Biergarten  If you ponder why you always see a crowd in the Biergarten when you pass by, it might be a Cornhole tourney, the Bridge Run Bonanza, or countless other happenings.  Of course, it could be the beer, or the chicken and waffle sammy. If you were wondering what the “goings on” are in Charleston, consult the Charlie Calendar, kindly supplied on Bay Street’s website.  www.readcharlie.com/calendar/  We think it’s swell. 549 E. Bay St. (E)

Mercantile + Mash / Bar Mash  701 E. Bay St. (E)

Food Truck Watch: Roti Rolls, Tokoyo Crepes, Outta My Huevos, Coastal Crust, Diggity Doughnuts, Auto-Bahn Vietnamese Sandwiches, Zombie Bob’s pizza, Booze pops
Be on the lookout  for Pop Up Yoga classes in urban spaces with local bands and D.J.s spinning.  YogaPop’s inaugural event at the Bus Shed was a phenomenal success, so we’ll eat our hats if another doesn’t appear on the radar soon…

Upper King

D=Do; E=Eat/Drink; S=Shop

Farmers Market on Marion Square  Don’t miss it! Charleston Farmers Market is in full swing every Saturday (mid-April until December 8 a.m.-2 p.m.). This is an opportunity to meet the craftsmen and sample a wide variety of local goods from sweetgrass baskets to furniture constructed from reclaimed Southern wood. After a leisurely amble through the stalls, pick up a Roti Roll at Charleston’s favorite food truck or walk a few short blocks on King to Closed for Business with 42 taps for beerophiles.  Vendors not to miss: Landrum Tables and Kate Rothra Fleming‘s jewelry. (S)

Lulu Burgess 409 King St. (S)

Beckett Boutique

Virginia’s on King  After taking in the bustle on King, this place is just downright relaxing. Order a little southern comfort food and take a load off. 412 King St. (E)

Blue Bicycle Books  Four reasons to shop at Blue Bicycle: 1. They go into Charleston’s Burke public high school  with local poets and help kids write and publish poetry. 2. They sponsor creative writing camps for kids every summer.  3. They host YALLfest!, Charleston’s Young Adult Book Festival. 4. They carry the best collection of used, rare, and local books in the Lowcountry. 420 King St. (S)

Proof was nominated for Food and Wine’s The People’s Best New Bars award. Voting is still open. Drop by for a carefully constructed cocktail or two and solidify your decision. 437 King St. (E)

Closed for Business  This “Draught Emporium” boasts an enviable beer list (42 taps) and a hip vibe, complete with taxidermy statues of your favorite furry friends and vintage marquee letters. Go to look good in dim lighting or to please your inner beer nerd. 453 King St. (E)

Though honestly, if you’ve made it to this stretch of King St., you have reached restaurant nirvana. Basil is just across the street with Thai food the likes of which you may dream of at night. 460 King St. (E)

Have you worked up an appetite yet? Cut across King St., to savor some serious sushi at O-Ku. If your schedule permits, Monday-Wednesday-Friday are considered Happy Hour days. Feast on half price sushi from 5-7 p.m. 463 King St. (E)

Music Farm is a great place to see a band. They book both local and national acts.  If you want to seem hip, call it “The Farm.” 32 Ann St. (D)

Feathertop  23 Ann St. (E)

The Rarebit is way up there on our desirable list. You’ll feel like you’ve known them all your life, or you’ll wish you had–Chicken and Waffles with Sorghum infused syrup, beer battered cod, Granny Smith Apple Pie…simple pleasures done oh so superbly. For the love of all that is holy, order a Moscow Mule in the swanky little copper mug. If you make it there for breakfast, the Huevos Rancheros are a must (and yes, add pork). 474 King St. (E)

Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit  Pretend you didn’t hear us moan with pleasure after one bite of Callie’s Cheese and Chive biscuits. Black Pepper Bacon, Country Ham, Blackberry–go for the three biscuits for five bucks deal, at the very least.  This place will inspire true gluttony, but it feels so right. As if it couldn’t get any better, we just found out Callie’s has teamed up with their neighbor Rarebit to bring you a spectacular Fried Chicken Biscuit: the crispy, spicy chicken via Rarebit and the sriracha mayo, housemade pickles and epic biscuit care of Callie’s. It is available late night on the weekends between 10 p.m. and 2. 476 1/2 King St. (E)

