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.