Foodies from all over flock to Charleston for some of the finest dining in the U.S. You get not only the refined cookery of the Lowcountry, but also an array of French and international specialties. The whole concept of “Lowcountry Cuisine” was pioneered here, essentially a blend of traditional Southern, African, French, and Caribbean flavors. Today, hot young chefs continue to experiment and open trendy new restaurants in the Historic District. One trend that unites the city’s culinary movers and shakers is farm-to-table: Charleston restaurateurs pride themselves on sourcing meat and produce locally, and seasonally. Though prices tend to be high, on a par with much bigger cities on the east and west coasts, the quality is hard to beat.
The City Market—a Good Food GuideCharleston’s City Market at 188 Meeting St. is a great place to load up on (relatively cheap) local snacks and dishes. Eat here or take out to enjoy at Waterfront Park. Student favorite Caviar & Bananas (tel. 843/577-7757; www.caviarandbananas.com; daily 9am–6pm) is best known for its mouth-watering sandwiches (especially the duck confit and the po-boy), but the salads are also excellent, and there are plenty of gluten-free options. Food for the Southern Soul’s ‘Cue-Osk (tel. 843/577-5230; www.foodforthesouthernsoul.com; daily 9:30am–6pm) knocks out decent pulled pork ($6), beef brisket ($7), and mac and cheese ($2). Those with a sweet tooth have plenty of options. Southern Sisters (tel. 843/801-2665; www.southernsistersbakers.com) knocks out the famous Benne Wafer’s, Charleston lemon coolers, and pecan tea cookies, while nearby Kaminsky’s, 78 N. Market St. (tel. 843/853-8270; www.kaminskys.com) serves up ciders, coffees, hot toddies, and sumptuous desserts.
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