Pure Theatre  While in Charleston, this is the place for cutting-edge, contemporary, live theatre. Check out Season 12 here. 477 King St. (D)

One Love Design 478 King St. (S)

The Macintosh  This is the type of place where you might need the server to explain a dish–unless you actually know the difference between Triggerfish and Rudderfish.  In which case, color us impressed.  But even if you are more like us, and only have a vague idea what you’ve just ordered, you’ve still got a great chance it will be amazing. Open for dinner, brunch and the bewitching time they like to call Bacon Happy Hour. 479-B King St. (E)

Glazed Gourmet Doughnuts  This place is on point.  Inventive flavors that will perplex and amaze you await: Irish Car Bomb filled with homemade Bailey’s cream and topped with a Guinness glaze; Strawberry Lime Basil, strawberry filled with a basil lime finish; and Blue Cheese Cabernet featuring a pear jam, Cabernet glaze and blue cheese honey drizzle; among many more…481 King St. (E)

Smoke BBQ 487 King St. (E)

Ro Sham Beaux 493 King St. (S)

Don’t miss the quarterly Lowcountry Artist Markets held at the Music Farm. While away an afternoon browsing delightful handmade and vintage items.  Find locally crafted gifts, art, jewelry, stationary, prints and more.  More details here.

With flavors like Riesling Poached Pear Sorbet, Bangkok Peanut, and Cherries Kickapoo, it’s no wonder the line was down the block opening day. Plan your trip to Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream now because it is indeed, splendid. No foolin. 499 King St. (E)

Charleston Distilling Co. 501 King St. (D)

Channels  Steezy hats, Roark Revival nickel flasks,Tor jewelry, Kim and Zozi beaded cuffs, Vans, plus all the flannel and boots necessary to keep you styling for fall.  Channels carries the quality goods to keep both ladies and bros looking tight. 507 1/2 King St. (S)

The Darling Oyster Bar  513 King St. (E)

Pulp 535 King St. (S)

You are also just a few blocks away from The Ordinary, which is anything but. This fancy seafood and oyster hall will blow your mind. Be prepared to spend here, and you will come away with a memorable evening. The Oyster Sliders, Squid a la Plancha with sunchokes, the Snapper with Beet Borscht–sometimes it’s better to just have the decision made for us.  Thankfully, The Ordinary has a prix fixe menu for everyday of the week: soup, daily entree and dessert for $35.  Our culinary fate is in your hands. 544 King St. (E)

Further up King St. is HoM. For a truly superb and inventive burger, the extra few blocks is worth it. Besides, there’s ping pong tables in the back. Need we say more? 563 King St. (E)

Building Art Workshop 609 King St. (S)

Saint Alban 710 King St. (E)

Palace Hotel is generating a bit of buzz. For those who love bars that closely resemble a dive on the outside, Palace Hotel is just your speed. Even Mike Lata seeks out Palace’s hot dogs we’re told. We’ll take the Get Low Country Dog with chili, pimento cheese, and Worcestershire cream. Fans of Bravo’s “Southern Charm” will want to haunt this Shep Rose establishment. 35 Hanover St. (E)

The Alley  Kick it old school with Mortal Combat, Donkey Kong and the like. Or lace up those bowling shoes after a little lubrication at the bar. You can munch on a Pan Bagnet or a Beer Braised Bratwurst; and just in case you missed the county fair, Funnel Cake and Fried Oreos are both available. Definitely bring some change for Skee Ball or the Raiders of the Lost Ark pinball machine. We’re saving ours for Ms. Pac Man. 131 Columbus St. (D)

Encore Architectural Salvage 650 King St. (S)

Hire Wire Distilling Co. “Charleston’s first distillery since Prohibition” is on upper King waiting for you to discover them. Take a tour, grab a stool for a tasting, or simply skip to the good stuff and stock your bar with their exquisite spirits.  We always go for Hometown Vodka, but be sure to try the Hat Trick Extraordinarily Fine Botanical Gin made with juniper berries, fresh lemon and orange peel (along with liquorice root and cardamom).  We are dying to serve Hire Wire’s Quarter Acre Sorghum Whiskey at our next dinner party, preferably in front of a fire. 652 King St. (E)

