Charleston Travel Guide: Part 2
Where to Eat and Sleep in Charleston, SC
Now that we went over what to do and see in Charleston in part 1 of our travel guide, another huge component to talk about is what to eat, drink, and then eventually sleep. You can learn a lot about a city through its food and drink culture and that certainly applies to Charleston, the of home a growing food community and an amazing mix of southern, French and West African influences. If you are planning a trip to Charleston in the near future, our only suggestion is arrive hungry!
Our favorite restaurants in the downtown area include the following:
For Lunch or Dinner
289. E. Bay St.
Nantucket meets Charleston at this small fish market / restaurant that pairs tasty fish tacos, lobster rolls and daily specials with an awesome wine list. They don’t take reservations but it’s worth grabbing a drink and waiting for a table, trust us!
Xiao Bao Biscuit
224 Rutledge Ave.
You MUST go here! Xiao Bao is a hot spot that serves authentic Asian comfort food blended classic Southern “grandma inspired” cuisine...so you know it’s good. The only thing I’ll say is if I don’t make it to Xiao Bao on trip to Charleston, I leave pissed. Jk that never happens, I go every time.
Butcher & Bee
654 King. St.
They have an excellent sandwich menu that changes almost daily. A great option if you don’t want a longer sit down meal or fast food.
Virginia’s on King
412 King St.
Virginia’s is known for family recipes, Southern tradition and local lowcountry grown food. We died and went to heaven over their fried green tomatoes.
Breakfast / Brunch
The Obstinate Daughter
2063 Middle St., Sullivan's Island
This place is a bloggers dream since it looks like a nautical tree house with food that is equally as pretty and delicious. Win win on the instagram and stomach front, and then since it’s located on Sullivan’s Island you can hop right on over to the beach after breakfast.
211 Rutledge Ave.
Fuel has a super cool ambiance since it’s an indoor / outdoor bar and restaurant located in an old gas station building and parking lot (I feel like this would never happen in Boston). Their menu is super simple and is comprised of tasty American / Caribbean influenced cuisine. It was a great brunch spot for a large group with lots of large tables and a bocce court out back (for those with A.D.D like me). Also, dogs are allowed (#PierreApproved)!
710 King St.
A coffee shop and wine bar that also serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. The interior reminded me of a Wes Anderson movie making me think it’d be a great spot to cozy up at on a rainy morning.
70.5 Beaufain St.
Another great coffee shop with bright and minimal interiors. A sweet spot to pop in for a morning refresher or brief work meeting.
Going Out (with a big group)
Bay Street Biergarten
549 East Bay St.
This is a great spot to taste test or order lots of local, domestic and international beers and watch a football game with friends. Made up of a large indoor beer hall plus outdoor spaces for hanging out or playing games, the biergarten is an excellent option for large groups.
45 Spring St.
I love the warehouse, especially when you aren’t looking to be outside. Located in an old warehouse (as you’d expect), it has a total industrial feel with huge ceilings, cool rustic features, and really knowledgeable bartenders. I think one had a handlebar mustache?
Going Out (to meet people)
495 King St.
Stars is a great option since it is generally frequented with lots of attractive people but also has plenty of standing and sitting space. Their rooftop is also, in our opinion, one of the best downtown.
The Cocktail Club
479 King St.
Very similar to Stars but felt a little more hipster since the restaurant concept is the “art of the cocktail.” Naturally we got some really great drinks here, danced to the live band and enjoyed their roof deck as well, however the crowd did feel a bit younger.
Where to Sleep
For the sleeping component, we don’t like to spend too much time in our hotels when traveling but we do like is an affordable price, convenient location, and aesthetically pleasing set up (we are bloggers after all). As luck would have it we have friends that live in Charleston so we have yet to book hotel rooms. However, if our friends ever deserted us and we had to find hotel or house option, here are our best picks based on price, location and prettiness.
Option #1: VRBO for Sullivan’s Island
We always talk about renting a beach house with our girlfriends for a weekend. If we were able to pick a date, we would go through VRBO and find a house on Sullivan’s Island. That way we can spend the days at the beach and then hit the restaurants and bars in Charleston at night!
Option #2: Jasmine House Inn
64 Hassell St.
A Southern-style bed and breakfast located right downtown.
Option #3: The Indigo Inn
1 Maiden Lane
Another bed and breakfast located right downtown, priced a little lower than the Jasmine House.
Option #4: Ansonborough Inn
21 Hassell St.
A charming boutique hotel in a restored stationers warehouse and winner of the AAA Four Diamond Award.
Option 5: Holiday Inn Express - Ashley River
250 Spring St.
Further from town but you can't beat the price and the pool looked very nice!