Eat Up Charleston

So of course, Emily, our foodie friend, once again bestowed a list on us for treats to be sure to get into your belly if you ever find yourself down in Charleston.  FAIR WARNING:  Nothing is low calorie here.  Nothing.  Not one thing.  So good luck with that.
oysters at The Ordinary
oysters at The Ordinary
See Emily’s words below with a few of my notes in bold:

Husk – Famous chef (Sean Brock) who is using nothing but local ingredients, right down to the chocolate and flour… He had a huge profile piece in the New Yorker. It’s the place to go in Charleston. Go there for lunch, brunch or dinner.  It’s in an old Victorian home in the historic district and is utterly charming. And the food is delicious.

Of course I took for granted that it is the best place in town and was never able to get a table.  Meow.

Cypress – Where Husk is old school, this place is modern. Very cool restaurant conveniently located in town. I recommend getting the patty melt. It’s a burger sandwich type thing that’s totally addictive. Oh my goodness so good. Rich and filling. Best to share. Of course there are a hundred other things on the menu that are winners too.

she wasn’t lying!

WildFlour Pastry for sticky buns on Sundays! They are out of control. Go early, people literally line up for them. The woman who runs this place, Lauren Mitterer, is awesome and usually covered in flour and butter.  It’s tiny and they have yummy pastries and pot de crèmes, key lime pies, but the sticky buns – on Sundays only — are to die for.

You could actually die from them if you had one every Sunday.  But boy oh boy are they good.   

Sugar Bakeshop– charming, wonderful wonderful bakery for cookies, cupcakes, etc. Even little mini bite-size tarts that are fantastic. Everything inside this tiny space feels like you’ve stepped back in time. From the glass cookie jars to the old apothecary cases filled with treats. In a residential neighborhood, run by two fun guys (an architect from NY and his partner who is originally from Charleston).

Hominy Grill – fantastic place (near Sugar Bakeshop) for all that southern food – shrimp, grits, amazing biscuits, etc. It’s a lovely fun place to go for breakfast or lunch. Yum!

Are you kidding?  Tomato pudding.  That’s all I need to say, plus they are really kid friendly.

Peninsula Grill for a slice of Coconut Cake. They are famous famous famous for their utterly decadent Coconut Cake. And if you are downtown, it’s walking distance from everywhere.

If you are looking for old school cocktails (read: they take 5-10 minutes to concoct your cocktail, right down to the perfect ice cube) try the Gin Joint. On the same street as Cypress.

If you have time and a car, try heading out to Bowens Island (they open at 5pm) for the ultimate seafood shack experience. Super fun!

The Ordinary under a full moon.

NOOOO!!!  They are closed on Sundays so we missed this spot too.  It’s well worth planning ahead when you dine out in this town, it’s small so places fill up fast.  

But not to be defeated we found a new spot called The Ordinary where we indulged in all kinds of expertly prepared seafood and fresh oysters.  The space opened in 2012 and is in my favorite phase of a restaurant—the extra hospitable phase.  

The beautiful, open space was full so we sat at the oyster bar where you can see inside the kitchen to watch the chef and staff at work, a very methodic ballet.  

Chef Mike Lata spotted G at the bar and asked us if he’d like a little something special which his young son enjoys.  He brought out amazing, smokey baked beans and mashed potatoes you could frost a cake with.  It was a terrific experience.

The chef sending G out in a mashed potato induced coma.


  • Wonderful – and great to read just before dinner. Although perhaps not as we can’t get to Charleston to try any of these fab places. Thanks for transporting us!

  • We lived in Charleston, and had a wonderful, tiny apartment in the heart of the historic district. You may have already discovered this (or moved on to another city), but if you walk down Queen St. to the Cooper River (east) there is a riverside park there with a fountain that kids love to play in. That might be a change of pace for your son. ~James

    • Thank you for the tip. We have moved on, but I’m trying to catch up so I can get everyone’s good tips and advice before we arrive in a new town!

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