The Daily is brought to you by the fine folks of Butcher and Bee.  Stop in for your portion of caffeine (Stumptown coffee) and a pastry (sweet & savory) or breakfast sandwich. They also have wine, beer, and a myriad of cold-pressed juices.  We like to multi-task, so being able to grab a batard of crusty bread for dinner while we’re sipping our espresso shots pleases us. Thanks, Daily! 652 King St. (E)

Leon’s Fine Poultry and Oyster Shop  Leon’s is most definitely one of our favorite spots in town. If you’re a fan of Char Grilled Oysters (or want to be), park your bike out front.  The fried chicken has become a near cult favorite in the short time since Leon’s opened its doors. Avocado on Sourdough might just be our favorite snack. Saddle up to their great looking bar; from cheap beer to fine champagne, Leon’s has what you’re looking for. 698 King St. (E)

Craving an authentic Belgian waffle?  La Gaufre can hook you up with some amazing Liege-style street waffles. They take orders over social media for boxes of the “soft, doughy waffles, filled with pearls of melted sugar.” Click here for La Gaufre’s Facebook page.

Pancito & Lefty  708 King St. (E)

Little Jack’s Tavern 710 King St. (E)

The Vinyl Countdown 724 King St. (S)

Harold’s Cabin 247 Congress St. (E)

The Workshop  Bad Wolf Coffee; Slice Co.; Pink Bellies; Juan Luis; JD Loves Cheese; and Kite Noodle 1503 King St. (E)

Hampton Park/ North of Morrison/ Wagener Terrace

Once Upon a Treat  774 1/2 Rutledge Ave. (E)

The Park Cafe  Breakfast is our favorite meal here, and we’re not alone. The Fried Egg Sandwich with bacon, avocado and spicy mayo is their most popular item.  Try their one of their Cold Pressed Creations like the Siddhartha (almond and caramel) or the Blueberry Beret (cardamom and pepper).  The porch seating is equally as lovely as the bright and airy interior.  Open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. 730 Rutledge Ave. (E)

Lewis Barbecue 464 N. Nassau St. (E)

Martha Lou’s Kitchen 1068 Morrison Dr. (E)

It won’t surprise you to hear Edmund’s Oast was also nominated for Food and Wine’s The People’s Best New Bars award. The Oast has been garnering a huge following, not only for its huge draft selection (48 taps of in-house and craft beers) and specialty cocktail menu, but also for its incredible food. This sophisticated gastropub offers fresh or cured meats for their charcuterie boards. The Pickled Shrimp on Evo rye bread is a must, and don’t overlook the cornbread with honey butter. Sit outside in their ample courtyard and follow Robert Capon’s advice emblazoned on the grey wall (lose track of time). 1081 Morrison Dr. (E)

Butcher and Bee  See this sandwich shop’s daily menu posted on their Facebook page. The reclaimed wood community tables, hodgepodge vintage chairs and obligatory line out the door will tell you, this place is happening. They put together some pretty great pop up dinners too (BYOB). 1085 Morrison Dr. (E)

Tattooed Moose  This neighborhood bar is known for  Mike’s Famous Duck Club sandwich. There’s no pretense here.  Just grab a table or a stool, if you can find one, and relax–you’re at the Moose now. 1137 Morrison Dr. (E)

The Commodore 504 Meeting St. (E)

Spero 616 Meeting St. (E)

goat. sheep. cow. north  804 Meeting St. (E)

Rutledge Cab Company  Popular with the late-night crowd, you can approach Rutledge’s bar from the interior or the patio side. You’ll gain the admiration of your pals if you can handle one of their big inventive burgers like the Beef Braised Burger, topped with pot roast, smoked onion aioli, tempura poblano peppers and hoop cheddar. They serve breakfast all day. Make sure to save room for a Spiked Shake. The Frozen Siberian has our attention with Coffee Liquor, Stoli Vanilla, and Allspice Dram. 1300 Rutledge St. (E)

Revelry Brewing 10 Conroy St. (E)

