Charleston is one of the top “Foodie” destinations in the US. Our top picks include:
Poogan’s Porch, 72 Queen St.: This highly recommended restaurant is in an attractive old house. The pulled pork sliders with the sweet potato slaw were great as was the she crab soup.
Fig, 232 Meeting St.: This is a contemporary restaurant featuring fresh seasonal dishes. The chef Mike Lata won the James Beard 2009 Award for Best Chef Southeast. It is hard to get in during Spoleto so eating at the bar is a great option. The service was really good. I had an issue with my entrée being somewhat undercooked, but it was handled extremely well when I called it to their attention.
Jestine’s Kitchen, 251 Meeting St.: Having seen it on two travel channel episodes, one with Anthony Bourdain and one with Rachael Ray, I had to try Jestine’s. I actually had dessert there. It is casual and fun with a great vibe. The peach and blueberry cobbler was really good but not for those avoiding sugar and butter. The restaurant is named in honor of Jestine Matthews who was born in the Low Country in 1885. The restaurant showcases the wonderful style of home cooking that Jestine provided for generations of friends and family. She died at the age of 112 in 1997, but her legend lives on!
Virginia’s on King, 412 King St. at Hutson: Enjoyed Saturday brunch here, just north of the Charleston Farmers Market. The omelette with crabmeat, hollandaise sauce and asparagus was really good, but the collard greens were really excellent!
Hominy Grill, 207 Rutledge Ave.: It came highly recommended and I agree that it is one of the best in town. I had fried green tomatoes (my first) with ranch dressing and shrimp creole (sautéed shrimp with tomato, peppers, onions, celery & ham over jasmine rice) plus pecan pie. I would definitely make a reservation for dinner.
McCrady’s, 2 Unity Alley: Probably the best meal of my trip. Great attentive staff and service. The menu had tremendous fresh seasonal items from their own farm. Chef Sean Brock won the James Beard Best Chef Southeast in 2010. The original structure was built in 1788. I loved the fresh salad, swordfish with beets, and sorbet.
Husk, 76 Queen St.: I had lunch on my last day at the sister restaurant of McCrady’s. This is the newest offering of the James Beard Award winning chef Sean Brock. Its focus is on local ingredients. The atmosphere was great in the downstairs dining room which had great art and a nice contemporary design. I had the shrimp and grits which was great. I could have licked the bowl it was so good. The peach upside-down cake was also great.
I now have to go on a major diet due to all of the great food I have tried in the last three days.
I heard that 82 Queen, Magnolias, Cru Cafe and SNOB (Slightly North of Broad) are also quite good. Recent articles recommend Cypress, Bertha’s Kitchen, Sugar Bakeshop, The Ordinary for seafood, Butcher & Bee for sandwiches, Halls Chophouse, The Macintosh, Xiao Bao Biscuit and Martha Lou’s Kitchen.
Still more iclude The Grocery, Edmund’s Oast brew pub, Circa 1886 at the historic Wentworth Mansion, Leon’s Fine Poultry & Oysters and Rutledge Cab Co. and Home Team BBQ both in old gas stations. I just have to go back!!