I only have three weeks left in Charleston. I repeat. Three weeks left in Charleston. This is crazy to me. I love this beautiful city so much and there are so many wonderful things about it, that I don’t know if I can ever give it justice. I thought a fun way to try and honor Charleston a little would be by sharing my favorite things about Charleston. My Charleston Superlatives if you will.
It’s hard to pick favorites, but I managed to narrow down my top picks for a lot of categories. If you’ve read my blog often, it should be no surprise that most of my picks center around food. It’s my thing and I love to find the best and most delicious food.
I’m also featuring a few of my favorite Charleston events, business and locations. Really this is a quick list of all of the things I’m going to miss and places I’ll go back to anytime we visit.
Choosing a best restaurant is hard for me. I have a lot of favorites and most of the time it just depends on my mood and how much money I want to spend. If money isn’t something I have to think about, I’d pick FIG every time. FIG blows me away anytime I eat there and I also adore the atmosphere. It’s top notch.
Honorable Mention: Xiao Bao Biscuit
Husk is an incredible restaurant, but if you haven’t been to their bar next door for a burger and some bourbon, you’re missing out. The Husk burger is insane; it’s two thin patties that are ground with bacon and then topped with cheese, a delicious sauce, pickles and the softest burger bun. This burger is so good and is also one of the best food deals in Charleston.
I feel fancy when I’m drinking on a rooftop bar and I feel real fancy when I’m drinking on Stars rooftop bar. I love the atmosphere at Stars and it doesn’t hurt that they have a lot of tap wine options at the bar.
Best Dive Bar
The Griffon will always hold a special place in my heart. I love dive bars and The Griffon is my favorite of all the dive bars. This little hole-in-the-wall with a million dollar bills stapled to its walls is one of my favorite spots for a cheap beer and good pub food.
Best Food Truck
This was a really hard category for me to pick, but I’m going to have to give it up to Short Grain for my favorite food truck in Charleston. I am just so into all of their different Asian bowl variations. Everything I’ve ordered from Short Grain has been incredibly flavorful, spicy and delicious. I was also a huge fan of the ramen pop-up series they put on at The Daily.
Honorable Mention: Roti Rolls
Swig and Swine is my favorite BBQ in town. I order the pulled pork plate with mac and cheese and collards. It’s wonderful. I also love the selection of BBQ sauces. I’m not a sauce purist, so I mix it up between the South Carolina (mustard), North Carolina (vinegar), and tomato based sauces.
While I love Swig and Swine, I can’t lie – I’m really excited for Lewis Barbecue to open. Charleston is missing awesome Texas BBQ and brisket, so this will be a good void to fill.
Home Team BBQ delivers with their wings. These delicious morsels of meat are awesome: perfectly smoked, tender, and they come with a side of Alabama white sauce.
Shi-Ki is my favorite hidden gem sushi spot in Charleston. It’s unassuming and in a little strip mall downtown, but it has the best sushi in Charleston. There’s nothing too fancy at Shi Ki, but know anytime you go you’ll get quality fish and impeccably made rolls.
Best Place for an Oyster Shot
If you’re visiting Charleston, chances are I’m taking you by Pearlz for an oyster shot. Similar to a tiny Bloody Mary (plus an oyster), you either love or hate these things. I fall into the love camp.
Coast brews my favorite beer in Charleston. I love the Hop Art, Kolsch and all of their rotating drafts. The brewery itself is also an awesome place to go have a tasting with a group of friends.
Best Place for Happy Hour
Watching the sunset and dolphins swim along Shem Creek is my favorite place for happy hour. Whether I’m at Red’s, Tavern and Table, or Vickery’s you can’t beat beautiful sunsets over the water.
The Mac Attack from The Macintosh is a game changer. It made up of pork belly, bone marrow bread pudding and a poached egg. It’s awesome. That and a carafe of mimosas and you’re all set for a Sunday Funday.
The Macintosh wins again with french fries. These wonderful fried potato goodies come thin cut and topped with pecorino truffle.
Best Coffee Shop
City Lights isn’t trendy or fancy, but they offer great service and serve up some great caffeine. It’s one of my favorite places to swing by on a weekend morning for a coffee and a quiche.
I’ve had the best croissant, best cookie, best sourdough, and best brownie from Brown’s Court Bakery. I love when I’m eating at another restaurant and find out they source their bread from Brown’s Court. Any time you hear that you know you’re in for a treat.
It’s worth it to make the drive to North Charleston for EVO, my favorite pizza in the area. EVO’s pizza is awesome; it’s baked in a wood-fire oven and they always have a bunch of fun and seasonal pizza selections.
I order the Honey Slide from Mozzo and don’t get it twisted. I’ve veered from this order before, but I always come back to it. Mozzo has about a million lunch options on their menu, but I love this sandwich. Adam is a Fusion kind of guy. You’re sure to find your favorite lunch meal at Mozzo.
Best Place to Buy Gifts
Candlefish is my favorite place to shop for gifts in Charleston. They carry a million different types of candles, but also lots of other products like paper goods, accessories, books, and art. It would be near impossible to walk out of Candlefish without a fun, unique gift for someone in your life.
Best Weekly Outdoor Event
I love strolling through the Farmer’s Market at Marion Square on Saturdays. It’s a great place to stock up on fruit and veggies, sample the food trucks, and check out local artisan goods.
It’s so hard to pick a favorite! I love strolling through all of the downtown streets South of Broad, but Legare is one of my favorites to get lost on.
I’m probably a little partial to White Point Gardens because it’s where Adam proposed, but I just love this park at the end of the peninsula. Look in one direction and you see views of the harbor and the other way you’re faced with gorgeous Lowcountry homes. Every view is a win-win.
Best Place to Take a Walk
The old Pitt Street Bridge in Mount Pleasant is one of my favorite places to take a walk, especially around sunset.
Best Art Gallery
I always like to pop in Robert Lange Studios during art hops. The art gallery is in a beautiful space and always features unique and interesting artists.
I love my doctor, so if you’re looking for a primary care physician, check out Kay Durst at Durst Family Medicine.
You really can’t visit Charleston (or live here) without spending some time at the Old Slave Mart Museum. Visiting this museum is an integral part to understanding Charleston’s history.
I love living and working downtown, but sometimes I actually miss my old drive. This is only because my drive to downtown from James Island is one of the prettiest drives in the area. I loved driving over the James Island Connector and seeing the marsh and sailboats each and every morning.
Best Outdoor Event
The Spoleto Finale at Middleton Place was one of the most magical events I’ve attended in Charleston. The finale concludes the two-week long Spoleto festival with a big concert and picnic at the plantation. Unlike most every other Charleston event, you can bring your own food and drinks to the party.
Honorable Mention: Wine and Food Festival Tasting Tent
Best Place to Buy Beer
Tucked away in a tiny storefront a few blocks from our apartment is Charleston Beer Exchange, my favorite place to buy beer. The store is tiny, but they’re able to squeeze in a massive selection of beer. The employees are always helpful and great at helping me find exactly what I want or suggesting something new.
Picking favorites can be so hard sometimes. If you had asked me my favorite island/beach when I moved here, I would have chosen Folly Beach without a doubt. Nowadays, I’m feeling Sullivan’s Island for beach days and post-beach drinks.
Have you been to Charleston? What’s your favorite thing about The Holy City?