North Charleston

D=Do; E=Eat/Drink; S=Shop

Library by Lauren Lail 1630-1 Meeting St. Rd. Suite 308 (S)

You’ll find Striped Pig spirits on the cocktail menu of The Obstinate Daughter and Blind Tiger Pub along with other discerning Charleston establishments. Their ingredients are locally grown “from grain to glass.” We love that Striped Pig donates their unused mash back to local farms. Recently Huffington Post ran a feature by Rick the Rum Runner naming Striped Pig’s rum one of the best under 30 bucks. Currently the distillery produces rum, vodka, and shine, but we hear new spirits are being released this fall. Go check out The Striped Pig Distillery for a tour or tasting Thursdays or Fridays from 3-7, and Saturdays 12-5. 2225 Old School Dr. (E)

Park Circle Film Society shows great films inside the Olde Village Community Building on Jenkins.  Screening “art house favorites, first-run indie films, shorts, and evocative documentaries,” all focused on enriching the community through film. They even offer free popcorn.  Don’t miss the annual Lowcountry Shorts Festival every September with entries from local, regional, national, and international filmmakers. 4820 Jenkins Ave. (D)

Evo’s Pizza  We heart Evo’s.  The pork trifecta, the pistachio pesto…it is hard to pass up an Evo’s pie (and so definitely worth the drive). 1075 Montague Ave. (E)

Celadon Outlet  If you are looking for a bargain, and who isn’t, put the Celadon Outlet in your rotation. It is open on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.  Be advised.  2221 Noisette Blvd. Suite 1655 Unit 20A (S)

Coast Brewing Company  This family-owned craft brewery starts with local and organic ingredients. They like to do things a little differently, and it shows in their beer. Everyone has their favorites, but two Coast standouts are Blackbeerd Imperial Stout (bourbon barrel aged) and Boy King Double IPA (rated world class by Beer Advocate with a score of 96/100). 1250 2nd St. (E)

Mixson Market  Check out this cute little market in Park Circle carrying “curated goods and quality provisions.” Mixson has outstanding sandwiches on crusty bread, Counter Culture coffee, Jeni’s Splendid ice cream–how could you go wrong?  Buy a ceramic growler, and fill it up.  Head out to the bocce court outside. Bring you dog. The Farmers Market happens on Saturday mornings 10 a.m.-3 p.m. We love their new flower shop too. 4338 McCarthy St. (E)

Holy City Brewing  We’re going to order the Pluff Mud Porter whenever available because we’re just cool like that. Chris Brown, Head Brewer modestly stated, “We’re not saving lives here. We just make beer.” That’s why we love Holy City.  They keep it real. Join ’em for Yoga Brunch every Sunday at 11 a.m. with a 45 minute session followed by a 16oz. beer tasting. Food truck will be on site. Live music on Friday evenings. Go fill your growler! 4155 Dorchester Rd. Suite C (E)

Avondale/ West Ashley

D=Do; E=Eat/Drink; S=Shop

When you are looking for a “come as you are” place for brunch, check out Triangle Char and Bar. Yes it will be a little noisy, a little rowdy, perhaps crowded–but there will be plenty of folks who just rolled out of bed, just like you. 828 Savannah Hwy. (E)

Gala Desserts 829 Savannah Hwy. (E)

For fresh and sustainable seafood, Pearlz Oyster Bar is your “go to.” To avoid the parking woes of downtown, head to their West Ashley location. Try their famous spicy oyster shooter. Voted best Happy Hour and Raw Bar by the locals. 9 Magnolia Rd. (E)

Swig & Swine  Go there for the succulent pulled pork and smoky beef brisket.  Although the rib meat nearly falls off the bone, so there’s that. They serve a bevy of sauces including white and mustard. 1217 Savannah Hwy. (E)

The Glass Onion  The checkered laminate floor and acoustic ceiling tiles belie the mac-daddy, whoop-ass cooking going on in the Glass Onion kitchen. This place is soul food heaven. For reals. Jennie Ruth’s Deviled Eggs, the Buttermilk Fried SC Quail, any Po Boy, the collards–so good they’ve published a cookbook. 1219 Savannah Hwy. (E)

