Charleston, SC

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    cWhat TO DO and where TO EAT in CHARLESTON, SC!!!

    What TO DO and where TO EAT in CHARLESTON, SC!!!
    September was a busy month for travel. First the Hudson River Valley then a week in Charleston, SC! For the first part of the week, I stayed and visited with my sweet friend, Caroline and her adorable family. Her boys, Liam and Hayden, were so sweet and I loved every moment I got to spend with her family. I actually felt like part of the family while I was there. She and her husband, Logan, were such gracious hosts and they were good sports playing tourist with me! I’ve never been to Charleston before and since they’re both locals, they showed me the ins and outs of where to eat and where to avoid. I’m forever grateful! It was so sad to leave them but looking at all these photos again brings back delicious memories! I hope that this will help you plan your future trip to Charleston. Next time I go back, I’m bringing Jason with me because there are a bunch more places I want to eat and there are several I want to return to!

    For the second part of the week, I went to a photography workshop hosted by the ever-talented Helene Dujardin. I learned a wealth of information from other photographers in the industry and also, obviously, Helene herself. She is so wonderful and has such a big heart for teaching. I was hesitant to spend so much money for a photography workshop but since I’ve been completely self-taught and never have gone to one before, I figured there is nothing to lose. I learned so much about light, shadows, composition, and styling. I highly recommend a workshop with her when she opens up future ones.

    I hope this post leaves you hungry and yearning for a trip to Charleston, SC! :)

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    First stop after Caroline picked me up from the airport was Hominy Grill! I heard that there’s always a massive wait to get in and I was already starving so I was nervous I was going to be chewing on my arm. To my surprise, we were immediately sat! I think it helped that I got in at a random not-busy hour. Either way, I was excited!

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    Caroline’s friend told us that we had to get the pumpkin gingerbread. Sign me up! This pumpkin gingerbread came out slightly toasted, warm, and super soft. Oh my gosh, it was like eating FALL and since I went in September, it wasn’t quite Fall yet so I was totally feeling it after eating a slice.

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    I had to get a classic Southern dish…shrimp and grits! It was faaaaantastic. One of the best I’ve had.

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    Afterwards, we drove over to Persimmon Cafe. This is such a fun cafe because it’s situated inside a laundromat. They have coffee and all sorts of custard!

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    You HAVE to get the nutella and toasted marshmallow because they toast the marshmallows for you!!

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    I got the chai dolce. They told me if I love chai tea, then I’d love this custard. It tasted just the same!

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    I was so blessed with amazing weather for Charleston when I was down there! Just look at the sky and clouds :)

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    Boone Hall Plantation was something I REALLY wanted to see because I was obsessed with all the photos that people took of these trees! Usually, you have to pay a fee for parking..I think it’s like $20 or something but luckily, there was some Scottish festival going on there so we just drove right on in! Haha

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    We went to The Obstinate Daughter in Isle of Palm for dinner one night and I loved everything about it. The interior was very nautical and their menu was superb. They were REALLY busy so definitely snag up reservations!

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    Fried okra with this awesome dipping sauce. I don’t remember what it was but I know it was a favorite of mine!

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    POLENTA FRIES. YES.

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    It took me forever to decide what to order but I finally went with this peach pizza. It had speck, gorgonzola (seriously, once you throw blue cheese onto a menu item, I’m immediately sold), balsamic, and peaches. Omggg

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    Right beneath The Obstinate Daughter is a sweet shop called BeardCat’s! It’s basically GELATO!

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    Look at sweet little Liam trying to decide what flavors he wants :)

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    Loved this carrot cake gelato flavor Caroline got. It had real chunks of carrot cake in it AND the waffle cones at this place are to die for. They’re super light and crispy. Unlike any other waffle cone I’ve had before!

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    The following morning we went downtown to seek out Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit. I’m telling you guys, this place is literally a hole in the wall. We walked past it TWICE. It’s very discreet and the storefront is tiny but thankfully, we found it and were so happy to walk in!

