The Quest for the Best Lunch in Downtown Charleston SC: 21 Places (2023)

The Quest for the Best Lunch in Downtown Charleston SC: 21 Places (1)

The south is known for home cooking.

And that goes for its unique additions to the American Breakfast Diet.

Any place that can make unique concoctions like chicken and waffles needs to know what they're doing.Imbiss in Charleston, South Carolina, certainly no different. With so many places opening and closing, locals and tourists alike can regularly eat breakfast out without getting bored.

But then you would be poor.

In fact, about a year ago I had to cut back on my snacking habits because it was eating up more and more of my monthly budget. Things got even worse in the summer months when the outside terraces lent themselves so well to late morning lunches. And when the weather gets too hot, brunchers tend to head to Charleston's rooftop bars and restaurants to enjoy the plentiful breeze.

Meeting friends forthe best breakfast in downtown Charleston, SC, or something further is still manageable, just not every day. And I recommend cheaper places more often.

(Video) Top 18 Restaurants in Downtown Charleston, SC

Before heading out to explore the city or enjoying some Sunday fun, a decent lunch in Charleston, SC is a must. Read on to find out whereEnjoy the best breakfast first downtown and then further afield in the Charleston area.

The 13 Best Snack Restaurants in Downtown Charleston, SC

1. Hominy-Grill

This Charleston landmark is always popular. It's ostensibly a "tourist's restaurant," although this author enjoys it. Southern inspired menuHominy-Grillmade this restaurant popular in Charleston. One of their signature dishes called "Charleston Nasty Biscuit" consists of fried chicken dipped in sausage and cheddar sauce, then topped with a biscuit. Terrible for your arteries, but an absolute treat. The Sunday breakfast crowd can also expect other main dishes, such as:

  • Pancakes with buttermilk
  • homemade sausage
  • typical egg dishes

But don't miss the fried green tomatoes.

2. A tattooed moose in downtown Charleston

This restaurant is great. Their famous Duck Club sandwich is fantastic, but Sunday lunch here might be worth missing the church if it means getting a table. Compared to some of the other restaurants on this list, the Mimosas and Bloody Mary's are a steal. Drinks like a bottomless cup of Joe pair perfectly with homemade cookies and gravy. Incredibly tasty junk platter featuring:

  • Herr
  • Meso
  • Owner
  • Vegetables

All based on their famous fries, fried in duck fat and smothered in sausage sauce.

Reading things like this, it's no wonder obesity is a fairly common problem in the South. TheTattooed moosehas another location on John's Island. One of my favorite things to do in Charleston, unique to Johns Island, is the Loaded Bloody Mary. It's a Bloody Mary served with:

  1. Fried chicken
  2. Pickled okra
  3. Roast
  4. Candied bacon skewers

Stacked on the glass.

Plan to come to the Tattooed Moose on a Sunday as they do not serve breakfast on Saturdays.

3. Moes Taverne in Crosstown

Moe's is my favorite bar in downtown Charleston: it's cheap and right around the corner from my house.


And yoursunday dinnerit's pretty cool too. And it's convenient for downtown. A hearty breakfast is available here for less than $10 (though not if you're drinking, of course).

4. Poogans Veranda

The Quest for the Best Lunch in Downtown Charleston SC: 21 Places (2)After a delicious dinner in one of the most beautifulromantic restaurants in Charleston, come back the next morning for Sunday brunch! Guests at Poogan's Porch are greeted with hot biscuits in a basket before ordering brunch from the menu. Breakfast includes such fantastic items as waffles, fried chicken, Charlestowne fry, cinnamon french toast and omelettes. Poogan's Porch is one of this author's worksFavorite fine dining restaurants in downtown Charleston, SC. Although I may have mentioned it before.

5. AC's Bar and Grill

This place is pretty backwards, especially compared to other bars and restaurants on King Street like Stars and Prohibition (not to mention Hall's Chophouse). But A.C.'s Bar and Grill offers something rare on King Street: a delicious yet affordable Sunday brunch. Interiors can be a bit dark and service can be lacking. For example, you order at a bar and take your food from the counter behind when your number comes. But seriously, let's be honest: you're here because you're hungry and probably hungover from a night outBars in downtown Charleston. I'm not really in the mood to talk to the waiter when I'm in this shape. And fried comfort food is just what the doctor ordered when you're feeling your worst on a Sunday morning.

6. Virginia is on King

It is located on Kraljeva street a few blocks awayBicycle Blue Books, this Southern-style restaurant serves classics like:

  • dumplings and chicken
  • Ham glazed with brown sugar
  • Roast pork sandwiches
  • fried tomatoes
  • fried okra

This writer often craves his cookies and gravy from here. And while Bloody Mary is sake basedVirginia is on Kingis not for everyone, this author has to admit that he is quite biased.

