Charleston City Guide.

The Stripe Charleston City Guide

I have been trying to keep my Charleston travel guide really up to date. If you are a long time reader, you already know that prior to moving here, I was obsessed with Charleston for a very long time. Pre-pandemic, I would visit at least every other month. It started with that press trip several years ago and I have been hooked ever since, even convincing (well, helping to convince… it wasn’t a lot of work) my parents to move to John’s Island. Now I’m realizing my dream: I moved last April, my sister moved last August…. we are all here and it is the best thing ever.

I just love this city so much. It’s hard to even explain it. But if you’ve never been, definitely add it to your list. It’s the absolute perfect weekend getaway.. the flight is just over an hour out of New York; so convenient! In the meantime, today I’ve rounded up all of my favorite spots for you in one handy guide.  I try to keep this post updated as I try more and more Charleston faves, old + new but I feel pretty confident that I’ve captured most of the best spots!

PS – this post also answers some frequently asked Charleston questions!

**Updated September 19, 2023**

The Stripe Charleston City Guide

oysters at leon's
oysters at leon’s… one of my fave lunch spots!

Charleston City Guide


Where to Eat

These are all alphabetized. I felt like it wouldn’t be fair to list them in any other order… I have so many favorite spots!

Bar 167 is Raw 167’most concept.

Located around the block from the original, this is a fun little spot, focusing on Mediterranean cuisine. We were worried that the small menu wouldn’t be enough to eat but we were wrong. Everything we ate was delicious. If the truffle butter is available, get that!

Basic Kitchen is a classic favorite.

It’s delicious healthy food but also with yummy drinks (get the beet margarita and the salmon bowl!) I love how open and airy it is and everything on the menu is really really good! They have a great outdoor dining area… it feels a little bit like LA.

Bistronomy by Nico has such fun, interesting food (think escargot dumplings) and great cocktails.

I really like sitting at the bar for drinks and a few fun apps.

Chasing Sage for farm fresh ingredients.

This is a delicious farm to table restaurant. I had been wanting to go forever and went with my girlfriends for my birthday. I highly recommend ordering the “everything for the table” where they course things out for you. Every bite was perfect!

Chez Nous is a really interesting concept as they only serve a few things each day.

Two appetizers, two entries, and two desserts! The best way to know what they are serving is to check out their instagram account. The space is tiny so I usually go in a small group. The food is always delicious… I would definitely say this is a must-visit while in town.

Chubby fish may be the best meal I’ve had here in ages

But be warned: they don’t take reservations, and people start lining up to get a table at 4pm. That being said, I kinda think it’s worth it? The wagyu tartare is beyond (I love the nori + rice preparation), the amberjack crudo is so good… and you have to get a caviar sammich!

FIG is another favorite favorite.

They recently remodeled the space. I haven’t been in to check it out yet, but I’m looking forward to it on my next trip. Everything on the menu is delicious. Everything. Listen to the waiters’ suggestions as they are all very knowledgeable. When I went for my mother’s birthday, they had just caught a fresh mackerel that day. I’m not usually into mackerel (I find it to be too fishy and oily) but the mackerel at FIG is epic. It melted in our mouths like butter… we ended up having to order another plate.

Hank’s has amazing seafood (I think they always win the award for best seafood in Charleston!).

It’s fancy… white linen table cloths and really, really good food (love their martinis!).

Honeysuckle Rose for a special night / tasting menu!

This is one of the best meals I’ve had in Charleston. Wow. It’s just so special. 8 courses, plus wine pairings! (For the non-drinkers they also make amazing mocktails). Truly just the most special and delicious. Sit at the chef’s table if you are able. More info on my Instagram in this post. 


I think that Husk is a little bit overrated. That being said, if you are looking for a classic Charleston Brunch (think pimento cheese, biscuits, and something fried)… go here. The food is delicious, but it’s very, very heavy. I personally love their bar even more (it’s in a separate building, adjacent to the restaurant), as it is a great place to grab happy hour. The cocktails are so, so good!

La Farfalle has such incredible Italian food.

