Gifted with brilliant tour guides both times I’ve been to Charleston, I fell in love with the city twice. I got to see the city through the eyes of Sean Brock and Dan Heinze, and Charleston opened itself up as an amazing destination to drink and eat in any season of the year. Anyone looking for a weekend of consuming the best the city has to offer should visit some of the places they took me.
You can’t mess with the original, even if the Nashville location is a little bit better. The food is local and Southern and they source all their ingredients from local purveyors. Order the Husk cheeseburger and have one of the top 5 burgers in the country!
Dan Heinze’s food is so inventive and delicious. It’s also very whimsical. He changes the menu all the time but one staple is the Charleston sundae, actually made from rice – he basically brought the grain back from extinction. Sean Brock and his team respect ingredients so much that it’s inspiring. Don’t skip out on the drinks here, as Bethany Kokack’s cocktails are really amazing.
An incredible Asian-influenced neighborhood restaurant with the best and friendliest service I’ve ever had in such a casual spot. The restaurant itself is a converted gas station and the food and drinks are great.
I tried my first ‘nduja here, a spicy Italian-style pork sausage that you can spread over bread, and it was amazing. They have fantastic charcuterie in general, probably some of the best you’ll find in the country.
A really beautiful upscale seafood restaurant that served some of the best seafood I’ve ever had. Great cocktails here too!
On Friday and Saturday nights this place is open late night for food. It’s almost a BYOB club that is truly awesome.
For relaxing and having an end-of-the-afternoon drink, this pub is the place to go. You’ll see signed dollar bills on the walls, restaurant people kicking back at the end of the work day, and one of the best bars the south has to offer. High life and fernet are the drinks of choice here.
They’re doing amazing stuff made from heirloom corn. Moonshine!
Everyone in Charleston ends up here at 1am. It’s an amazing dive bar that sells the highest amount of PBR in the country. Great jukebox, too.
Amazing drinks and mezcal here at Sean Brock’s new casual Mexican spot serving some fantastic wings and posole.
My favorite cocktail place. Friendly bartenders serve some great drinks, including their coffee cocktails, the best choice for a slightly chiller night out in the city.
Photo Credits: Charleston City Paper, Belmont Charleston, Minero Charleston, Cheyenne Sparacio, TomosStyle, Alow Country Wedding, Bon Appetit, Butcher & Bee Charleston