Oh Charleston, how she stole my heart. I fell in love instantly, and never wanted to come home! Sadly, we were only there for two days, so I’m not putting together a full city guide because I feel like I barely scratched the surface. That being said, I hope to go back soon with Anel so that I can see (and eat!) even more.
One of my favorite parts about exploring this picturesque city was trying a ton of amazing restaurants. Every single meal we ate was incredible, and today I’m sharing a few of our favorites.
A lot of these were recommended by you guys, so thank you to everyone who sent me emails and commented on Instagram. I so appreciate the help. Grace was also a huge help in planning our little food tour.
Xiao Bao Biscuit
We headed straight to Xiao Bao upon landing in Charleston. All three of us had heard great things about this Asian soul food restaurant with dishes from Korea, Japan, Thailand and Vietnam. The vibe was very hipster, and it looked like it could have been located in Brooklyn. We wanted to try as much as possible so we ordered the cabbage pancake (what they’re famous for), Bo Bo Ji and Som Tum with Chicken. All three were amazing but the Som Tum with blackened crispy chicken was by far my favorite.
After walking around all afternoon, we were somehow hungry again for dinner at Husk, one of Charleston’s most popular restaurant. While we had a great meal, it wasn’t my favorite of the trip despite everyone’s promise that it would be. Again, we went the splitting route so we could try more. The menu changes every night so I can’t recommend anything specific, but the salads were fresh and delicious, and we loved the crispy chicken skins and skillet corn bread. Victoria (the only southern gal in the group) made us try pig ears, but I had one bite and couldn’t do it! They tasted good but I was thinking about it too much.
After dinner, I headed home and passed out in about two seconds, but Victoria and Grace went out for a glass of wine at Bin 152. They loved it so much that they made me promise to include it in this guide! Apparently they had friendly bartenders, an amazing wine selection, and it was filled with mostly locals which is always a good sign. From what I can see on the website, the decor is cute and rustic.
The next morning, we decided to give our bellies a little break, so I found this cute acai/juice/poke spot a few minutes from our hotel. We picked up green juices and acai bowls for a light breakfast slash southern food detox. It was really good! If I could have eaten poke, I would have loved to have tried one of their bowls. Maybe next time.
Leon’s Fine Poultry & Oysters
On Friday, we met up with Chassity at this must-visit restaurant in Charleston. Everyone ordered oysters (was sad to miss out!), but I loved my meal of the Siam Salad with grilled chicken. We all split the hush puppies (trust me, you need these in your life), roasted celery root, and crispy Brussels sprouts. They were all wonderful. This was probably one of my favorite meals because the space was gorgeous and every bite I took was better than the last. Plus the good company helped! I definitely recommend a stop at Leon’s.
For our fanciest dinner, we made a reservation at FIG (Food Is Good) a month in advance. If you want to go here, you have to be prepared because they book up really quickly. Almost every local we spoke to said that FIG was their favorite restaurant in the city. After going there, I can see why! I was pleasantly surprised to see a couple of mocktails on the insane cocktail menu (I want to go back just to try a few!). I had one made with grapefruit, elderflower, and club soda. We went the splitting route again and had the burnt eggplant and cottage cheese toast (a must), chicken liver pate, ricotta gnocchi with lamb bolognese, the farm lettuce salad, and buttered cabbage. I could eat at FIG every night. It was that good!
Butcher & Bee
I got so many recs for Butcher & Bee from you guys that we threw this one in last minute, and I’m so happy we did! Victoria and I headed over for breakfast on Saturday before heading out of town. We ordered two breakfast bowls (brown rice bowl with a poached egg, veggies, and almond butter sauce for me, and eggs with grits for Victoria), some mezze plates (roasted radishes and white bean dip), and charcoal lemonades for a mini cleanse.
This very Instagram-worthy bakery is located only two blocks from Hominy Grill, so I’d recommend hitting it up after brunch or lunch there. We weren’t able to make it to Hominy, but I’ve heard amazing things so will stop in next time for sure.
If you’re planning a food tour of your own anytime soon, it’s the perfect time! New American Express Blue Cash Every Day Card Members can earn 10% cash back on the first $2,000 in purchases they make at restaurants in the US (up to $200) within the first six months of Card Membership starting from the date their account is approved. In order to qualify, you have to apply for the card by 5/3 so get on it!
Thank you to American Express for sponsoring this post.