I can’t decide which I prefer: this or Melfi’s (also amazing Italian, with a New York-ish vibe!). If you go, be sure to get the whipped ricotta, it is insanely good. I also love the linguini with clam sauce.

Leon’s Oyster Shop is one of my favorite places to grab lunch.

It’s best to go on a nice day… there’s lots of outdoor seating. Oysters, rosé, and the fried chicken sandwich. You don’t need much else in life.

Little Jack’s is owned by the same team that does Leon’s and it’s delicious.

This time around they went with a tavern type of vibe. Think burgers, truffle fries, yummy bar food. We call the Tavern Burger the “girl burger.” It’s the perfect size… not a slider, but not a full on burger. You’ll be able to eat the whole thing and still have room for dessert.

Maison has epic french food and maybe the best steak tartare I’ve ever eaten.

Seriously, so good. Same with their french onion soup preparation.

Malagon (by the same owners of Chez Nous) serves up incredibly delicious tapas.

I live for the white asparagus and any and all of their cured meats and cheeses.


OMG the hype is real, this is some of the best Italian I’ve had in ages. Definitely get the Stretch Armstrong and the Cacio e Pepe!

The Ordinary is one of my favorite spots.

The cocktails are delicious, the oysters are incredible, and don’t even get me started on the crab toast. They have a great happy hour, I love to sit at the bar with a pile of oysters, maybe the fish dip, and a glass of cold Sancerre.

The Palmetto Cafe at Charleston Place for Brunch

Oh my goodness the new brunch at The Palmetto Cafe/Charleston Place is just to die for! I have felt for a while that we were lacking in great brunch spots and this is heaven. A giant buffet with an omelette station, several carving stations, all the cheese and desserts… the greatest!

The Peninsula Grill

I have never eaten a full meal here, but go for the coconut cake. Just trust me. It’s incredible and they actually ship it worldwide.

Raw 167 is another spot that I am just obsessed with.

Great oysters, but my favorite things on the menu are the lobster roll and the tuna burger. The best thing to do is go with a like-minded friend or date (my sister is the perfect companion for this activity!) and split the two. If I were on death row, that would be my last meal.

Sorelle is really pretty and has great Italian.

This is Charleston’s new hot spot and just so incredibly beautiful. I love their Italian food. They have a proper dining room but my friends and I love to just sit at the bar.

Vern’s is a new favorite!

Fresh, farm to table meals… just always so good. It’s great for dinner, sadly they’ve stopped doing brunch. The Crudo is always exceptional and if they have the salad with bread crumbs, get that. Honestly, everything they serve is to die for. Vern’s has quickly become one of my most favorite restaurants in Charleston. I love the neighborhood feel; honestly, it reminds me a little bit of Brooklyn.

Xiao Bao Biscuit is another awesome spot for lunch.

The drinks are really delicious, and the cabbage pancake is unreal! Seriously. It sounds funny, but get it. It will change your relationship with cabbage forever!

The Zero George tasting menu is epic.

It’s a big splurge but so worthwhile. Perfect for special occasions.

The Stripe Charleston City Guide

Other Things to Do:

Bulldog Tours has such fun walking tours. We did a historical tour years ago but I really want to do a ghost tour at some point! I have also heard great things about Walk & Talk tours!

Go to the beach! Sullivan’s Island is my personal favorite but Folly Beach and Isle of Palms both have beautiful beaches.


I don’t have a manicure spot or a massage spot right now (I used to go to The Water Room before they closed – it is now Varnish Lane but I have not been yet). For hair (cut and highlights), I see Stefanie Hattaway and absolutely love her.

For facials and also Botox, I usually go to Ella Ora in Mt. Pleasant. I am a huge fan. They are amazing, but be forewarned – it takes months to get on the calendar! Completely worth the wait, I think that it’s a better facial than most places in New York. I recently had a facial at the new downtown location of Spa Azure and loved it – I also love the convenient Broad Street location.  I have heard really good things about the facials at Rawlins Studio too. For waxing I go to European Wax Center – nothing special but gets the job done. I’d love to find a spot on peninsula!

My Favorite Bookstores:

Buxton Books is a classic. It really has that neighborhood-y, local feel… and I love that they have so many fun events.

