A Charleston Lunch Break: Corner Cafés, Park Picnic or Shopper's Pit Stop

There's so much to do in downtown Charleston, that choosing a restaurant at midday mealtime here can be the trickiest part of your trip. There are just so many great options, often much more affordable than the city from where you've come! When it comes to choosing a lunch spot that's easy on the wallet and walking distance from all of the historic sites and museums, choose locally-owned, neighborhood restaurants, and you can't go wrong.

Work a memorable meal into your busy schedule with quick service and fantastic to-go and delivery options, or let yourself linger in the uniquely Charleston-style historic home and courtyard patio restaurant settings. Try Mellow Mushroom's delivery service at the end of a long morning or if just in need of a superior pizza pie, or swing by King Street's Butcher & Bee to check out the daily-changing menus. Head to vibrant Verde for a fresh create-your-own salad after shopping the Historic City Market, or before hopping on a carriage tour just around the corner.

Turn locavore with a quick trip to Caviar & Bananas, Bull Street Gourmet, or Fast & French, three great spots to grab picnic supplies before heading to the shady College of Charleston campus or Battery Park. Vegetarians and vegans will enjoy the variety and atmosphere of Charleston's many herbivore-friendly lunch destinations, especially at the health food meccas of Black Bean Company and Dellz Deli



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...  Read More



Mellow Mushroom is simply one of the best pizza joints, and lunch spots, in the greater Charleston area. Conveniently located on King Street, Mellow Mushroom boasts a colorful, laid-back interior, welcoming staff and a unique combination of...  Read More



Black Bean Co. is one of Charleston's most popular organic health food restaurants, serving up 'energy wraps,' 'power gyros,' salads, sides and baked goods in two locations, with dine-in seating, take-out and delivery options available. Since...  Read More



Verde is an ideal lunch destination for vegans and vegetarians, gluten-free eaters, as well as omnivores. Located on busy King Street close to the College of Charleston and Marion Square Park, Verde serves up fresh and healthy salads to a large...  Read More



A fireplace and long communal tables flank this charming and authentic Broad Street eatery, housed in a 300 year old building where diners can quickly munch on casual bites or linger in the relaxed French style of enjoying one's midday meal....  Read More

North Downtown


Temporarily closed in preparation for a move uptown to North Morrison Street, Butcher & Bee lays claim to providing "hand-held comfort food" to downtown Charleston. The sandwich artists at Butcher & Bee are open for weekday lunch and...  Read More

Caviar & Bananas
Photo courtesy of Caviar & Bananas


Ask any Charleston local about their favorite downtown lunch spot, and chances are they'll describe their usual selection from the hot cases at Caviar & Bananas. Located just off King Street on George Street near the College of Charleston...  Read More



You might be surprised to find that one of Charleston's best sandwich joints is housed in a laundromat! It's true: Persimmon Cafe, located at 226 Calhoun Street, shares its deli counter and eat-in seating with several dozen washing machines....  Read More



Five Loaves, wholeheartedly adored by neighborhood locals and visitors, is a charming corner restaurant a just off of the main tourist path on Cannon and Coming streets in the Cannonborough-Elliotborough neighborhood. The food is consistently...  Read More


Meet Clare Sweeney

A South Carolina native and avid locavore, Clare is always venturing between traveling abroad and her beloved Lowcountry. 

Clare works and plays in downtown Charleston, spending her days...  More About Clare