The time has finally come for my Charleston food recommendations. March was madness for me – partly because of all the basketball my guy watched but mostly because of all my travel. Now I’m back home for a while and catching up on everything. First up are my recommendations for Charleston restaurants (Chicago’s eating tour coming next week)…
Due to the poor quality of food available in the South following the Civil War, the region’s culinary scene centered around fried foods. It made ingredients palatable at the time. Because of this, much of the area’s foodie past has all but disappeared.
Charleston, among other cities in the South, is having a huge resurgence in farm-to-table foods, celebrating local flavors. While shrimp and grits, she crab soup, and fried green tomatoes are on menus, they’re mixed in with dishes highlighting fresh produce, local shellfish, and the historical grains of the area!
Southend Brewery :: pulled pork // fried green tomato w. pimiento cheese // she crab soup
Charleston Food Scene
As you can see from the first photo, I tried traditional creamy and fried fare, but I did so in moderation as part of a Charleston Culinary Tour.
The tour is a must if you want to try a bunch of foods and a few restaurants without overdoing it. We tried twelve dishes at four restaurants, and while we were quite full (thankfully we walked between each stop), the food was great and the experience fantastic!
Our first stop was Southend Brewery. This was my first fried green tomato. It was a nice combination of sweet and salty. And the she crab soup was tasty, although very heavy. I’d recommend sharing a cup.
Another memorable stop on our culinary tour was Eli’s Table. Here we tried shrimp and grits which was tasty, but the best dish by far was the Sweet Potato Pancakes, which, unsurprisingly, inspired my recent recipe for sweet potato pancakes.
Tattooed Moose :: lowcountry cuban // lucky #1 sub // duck fat fries
On our list of over twenty five restaurants to try was Tattooed Moose. The selling point for the girls were the duck fat fries. I have no self control when it comes to french fries, but I’m not a duck fat fan, so these weren’t my thing.
What was good, however, were the sandwiches, and the fun vibe of the restaurant. Slightly west of downtown, Tattooed Moose proved a great stop on our way out of town to see some plantations. The pub-vibe was a nice respite from the foodie places in town.
Poe’s Tavern :: crab cake burger // fried egg burger
Where to Eat on Sullivan’s Island
Sullivan’s Island is just north of Charleston and we barely scratched the surface of this beachy, restaurant row gold mine. Poe’s Tavern is everything burger and it is fun.
The entire restaurant, down to the bathroom walls, is devoted to Edgar Allen Poe and this local hotspot is worth a short trek. Other restaurants nearby looked great too, we just sadly ran out of time!
Black Tap Coffee :: Eli’s Table :: sweet potato pancakes // shrimp + grits :: husk :: bacon cornbread //roasted beans + cheese // poached egg + grits
My indoor camera phone skills still need a lot of work. As does my impatience to eat food when it’s set before me obviously! So many of the dishes you’ll just have to try for yourself!