Blue Bicycle Books is my personal favorite bookstore in Charleston as they focus on used, rare, and local books!

Charleston places to visit

Charleston recommendations

Where to Drink

The Belmont is an old fav.

Amazing cocktails. I usually will have a Negroni, although last time I went, we all got piña coladas which was totally weird (they’re on the menu!!) but also awesome.

Bin 152 is an amazing wine bar.

I wish we had one in New York… I’d be there every night! It’s owned by the same team that does Chez Nous, and their selection is really really good. I go here a lot, too! (It’s right around the corner from The Mills House, so kinda perfect if you stay there!)

Graft may be my new fav wine bar?

I love their wines, their personal recommendations, their Extra Sauce wine membership (great if you are a local), and their fun happy hours!

Vintage Lounge is another fun cocktail bar.

This is probably my favorite true bar in Charleston. I love their cocktails and it’s such a pretty space! This is probably my favorite spot for a cocktail.

Sorelle is so fun

The bar at Sorelle is first come first serve and you can have dinner there if you’d like. Great bartenders, and also just the prettiest spot!

The Blind Tiger is just a great, fun dive bar (with a really pretty patio out back!).
Henry’s makes for a fun night.

It’s one bar with tons of different rooms all with different concepts. You feel a little bit like you are in a boozy party treehouse. I may be a little too old for it but it’s a fun place to go every now and again for a very specific type of night.

The Watch (the rooftop bar at The Restoration Hotel) is a great spot to grab a drink.

They have two large patios and an indoor space too which is nice when it’s hot out. The views of the city are amazing!

Where to drink in Charleston

Where to eat in Charleston

The Stripe Charleston City Guide

Where to Shop

So, the big shocker here for me initially was that Charleston has some really gooooood shopping. King Street pretty much has everything you could ever want or need. That being said, I never thought I’d be saving up to come shop in Charleston which is the case. I know it sounds nuts but I have better luck shopping here than in New York!

Hampden Clothing is my go-to.

Stacy, the owner, has the best eye. She brings in amazing designers that haven’t even hit New York’s best boutiques yet. She has an incredible eye, and it shows. You will walk in, and want everything in the store. Not to worry, the staff will have you covered. My sister and I both rely on Evelyn, our spirit animal who is both the store manager and one of the lead stylists… but the entire team is very knowledgable and helpful. I feel like all of my best investment pieces come from Hampden. Every time my sister and I visit, the one thing we have to do is pay Hampden a visit.

Croghan’s Jewel Box is a Charleston institution and a must-visit.

They carry the most incredible range of estate jewels, but then there’s also the Goldbugs line (made in house) – so many beautiful pieces! I wear these drop earrings constantly.

Beckett Boutique has a beautiful mix of contemporary clothing.
Beau and & Ro is the ultimate for pretty dresses.

They have their own private label line, too. The Annika is one of my favorite silhouettes.

The selection is smaller than Hampden but everything is meticulously selected… so many pretty things!

The Stripe Charleston City Guide

The Stripe Charleston City Guide

The Stripe Charleston City Guide



Alcove Market just launched this February and it is the cutest spot to grab coffee or breakfast. It’s located in the Jasper (a luxury apartment building) but it’s at ground level, open to anyone. It’s right by Colonial Lake which is a fun spot to walk.

Callie’s Hot Little Biscuits

There is nothing better than one of her warm delicious biscuits. Nothing. Fun fact: they have cream cheese inside the dough which keeps them extra moist and yummy.

The Daily is a great little spot for coffee and a grab and go breakfast.

Addicted to their breakfast burrito and the whipped feta toast.

Harbinger has great coffee and is the CUTEST little cafe.

Perfect place to sit and people watch and get some work done!

The Rise at The Restoration Hotel is another great spot for coffee.

I love their croissants!

Second State Coffee (formerly Black Tap) has great coffee.

It’s a fun spot to work and the quiche is amazing too!

Sorelle’s Mercato 

Great lattes and pastries!

Brown’s Court Bakery

Their coffee is delicious, but their pastries are amazing. Just get their early as things go fast.

