Charleston, South Carolina is one of my favorite cities for a getaway. My love for the city is not unfounded, as Travel+Leisure announced that Charleston was voted the World's Best City in 2016. After visiting many times since childhood, I would say I know where to eat in Charleston.

While people usually think of shrimp and grits when thinking of Charleston, there is so much more to the Holy City. It's a city full of international influences, fresh seafood and a unique cuisine all its own. Join me and my family as we eat our way through 4th of July weekend.


Charleston Farmers Market

lemonade, tea, cocktail, ice, water, strawberry
Kara Schiaparelli

Charleson's farmers market can be found Saturday mornings in Marion Square. This was honestly one of the best farmer's markets I've ever been to. There was a perfect mix of art stalls and food stalls.

My parents and I decided to grab breakfast from Holey City Bagels. The best one was definitely my dad's Nova Lox on an everything bagel. The drinks (watermelon agua fresca and the Radio Flyer juice) from The Juice Joint helped refresh us in the summer sun.

Amen Street Fish & Raw Bar

shrimp, seafood, lobster
Kara Schiaparelli

After exploring the historical downtown area and taking advantage of all the amazing house tours on offer, you're going want some air conditioning. Luckily Meeting Street has so many great restaurants to choose from.

Amen Street is centrally located on Meeting St and is known for their fantastic oysters and shrimp and grits. We, however, just wanted a small lunch, and the best things on the table were my mom's peel-and-eat shrimp. 

Fleet Landing

Kara Schiaparelli

This has always been one of our favorite restaurants in Charleston. It's right on the water (a rarity in Charleston) and has some of the best seafood in town. They have some great cocktails if you're waiting for a table.

The star of our table was the fried green tomatoes. A southern specialty, these tomatoes were sandwiched between crab salad and drizzled with a shellfish sauce. These are definitely a must while you're in Charleston.

#SpoonTip: Open Table is your friend. On the night we went to Fleet Landing, the wait was over an hour. So plan ahead and make reservations.


Fat Hen

The only way to start off a Sunday is by going to brunch, don't you agree? Our favorite brunch is at Fat Hen, which is on Johns Island. It combines low-country cooking with French cuisine.

Their brunch offers some highlights like she-crab soup, a waffle & pastrami sandwich and chicken pot pie. I got the shrimp and grits, which were particularly delicious and a great representation of a Southern classic.

Ye Olde Fashioned Ice

There is nothing better after exploring the low country than a scoop of ice cream. Ye Olde is a Charleston staple, located on the Savannah Highway on the way into Charleston. 

It serves burgers and hot dogs, but I decided to get a waffle cone filled with cookies n' cream. Believe it or not, this was supposed to be a small! While it certainly wasn't small, the ice cream is classic and reminds you of childhood summers.

Barsa [Tapas, Lounge & Bar]
sauce, tomato
Kara Schiaparelli

After a couple days in Charleston, you might need a small break from all the heavy Southern food. Don't worry — Charleston isn't all about grits and hush puppies.

Barsa is on King Street and has some amazing tapas, which allows you to make your dinner as small or big as you want it. We particularly enjoyed their grilled octopus, patatas bravas and tomato bread. 


Taco Boy

It's hard to take a trip (even a weekend trip) to Charleston without making your way to one of the beautiful nearby beaches. Folly Beach is only 30 minutes away from downtown Charleston and home to some great beachside eats.

For brunch definitely head on over to Lost Dog Cafe, but Taco Boy is where it's at for lunch. Great margaritas and a nice variety of tacos makes this our go-to Folly spot. Our favorite was the Baja Fish taco with an amazing ancho chile yogurt sauce. 

Charleston Culinary Tours - Upper King Street 

cheese, sandwich, bacon, chicken
Kara Schiaparelli

I love a good food tour. I think it's the best way to discover a city in a new way. So even though we had been to Charleston many times before, we had never really explored Upper King Street. The tour itself was great, we learned a lot about the influences on Charlestonian cuisine and ate some yummy food along the way.

We started off at HōM Restaurant for a pimento cheese flatbread, calamari and turkey sliders. Then we made our way to 39 Rue de Jean for moules frites and brussels sprouts. After that it was time for some BBQ from Smoke BBQ, which was my favorite with a chicken wing and pulled pork Cuban. Lastly we had ice cream at Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream.

We had a delicious weekend in Charleston visiting old favorites and exploring new neighborhoods. I hope this gave you some tips on where to eat in Charleston.