7. Callien hot little cookie

I have to betCallie's hot little cookiesomewhere on that list, so it might as well go here. It's not really a sit-down restaurant as it's in what used to be an alleyway on Upper King Street. However, the cookies are damn good. The only frustrating part is waiting in line. After going every weekend for a month or two, I quit a while ago. I'm not a fan of long lines, delicious cookies or not.

8. Edmunds East

Come here for cornbread served with honey butter, which is as amazing as it sounds. menu offEdmunds Eastincludes a wide range of beer, biscuits and gravy, creative cocktails, fresh meat and bacon burgers.

9. Tost von Charleston

This southern eatery was voted best breakfast in Charleston (and a must-see by the New York Times). It is famous for its bottomless mimosa. With wash offTostspecial glazed chicken in sweet tea.

10. The Butcher and the Bee

The Quest for the Best Lunch in Downtown Charleston SC: 21 Places (3)Pleasant, albeit industrial feelThe butcher and the beeIt serves as the perfect backdrop for their sandwiches and late night meal service. They are also known for their Saturday and Sunday brunch. Their sandwiches (which is what they are best known for) change regularly but are always imaginative.

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11. The Rare

Located on Upper King Street, this restaurant is famous for serving breakfast any time of the day. Regular dishes include delicious chicken in tomato soup, waffles, grilled cheese sandwiches and fish and chips. They also serve a double burger, mustard and pickles. While not strictly a traditional snack dish,rarityMoscow mules are great.

12. Visoki-Pamuk

Club or elegant atmosphereVisoki pamukIt's definitely suitable for a weekend brunch. The brunch menu is known for shrimp and grits with andouille, applewood-smoked bacon, crab eggs benedict, and bourbon-glazed donuts.

13. Sterne-Restaurant & Bar

I have to admit I didn't eat here, but I stopped by the Sunday buffet for a snack on Sunday morning on my way to church. I have to say that I am deeply impressed. When hanging outSterne-Restaurantmore for herRooftop restaurant and barMost importantly, the food looks delicious.

The best breakfast spots in Charleston, South Carolina

Many of them are top notch establishments if you need or want to impress someone. Or if someone else pays.

1. Magnolias

Magnolias have always existed on East Bay Street in downtown Charleston. Serves Pork in a Blanket, Country Roast Steak and Eggs, Fried Egg Sandwich and Blue Crab Benedict.magnoliasis excellent and considered one of the best upscale brunches in Charleston. It is ideal for those looking to spend a little more for a casual breakfast at a well-known Charleston restaurant.

2. Trokut Char i Bar

Triangle Char and Bar claims to serve the best burger in Charleston. On the weekends they serve an exciting snack menu ranging from cinnamon buns to grilled pig eggs. They also serve shrimp and grits and homemade Belgian waffles. Wash down your meal with the spiciest Bloody Mary in Charleston or mimosa in a carafe and you have a great breakfast. And although this item is a Charleston snack bar, grass-fed burgers are in theTrokut Char i Barof Avondale are really something to experience.

3. Fat Her

The Quest for the Best Lunch in Downtown Charleston SC: 21 Places (4)This John's Island restaurant celebrates Lowcountry French culinary traditions. It attracts people all weekJohn's swelling, but the biggest draw is definitely the Sunday brunch. menu offfat chickenchanges regularly. Some common occurrences include country roast steak, creme brulee French toast, and chicken pot pie. This great diner is only 30 minutes away fromhistoric downtown Charleston.

4. Other Dorfpost

It is housed in a historic half-timbered house in the charming old town of Mount PleasantTaverne im Old Village Post House Inn.This MTP landmark in the old town offers a fairly varied snack menu with options such as:

  • Croque Madam
  • Crab Cakes Benedict
  • shrimp and semolina
  • Filet mignon

Don't miss Bloody Mary's with jalapeno-infused vodka. Although the bar is small, they have a (small) terrace and are only a block from the water. It's a great way to start an afternoon exploring the old townMount Pleasant. It's not far from the Pitt Street Bridge, not to mention the Pitt Street Pharmacy.

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5. Morgan Creek Grille

This restaurant is not far from downtown CharlestonPalmeninsel. The compromise is a water view of the Intracoastal Waterway. It's a great addition to your:

  • Margaritas and mimosas
  • Belgian waffles
  • Omelette specialty
  • French toast
  • Huevos Rancheros
  • shrimp and semolina

WhileMorgan-Creek-Grillspecializing in seafood and steaks, lighter fare is available. The rooftop top deck has decent al fresco dining.