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    Usually they have the line out the door but we were so lucky that we were one of the first ones there and it was still empty :)

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    I’m seriously wishing for a biscuit with pimento cheese right now. The folks down South know how to do breakfast right. Caroline also told me to get the iced French press coffee because she said it was one of the bests she’s ever had. I must concur!

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    And if biscuits weren’t enough, we hopped across the street to this donut shop called Glazed!

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    We then explored downtown Charleston. We had to walk off all we ate ;)

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    What I love about Charleston is all the parks and greenery everywhere. It’s such a family-friendly city and I may or may not want to move here.

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    Downtown Charleston has some remarkable houses. I mean, this one that overlooks the water. Oh my gosh. LOOK AT THE PATIOS ON EVERY LEVEL. Gahhhh I want.

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    The rainbow houses on this famous street reminded me of Notting Hill :) just minus the palm trees

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    COBBLESTONE!

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    This is not something you see every day! Horse-drawn carriage just strolling through a neighborhood.

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    On our way back, we stopped in a honey shop. It was glorious. They had so many varieties of honey you can imagine!

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    As if eating a huge breakfast wasn’t enough, we definitely worked up an appetite walking about..5 miles..so we went to Boxcar Betty’s to get our fried chicken sandwich on!

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    Chick-fil-a wuutttt?! This fried chicken sandwich blew CFA out of the water and only makes me long for this sandwich day after day. I need to just keep pimento cheese stocked in the fridge at all times so I can pretend I’m in Charleston.

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    Anywhere that serves fried pickles is my kind of place. I ALWAYS have to get it because I love dill pickles and fried dill pickles…well, you can pretty much convince me to do almost anything if you give me a tray of fried dill pickles. And I swear I’m not pregnant. Although, I do wonder when I do get pregnant, how many dill pickles I’ll end up consuming.

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    And I HAD to get their sweet potato fries too because duh sweet potato fries. But seriously, I love that right out of the hot fryer, it’s coated with brown sugar.

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    That evening, Caroline and I went to Pitt Street Bridge to catch the sunset!

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    We had a late dinner since we were still digesting all that we ate earlier that day. Edmund’s Oast is one of those tucked away places situated a little bit further from downtown but it’s definitely a must. They brew so many different beers in-house here and the whole atmosphere is really chill.

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    I’ve never had this type of drink before and immediately when I saw it on the menu, I was like YES, MUST ORDER! It was a rosé cider. Pretty much my two favorite things in the universe AND it was bubbly. I think this drink was made for me :)

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    This restaurant is mostly small plates and thankfully Caroline and I enjoy the same things so we were able to order a bunch and share. This was an heirloom tomato salad with the most amazing dressing at the bottom. We gobbled this one up!

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    Mexican street corn meet JAPANESE street corn. I may actually like this a lot better than the Mexican version! It had some sort of miso butter on it and it was just seriously unreal.

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    Lamb meatballs!

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    Omg this toast was so good. I think it had some sort of raw salmon or fish on top. I can’t, for the life of me, remember. Oh! I think it was thinly sliced scallops.

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    The following morning, we went to Orange Spot Coffeehouse. Caroline told me their cha yen (Thai iced tea) was a favorite of hers. I’ve never had Thai iced tea and I’m pretty much hooked now that I tried it here. The color is gorgeous, too!

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    We then drove over to Page’s Okra Grill where we had the most EPIC chicken & waffles.

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    We needed more caffeine! The food coma was hitting us. We went to Saint Alban and I’m in love with this coffee shop. Wish we had super cute ones like this near us.

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    We then walked around some more and saw more parks and huge trees (just look at this one!) but it was really hot that day and we had baby Hayden with us so we kind of high-tailed it home because I think all three of us were just kind of ‘over it.’ We wanted to just go home and relax.

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    But then, a couple hours after we got home, we got hungry so we made a quick drive to this shopping center right across the street and went to Crave Kitchen. The chef at this place has won mac & cheese competitions year after year so I HAD to get some. Caroline got the pulled pork mac & cheese.