Baba’s on Cannon

This is an absolute favorite. Great coffee, great snacks (the ham and butter sandwich is just the most satisfying?), and also fun for drinks later in the day.

Sightsee Coffee Shop

This is such a sweet little spot. Really great coffee and a cute little shop in back too.

Brown’s Court Bakery great coffee and AMAZING pastries.

But get there early as all the good stuff goes fast!

Queen Street Grocery was my go-to when I lived here for 6 weeks.

Succcch great crepes and smoothies and their cold brew is amazing. I get mine with chocolate almond milk. Bonus: they sell beer and wine in the back.

Where to Stay in Charleston

Places to Stay in Charleston

Hotels in Charleston

Where to Stay:

The Dewberry is my personal favorite.

This is where you stay if you want a luxury experience. The rooms, the bathrooms, every element is perfect. I love their lobby bar and they also have one of the best rooftops in Charleston with The Citrus Club.

Guesthouse is the perfect hybrid of home meets hotel.

It’s a collection of beautiful rental houses and apartments, all with a beautiful courtyard in the middle. The vibe is very similar to a hotel but you get more space, a kitchen, your own entrance, more privacy, etc. I did a longer post about them but I LOVE this space.

86 Cannon is the sweetest little B&B.

It’s a charming little bed & breakfast with just a few rooms. The owners are so kind and they have two beautiful dogs! You can see more of the property in this blog post.

The Restoration Hotel.

I love this spot. They have big, cozy rooms, beautiful decor (the library downstairs is incredible with its fireplace and cobalt blue chairs) and the coffee shop (Rise) is one of my favorites. They also have a fantastic rooftop bar (The Watch) which is perfect for watching the sunset with a glass of wine.

The Planter’s Inn.

The Planter’s Inn is a favorite as it is luxurious yet charming, cozy, and very central. The perfect mix! The Peninsula Grill is also attached, meaning you can grab that yummy coconut cake on your way home! The only downside is that they don’t have very many rooms so getting a reservation can be hard (and expensive). But the service, cute rooms, and convenient location make it worth it.

Zero George is one of the most beautiful hotels in Charleston, and has been ranked one of Conde Nast’s best hotels.

I am absolutely obsessed. They also have a great restaurant. It is a bit of a hike to town and less central than the other two hotels I mention, but the beautiful space makes up for it.

Best Hotels in Charleston

Charleston window boxes

But also make sure you visit Sullivan’s Island!

Poe’s Tavern is chill and relaxed and the perfect burger joint. It’s also dedicated to Edgar Allen Poe, which is pretty awesome. Get the burger.

The Obstinate Daughter is so delicious that it’s worth driving to Sullivan’s, even if you don’t have other plans there. I accidentally ordered the frittata (long story) and it was amazing. On another visit, we had the polenta fries (scrumptious) and I had the shrimp roll (like a lobster roll but maybe even better?) It’s a must. The line can be intimidating… bring a tiny snack to hold you over.

Coop has the best frosé. And so many flavors too. LOVE.

Home Team BBQ is my fav casual spot! Great pulled pork and tater tots, the salads are surprisingly good (I know, I know, who gets a salad at a sports bar, apparently me!) and the Game Changer is my favorite (very strong!) frozen drink.

Goldbug is my latest jewelry obsession. The designer/owner Ashley Reid Martin creates the most gorgeous (lightweight) brass pieces… perfect for summer/Charleston’s  humid climate where you want your accessories to be as lightweight as possible. The photos on her website don’t do the product justice, but her earrings are beyonnnd.

And also John’s Island!

My parents moved to John’s Island a little over a year ago. To be honest we probably haven’t done enough exploring BUT there are currently two places I really love!

The Wild Olive is by the same team that does The Obstinate Daughter and is absolutely delicious! My dad actually works there a few days a week. It’s some of the best Italian food I’ve ever had.

The Southern General is a little spot in a mall but has an incredible turkey sandwich. My mom and I like to split the turkey pesto sandwich.