Early Bird Diner 1644 Savannah Hwy. (E)

Earshot Records is “South Carolina’s largest fully independent record store.”  Drive on over and get some ear candy. 1663 Savannah Hwy. (S)

Boxcar Betty’s  Steroid and anti-biotic free bird in the best Fried Chicken Sandwich you’ll ever wrap two hands around.  The Boxcar is perfectly fried chicken topped with pimiento cheese, peach slaw, spicy mayo, and housemade pickles on a fluffy Ashley Bakery bun.  You could also choose to build your own sammy with a number of other toppings, among them–fried green tomatoes, bacon jam, shallots, or Sriracha sauce. 1922 Savannah Hwy. (E)

Craft Conundrum 630 Skylark Dr. (E)

Frothy Beard Brewing 1401 Sam Rittenburg Blvd. (E)

Ms. Rose’s Fine Food & Cocktails 1090 Sam Rittenburg Blvd. (E)

Charleston Artist Collective  So even though it’s really an online venture and not a brick and mortar shop, it’s worth a mention.  Charleston artists respond to a monthly theme.  A portion of  the profits benefits local charities. www.charlestonartistcollective.org

Mount Pleasant Design Trip

D=Do; E=Eat/Drink; S=Shop

Sesame Burgers and Beer is developing a near permanent spot on City Paper’s annual Best of Charleston list. They have three locations around town, but why not hit up their shiny new one in Mt. Pleasant. Sesame Burgers serves hormone-free meats, ground in-house. The list of toppings is extensive. So you’re free to do a little experimenting. Liquor milkshakes, too!  675 E. Johnnie Dodds Blvd. (E)

Candelabra  This well known lighting emporium also carries home decor. Though the selection is not as extensive as their online presence, understandably, Candelabra is definitely worth a visit. 404 Coleman Blvd. (S)

The Wreck of Richard and Charlene 106 Haddrell St. (E)

The Shelter Kitchen + Bar 202 Coleman Boulevard (E)

ESD Elizabeth Stuart Design 210 Coleman Boulevard (S)

Paige’s Okra Grill  302 Coleman Boulevard (E)

Charleston Artist Collective 414 Whilden St. (S)

Rudi’s Old Village Wine Shop 115 Pitt St. (E)

Out of Hand; South; Out of the Garden This little strip in the Old Village contains the loveliest collection of shops to beguile you. 113 Pitt St. (S)

The Old Village Post House Restaurant  The food is wonderful. Agreed. But are we allowed to admit, we really just love staring at the mammoth painting of Rhett and Scarlett in the dining room? Seriously, it makes us feel like genteel Southerners. 101 Pitt St. (E)

Blue Sky Endurance 725 Coleman Blvd. (S)

The Granary is moving. Check out  their Happy Hour during the week for a number of half-price small plates. Weekends mean Mimosas–bring a few friends along for brunch and order a $10 carafe with your decadent Duck and Waffles with jalapeno-peach jam or Fatboy (crispy pork belly, scrambled eggs, sausage gravy, biscuit and grits). 835 Coleman Blvd. (E)

Teal Boutique 1225 Belk Dr. (S)

Celadon Home  Carve out a good bit of time to visit Celadon. It is larger than you might imagine and brimming with case goods, textiles, jewelry, and unique home accents. 1015 Johnnie Dodds Blvd. (S)

Lyndon Leigh  1944 Long Grove Drive (S)

Two Brunettes 616 Long Point Rd. (S)

Westbrook Brewing Company  We love Weis Weis Baby…bum bada bum bada bum bum. Try their newest release Four Roses Bourbon Barrel Aged Mexican Cake inspired by their top-rated Mexican Cake Imperial Stout. 510 Ridge Rd. (E)

Abide a While Garden Center  Admit it–you’re dying to get your hands in the dirt after being inspired by the masterful plantings around town.  We don’t blame you.  Check out the local favorite, Abide a While, and pick out a few new plants to make your green space sing. 1460 N.Hwy.17 (S)

Jack’s Cosmic Dogs  Try the Planet Dog with Jamaican relish and yellow mustard. Yeah, man.  Plenty of dogs to suit anyone’s taste, even Alton Brown (Cosmic Dog with blue cheese slaw and sweet potato mustard). 2805 N.Hwy.17 (E)