Where is the best Sunday brunch in Charleston, SC

The above places are fantastic choices for breakfast or a snack. But there are plenty of other places in Charleston where you can enjoy a decent Sunday brunch. Below are a few more peninsula options in West Ashley or James Island.

1. The glass book

This restaurant really lives up to its farm-to-table reputation. food insideThe glass bookuWest-Ashleyeverything is made from local ingredients. Some of the more interesting dishes include: chicken with salted beef tongue, andouille gumbo, and fried pig ear butt boys. The less adventurous will find Southern classics like shrimp and grits, poached eggs, fried green tomatoes, and seasonal brownies.

2. Early Bird Dinner

The Quest for the Best Lunch in Downtown Charleston SC: 21 Places (5)This dinner is presented inGuy Fieri's diners, drive-ins and dives, And for a good reason. This classic diner has cozy booths, quirky art lining the walls, and an eclectic staff (some with tattoos, which actually bothered some of the more conservative clientele). Serves chicken and waffles with other snacks. favoritesDinner for early risers, in addition to chicken and waffles there is of course the Country Scramble which serves country sausage, potatoes, eggs and cheddar with cream gravy and comes with a biscuit or toast (but have a biscuit) and your choice of side. It's probably the third or fourth ingredient-heavy dish I've mentioned on this list. Regardless, they are amazing.

3. Sunday brunch at the Charleston Sunday Farmers Market on James Island

This market is only for local products from small farmers who sell cheese, meat, milk and other products. This place is also full of artisans, photographers and soap makers. But the other big part about itSunday breakfast farmers markethosted iza pour house naOtok Jamesare food trucks. While the farmers market is on, you can eat pretty decently and cheaply here. Grab something to eat and sit outside when the weather is nice.

Top picks for Sunday, Saturday, Mother's Day and Easter brunch in Charleston

Many of the options above are great places to bring mom for Mother's Day or Easter. Check each restaurant for the snack menu for a specific day. And beware of restaurants that only serve breakfast on certain days, like Tattooed Moose.

Charleston, SC offers the best breakfasts in the entire south, befitting the beautiful, charming and elegant location that guests enjoy. Anyone living in or visiting Charleston should remember to enjoy Charleston's many attractions, including the food! Be sure to explore oursList of the best things to do in Charleston, South Carolina, after fully charged!

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What street in Charleston has the best restaurants? ›

King Street is the place for food, shopping, and more shopping with exciting choices for dining and nightlife right in the center of historic Charleston.

What food is Charleston known for? ›

Check out 20 of the most iconic dishes to try in Charleston.
  • She Crab Soup. She crab soup is a crab soup that has a “little something extra.” Orange roe tops this soup to make it specifically a soup made of female crabs. ...
  • Shrimp and Grits. ...
  • Cornbread. ...
  • Planters Punch. ...
  • Hush Puppies. ...
  • Frogmore Stew. ...
  • Fried Green Tomatoes. ...
  • Okra Soup.
Dec 9, 2018

How many restaurants are in Charleston South Carolina? ›

Best Charleston, SC Restaurants

There are over 200 restaurants to choose from on the Charleston peninsula, several featuring James Beard Award winning chefs, and many boasting AAA Four Diamond ratings.

How often is Charleston Restaurant Week? ›

January 2023 Charleston Restaurant Week dates are January 12-22, 2023. You will want to make reservations so you don't miss out on Charleston's best and most affordable dining options.

What is the famous Street in downtown Charleston? ›

With its remarkable history and eclectic mix of fashion, art, antiques, home décor, and extraordinary food, King Street is the most vibrant and distinctive downtown in America. King Street is a perfect blend of local, regional, and national shops that remains the place to be for retailers of all types.

Where do celebrities hang out in Charleston SC? ›

With that in mind, here are the places where celebrities have been seen in Charleston and where you might just spot some in the future.
  • Callie's Hot Little Biscuit. ...
  • Shem Creek Music. ...
  • Rutledge Cab Company. ...
  • The Dewberry/Kudu Coffee & Craft Beer. ...
  • Butcher & Bee. ...
  • The Alley. ...
  • Bulldog Tours. ...
  • Fleet Landing.
Jul 24, 2018

What should I wear to dinner in Charleston SC? ›

Casual pants, like khakis, are always welcome. Pack at least one outfit that would be appropriate for a restaurant with a dress code. For men, this usually includes a jacket and slacks (no open-toed shoes). Women will want to wear a dress or nice pants (no tank tops).

What is South Carolina most iconic food? ›

Shrimp & Grits

Undoubtedly one of South Carolina's most iconic dishes, shrimp and grits, once a budget-friendly Lowcountry staple, has become a menu darling across the state. Starting with sweet, wild-caught South Carolina shrimp, chefs spin the recipe in countless ways.

