Let’s talk about food, baby… specifically, the best places to eat in Charleston! If I had to choose between food and people, I’d probably choose food every time. The incomparable Southern cuisine may or may not have been a deciding factor in my recent move to this peninsula town. Here you’ll find upscale Southern fare dotting the historic streets of downtown, but you’ll also find delicious authentic cuisine from all over the globe.
A story I always like to tell is that of Poogan’s Porch. My parents came to Charleston for their honeymoon back in the 80’s and discovered this Queen Street gem early on. Two days in a row, they ate here for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Not only do they have a gouda + ham mac n cheese that will give you a serious foodgasm (sorry not sorry), their crispy fried chicken is enough to make you cry. But beyond the food, Poogan’s has an amazing story behind the name. The restaurant was dedicated to a shaggy stray pup that used to trot to the porch every day in hopes of some TLC (and also scraps because dogs deserve this amazing food too). They called him Poogan and even had a statue by the front gate in his honor. Apparently the statue has been stolen in the past year, but don’t worry guys, I WILL FIND THIS PERP!
Flash forward to 1989 and my parents encountered a similar situation at their own home. A stocky lhasa apso, with a whole lotta hair and even more charm started wandering to their doorstep in hopes of food everyday. He would stand on his hind legs + wait patiently with pouty eyes and balance any yoga-holic might be jealous of. He looked just like Poogan, and so the name stuck! He was in our family for 17 years, and maybe that’s why I feel such a strong connection to the restaurant, but it’s definitely my favorite in all the city.
Regardless, Charleston is simply overflowing with great food. So in honor of Restaurant Week happening now, I’ve compiled my top picks for meals in the Holy City! Check the event guide here to see which of the restaurants below are participating!
Goat Sheep Cow
Fulton Five (best Italian outside of Italy)
Xiao Bao Biscuit
Five Loaves Cafe
Brown Dog Deli
Leon’s Oyster Shop
The Shelter (in Mt. Pleasant)>> best burger award
Butcher & Bee
Virginia’s on King
Old Village Post House
Queen Street Grocery
Jeni’s Ice Cream
So go forth and eat your heart out! I know I will….