Sullivan’s Island

However, if your day feels more Poe than Mitchell, swing over to Sullivan’s Island and the infamous Poe’s Tavern. On the island, Poe’s Tavern is replete with all you want from a beach pub, including burgers named after Edgar’s short stories. Try the Sleeper, house ground beef topped with roasted garlic blue cheese and buffalo fried shrimp. 2210 Middle St. (E)

Obstinate Daughter was just named by Conde Nast Traveler as one of the Best New Restaurants in the South. Ascend the stairs and enter the O/D’s “Food Fort,” complete with globe chandeliers made of rope and weathered plank ceiling. Executive Chef Jacques Larson’s food will likely hold you captive with its bold and nuanced flavors. Plates of Grilled Octopus with white beans and collard flower kimchi are offered alongside Ricotta Gnocchi with short rib ragu and horseradish gremolata.  The pizzas are equally masterful with options like The Five Fathom Hole (clams, fennel, and chili flake) or The Baller (pork meatballs, red pepper and onion). 2063 Middle St. (E)

James Island

D=Do; E=Eat/Drink; S=Shop

Sunday Brunch Farmers Market  We don’t know where else you’re going to find a farmers market that offers both pony rides and the occasional yoga class under live oaks. Sundays 11 a.m.- 2 p.m. Good times. 2113 Medway Rd. in Medway Park (S)

A Charleston institution, The Pour House features bands like Folly Beach’s Dangermuffin and New Orleans’ Soul Rebels Brass Band. The Charleston Pour House was voted Best Rock Music Club by City Paper readers two years running. Get out and see some live music. To grab some sustenance before the show, venture over to the back deck to enjoy The Lot’s fresh, seasonal fare. 1977 Maybank Hwy. (D)

The Lot sources all their meat and produce from local farms. Chef Alex Lira worked for Tom Colicchio at Craft and is fanatical about honoring his ingredients; all good news for us. The Lot is connected to a rock club, so we won’t expect you to use a separate fork for your salad. 1977 Maybank Hwy. (E)

Maybank Public House 1970 Maybank Hwy. (E)

Big Belly Kitchen and Tap House  If it’s good enough for Bill Murray, it’s good enough for us (particularly if there’s any of that Chocolate Sea Salt Carmel Cake left). From the owners of Fat Ninja and Lechon food trucks, Big Belly serves casual grub and craft beers. Be sure to give serious consideration to whatever special is listed. 1014 Fort Johnson Rd. (E)

Roadside Seafood  807 Folly Rd. (E)

John’s Island

D=Do; E=Eat/Drink; S=Shop

The Barrel is a little like camp, only with 37 craft beers on tap in the “canteen.” The abundance of reclaimed wood paneling makes us feel all cozy inside. Outside there’s plenty of room to roam, an oyster roast shed (also used as cover for visiting bands), doggie pool, corn hole and picnic tables to plop down at with your friends. The proximity to the marsh will lend a bit of serenity to your hectic week. Get on down there–food trucks and tasty brews await. 1859 Folly Rd. (E)

Loophole 2817 Maybank Hwy. (E)

Low Tide Brewery 2863 Maybank Hwy. (E)

Wild Olive If you haven’t ventured to the Wild Olive, you need to move it up your list of imperatives. Chef Larsen’s regional Italian classics are so impeccably prepared, you’ll admonish yourself for not going sooner. The Agnolotti stuffed with milk-braised veal finished with lemon, parsley and toasted almond is sublime. They’ve just brought back the velvety Butterscotch Budino for fall. Surrender. 2867 Maybank Hwy. (E)

The Fat Hen Sunday brunch 3140 Maybank Hwy. (E)

The Southern General  is a tasty sandwich spot in an unlikely strip mall setting. Go in anyway. The Sesame Shrimp Po Boy with sweet chili slaw and “juambo mayo” is a winner and perfect with their cucumber salad. Somehow we can’t stop thinking of the Warm Chocolate Moonpie with vanilla ice cream and strawberry preserves.  Wrong, we know. 3157 Maybank Hwy. (E)

Stono Market and Tomato Shed Cafe 842 Main Rd. (E)

