You're hungry. You're tired–probably from all of the Charleston, South Carolina exploration you've been doing on foot or by bike. Hey, it's perfectly understandable and completely natural to crave something quick, delicious, and mobile. If you're new in town, it could take some research to pin down Charleston's best restaurants for take out and delivery meals. Not to worry: we've rounded up the best downtown Charleston food that's available in to-go form, so you don't have to!
From take out and delivery pizza to sushi and sandwiches, you'll find it all on the peninsula. Want to take a chewy, cheesey pizza back to the hotel? Stop by funky Mellow Mushroom on King Street, or the beloved Elliotborough neighborhood hotspot, D'Allesandro's. For sushi, noodles, and wok stir fry dishes, hit up Spring Roll Asian Cuisine, or skip a block down the street for take out chicken in all its forms at The Kickin' Chicken.
Lunch can be taken along for the ride as well. Visit Persimmon Cafe or Caviar & Bananas for a delicious to-go meal that is portable enough for a picnic at The Battery or in Hampton Park. Vegetarians and vegans, rejoice: Black Bean Company and Dellz Uptown have you covered with fresh wraps, sandwiches, salads, and more.
Visit the tiny Taco Spot for dine in on their outdoor picnic tables out back, or grab some of their quick Mexican tacos and quesadillas to-go. There's plenty of variety on the Taco Spot menu, and they specialize in speedy take out tacos! Choose a soft corn, soft flour, or crunchy corn shell, and make it a taco, salad, quesadilla, or wrap with such fillings as blackened steak, ground beef, blackened chicken, and pan-seared or blackened fish or veggies. Self-dubbed "neighborhood taco dealers," the Taco Spot crew takes order by in-person, on the phone or online, with pick-up hours from 11am to 9pm 7 days a week. (843-720-1888)
Bon Banh Mi
This small Spring Street restaurant may even be better for take out than it is for dine in. Nothing on the menu here is over $10.75 (that's the price for three tacos), with most sandwiches and salads coming in at just $8.75. That's refreshing in a popular foodie town, as is the parking available behind the restaurant! When ordering from Bon Banh Mi, first pick from a banh mi, tacos, or a salad, and then choose a protein filling, including red curry beef, ginger lemongrass chicken, 5-spice pork, 5-spice tofu, country pate and Vietnamese ham, or egg and Canadian bacon. From there, the only thing left to do is pick up your order and head for the park or the beach! (843-414-7320)
Spring Roll Asian Cuisine
This casual Asian restaurant serves everything from Thai noodle dishes and wok stir-fry to sushi and Chinese specialty. Spring Roll, a family-owned fixture on busy King Street downtown, is much better than your average Chinese take out restaurant, with many people opting to dine-in for their meal here. The menu, of course, is massive, with dozens of sushi roll options alongside noodle favorites like Pad Thai, Glass Noodles, and Pad See Ew, as red, yellow, and green curry dishes. Vegetarians will find plenty of satisfying options on the menu at Spring Roll, as tofu is available in nearly every dish. Spring Roll is best when you find yourself in need of a quick lunch or take out/delivery dinner. (843-720-8816)
This cozy corner pizza joint is a locals' favorite, located in the heart of the residential Elliotborough neighborhood. D'Als, as it is called by its regulars, is an excellent place to kick back and enjoy a beer and a couple of slices of thin, cheesy pizza. But, if you must take it to go, you can expect a pizza experience that's just as delicious as dine-in. Choose from one of their pre-set hand-tossed pizzas, or build your own, choosing from a long list of toppings that even includes vegan cheese and tempeh for its vegan and vegetarian customers. Thankfully for us, D'Allesandro's is open until 11pm Sunday through Wednesday and until midnight Thursday through Saturday. (843-853-6337)
Black Bean Company