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    I could not pass up the short rib mac & cheese. I love short rib anything.

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    This was completely unrelated to my foodie tour with Caroline. This is actually at a fish market that Helene and Chef John took us to the 2nd to last day of the photography workshop. I just thought it was a nice, serene photo with that crane-like bird in the middle.

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    And then the fishermen fed it some shrimp, haha

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    That’s it!!! I hope this post has given you just a tiny taste of what Charleston, SC has to offer. I cannot WAIT to go back and I’m sure you will LOVE every place I mentioned in this post. None of it was sponsored! Just good ole local recommendations from a local friend :)

  • 23 Comments
    Julie Wampler of Table for Two
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  • grace says:

    my fiance and i are going to charleston next week and i’ve definitely taken note of some of your suggestions! SO excited!

    • Julie says:

      Oh awesome!! Perfect timing :) enjoy!!

  • Ashley @ The Wandering Weekenders says:

    We’re headed to Charleston in March for a girls trip and this post is going to come in handy! Getting food recommendations is one of my favorites because I don’t want to eat at chains when we’re somewhere new.

    • Julie says:

      Perfect!! I don’t like tourist spots either. Hope you enjoy!!

  • DebbyeS says:

    Love it! I live in SC and go to Charleston as often as possible. Love having new suggestions for places to eat! These look amazing!

  • Alicia J. says:

    I’m so glad you enjoyed your trip to our state. Charleston is truly a beautiful place. I”m a transplant from Pennsylvania, and I love calling South Carolina home. I don’t live in Charleston but visit for random day trips and even then you still can’t get to all those awesome little cafes and shops that are tucked away in the corners. Even I’m going to add some of your places to my “to go to” list.

  • Maria says:

    That carrot cake gelato!! Yuuum!!

  • Marla Meridith says:

    LOVE Charleston!! This post is such a great reference!

  • van says:

    I really miss CHarleston. I need to plan a trip soon!

  • Gaby Dalkin says:

    Julie, after this post I am dying to visit Charleston! all of the restaurants look so cute and those egg & cheese sandwiches on biscuits from Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit!!! Seriously?! LOVE!

  • NancyS says:

    I’ve been to Charleston 4 times and your post is going to push me to go back……there are way too many amazing restaurants!

  • Ryana Rogers says:

    I am going to Charleston next may I had to giggle u love to eat as much as I do I cant wait to try the food there. as well as all the sites to see. thanks for writing this blog.

    • Julie says:

      I hope you enjoy Charleston! It’s one of my favorite cities!

  • Leanne says:

    I will be visiting Charleston in September and I was wondering what restaurant did you order the macaroni and cheese with what looks like pulled pork on top? It looks delicious (:

    • Julie says:

      Hi, it’s in the post right above the photo. Crave Kitchen! I hope you enjoy it

  • Jan says:

    We are visiting in March, looking forward to eating out, will definitely try some of these places.
    Thinking I should pack some larger size clothes for the homeward journey !

    • Julie says:

      Enjoy!! Yes, the food in Charleston is so good! :)

  • Donna Shoaf says:

    Enjoyed viewing your adventure in Charleston. The places you included were spot on, and some of our favorites…seen through new eyes. Thank you for reminding me how blessed we are to call CHS home.

    • Julie says:

      You are very lucky to call CHS home! I can’t wait to visit again!

  • Sally says:

    I love your blog, first time here. My daughter lives in Charleston, SC and I have to tell you, you captured it so well! Thank you, makes me want to go tomorrow.
    Sally

    • Julie says:

      Thank you so much!!

  • Anne Neuville says:

    I have been going to Charleston for 25 years, have a place at Folly and my brother in law owns Fat Hen (you MUST go there!) Your list of places to go is the best I have read yet. Lots of hidden gems and can’t wait to try them next week when we are there. Thanks!

    • Julie says:

      I am planning on going back to Charleston so I’ll definitely have to go to Fat Hen next time!! Thanks so much!

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