Angel Oak Restaurant 3671 Savannah Hwy. (E)

Folly Beach

D=Do; E=Eat/Drink; S=Shop

The ‘Wich Doctor is serving up some righteous sandwiches there at The Edge of the World.  The Hanoi Hoagie with lemongrass beef, Vietnamese condiments and Nuoc Cham has put us under its spell.  Though the Korean BBQ and Kimchee is equally entrancing. 106 W. Hudson St. (E)

Bert’s Market  If you’re spending any quality time on Folly, you’ll inevitably need Bert’s Market. Their motto: “We may doze, but we never close.” Good thing, because somewhere down the line you’ll need a growler refill (and chances are it will be late). They also carry around 200 wines, local produce, and snacks of all sorts. From their facebook page: “Patronized by freaks, surfers, skaters, crunks, retirees, tourists, stoners, day trippers, hippies, hipsters, and regular folk, Bert’s is the rockingest grocery in town.”  Agreed. 202 E. Ashley Ave. (S)

Taco Boy  This festive little Mexican joint, right on the main strip, is a happy diversion. Try the frozen screwdriver.  Order a Tempura Avocado Taco topped with a sweet Thai chili glaze and citrus slaw (and $1 goes to support the Green Heart Project–an awesome Farm-to-School program in S.C. More about the Green Heart Project here. 15 Center St. (E)

Surf Bar is the quintessential beach bar dive. Be sure to make it to the fireplace on the deck out back, the primo spot in the off-season. 103 W. Cooper Ave. (E)

Have you heard about Commune? Now, we love a dinner party, but this “supper cult” knows how to take it up a notch!  From their website:  “Commune is a community dining experience. Each dinner brings you an inside look at a local roastery, brewery, farm, and fishing dock, highlighting how close Chefs and members of our community work together to passionately create something unique.”  Click to learn about their next event here.

Out of Doors Adventures

Arthur Ravenel Bridge and GreenwayWe know what you’re thinking Southern Charm fans, and no, Thomas Ravenel will not most likely be present. However, with a 12 ft. wide pedestrian/bike path which extends the 3 miles from E. Bay St. to Patriot’s Point in Mt. Pleasant, this bridge is prime territory for runners and walkers alike. The great views draw a crowd.

For bike rentals try Mike’s Bikes and Backwoods 808 Folly Rd. or The Bicycle Shoppe 280 Meeting St.

Speaking of Patriot’s Point, if you’re a history buff or just attracted to the paranormal, check out the USS Yorktown Ghost Tours for “stories of sacrifice, heroism, and the unexplained.” Skeptical of SyFy’s Ghost Hunters (who failed to debunk the USS Yorktown ghost stories)? Mount your own investigation. Click here for more info.

Explore the Lowcountry by kayak or paddleboard with the good people of Coastal Expeditions. They also book Sunrise Photography Tours of Boneyard Beach on Bulls Island at low tide each month. Check their website for more details.

Cypress Gardens:  Take a self-guided flat bottom boat ride through Cypress Gardens in nearby Moncks Corner, only 25 miles north of Charleston.

Farmbar  The silver Spartan will soon be returning to Awendaw Deux Puces farm reincarnated as the Farmbar Smokeshack.  Keep an eye out for Tara Derr Webb and her peeps. Whatever they’re doing, we will happily follow. Not only does Webb deliver the homesteader’s experience, she does it with such effortless style, you’ll feel more hip just being in closer proximity.  Often collaborating with the best and brightest creatives in Charleston, you’ll want to keep up with Farmbar’s comings and goings here.


© 2017

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5 Responses to Charleston

  1. Renita Davis-Kelley

    I am loving your website. My family and I are heading to Charleston, SC next month, I can’t wait to visit some of places from your site. I am excited! Thanks for sharing, promise to keep you posted after returning from our vacation.

    Have a restful and safe summer.

    With Warm Regards,

    Renita

    Reply
  2. JD

    Can’t believe Page’s Okra Grill or anything on Shem Creek didn’t make the Mt Pleasant section!!

    Reply
    • hiptraveler

      JD–We plan on doing a little more on Mt. Pleasant soon! Thanks for the read.

      Reply

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