Leave a Comment

Leave a Comment


  1. Regine Karpel:
    5.11.16 Reply
  2. Charleston is so amazing and you’re one of the people who originally put it on my radar, so thanks! We had the best time visiting recently – Zero George was just gorgeous. I used a lot of your recommendations when planning – FIG was so good, and Hampden Clothing as well (but dangerous for my wallet!). Can’t wait to go back and try some more of these places!

    5.11.16 Reply
  3. Ah, I’ve been dying to take a trip for years! Everything is so picturesque. I just need to book a trip already and make it happen 🙂

    5.11.16 Reply
  4. you really are an expert!! I’ve only been once but can agree with many of these fabulous suggestions! Bin 152, Chez Nous and Fig – yes! When I return, The Ordinary and Xao Bao are at the top of my list.

    5.11.16 Reply
  5. Judy Shappley:

    So happy to see this! We are heading to Charleston for the first time next month. Thanks!

    5.11.16 Reply
  6. Pinning this for later! Charleston is at the top of my list. I’ve heard the food there is amazing, and all of the cute houses have me sold.

    Ellen | A Pop of Pink

    5.11.16 Reply
  7. Lovely guide. Didn’t read through the whole thing yet but saved it to my Travel collection on Bloglovin’

    5.11.16 Reply
  8. kim:

    this is fantastic! Thanks for such a detailed post!!!

    5.11.16 Reply
  9. Literally LOL’ing over here over your Ordinary description. I mean I am just waiting for my embossed frequent flyer card. Miss you and love reading your guide! Memories of all your fun visits to Charleston – can’t wait to make new ones! xoxo

    5.11.16 Reply
  10. Amanda S.:

    What an amazing guide – thank you!!!

    5.11.16 Reply
  11. Allison:

    You really should be Charleston’s ambassador. It sounds so incredible… dying to plan a trip!

    5.11.16 Reply
  12. Elizabeth M.:

    love this so much – thanks for such a thorough guide!!

    5.11.16 Reply
  13. heather:

    obsessed! great guide!

    5.11.16 Reply
  14. lily:

    EPIC City guide!!! I would maybe add The Butcher’s Daughter but otherwise you got my fave spots! Totally agree re: FIG, Hampden, and McCrady’s!!!

    5.11.16 Reply
  15. Emily:

    This is the best Charleston guide I’ve seen yet!! I’m a local, and I couldn’t agree more with your selections. Beckett is my new favorite store on King,and the restaurants you listed are some of my favorites, too. Next time you’re in town, you should try Trattoria Lucca. It’s off the beaten path a bit, but definitely worth it.

    5.12.16 Reply
    • graceatwood:

      aw, thank you so much!!! And, adding Trattoria Lucca to my list! xx

      5.12.16 Reply
  16. Liz:

    From all of the photos you have posted about Charleston, it looks like Uptown New Orleans. Looks like I’ll have to come up from down South to visit one day!

    5.12.16 Reply
  17. I went to Charleston in February and stayed at The Mills House. The location really can’t be beat, and the staff is wonderful! I would definitely go back even though it’s very “hotel-y”. I’m headed back in July so I’ll be referencing this post! Thanks!

    5.12.16 Reply
  18. Barry:

    A couple of points: the Mills House was rebuilt in the 1960s and only the wrought iron balconies are original, but a good recreation. The hotel to stay in Charleston, if you are high-ending, is Charleston Place. Also, Kaminskys 78 North Market Street is unmissable if you really want to blow a diet!! Amazing gateaux.

    5.12.16 Reply
    • graceatwood:

      Ahhh thank you for the tips!!!
      I have to check out Kaminskys, next!

      5.12.16 Reply
  19. Oooh, thanks for these tips! I’ll have to keep these in mind for future vacay plans!


    5.12.16 Reply
  20. What a great post! I love Charleston and these are great tips. I’ve been to Bin 152 and loved it too!

    5.12.16 Reply
  21. The Southern Stylista:

    My husband and I honeymooned in Savannah, GA and drove up to Charleston for a day and absolutely fell in love. On your next trip I highly suggest having lunch at the Hominy Grill (the tomato pudding is the best side dish & the buttermilk pie for dessert is a must have!) and then Fleet Landing for dinner with a view-those were our faves 🙂

    xoox, SS

    The Southern Stylista

    5.14.16 Reply
    • graceatwood:

      Thank you so much for the suggestions! Both sound delicious. I’ve never had tomato pudding – intrigued!!!

