I get asked all the time for my recommendations around Charleston, so here they are!
Day or Night Dining
- Basic Kitchen - A healthy indoor/outdoor escape that feels like a welcome slice of southern California in the middle of Charleston. Order the Cauliflower "Wings" and Fiery Sunset Frozen Cocktail.
- Obstinate Daughter - A nautical oasis, perfect for a bite before or after some beach time on Sullivan's Island.
- Leon's Oyster Shop - A relaxed vibe with great food in an old autobody shop, this is where you want to get the Fried Chicken (and Scalloped Potatoes and Fried Brussel Sprouts).
- 167 Raw - It's super tiny and they don't take reservations, but worth the wait if you love seafood. I like to walk up to Zero George for a drink while I wait for seats.
- Shem Creek - A 10-minute drive from downtown Charleston is a handful of restaurants with bars on the water. Tavern & Table and Saltwater Cowboys are my two favorites. The food is okay, but the view and vibe on a sunny day can't be beat.
- Frannie & The Fox - Fun for drinks or dinner with a great outside space and they do Sunday brunch!
- Goat Sheep Cow North - This is the newer sister restaurant to the amazing South of Broad cheese shop that I live across the street from on Church Street, don't leave without ordering the "Crack" Cheese with Crudités.
- Melfi's - My favorite restaurant in Charleston! I feel like I'm walking into New York City everytime I visit, be sure to order the Stretch Armstrong Pizza and Roasted Mushrooms & Farro.
- Zero Restaurant + Bar - This is an amazing experience if you want to splurge, it's like you're dining in someone's private home. You can get the experience without the price by going for a pre-dinner drink on their piazza or in their living room. They also have cooking classes if you're looking for a hands-on experience.
- Le Farfalle - A great Italian spot with pretty outdoor dining. The pasta dishes are incredible, my favorite is Agnolotti with Duck Confit, and don't miss out on the Warm Rosemary Foccacia or Whipped Ricotta for the table.
- Stella's - Delicious Greek with a lively vibe and an extensive menu of share plates.
- The Ordinary - Located in an old bank, you'll find an extensive seafood menu here, in addition to Oysters be sure to try the Jumbo Lump Crab Toast and Crispy Oyster Sliders.
- Chez Nous - A great date spot with a limited French menu that changes daily
- Little Jack's Tavern - A JG Mellon look-a-like that's famous for their Burger (which I don't eat!), I go for the Shrimp Cocktail and Garlic & Herb Fries.
- Vintage - My favorite bar in Charleston features a back patio and live music on the weekends. If you're with a group get the Truffle Fondue (it won't disappoint) and a Porron to pass around.
- Citrus Club at The Dewberry - Make sure to make a reservation on Resy to get access to The Dewberry's new rooftop bar.
- The Belmont - A simple, but intimate bar with an extensive cocktail list in the middle of King Street.
- The Alley - If you're looking for some fun and games check out this bowling alley with a great bar and delicious bar food, I am obsessed with their Spinach Artichoke Dip.
- The Commodore - Perfect for a sweaty late night dance party, cheap drinks and live music.
- The Watch at The Restoration Hotel - A rooftop bar and restaurant where you can enjoy a pre-dinner glass of wine with a 360-degree view or some farm-to-table bites and amazing truffle fries.
- Josephine's - A well-designed wine bar with a high-end list, curated by their friendly sommelier Melissa, that pairs well with a great menu including highlights like their delicious Foie Gras Torchon and Buffalo Milk Burrata.
- Hall's Chophouse - If you're craving those mahogany, old school boy's club vibes this packed family-owned restaurant and bar is your best bet in Charleston.
- Blind Tiger - During the warmer months, the extensive baby and dog-friendly back patio is a relaxed scene serving great frosé and decent enough bar food. The inside leaves a bit to be desired though.
Where to Stay
- The Dewberry - A high-end mid-century modern hotel with extensive attention to detail and great dining and bar options, including their newly opened rooftop.
- The Vendue - A great value that oozes southern hospitality, enjoy champagne upon arrival and complimentary sherry and snacks in each room. The hotel is steps from the water, the historical South of Broad neighborhood and great restaurants. Enjoy the sunset from the rooftop bar, as well as rotating art exhibits in the lobby.
- Zero George - A luxury boutique hotel designed within restored buildings surrounding a charming courtyard.
- The Inns - Started by friends, this series of historical homes located on Spring Street available for rent, be sure to pop down one block to Cannon Street.
Where to Walkabout (& Take Photos)
- South of Broad - I may be biased, but I think this is the prettiest neighborhood in the whole country. Rich with history and charm there is a story behind every door. My favorite streets are Church and Tradd. If you want more information on what you're admiring, pick up a copy of "62 Famous Houses" at The Preservation Society of Charleston. My friend Tyler of Walk & Talk Walking Tour recommended it and it's the best $3.50 you'll ever spend!
- The Battery - Once you've explored the historical neighborhood, walk around the perimeter of downtown. Enjoy views of the grandest homes on one side and the Harbor on the other.
- Hampton Park - When the flowers are in bloom, take a stroll around Hampton Park. It's hard to believe all this greenery is in the middle of the city.
Where to Caffeinate
- The Skinny Dip - Downstairs is the entire Beau & Ro collection (among other great designers) and upstairs is an expansive indoor/outdoor wine and coffee bar, perfect mingling or working.
- The Rise - Located downstairs from The Restoration Hotel, this bright coffee shop is a great spot to get some work done.
- One Broad - Right up the block from Rainbow Row, featuring both a restaurant and coffee bar, this is the spot to grab a coffee before you explore the historical Charleston neighborhood, plus a huge selection of baked goods will make your mouth water.
- Living Room at The Dewberry - It's known as a great place for a cocktail, but when I work out of The Dewberry's lobby I feel like I'm almost right back at the Soho House in New York City.
- Wifi & Nosh - You can usually find me work and snagging a bite at Harbinger Cafe or The Daily at The Gibbes on the week days.
What to Do
- Shopping - Stroll down King Street and stop by The Skinny Dip, of course! Some of my other favorites shops are Shoes On King for shoes, Candlefish to give your nose an experience, Madison Mathews, Beckett and Hampden for elevated fashion and the newly opened Lake Pajamas, designed by talented friend Olivia Mitchell Brock.
- Beaches - My favorite beach is Sullivan's Island and just 20 minutes from downtown. If it's too cold for bathing suits, you can still go for the stroll. Folly Beach is a little more relaxed and touristy, and Isle of Palms is a bit further from downtown.
- Plantations (and Urban Plantations) - There are plenty of great plantations, but some of my favorites are right downtown, check out the Edmonston-Alston House.
- Walk & Talk Walking Tour - My sweet friend Tyler started her own walking tour business on the weekends and it's a hoot, shes's the most fun guide in town
- Mylkbar - Visit my sweet friend Katie's spot in Mount Pleasant for a non-toxic mani / pedi in the prettiest nail salon you've ever seen!
- Boat Tour - A Charleston Harbor boat tour is a great way to discover the harbor, see historical Charleston from the water and even enjoy a glass of wine during the sunset if you go at the right time of day.
- Candlefish Workshop - Learn how to make your own candle at one of the prettiest stores on King Street, plus it's BYOB! Their Fragrance Library is an experience in itself, and no class needed to experience that.
Hope this helps you explore my city!