Photograph by Jonathan Boncek/Courtesy of Cannon Green.
Where To Eat (day)
Cannon Green: In Charleston, brunch typically only happens on Sunday (sad, we know), so wherever you choose to have it, make sure it's worthy of a week's wait. All to say, go to Cannon Green, Zero George's sister restaurant, that looks like a charming greenhouse-meets-manor and hosts a live DJ every Sunday. The high-ceiling airy space with a grand staircase and an outdoor patio, decorated with palm trees and fountain pathway, doubles as a wedding venue, and for good reason! Try the spectacular shrimp and grits or skillet eggs with chorizo and salsa roja paired with a peach mimosa or the restaurant's signature Bloody Mary that has vodka and bourbon. Also, ask for the extra scones with the garlic butter. Just trust us on this. —IG
Jestine's Kitchen: This no-frills spot has earned its spot in the locals culinary playbook for the very good fried chicken and other cholesterol-skyrocketing foods that they serve. Be indulgent here, and get all the fried deliciousness there is. —IG
Hominy Grill: Brought by a James Beard Award-winning chef, this ultra-popular restaurant, housed in a red shingled house, serves some of the best Lowcountry classics in the area. Think: chicken fried steak sandwich, jalapeño hush puppies, okra and shrimp beignets, she-crab soup (a must in Charleston even if it's scorching hot outside), and slow-smoked ribs. We can guarantee that this will become your favorite lunch spot while in town.—IG
Lewis Barbecue: Speaking of ribs, this smokehouse from a Texas (!) barbecue veteran is another go-to for locals and tourists alike. Order the brisket, ribs, or pulled pork at the counter and watch them cut it in front of you for a sandwich or plate. The corn pudding is as good and the margaritas as strong as everyone says. —IG
Toast!: If a good brunch or breakfast for dinner is one of your requirements, then you should definitely eat at Toast!. They serve breakfast all day, but the lunch and dinner are good, too. The fried sweet tea glazed chicken is our personal favorite, and you can’t leave without trying one of their flavored Bloody Mary’s.
Fast & French (Gaulart & Maliclet): Charleston’s own little pocket of France. It’s small and you may be sharing a table with strangers, but its authentic French cuisine and atmosphere are completely worth it. Go for the lunch special and you can get a croissant or baguette sandwich, a cup of their daily changing hot or chilled soup, and a glass of house wine all for $11. Just like in many European restaurants, you also don’t have to add on any extra money for tax or leave a tip.
Smoke BBQ: One of the best places to get BBQ in Charleston. Meat lovers can have their choice of slow cooked pork, famous wings, chicken, brisket, and more.
Hyman’s Seafood: Tons of celebrities have dined here, and although it’s a pretty touristy attraction, the seafood is delicious and they serve you tons of food so you will definitely have leftovers for later. Nameplates on the tables will show you what famous people ate at the same seat as you (I sat in Cam Newton’s seat).
Queen Street Grocery: If you’re taking a stroll through the city and you want a quick snack, then you should get a crepe from Queen Street Grocery. It looks like any other corner store at first glance, but this place offers a yummy variety of sweet and savory crepes (including gluten-free options), as well as fresh smoothies, omelets, sandwiches, and salads.
King Street Cookies: Sweet tooth calling? King Street Cookies has a huge selection of unique flavors including MexiCoCo Spice, Peachy Keen, and strawberry pink lemonade. Of course, they have traditional flavors, too, like chocolate chip, sugar cookie, and snickerdoodle. They offer a wide selection of gluten-free cookies as well. You can wash down your treats with a variety of coffee drinks or help yourself to the milk bar.