Local Heart and Soul in Charleston's Best Southern Restaurants

Charleston is a culinary destination of the deep South, with its own unique style of Southern cuisine that stands out from other regional foodie hotspots. Charleston chefs and restaurants take advantage of a warm climate and an unseen bounty of local produce, meats and, of course, seafood from the surrounding inlets and harbors. This ideal combination of lowcountry ingredients come together from Charleston's warm, coastal climate, taken advantage of by local restaurants, cooks and residents for centuries. This system of exceptional, accessible food sources makes it easy for Charleston to provide the memorable farm and sea-to-table dishes enjoyed at any restaurant in the area.

It's Charleston's long standing cultural traditions, however, that define the unique preparations of the lowcountry harvest. These traditions are present in the perfectly fried chicken, hoppin' john, shrimp and grits, and freshly caught fish served daily in Charleston's best Southern restaurants. For a sampling of the Holy City's finest Southern dishes in a fine dining setting, head to critically acclaimed Husk, by local celebrity chef Sean Brock, or its Queen Street neighbor, the lovely Poogan's Porch.

A Southern-style breakfast is mandatory when visiting Charleston. Get your biscuits and gravy fix at James Beard Award-winning Hominy Grill, or the tiny yet wildly popular Callie's Hot Little Biscuit on Upper King Street. Off peninsula, look for the Early Bird Diner in West Ashley, known for their Chicken & Waffles, or Page's Okra Grill in Mount Pleasant for truly dedicated Southern meal experience. Looking for the real deal when it comes to Southern soul food in Charleston? Make the short ride up to Martha Lou's on Morrison Drive to indulge in a longtime locals' favorite. 

Cru Cafe, conveniently located on Pinckney Street across from the carriage tour companies of Charleston, offers gourmet style preparations of traditional Southern dishes and ingredients, at a very reasonable rate. The menu at Cru represents a...  Read More

Poogan's Porch is an iconic culinary landmark in Charleston, serving up some of the lowcountry's best Southern fare for decades from its quaint cottage setting. Expect beautifully prepared plates of traditional Southern dishes, served with a...  Read More

Located just across the Ashley River from downtown Charleston, The Glass Onion attracts both locals and visitors with its classic Southern comfort foods and family-friendly atmosphere. The Glass Onion shares its name with a White Album Beatles'...  Read More

This approachable, budget-friendly West Ashley diner offers the true Southern experience to both locals and visitors to Charleston with a wide variety of breakfast, lunch, dinner and late night hot plates. The Early Bird Diner, living up to its...  Read More

Dixie Supply & Bakery lives up to its unique name: this corner restaurant and bakeshop has supplied locals and visitors alike with classic Southern foods since 2007, and the family owner-operators can trace their family's local roots back to...  Read More

Stop by Callie's Hot Little Biscuit for breakfast, lunch, or even a late night snack when you're craving fresh, made-from-scratch Southern biscuits. This tiny bakery-restaurant boasts a wide variety of topped and filled biscuits, priced at just...  Read More

Mount Pleasant

Page's Okra Grill of Mount Pleasant is a casual, Southern eatery, serving "Local Food for Local Folks" since its opening in 2006. Owned and operated by the Page family, Page's Okra Grill is run by executive chef Ashleigh Page and her sister,...  Read More

Hominy Grill
Photo courtesy of Clare Sweeney

Hominy Grill, at home in a historic 19th century house, features a giant wall mural of waitress "Rosie" serving up a steaming bowl of grits. James Beard Award winning chef Robert Stehling serves up classic southern staples for lunch, dinner, and...  Read More

North Downtown

There's a little pink painted building on Morrison Drive that's self-described as a "roll-your-eyes-it's-so-good" soul food restaurant, and for many, that's exactly what a Martha Lou's lunch is all about. This homey, welcoming spot is situated...  Read More

You'll find Husk, one of the Southeast's most critically acclaimed restaurants, tucked into a quiet stretch of Queen Street downtown just a few blocks from the waterfront. The unassuming home style building is an ideal setting for the warm and...  Read More


Meet Clare Sweeney

A South Carolina native and avid locavore, Clare also ventured abroad to Spain and north to Boston before returning to Charleston and her beloved Lowcountry. 

Clare works and plays in downtown...  More About Clare

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