      5.15.16 Reply
  22. Loved the post! This has me wanting to book a trip ASAP:) Looks live such a lovely place to visit!

    XO – Sarah

    5.16.16 Reply
  23. Joye:

    As a licensed private tour guide in Charleston for more than 28 years I loved your travel tips. When Dr Ruth took a tour with me we were both surprised at the things that were of interest to most people from New York. Contact me next time you come to town. Joye McElrath Hanna ( my family has been in SC since the 1690’s)

    5.17.16 Reply
    • graceatwood:

      Aw, I am so honored that you liked my tips!!! It’s such an amazing city!!! xx

      5.17.16 Reply
  24. This is a pretty comprehensive guide on Charleston and a good read. I live next door to charleston but have never been there. Love the pics, they do a good job of showing of the beauty of the city. Thanks for sharing this.

    6.8.16 Reply
  25. Alyssa:

    I’m looking at going to Charleston in the spring, is it necessary to rent a car if you’re staying in the historic district? Or are there Ubers, or can you walk most places?

    12.14.16 Reply
    • graceatwood:

      If you are staying in the Historic District, definitely not! Most of it is walkable and you can always take Uber or Lyft. The only reason you’d need a car is if you want to get out of the city a bit (i.e. go to Sullivan’s Island, Middleton Place, Folly Beach, etc!) Have FUN!!!

      12.14.16 Reply
  26. Lauren:

    I just went back to this post to track down the name of the iced coffee place because I couldn’t find it to recommend to a friend. Black Tap is now called Second State Coffee (changed in mid-2018).

    2.12.19 Reply
  27. Mary:

    I stayed at 86 Cannon because of you and LOVED it. I agree about the Mills House. I’ve stayed there at different times over the last 20 years because of weddings but it feels like it’s not trying hard enough. The rooms at the Hampton Inn are about as nice. Once upon a time it was considered one of the nicer hotels in Charleston because there wasn’t any competition from chic, new, boutique hotels. I think it’s time they rise to the level that’s been set for the rest of the city.

    1.20.20 Reply
  28. jen:

    Great guide. I grew up near Charleston and these are spot on (esp the meh!). 167 Raw is my fav too–but I would have the oyster po boy with the beet brown butter sauce as my last meal–sublime! 🙂

    6.21.20 Reply
  29. T:

    Hi Grace:

    My daughter is a waitress at Basil and was informed, they are closing this Spring! 🙁
    During the pandemic they realized they did well with takeout and have been keeping to that. The other locations (Mt. Pleasant and other…) will remain open. Wewill certainly miss Basil, food was excellent!

    2.21.21 Reply
  30. Lindsay Pavliga:

    Hi Grace – check out Doar Bros on Meeting Street. A little hole in the wall cocktail bar that is super small but amazing cocktails! We also love the lobby bar at the Spectator Hotel and The Dewberry is just FAB! Cheers!

    5.3.21 Reply
  31. Jaclyn:

    Hi! Chez Nous does take reservations (on Resy).

    7.23.21 Reply
  32. @Em_c_nola:

    Went to Basic Kitchen in June on a trip to Charleston right after getting engaged! Kind of a weird place for a celebratory lunch but we’re a little offbeat so?!? It was so good!

    High Cotton (not on your list) — went for brunch and we thought it was way overhyped/priced. The best meal we had was at The Ordinary…the zucchini carpaccio MY GOD! We also had a fun time sitting at the oyster bar at Pearlz and eating all the seafood.

    7.23.21 Reply
  33. Colleen:

    Are there activities in Charleston that you enjoy (outside of dining/shopping) that a visitor might enjoy? How do you spend your time? Like arts, culture, outdoor activities. I’m sure I can check elsewhere but thought I’d ask given this post. Thanks!

    7.23.21 Reply
  34. I love the architecture and the beautiful array of colors on the buildings.

    7.23.21 Reply
  35. Awesome! I just moved to Charleston yesterday after only visiting once to buy a house haha so I definitely need this list!!

