I love to travel. I try to go to at least one new place per year, and this year it was Charleston, South Carolina. Mom and I went for Mother’s Day weekend, she is a great travel buddy. We try to go on a girl’s trip every year, while Dad stays home with the cat.
Charleston is a beautiful city, filled with historic mansions, southern charm, and tons of food. We toured the city in a horse drawn carriage, visited the country’s only tea plantation, and ate our bodyweight in BBQ. Here are a few of my favorite spots that I stumbled upon while eating my way through Charleston:
1. Best Breakfast/Smoothie Shop: Whisk Coffee and Juice Bar This sunny cafe is packed with as many fresh fruit and veggies than a farmer’s market stand. Their menu includes fresh fruit smoothies with add-ins like protein powder and wheatgrass, pressed fruit/veggie juices, build-your-own parfaits, oatmeal, and a variety of coffees and loose leaf teas. They also have an extensive lunch menu, but we did not have a chance to try any of their sandwiches or salads.
2. Healthiest Lunch Spot: Verde Fresh Salads and Wraps Verde was created to provide a quick-service, healthy dining option in the Charleston community (they have another location in Mt. Pleasant). They provide create-your-own salads, filled with locally grown, seasonal ingredients. I had the Mesa Verde salad, which had chicken, veggies, and a chipotle lime vinegrette. They also serve their salads in compostable containers, so they are green, inside and out!
3. Best Craft Beer/Tavern: Craftsman Kitchen and Tap House We stumbled upon this establishment during a Charleston Pub Crawl, and wound up returning back for dinner another night. I had a flight of four local craft beers (half price during happy hour… only $5!) and a pizza topped with locally grown veggies (sweet potato, brussels sprouts…OMG)
4. Best Pizza: EVO, (Extra Virgin Oven) North Charleston ***DISCLAIMER** I am from New Jersey… so I know good pizza. I am also fairly health conscious, so I don’t waste my time (and calories) on mediocre pizza. Having said that.. this might be the best pizza I have ever eaten.
Lets pause for a minute and let that sink in.
The crust is perfectly cooked in a wood-fired oven, and the sauce is excellent. The pizzas are topped with fresh ingredients (mine had roasted veggies, sausage, and garlic, mom went with the classic Margherita, with fresh basil and tomato)
5. Best Dinner/Meal Overall: Tavern and Table, Shem Creek Located in Mt. Pleasant, we stumbled upon this restaurant after someone from our hotel suggested we check out Shem Creek. I was starving (as usual) so we stopped in to grab a quick lunch, but we hit the foodie jackpot. We started off with the Brussels Sprouts appetizer with mustard, bacon, and parmesan cream. Mom had the crab dip which she said was the best she’d ever had. I had the daily special which was Shortrib brisket chili.. holy crap. If you like barbecue and you like chili, you need to try this. I will probably spend the rest of my life trying to recreate this dish. If I ever get close, I’ll post a recipe. I don’t think we even had dinner that night because we were so full, I almost licked the plate! (
So there you have it! My Charleston, SC top 5! Have you been to Charleston? Do you have any faves that you’d add to the list? Let me know what you think 🙂