What is the famous row of houses in Charleston? ›

Rainbow Row is the name for a series of colorful historic houses in Charleston, South Carolina. The houses are located north of Tradd St. and south of Elliot St. on East Bay Street.

What is the oldest tavern in America Charleston? ›

Big John's Tavern is Charleston's oldest tavern in one of America's oldest towns. This rustic bar is full of history and has seen more than its fair share of lore that has grown over the years.

What is the girl ratio in Charleston? ›

College of Charleston has a total undergraduate enrollment of 9,967 (fall 2021), with a gender distribution of 34% male students and 66% female students.

What is casual in Charleston? ›

What is Charleston casual attire? Charleston casual attire for women is usually a dress with sandals or sneakers. In the summer, it is very warm so lightweight dresses offer comfort. In the winter though you will start to see jeans and cute blouses or sweaters paired with booties.

What are the best months in Charleston? ›

The best time to visit Charleston, SC is from mid-March through May and from September through November, when temperatures are moderate. Take advantage of spring and fall's excellent walking weather to stroll the city's parks and the waterfront Battery.

What are the busiest months in Charleston SC? ›


Charleston's peak tourist season goes well into November.

What is the most beautiful Street in Charleston? ›

King Street

Running north to south, it's the main shopping district in the city as well as one of the prettiest streets in Charleston. If you walk down King Street (starting at Line Street) to the tip of the peninsula in the Battery, you'll see a good chunk of Downtown — as well as many famous landmarks along the way.

What is the best part of downtown Charleston? ›

The French Quarter is the best area to stay in Charleston, SC for first-time visitors who want to be steps from Rainbow Row, the most picturesque streets, and the top sights. Marion Square is ideal for those focusing on shopping and dining at the top restaurants.

Can you walk around downtown Charleston? ›

Our downtown has some of the most beautiful buildings and informative museums in the South. Visitors also love the fact that they can get around Downtown without a car. It's easy to get to some of Charleston's most famous sites in under a 30-minute walk.

What is the most photographed street in Charleston? ›

Chalmers Street – Charlestons Most Photo-Worthy Street

Lined in Ballast Stones and pastel-colored homes, Chalmers Street is one of the most Instagrammable streets. Find those quintessential window boxes and historic homes which are all within Charleston's French Quarter.

What billionaire lives in Charleston? ›

As of February 2023, she is the 1600th richest person in the world (up from 1729th in 2022), with an estimated wealth of US $1.9 billion. She has three children: Jonathan Zucker, Andrea Muzin and Jeffrey Zucker. She lives in Charleston, South Carolina.

What is the best street to go out in Charleston SC? ›

Most Charleston bars are centered around the Market Street and Upper King Street areas, though many fall just outside of these popular hangouts. Combine your party plans with a few rounds of bowling at The Alley, or, take on the outdoor games on the patio at Bay Street Biergarten.

Can you wear jeans to Charleston? ›

Can you wear jeans in Charleston? You can absolutely wear jeans in Charleston — just know that you might be a little warm if you plan to wear them on hotter days, and they might feel a little casual for some of the city's nicer restaurants.

Can you walk around with alcohol in downtown Charleston? ›

Open Container on the Street

If you are walking around downtown Charleston it is illegal to do so with an open container unless it is a special event where there is a permit. Basically, that means don't walk around with a beer or solo cup with alcohol in it because you can be ticketed for an open container violation.

Can you drink and walk in Charleston? ›

Municipal Open Container Laws in South Carolina

Charleston's code also makes it a crime to “consume any beer, wine, or alcoholic beverage in or upon the streets, sidewalks, alleys, or public ways of the city,” regardless of whether you are in a motor vehicle.

What is the best Street to go out in Charleston SC? ›

Most Charleston bars are centered around the Market Street and Upper King Street areas, though many fall just outside of these popular hangouts. Combine your party plans with a few rounds of bowling at The Alley, or, take on the outdoor games on the patio at Bay Street Biergarten.

What part of King Street in Charleston is the best? ›

Upper King Street, from Marion Square to Spring Street, is the Design and Dining District, which houses some of the best home furnishing shopping and interior design decor in the country. It also showcases some of Charleston's best restaurants and hosts a variety of art walks year-round.

What is the famous Cobblestone Street in Charleston SC? ›

Chalmers Street is one of the most photographed streets in South Carolina. It's located in the French Quarter and is said to have been so bumpy that it led to a woman going into labor. Take note of the Bermuda stone used in the construction of the older buildings, primarily the Pink House on Chalmers Street.


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