Updated: Jan 21
Charleston has always been one of my favorite places even before I became the girlfriend of a sailor. I grew up in Chicago and have found a lot of the Windy City’s qualities in Charleston which makes it feel like home for me. All the history, the bars, King’s Street, the different kinds of people, having a big body of water nearby. It all feels very familiar.
And one of my favorite parts of Charleston is the food! While I have never lived there and don’t 100% know the area, I have been there enough times to throw out some good recommendations when asked.
1.Upper Deck Tavern
This one takes a second to find. The entrance is a sketchy looking door on King Street that leads to a sketchy looking staircase that finally leads up into the bar area. The first time I went up there I fell in love. It’s very small and the lighting is warm. The bartender was beyond friendly and treated us like we were regulars. I went, there were people playing board games at a table and lots of knick-knacks all over the walls. If you’re into “hipster” kinds of things, this is a good place to go. Hands down one of my favorite bars.
Address: 353 King St, Charleston, SC
Here’s my second favorite bar. Not too far from Upper Deck Tavern and very “college-y.” I only drank there so I don’t know about the food so much but they do make excellent drinks with very fast service. There were a ton of people there just talking, playing pool and everyone was beyond friendly.
Address:467 King St, Charleston, SC
3. Cafe Paradiso
This place is a mix between a cafe and a hookah bar that is set in Rainbow Market. They have ah-mazing waffles and even better smoothies. The Belgium chocolate smoothie is my absolute favorite…Taylor says cookies and cream is better. The point being, they have ah-mazing smoothies.
Sandwiches, coffee, and pastries are also on the menu and look just as delicious.
Address: 51 S Market St # A, Charleston, SC
I fell head over heels in love with Wild Wing Cafe the first time I went to Charleston when I was about 10. Their wings are the best and I hear they have really good burgers too.
This place is very close to being like a Buffalo Wild Wings but the atmosphere is a tad different. While BWW is more about sports, Wild Wing is a little more like a nice restaurant with a slight southern twist. And like I said, the wings are A+.
Address: 36 N Market St, Charleston, SC
Want a good sandwich? East Bay Deli is the best. They have all sorts of different types of sandwiches and foods to eat. The meat is cut to order and not at all like Subway where it just sits in a container out in the open all day. They even have their own salad bar!
Address: 334 E Bay St, Charleston, SC
7. Waffle House
Like I said before, I am from Chicago. There are no Waffle Houses to be found for miles so when I went to visit Taylor I told him to take me. And I fell in love with it. For the people who live in Charleston, Waffle Houses are no big deal. It’s like having another McDonald’s but to me it was heaven. Waffles, eggs, grits, hash browns, orange juice, chocolate peanut butter waffles, toast, anything I could possibly want for breakfast was there and it was the best.
And just the atmosphere of the place. I went to the one right by base and the staff just had fun and were really friendly. I adore Waffle Houses.
Address: They are literally all over the place. The one by the naval base is on your right just before you enter base. It is behind a Walgreens.
Other recommendations that I heard are fantastic but have never tried myself a.k.a Taylor said they were good:
The Biergarten: Me and Taylor tried so hard to get into this place but it was packed the night we went (So, it must be good, right?). Later Taylor went with his friends and said it was so good. He recommends the grilled cheese cheeseburger…and beer of course.
Address: 549 E Bay St, Charleston, SC
Mellow Mushroom: If you are picturing a place for stoners, you would be right in your guess. Taylor says it is a pretty good pizza place!
Address: 309 King Street, Charleston, SC
Bucca’s: He just said the belly buster burger. That’s all you need to know.
Address: 1000 Tanner Ford Blvd, Hanahan, SC
Swig and Swine: Taylor said it was hands down the best BBQ he had ever eaten… ever. And they have good craft beer if you’re into that kind of thing.
Address: 1217 Savannah Hwy, Charleston, SC