    7.23.21 Reply
  36. Kate:

    Hi Grace! I’m currently in CHS living it up at The Restoration and it is fabulous! We are having a great time, thanks for all the lovely recs. Does it help you out at all if we tell the hotel that you referred us or anything like that? -Kate

    7.27.21 Reply
    • That is so sweet! I doubt they would know who I am but have so much fun and ENJOY – it’s a beautiful property. I love the bar on the roof and the coffee shop.

      7.28.21 Reply
  37. Anna:

    I lived in Charleston for four years for grad school and all of these recommendations are SPOT ON.
    The cucumber and jalapeño gimlet from the Belmont remains my favorite cocktail of all time (the game changer at home team is a very close and boozy second). I would also recommend the farro from Obstinate Daughter if you haven’t had it! And the Tattooed Moose for a great dive bar (and *amazing* corn dogs if that’s your thing). This post reminds me that I am LONG overdue for a visit! Glad you’re enjoying the Holy City.

    7.29.21 Reply
  38. Christine A:

    I’m so excited about this Charleston travel guide! I haven’t been in years but will be visiting this weekend and can hardly wait to check out these places!

    11.9.21 Reply
  39. Sam:

    Husk used to be so much better when Sean Brock was involved. It was hands down worthy of all the awards it received in the beginning. Has gone downhill the longer Sean has been away :(.

    1.16.22 Reply
  40. Christie:

    Thanks so much for such a wonderful guide! Just returned from our trip there and our favorites were melfi’s, Leon’s and browns court bakery! Only there a week but went to Leon’s and browns court twice!

    4.5.22 Reply
  41. Kate:

    When I lived in Charleston a number of years ago I made up a travel guide of all my favorite spots I would send to friends and family who were visiting or planning trips…your list is spot on, and I think I’ll just be forwarding it directly from here on out! Reading through has made me so homesick for the Holy City <3 My parents also now live on John's Island, and a couple other favorite spots nearby would be Tattooed Moose and Braised in the South… and definitely the Storey Farms and Rosebank markets out on Betsy Kerrison on the way to Kiawah! I've also recently become a fan of the Estuary for a spot to get coffee and some work done when visiting 🙂

    4.18.22 Reply
  42. Allison:

    I think I sent you a few DMs on my trip to Charleston late last year but adding my appreciation to this guide for posterity! All your recs were on point but Chez Nous was AMAZING, and I was a little nervous because I will eat anything and my husband is less adventurous. So I did lunch instead of dinner thinking if it’s not what he likes he can make up for it at dinner and they ended up having steak frites that day and he was in heaven! Anyway, if you are like me and a little nervous with the limited options, maybe reserve for lunch but I promise you won’t regret it. Also, I stayed at the dewberry and in case people don’t know – they have cars there that guests can borrow! We took one on a Sunday afternoon over to obstinate daughter for oysters and rose and it was perfect. Now I’m wishing for a trip back!

    4.18.22 Reply
    • You did! This makes me so happy. It is the best. I also just love it for lunch as it’s such a pretty spot, sitting outside with wine is the nicest.

      4.19.22 Reply
  43. Liz Cobrador:

    I’m an avid The Strip reader. Thank YOU for your recommendations. I’m so excited to be visiting Charleston for the first time this week!!

    6.7.22 Reply
    • Liz Cobrador:

      Your comment is awaiting moderation.

      I’m an avid The Stripe reader. Thank YOU for your recommendations. I’m so excited to be visiting Charleston for the first time this week!!

      6.7.22 Reply
  44. Aww, I am bit bummed you are not raving about Husk, have you been to McGrady’s?! Ever since watching Sean Brock’s Chef Table episode, I’ve been dying to visit Charleston just to eat at his restaurants alone 🙂

    And I agree with the fellow commenters who said you have a different glow about you since moving to Charleston. I’ve been following since way back when you had your old blog name but then took a break in between for other reasons and now I am back and binged your blog in the past few days 🙂 So glad you’re happy in Charleston and congrats on the house, can’t wait to see what you have planned for it!