With locations downtown and on James Island, Black Bean Company brings healthy, vegan and vegetarian-friendly food to the masses. Their downtown King Street location is open from 7am - 10pm 7 days a week, and you can get your fix of the good stuff via dine-in, delivery, or take out. Vegans and vegetarians will love Black Bean Company, but so will their omnivore friends! The Black Bean Company menu features a wide variety of salads, wraps, and gyros stuffed with fresh, locally-sourced produce and proteins. Don't forget to add some baked goods or a side like the couscous, vanilla bean yogurt, or potato salad to your wrap order. This restaurant is known for its quick take out and delivery times; order Black Bean Company to-go on your way to the beach! (843-277-0990)
This corner restaurant is small, but colorful and lively inside and out. Expect quick, friendly service and plenty of "good vibes," a priority for the family-owned Dellz business. Dellz Uptown, located just past the Crosstown in the northern part of the downtown Charleston peninsula, is perhaps best known for their vegan and vegetarian-friendly over-stuffed wraps and the delicious Jazzy Pizza, a healthy pita pizza topped with fresh greens, avocado, tomato, and beans - even vegan cheese by request. Don't worry, there are plenty of options for your omnivore friends, too! There's no delivery from Dellz Uptown, so be sure to call ahead for take out. (843-641-0352)
Prepare yourself: Mellow Mushroom pizza is unlike any other pizza you've had before. The distinctive Mellow Mushroom style is a unique (and perhaps perfect) blend of chewy dough baked in a stone hearth, with an impressive array of topping ingredients available. There's a dozen or so pre-imagined pizza offerings on the menu, including the Magical Mystery Tour, Kosmic Karma, and Mighty Meaty, alongside calzones, pretzel knots, salads, and hoagies. You can, of course, build your own pizza with the perfect combination os sauce bases, cheese, and toppings of your dreams. When you're in need of some take out or delivery pizza, consider that Mellow Mushroom on King Street does both, and their kitchen is open until 11pm Sunday through Thursday and 12am Friday and Saturday. (843-723-7374, 843-327-0346)
Take note of the separate take out and to-go entrance for the downtown location of Kickin' Chicken on King Street. These people mean business when it comes to chicken on the go! That's exactly what's on the menu at this popular sports bar and restaurant: chicken, in all its forms. Choose from chicken wings, tenders, nuggets, salads, sandwiches, wraps, and more, with all menu items available for both take out and delivery (on the peninsula). Take note: there can be a lengthy wait time for to-go orders during peak weekend dinner hours, especially during the school year, as the College of Charleston campus is located just one block away from Kickin' Chicken. (843-805-5020)
Yes, Persimmon Cafe is located in a laundromat. Humbly sharing space with the washers and dryers, this neighborhood sandwich shop is serving up some simply delicious soups and sandwiches. The name of the game here is "grilled panini," and the Persimmon menu holds both consistent regular features as well as guest star specials on a daily basis. Count on regular menu sandwiches like the lump crab with carred onion mayo, the zucchini with fontina and pistachio pistou, the caprese, and the "Adult Grilled Cheese." Persimmon Cafe is also known for the occasional appearance of such specials as the buttnernut squash and curry cashew butter, and even a lobster roll. Pair that sandwich with an orzo salad or peanut butter slaw side and some seriously speedy service, and you've got a restaurant with a whole lot of regulars. (843-937-5399)
Caviar & Bananas
You may be craving a stuffed sandwich or wrap, while a friend is begging for a refreshing salad. One person wants iced coffee and a muffin, while another simply wants to pick up some pasta salad, Eggplant Parmesan, and a bottle of wine for tonight. Stop what you're doing and head to Caviar & Bananas immediately--they have everything you need! For picky eaters or those with dietary restrictions, head to the build-your-own salad and sandwich stations, with items made quickly and freshly in front of you. Grab a few soft drinks, teas, or juice and pack that breakfast, lunch, or dinner to-go. You've got the makings of a perfect park picnic! (843-577-7757, 843-577-9997)
About 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 Charleston, spending her days enjoying the city’s perpetually sunny weather, nearby beaches and ever-growing food and craft beer scene.
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