Charleston is one of my favorite cities in the entire world. This city is a jewel, with facets of pink tones at every turn, lush greens that envelop you, and salty ocean air that mists at your skin. Rich culture, history, and flavors fill every orifice of your being. The city size is approachable, which makes me feel like a local in mere days.
BASIC KITCHEN. beautiful interiors, incredible [healthy] menu
SECOND STATE COFFEE. nestled in downtown, delicious coffee with sun-drenched seating and beautiful coffee table books to thumb through.
THE PORT MERCANTILE. for all the beautiful things.
THE DAILY. delicious breakfasts, house-made breads, yummy pastries, and lots of reading materials. get the breakfast burrito.
BUTCHER + BEE. small plates, mediterranean flair, local ingredients.
HARBINGER CAFE. delicious, unique pastries. grab and go [or stay] salads. turmeric latte made with local milk. don't miss the peanut butter fig bars in the refrigerated section.
MONARCH WINE. stop by to bring home some local [or not so local] wines.
THE ORDINARY. oysters and delicious wine. quintessential charleston experience.
HURIYALI. health foods market and smoothie bowl master. also don't miss the pancakes.
HUSK RESTAURANT, 76 Queen Street.
We arrived here mid morning on a weekday. Thank goodness our first time here landed us on a weekday because we probably would not have been seated right away with no reservation. We were led to a table on the second floor balcony, where we could see Queen street through thick, white balcony columns. We enjoyed fresh coffee, warm, doughy sweet rolls with butter and seasonal veggies and eggs. I chewed on a piece of local bacon as a horse-drawn carriage passed below, their hooves hit the cobblestone, providing a sound so integral to Charleston.
CALLIE'S HOT LITTLE BISCUIT, 476 King Street. We weren't so lucky with the line on this one. We went early morning, before most of King street was awake. The shop was packed to the gills, the crowd of people spilling out into the quiet street. We waited patiently for our biscuits, having more than enough time to ruminate on the many choices there were. HOLY CRAP. These biscuits are dense, just the right amount flaky, and downright delicious.
LEON'S OYSTER SHOP, 698 King Street. I will forever be grateful for meeting Kristen Kish on the set of her Cherry Bombe Magazine cover shoot, and then, for her message recommending the best places to eat in Charleston. At the top of her list was Leon's, and quite frankly, whatever Kristen Kish recommends, I will take very seriously. (I mean, look at her amazing, bad-ass sleeve and her killer swag, and you'll know what I mean.) So, we went to Leon's and sat in the front under colored fairy lights in lawn chairs. When I tell you you must get the Siam Salad, I am not joking. You also should order the fried oysters because I promise they'll be some of the best ones you'll eat in your life. These dishes changed my world enough that we had to come back a day later to repeat the same exact meal (and be served by same, lovely server) before leaving the city. I crave this meal at least once a week, and might even shed a tear out of sheer longing for this incredible restaurant. Not only will the menu not disappoint, but the ambience is ON. POINT. Do yourself a favor and get these dishes--maybe just one of everything on the menu, because its necessary. ok?
Day Trip Tip: Head to Boone Hall Plantation for some quintessential South if you have the time!