Charleston has been voted the number 1 city in the U.S. and in the world multiple times. That being said, we are jammed packed with tourists pretty much year round. With the help of apps like Yelp, these tourists can make their way through the obvious Charleston restaurant scene just fine. What the tourists don't know is that there is a restaurant scene that reaches farther than King Street (gasp). There are many hidden gems here in Charleston that us college foodies are especially good at finding because they have authentic food, but they are easy on our wallets. Take a walk on the wild side with me folks (or just off of King Street).

1. R Kitchen

R Kitchen is foodie heaven. You walk up to this unassuming building (with no sign out front) and then you are presented with a gourmet 5 course tasting menu for $30 a person. The nonexistent sign is indicative of the mystery inside because you don't know what you will be eating until you sit down. The chefs present you with whatever is local and in season, so you are guaranteed a tasty adventure. 

2. Dave's Carry Out

Dave's is another restaurant that is unassuming in appearance, but big on flavor. Dave has mastered the technique of perfectly frying every seafood known to man and for that I am eternally grateful. He keeps the integrity of the seafood because he uses a very light batter that is crisped to perfection. If that doesn't make your mouth water, I don't know what will.

3. Muse

Muse blends in with the other historical houses on Society Street, which speaks to the homey feel of the restaurant. The low-lighting and extensive wine menu make it the perfect place for a romantic night out. You can even re-enact the infamous Lady and the Tramp scene with the pasta pictured above.

4. A.C.'s Bar and Grill

AC's isn't hidden in its location (it's right on King), but the hidden gem is the fact that their tables are meant for more than just dancing on. A.C.'s helps people get drunk on Saturday, then they help them recover on Sunday with their brunch. Brunching is a sport in Charleston, so the fact that their brunch is noteworthy is saying something.

5. Tattooed Moose

Tattooed Moose is outside of walking distance for most Charleston tourists, which is a bonus for the locals (we get to drink all the beer). Tattooed Moose is known for their selection of craft beers and unique bar food. Their duck fat fries will ruin all other fries for you in a good way.

6. Huriyali

chocolate, berry
Elise DeVoe

Huriyali is a quaint garden where you can relax and enjoy their selection of all-natural juices and smoothie bowls. If you're looking for a more savory option, they also serve a variety of wraps and salads. No matter what you get at Huriyali, you will leave feeling good about what you just ate.

7. Boxcar Betty's

There are a lot of fried chicken sandwiches in Charleston, but Boxcar Betty's is home to the best fried chicken sandwich I've ever had. This restaurant is easy to miss on the crowded Savannah Highway, but just look for the sign with the cute cartoon chicken and sandwich.

8. Xiao Bao Biscuit

You definitely have to venture off of the classic tourist path to wind up here. Xiao Bao Biscuit is located in a former gas station and specializes in Asian soul food. Their food is approachable in both the prices and the way that it is beautifully presented. 

9. Dellz Uptown

Dellz specializes in vegan and vegetarian food. Their menu includes a wide variety of vessels that help you eat your veggies. These vessels include: smoothies, wraps, salads, bowls, and pizzas. If you're going to get a wrap, the kitchen sink overload is the go-to.