    7.31.22 Reply
    • I love Sean Brock but Husk fell flat for me. I’ll always be honest. McCrady’s (and their tasting room!!!) was amazing, I miss it so much!

      7.31.22 Reply
      • I didn’t mean to imply you weren’t. Just hoped it lived up to the hype, that’s all.

        8.1.22 Reply
  45. Kristen Vincent:

    I just revisited this post for my upcoming trip and so excited to try some of these places! We are headed 167 sushi bar, The Ordinary, Fig, and The Obstinate Daughter! I also can’t wait to go to all your shopping recommendations!

    9.21.22 Reply
  46. Phil:

    Mills House went through a renovation and is no longer a Wyndham – it’s now Curio Collection by Hilton. Curious to get your thoughts on the updates to the rooms.

    1.3.23 Reply
  47. Marlie M:

    Always love reading your blog and instagram posts. My family and I are going to be visiting Savannah, Georgia in middle May of this year. Wondering if you have been and have suggestions where to stay, what to see and where to eat. Keep up the great posts !

    2.17.23 Reply
    • I went last year! If you scroll wayyyyy back on my instagram I posted all my recs. I think I saved some to the out of office app as well. Honestly, I probably wouldn’t go back. It was a fun trip but not my favorite. The historical stuff was cool (I loved going to Jim WIilliams’ house from Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil) I like Charleston much much more!

      2.17.23 Reply
  48. Laura:

    This was so helpful! Thank you!

    2.22.23 Reply
    • So glad!

      2.22.23 Reply
      • Tara:

        My daughter just graduated from The College of Charleston, an incredible institution. More than once we ducked into The Swamp Fox bar at the Francis Marion hotel for a quick burger and beer. Centrally located, across from the park, a quiet little spot to dive into when the humidity is on and you need a break!

        9.19.23 Reply
  49. Bridget:

    This guide has been so helpful as I plan a trip. Thank you! I can’t wait to eat and drink! I’m going to be there between Christmas and NYE. Do you have any recommendations that are specific to the holiday season? I’m a little worried about what I’ll do between meals since the weather won’t be nice enough for sitting on a beach or outside.

    6.23.23 Reply
    • Hmm, not really! I kind of think of New York more for holiday-y stuff. Charleston Place does a fun set up in their lobby.

      6.23.23 Reply
  50. Gemma:

    I’m from Scotland and visited Charleston for the first time last month. I completely fell in love! I was visiting my in-laws and your guide was invaluable – I went armed with suggestions of things I wanted to do and see during our trip which I think they appreciated. I agree that Husk is a little overrated (I’d seen it on Chef’s Table and was desperate to try it) but had an amazing meal and Southbound. The Daily was great for brunch and I made a point of going to the Peninsula Grill just for the coconut cake on your recommendation. I can’t thank you enough for creating this guide – I know it must have taken a lot of effort, but I for one and truly grateful!

    9.19.23 Reply
    • Dying to try Southbound! We just ate at Honeysuckle Rose and loved it (same team!!).
      So happy the guide was helpful 🙂

      9.19.23 Reply
  51. Dani Pierce:

    Love all these! A perfect Charleston guide, can’t wait to try a few of these food spots we haven’t hit yet!

    9.19.23 Reply
  52. Liz:

    This is so timely! My husband and I will be visiting in early Oct, kid free. We are staying at the Planters Inn. Thoughts on where we should go for lunch when we first get in? Sounds like you recommend Leon’s-I’m not an oyster girl but I do love other seafood. What do you think of the Post House Inn? And finally, any recommendations for a rooftop bar for pre dinner cocktails? I am hoping to do some shopping and then house tours while my husband is working-any thoughts of the best places to tour? I’m not quite sure how I’ll jam everything in-we only have 3 days!

    9.27.23 Reply
    • Leon’s is great for lunch!

      Post House is great too but it’s in Mt. Pleasant — I tend to hang out mostly downtown. It’s a cute little inn and I’ve been for both dinner and brucnh.

      For a rooftop bar, I love the Citrus Club at The Dewberry.

      I don’t have a rec for house tours but I’m sure you can google that and great recs will pop up. Have fun!

      9.27.23 Reply