Slightly North of Broad (S.N.O.B.) – This restaurant was the first part of our progressive dinner. We each ordered a drink and the deviled shrimp cake to share. Everything was excellent and the staff was amazing.
Husk – This restaurant was part two of our progressive dinner. Husk is elegantly decorated with two floors of seating. We shared three side dishes: cornbread, corn grits, and grilled heirloom beans. While the food was delicious, the service was a little disappointing.
FIG – We visited FIG twice and as I’m sure you can imagine, both experiences were phenomenal. The first time, we tried their kale and sweet potato minestrone and their rabbit terrine en croute. Hands down, the best minestrone (if not soup) I have ever had. The terrine was delicious. When we returned to FIG (part three of our progressive dinner), we ordered two desserts: vanilla malt cake with buttered rum and roasted banana ice cream and a citrus soufflé with blood oranges and pistachios. Both were outstanding, though my cake-loving self died over the malt cake. FIG’s service was amazing.
Hominy Grill – Hominy Grill is a southern style restaurant with a cute interior and fun staff. I ordered the grilled vegetable plate with cornbread, greens with mustard, and field peas over rice. It was good but if I came here again, I would order the grilled eggplant and herbed goat cheese sandwich which came with roasted red peppers on sunflower toast. I had a few bites of it and I loved it – I also got to try a bite of their Charleston biscuit with fried chicken dish. Definitely go for it if you’re a fried chicken and biscuit lover.
Toast – We visited Toast for breakfast. I ordered the stuffed French toast which was literally a chunk of bread stuffed with fruit – it was delicious but what I would truly recommend is the crab cake-fried green tomato-poached egg-remoulade sauce-biscuit phenomena called Eggs Meeting Street. To die for.
Tattooed Moose – Tattooed Moose is a no-frills sandwich shop located on the outskirts of town. This is where the locals go and anyone else looking for delicious sandwiches and duck fat fries. We ordered the Lucky #1 Sub (with portobello instead of pork) and the Lowcountry Cuban. Both were amazing but if I had to pick one over the other, the Cuban was my favorite.
Poe’s Tavern– Located on Sullivan’s Island, Poe’s Tavern is a local burger joint offering plenty of delicious burger options all with an Edgar Allen Poe twist. We ordered the Annabel Lee (beef + crab cake burger) and the Tell-Tale Heart (beef + fried egg + bacon). Both were outstanding and I am looking forward to spending a bit more time on Sullivan’s Island the next time I’m in Charleston.
Christophe Chocolatier – We stopped at this beautiful chocolate shop on the way to Fort Sumter. I ordered the Stella (drinking chocolate + coffee = pure bliss) with hopes we would be back to try their pastries and macarons. We didn’t get a chance to return but I’m still dreaming of that Stella.
Black Tap – This is a great coffee shop with an adorable interior and industrial chic decor, perfect for getting work done in the morning. I ordered the Black Julep (espresso, mint and honey) which was tasty but not something I would order again. I would recommend it for those who love tangy flavors with a slight bitter undertone (I know others have given this drink rave reviews). I was hoping we would return so that I could try their other coffees but again, we ran out of time.
Kudu Coffee & Craft Beer – This is a cute coffee shop that’s best suited for late night coffee craves. It’s got a fun, hip vibe and it’s full of any coffee you can imagine. I ordered the lavender latte (via recommendations) and had a hard time tasting lavender. But the lavender art was adorable and there were so many coffees to choose from that I would definitely return.
Kaminski’s – I wanted to love this place. Being a dessert freak, I was dying to stop here. Everything looked so delicious and so we settled on a carrot cake and a coconut cake. The cream was crazy sweet. So sweet that we weren’t able to finish either piece. So if you love ultra sweet things, you will love this place but if you’re like me and you are more into European style (lightly sweetened) pastries and cakes, then come here for a coffee or cocktail and socialize your night away. Kaminski’s is open until 2am.
Glazed – I’m not sure if we visited Glazed on an “off” day but we were a bit disappointed with their selection (they had typical donut flavors, no exotic flavors seen on their website). Out of the three donuts we tried, my mocha coconut almond one was the best. I hesitate to not recommend because I know they have received great reviews but I did want to note our experience. My advice would be to call before you go and make sure you are interested in the flavors they are offering that day.
Peninsula Grill – This restaurant received rave reviews for their food. They are upscale and top-notch. I can only speak for their renowned coconut cake since we didn’t get the chance to try anything else. The cake was moist, delicious, coconut-y and with the perfect amount of cream. I should note that one cake slice costs ~$13 which is an expensive surprise if you’re taking it to-go. As you can imagine, I was infinitely surprised and weighing cost vs flavor, I probably would not order it again unless I’m going all out.
Palmetto Carriage Rides – There are a number of carriage tours but this is the one that meets at the red barn. It was a fun ride that was insanely informative. If you’re going during winter months, be sure to dress warmly; conversely, if you’re taking the tour during summer, bring lots of water!
Fort Sumter – I would recommend Fort Sumter to a) history buffs and b) parents with kids who want an educational experience that’s also fun. Otherwise, I would recommend skipping this tour and opting for one of the other countless tours.
Haunted Jail Tour – This tour surprised me most. Going into it, I was convinced that the guide would pull all sorts of scare tactics and antics that would have ghost believers screaming and the rest groaning. However, I was completely surprised. The tour guide was great – she gave us an amazingly informative tour mixed with a few fun ghost stories as she led us through the dark halls and rooms of the old jail. No boring history lessons here!
Middleton Place – This was the only plantation we visited due to [lack of] time but even during winter, this place was beautiful. I would highly recommend at least one plantation to visit during your stay in Charleston. Also, this is one of the only places in Charleston where you can try a local favorite, Huguenot Torte, a crunchy sweet made with pecans, sugar and a few other ingredients. It’s definitely worth trying if you’re looking for foods native to the area. The torte is usually served during dinner so make sure you kindly ask them to try it if you are taking it to-go.
Charleston Waterfront Park – This spot is a must-do. It’s gorgeous, scenic and perfect for a picnic or photos. Definitely stop by if you’re looking for someplace relaxing.
Pink Dot Beauty Bar // LUNA – If you’re looking for a place to pamper yourself (and see two adorable pups), come to Pink Dot for a makeover and a hair styling session. The ladies are great and the shop itself is so cute! And then head on over to Luna for some fun shopping. Charleston has plenty of shops to go through but these are the two we selected and had time for!
Zero George St – Although we did not stay here, we were able to tour the grounds and one of the rooms. Everything was spotless and if you’re wanting to splurge on a beautiful place to stay during your visit to Charleston, you should definitely consider Zero George. I can’t say enough good things about it – the boutique hotel is charming in every way and there is so much attention given to detail. View photos here.
King Charles Inn – We stayed in King Charles Inn during the beginning of our Charleston visit. King Charles is centrally located (right across the street from FIG) and has great historic charm. The rooms are spotless, the beds comfortable and the staff informative. This was my favorite place to stay and I would highly recommend it for those who don’t mind spending a little extra to stay closer to downtown.
SpringHill Suites Downtown – As seen in my review here, this Marriott location is perfect for those wishing to stay outside of Charleston’s main center. It’s quieter but it does require a car. The Marriott includes a delicious breakfast in your stay.